The Kentucky Derby Museum
The Kentucky Derby Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Kentucky. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to a single sporting event. It opened in 1985 to document and preserve the history of the Kentucky Derby, the "greatest two minutes in sports", through interactive exhibits, fine art, and artifacts displayed on two floors of exhibit space.
The museum features numerous exhibits about the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred breeding and racing. The video entitled The Greatest Race, is shown in a 360-degree theater and portrays some of the best owners and trainers sharing their Kentucky Derby stories, and jockeys reliving their Kentucky Derby moments. It also follows a young foal through the breeding and training processes, and all it takes to reach to the Kentucky Derby Winner's Circle. The Warner L. Jones Time Machine allows visitors to view all of the Kentucky Derby races from 1918 to the present.
Visitors can also learn to ride like a jockey on the museum's Riders Up exhibit, have their picture taken in the Winner's Circle, and see the museum's resident Thoroughbred and miniature horses. A guided tour of the grounds of Churchill Downs takes in the horse barn, the infield areas, the jockeys' quarters, the luxury suites of "Millionaires Row", and the press boxes.
A new feature of the museum is the Champions' Cemetery, where the remains of four past Kentucky Derby winners were reburied after their original burial sites were threatened by land development.
The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is the headquarters and production facility of the Hillerich & Bradsby Company, the world's largest producer of baseball bats. It is most famous for manufacturing the Louisville Slugger bat, the official bat of Major League Baseball.
The company was opened by J.F. Hillerich as a woodworking shop in 1855. At that time, the company specialized in manufacturing wooden stairway railings, porch columns, and butter churns.
In 1884, Hillerich's son, John "Bud" Hillerich, slipped away from his job at the factory to see a baseball game. At the game, the star player of the local team, Pete Browning, broke his baseball bat. After the game, Bud invited Pete Browning to visit his father's factory so that a replacement bat could be made for him. Pete Browning later hit several home runs with that bat and referred other baseball players to the company. However, J.F. Hillerich had no interest in making baseball bats.
Bud Hillerich took over the company in 1894. Seeing a market for quality baseball bats, he immediately refitted the factory for the production of baseball bats. In the same year, the bat that was destined to be the world's most famous baseball bat, the Louisville Slugger, was introduced. By 1923, the Hillerich & Bradsby Company was producing more baseball bats than any other company in the country. Nowadays, more than 1,000,000 baseball bats are made annually at the company's plant in Louisville.
Visitors can take a factory tour where they can see how baseball bats are made. The museum features memorabilia about the history of baseball, as well as bats actually used by such baseball legends as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Henry Aaron, and many others. The original 1880s bat made for Pete Browning was recently tracked down, and is one of the highlights of the museum's exhibits.
Visitors can also purchase baseball mementos in the museum gift shop, or they can have a personalized bat made with their name engraved on it.
Churchill Downs hosts the most famous and most prestigious horse-racing event in the world, the Kentucky Derby. It also hosts the annual Kentucky Oaks, and has hosted the Breeder's Cup seven times.
Opened in 1875, Churchill Downs is the oldest continuously operated race track in the United States. The track was named after John and Henry Churchill, brothers who leased 80 acres (32 hectares) of land to their nephew, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of explorer William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame. Along with his father-in-law, an avid thoroughbred breeder and trainer, Clark founded the Louisville Jockey Club and Diving Park which built the track.
Initially, the track was a long track, but it was shortened to its current length in 1893 by new ownership. The track is a one-mile (1.6-kilometer) oval which is 80 feet (24 meters) wide. The track surface is made up of sandy loam, 75 percent of which is sand, 23 percent silt, and two percent clay. The grounds cover 147 acres (59 hectares) and contain 47 barns, with a total of 1,404 stalls.
The grandstands with their signature twin spires (the symbol of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby) were built in 1895. They were designed by architect Joseph Baldez. The seating capacity of the grandstands is 50,000, but is increased to 150,000 on Derby Day.
The Kentucky Antler Company
The Kentucky Antler Company specializes in hunting and fishing packages on two properties in eastern and central Kentucky. Hunters can choose from white-tailed deer, elk, exotic game animals, and upland game birds. The properties also have five ponds stocked with largemouth bass and six other species of fish. Free-range guided and semi-guided hunts are available.
Bear Creek Outfitters, which is in eastern Kentucky, features a 10,216 square-foot (949 square-meter) rustic lodge (pictured here) that has 13 private rooms, central air conditioning and heating, a big-screen television in the common area, a pool, table, and a large modern kitchen. Other amenities include an outdoor barbeque pavillion, a three-dimensional archery range, a pistol range, a sporting clays range, and a swimming pool. There are about 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) of hardwood ridges and valleys with carefully maintained food plots planted with alfalfa and ladina clover that attract deer.
Canoe Creek Ranch is located in central Kentucky, and has 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) of private land on which outdoorsmen can hunt white-tailed deer, elk, and 26 species of exotic game.
All Kinds of Hiking Opportunities
Do not just think of Mammoth Cave as "just caverns"; the surface acreage includes large tracts of oak and hickory woodlands, minor wetlands, age-old limestone foundations, and sinkhole-ridden karst topography.
There are at least 70 miles of trails that wind through the park, and most of these miles are open to hikers and/or horseback riders.
Sal Hollow Trail is nine miles in length, and it winds past a wild cave, springs, and
Ganter Cave Trail is an offshoot of Sal Hollow. It leads to the park's longest wild cave on the north side of the Green River. If interested, it's the only chance for small groups to go spelunking on their own!
Good Spring Loop Trail is 8 miles long and it follows the park's rolling Oak hills as well as running alongside stream and waterfalls. This quite scenic route also goes past small caves.
Mammoth Cave Pamphlet Photo
Equipment: You need plenty of fresh water, a hat, hiking boots, comfortable, rugged clothing, and emergency food.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Challenging Boating Experiences
There are 25 miles of the Green River and 6 miles of the Nolin River, within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park that carry boaters past scenic wildlife, beautiful woodlands, & dramatic bluffs. People are able to boat from Dennison Ferry Campground to Houchins Ferry down the Green River (which is the waterway that shaped the cave system of Mammoth Cave some 300 million years ago!) This is a very popular route with boaters, and it takes six hours.
Note that the access at Dennison is quite steep; therefore small johnboats and canoes are the only boats allowed!
For those who relish longer, overnight trips, they need to launch at Munfordville which is located upstream from the park boundary.
No launch fees in the park.
riverside camping requires abackcountry permit.
This Green River is really something to see! It averages 200 feet wide & 10 feet deep, and you will see sandbars, islands, and subsurface springs. Note that at normal water levels, it will run about five miles per hour. You can use motorized crafts; however, canoes and rowboats do better against the rocks in Nolin River.
I'd say that to avoid any kind of pollution within the caves (since the river runs inside the cave as well as outside), rowboats and/or canoes is the way to travel
Equipment: Rowboat or canoe (can rent canoes outside of Mammoth Cave).Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Sailing and Boating
What a Sporty Nine-Hole Course in Kentucky!
Oh, yes, I have such fond memories of playing golf with my Dad in Kentucky. He lived rather close to one of my favorite courses ever--Kenlake State Resort Golf Course in Hardin, Kentucky.
Built on the "hills of Kentucky" right next to Kentucky Lake, this sporty little course is quite the challenge. The first hole requires such precision...It's a par 3, and quite short, but as you stand atop the tee and look down (way down) at the small green, you know that you have to be very, very accurate! If not, your ball is gone into the woods or the rocks.
I remember one day when Allan, my Dad, and I played on a hot afternoon, and my 65 year-old father insisted that he wanted to walk. Allan and I were smart and took a cart. He pulled his walking cart up and down those hills and did not even "break a sweat"! What a guy!
This nine-hole course has 3 par four holes for men, and the rest are par three holes. For women and seniors, it has two par five holes, one par four, and the rest are par three. There are many huge trees, lots of rocks, little streams, plenty of wildlife, and abundant hills. It's fun, it's challenging, and even if you take a cart, it's quite a workout!
Equipment: You need comfortable clothing, good golf shoes, a hat to protect from the sun, and all the golf equipment such as woods, irons (you use irons mostly since it's short), tees, balls, glove, shoes, and a cart.
Cart fees are $11.00 for 18 holes per person
Green fees are $10.00 weekdays, $12 weekends
They have Twilight fees also:
$5.00 week day twilight
$10.00 weekend twilight
During November-February the green fees are less: $10.00 for all the time except twilight is $5!
I could not find any of the photographs of when we golfed, so I'm using part of the golf card that I saved. SorryRelated to:
We have many hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area,,Unquestionably, the two land mark hotels are...more
From the moment we arrived at this recently renovated Hyatt hotel, we could tell that things were...more
$96 in July 2014. This is a very nice looking hotel inside and out. The room had a small...more
Top Kentucky Hotels
- Louisville Hotels
- 399 Reviews - 615 Photos
- Berea Hotels
- 66 Reviews - 124 Photos
- Bowling Green Hotels
- 48 Reviews - 162 Photos
- Richmond Hotels
- 139 Reviews - 273 Photos
- Lexington Hotels
- 270 Reviews - 606 Photos
- Danville Hotels
- 32 Reviews - 146 Photos
- Paducah Hotels
- 33 Reviews - 99 Photos
- Covington Hotels
- 21 Reviews - 39 Photos
- Florence Hotels
- 24 Reviews - 33 Photos
- Newport Hotels
- 21 Reviews - 98 Photos
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.
Explore the World
- Gualala Hotels
- Naga City
- Dalhousie Hotels
- Yesilkoy Hotels
- Ras Al Khaimah Hotels
- Saint Simons Island
- Foley Hotels
- San Felíu de Guixols
- La Boquilla Hotels
- Gravenhurst Hotels
- Rancho Mirage