Louisville Attractions

Louisville AttractionsA visit to Louisville is not complete without a visit to the city's most famous attraction. Churchhill Downs is one of the world's most famous horse racing tracks, and it is the home of the Kentucky Derby. The facility is open all year for simulcast betting. The actual racing season begins at the Churchill Downs' track on the last week of April and continues through the end of November. Tickets are available on the day of the race for most races. However, tickets for the Kentucky Derby should be ordered well in advance.

Right in front of Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby Museum. The museum houses a collection of over 20,000 items related to the outstanding horses, jockeys, trainers and owners who made an impact at the Kentucky Derby and on horse racing in general. One of the museum's highlights is the Winner's Circle exhibit that displays many of the beautiful trophies won by outstanding horses of the past. One of the museum's nicest touches is the Barbaro Memorial Statue located outside the museum's front entrance. Had it not been for an eventual life ending injury at the Preakness Stakes, Barbaro may very well have gone on to become the greatest horse in racing history. His ashes are buried beneath the statue. The museum is open everyday except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and on the days when the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks are run.

Muhammad Ali dominated the sport's world in the 1960s and 70s. Visitors to Louisville have the chance to see the Muhammad Ali Center. Here, visitors will learn about the life and career of the great boxing champion. Highlights of the museum are a film about Muhammad Ali and the museum's two art galleries depicting Ali in photographs and paintings. The museum is closed on Mondays.

The Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,700 animals from around the world. One of the major attractions at this zoo are the lowland gorillas housed in the zoo's Gorilla Forest exhibit. Visitors are advised by the zoo to come in the morning to see the 11 gorillas when they are at the peak of activity. Besides the gorillas, the zoo is home to numerous reptiles, birds and large mammals such as bears and big cats. Several animal feeding demonstrations are conducted throughout the day. The zoo is only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and on New Year's Day.