Taking in the Kentucky Derby on a Budget

Posted on 04/24/2014

California Chrome, Wicked Strong and Hoppertunity are all Kentucky Derby contenders this year. Feel like watching them race in person rather than on TV? Horse racing may seem like a fancy sport, but there are ways to take in the Kentucky Derby on a budget.

Standing Room Only Seats
More than 100,000 visitors watch most exciting two minutes in sports at Churchill Downs every year. General Admission tickets for Derby Day are still available and at just $50 a pop they are quite a bargain. Buy them at kentuckyderby.com and show up early to get the best standing room only spot.

Stay in a Home
Hotel rooms will be hard to come by in Louisville during the Derby and any that are still available will cost a pretty penny. Try alternatives like airbnb.com instead. Rent a room in someone's home or an entire house if you're traveling with a group. We found nightly stays for as little as $79 a night for Derby weekend.

Rent a Bike
Parking can be tough at Churchill Downs. Instead of fighting traffic why not rent a bike instead? Bike rentals are available on the Louisville waterfront at Wheelfunrentals.com. Get a cruiser or a hybrid bike for $25 for the entire day. It's only a 20 minute ride to the stadium. That way if you decide to have a Mint Juleps at the races you won't have to worry about finding a designated driver.

See Horses Up Close
Check out horse racing's living history museum: Old Friends Farm for Retired Thoroughbreds. For $10 you'll get to see some of the past Derby celebrities now living out their days on this beautiful Kentucky horse farm. The one-hour guided walking tour includes meet and greets with the residents where you'll learn about their careers and lives.

Buy Souvenirs Online
Buying souvenirs online may be a better idea because you can save money on some of the hottest gifts. Pick up a four pack of Kentucky Derby Julep Glasses at kentuckyderby.com and save $4. And while you can't bring beverages into the track stock up on Julep supplies to make your own before or after the race.

By Alison Storm

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