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2013 Kentucky Derby Travel Tips

Enjoying her day at the Kentucky Derby, a gorgeous fan takes in the view of Churchill Downs.

If you plan on visiting Louisville, Kentucky for the 2013 Kentucky Derby, it’s best to make travel arrangements early. A trip to Churchill Downs can be an unforgettable experience if you plan ahead. Below you’ll find tips and tricks to make the most out of your Kentucky Derby experience.

Tickets:
If you’re a seasoned attendee of the Kentucky Derby, you’ll know to put your name and email address on a pre-sale waiting list. The pre-sale usually takes place in November. Tickets for the Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby sell out within a day or two during the pre-sale, but have no fear! You can currently purchase general admission tickets to the 2013 Kentucky Oaks and 2013 Kentucky Derby online. General admission tickets for the 2013 Kentucky Oaks are $27.50 and general admission for the 2013 Kentucky Derby are $88.

In addition to general admission seats, Churchill Downs is offering brand new section 110 seating for $698.00 per seat for two-day package for a reserved seat in the First Floor Clubhouse Section 110 and includes food and beverage hospitality. Seats are “tip up” stadium seats, complete with cup holder. These seats include easy access to a food and drink concourse, betting windows, and restrooms. These $698 seats are not undercover!

Sleep:
The Galt House Hotel is the Official Host Hotel of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby and is located in the heart of downtown Louisville. The Galt house looks amazingly beautiful. Prices for rooms start at $1500. The Galt House Hotel is completely booked up three months ahead of the Kentucky Derby!

There are only two other hotel options for the 2013 Kentucky Oaks & 2013 Kentucky Derby that have vacancies. The first if the Ramada Louisville Downtown North and the second is the Holiday Inn Louisville North.

Another option for sleeping arrangements for the 2013 Kentucky Derby & 2013 Kentucky Oaks would be to rent a vacation home or condo through VRBO. Here you’ll find several houses ranging from $225 an night to $4000 a week. This is a great way to find a house for a family or group of girlfriends attending the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Breakfast
Dawn at the Downs will be held on Tuesday April 30, through Thursday, May 2, 2013, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. The buffet will be served from 7:00 a.m. through 8:30 a.m. These special mornings at the track offer fans the chance to watch the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby contenders go through their morning workouts while enjoying a Kentucky-style breakfast buffet. Treat your group to the Millionaires experience. This beautiful dining space affords one of the best views of racing with a four-tier balcony overlooking the legendary finish line. Other amenities include multiple television monitors and a delicious choice of Breakfast Chef Tables. Cash bars will also be open throughout the floor to serve you and your guests. Ticket price includes admission, reserved seat, and Dawn at the Downs featured presenters; hosts vary each morning, to provide commentary on the potential Oaks & Derby contenders early morning workouts. Additional information, pricing, and ticket sales can be found at Churchilldowns.com.

What To Wear:
Most of us find great joy in shopping months in advance for the perfect Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby outfit. It’s always fun to see everyone dressed in their finest for the Derby! Lady and The Track predicts the trendy color of the 2013 Kentucky Derby will be a fresh mint green!

Here are a few guidelines listed on the official Kentucky Derby website:

“Ladies typically wear pastel-colored suits, dresses, or bold separates. Hats are the major fashion trend at the Derby, so don’t forget yours! High heels always look nice with your colorful Derby and Oaks outfits but you may want to pack a comfortable pair of shoes such as flip flops for the walk to and from your car. Gentlemen traditionally sport seersucker suits, light-colored sport coats or those go-to navy sport coats, nice khakis or dress pants, light-colored shirts, and fashionable ties (long or bow) with matching accessories.”

Guidelines for the infield state:
“The infield is certainly less formal than the reserved seating areas and the rule of the day for infield apparel is practical comfort! Recommended infield attire includes blue jeans, shorts, t-shirts or polo shirts, casual sundresses, and comfortable footwear. Remember, the infield is exposed to the elements, so be sure to bring a rain jacket if rain is in the forecast as umbrellas are not allowed at Churchill Downs on Derby and Oaks Days. For sunny weather, it’s smart to also wear a good layer of sunscreen.”

Shopping:
There are several prime shopping locations located in Louisville if you’re in need of any last minute wardrobe changes. Mall St. Matthews is home to more than 140 specialty retailers including Arhaus, Ann Taylor Loft, Brooks Brothers, J. Jill, Pottery Barn & Williams-Sonoma. Oxmoor Center is a beautifully renovated shopping destination with favorites like Macy’s, Von Maur, Sears and Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as 110 specialty stores. Summit Lifestyle Center features 60 exciting retailers & restaurants arranged around a Mediterranean-style village plaza with fountains, statuary & distinctive landscaping.

If the mall bores you and you’re looking for something a little more extravagant that you simply can’t find at any local chain store, there are several local hat/dress boutiques in Louisville that will make all of your wishes come true!

Located at 3727 Lexington Road in Louisville, you’ll find Clodhoppers. Clodhoppers definitely sounds like my kinda place! In 1993, the store windows were full of the used Levi’s and the clunky Doc Martens indicative of the minimalist, street chic era of early 90s fashion. But as the styles of their clients evolved with the years, so did the store. Today you’l find that perfect mod sundress that nobody else at the Derby is brave enough to wear!

Attitudes by Angie makes one-of-a-kind Deby hats that roar with sophistication! You can shop the Attitudes by Angie hat collection at the Louisville Marriott on May 3-5 or shop directly on the website.

The Nitty Gritty is located in the Highlands at 996 Barret Avenue in Louisville. The Nitty Gritty was voted “Best Vintage Store” in Louisville in 2005, 2007, and 2008! This retro store specializes in authentic vintage apparel including Derby hats, fedoras, and fishnets!

Another option for beautiful hats is Dee’s Crafts located at 5045 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY. Dee’s Crafts is open Monday through Friday 10:00-8:00, Saturday 10:00-6:00, and Sunday 12:30-5:00. You can call or email Dee’s crafts for more information at 502-896-6755 hats@deescrafts.com.

Peacock Boutique located on Frankfort Avenue is your go-to shop for everything glamourous and extraordinary in Louisville. Peacock Boutique offers designer dresses and Philip Treacy fascinators (made popular by Kate & Pippa Middleton).

The Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire website is making me drool all over my keyboard. This shop is also located on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville and offers vintage clothing from 1860-1970. Many of you will be taken for a trip down memory lane as you peruse through garments with labels from Byck’s, Besten and Langan Co., Bon Ton, and Davidson’s… just to name a few. Wearing vintage clothing from Elizabeth’s will get you a head start on the rest of the fashion world. Why? Nationally recognized designers have purchased clothing from Elizabeth’s to inspire next year’s line. So visit Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire to get the original fabulous attire!

Post Time:
Gates open early at 8:00 am ET with post time for the first race at 10:30 am ET. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is approximately 5:45 pm ET. Post time for the Kentucky Derby is approximately 6:24 pm ET.

Added Fun:
If you’re looking for something different to do in addition to the 2013 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, you can try a haunted ghost walking tour in downtown Louisville!

If you scare easily and like to drink, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour might be a better option for you! Mint Julep Tours tells us that Derby week is their busiest time of year and exploring the premier bourbon distilleries and thoroughbred horse farms during the first week of May is a great way to experience the region. Be sure to book early by visiting www.mintjuleptours.com. The Lady and The Track team plan on taking the “Horse Country” tour offered by Mint Julep Tours to get us warmed up for the Oaks & Derby!

A wonderful way to visit retired thoroughbreds is to take a trip out to Old Friends. Old Friends offers guided tours where you’ll meet the equine residents and learn about their careers. Reservations are required. The tours are free but a kind donation is gratefully accepted. Visit the website directly for more information at www.olffriendsequine.org.

Lady and The Track will update specific event information taking place at Churchill Downs for the 2013 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby as it becomes available.

 

 

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