Touring Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs is one of the most legendary racetracks in the world. Known for the Kentucky Derby, it’s a must see for every Louisville visitor. The question is, what do you know about Churchill Downs as a Louisville resident? Have you ever stepped foot inside this historic track? If you haven’t, Derby season is here and there’s no better time to see what everyone is talking about.

Churchill Downs offers a variety of tours throughout the year. Admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum is required in addition to each tour. Museum admission ranges from $6.00 to $14.00. General admission includes a 360 degree HD film “The Greatest Race.” The museum is home permanent exhibits as well as special traveling exhibits. Admission also includes the historic walking tour, a guided thirty minute tour of the general admission areas. Consider adding on an additional tour for a broader view of this historic racetrack.

Inside the Gates Walking Tour

This tour allows you to see a side of Churchill Downs that many don’t usually get to see. Plan on checking out the view from Millionaire’s Row. Guests will explore the old paddock pavilion and take in beautiful murals of cultural icons at the track. Enjoy one of a kind views from the Fourth Floor Balcony, including the Twin Spires, the racetrack and downtown Louisville. Stops at the Turf Club, Horseman’s Lounge and Matt Winn Dining Room round out the tour. Tickets are $11.00 and dates are limited based on the Spring and Fall Meets. Reservations are required.

Twilight Tour

Guests will view the racetrack and amenities beneath the glow of twilight. This tour takes place ever third Thursday of the month. This Thursday April 17th is your next chance to take in Churchill Downs by twilight! You will tour the grandstand, paddock and courtyard. You can experience firsthand the Turf Club, Stakes Room and Millionaire’s Row. Guests will hear historic stories of Churchill Downs and be able to take pictures on the Balcony next to the Twin Spires. Tickets are $15.00 per person and reservations are required.

Barn and Backside Van Tour

If you’d like to see what life is like for a racehorse, this is the tour for you. Guests will see the horses in their daily setting, possible including training excercises, bathing or feeding. Horses of all breeds and winnings can be viewed. This is a great tour if you’re interested in learning how things work behind the scenes of Churchill Downs. This is a van tour within minimal walking. Picture opportunities will still abound, so come ready! Tickets are $11.00 per person and reservations are required.

Derby Week Tours

Many special Derby Week Tours exist the week of the Kentucky Derby. If you’d like to tour Churchill Downs or the backside amidst all the Derby buzz, contact Churchill Downs to check on availability. Additional fees apply, but hey, you may have the opportunity to spot the winner of the 2014 Run for the Roses! If you’d like to learn more about these exciting opportunities, visit the Kentucky Derby Museum for more information.

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