Each year, thousands of tourists ask the question, “How will I get to the Kentucky Derby?” Although some methods are preferred over others, there are 10 cheap ways to travel to the Kentucky Derby. Detailed below, you will find a list of suggestions that will help you figure out which way works best for you. There are also highlights on travel coupons and discounts related to the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Renting a car to see the Derby
Are you driving to Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby? Before you rent a car that will take you from your hotel in Louisville to Churchill Downs, think about your sobriety first. Most of the time, tourists visiting the Kentucky Derby do not expect to drive. Also, since most of the major hotels are only a few miles from the Churchill Downs in Downtown Louisville, tourists and locals will walk, take a shuttle, or take a taxi to the racetrack.
Nonetheless, if renting a car is something that you want to do during Derby weekend, keep in mind that there are often several car rentals specials specifically for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. This is especially true if you fly into Louisville.
Who needs a hotel when you have an RV?
For the 2012 Kentucky Derby, there was camping in Eastern Louisville at EP “Tom” Sawyer Park. However, if you have an RV, you might want to try camping in an area that has professional services for camper vans. One of the handiest locations listed at RVParkReviews.com is for Kentucky Derby RV parking at the Kentucky Expo Center. While it does not have internet access like many of the other RV parks in Louisville, it is only 2.5 miles from Churchill Downs.
Unique Kentucky Derby travel packages
There many travel inclusive packages for the 2013 Kentucky Derby available from Churchill Downs ticket distributors and private Kentucky Derby package companies like DerbyDeals.com. Interestingly, some local communities are also offering cheap travel packages to the Kentucky Derby. For instance, Boston University has a discount deal that is offered to their alumni that leaves from Massachusetts. If you search your local community, you may find a similar cheap deal that is being offered.
Can you hike to the Kentucky Derby?
You can really impress Kentucky Derby locals if you tell them that you walked all the way to Louisville. Naturally, this is one of the cheapest ways to travel to the Kentucky Derby and not as uncommon as you think. All you need to do to get started is use Google Maps’ walking option. This tool gives you the number of hours it will take you to walk and the best route connecting you with Louisville. For example, you can walk from Indianapolis to Louisville in 37 hours to cover 112 miles.
Bike tourism is a go at the Kentucky Derby
Currently, cyclists in Louisville are not publicizing bike-riding events related to the 2013 Kentucky Derby weekend. Regardless, you can expect Louisville to be a bike friendly place for tourists. Over the past 10 years, a solid focus on biking has created a large number of bike paths and all of them connect to Downtown Louisville.
As far as traveling on a bike to Louisville, MapMyRide.com is an excellent resource. For coordinating your hotel to Churchill Downs, the Louisville government website for bikers provides all of the maps and information you will need. New to the 2013 Kentucky Derby, the pedestrian and bike friendly riverfront bridge that connects Southern Indiana has been opened.
Motorcycle caravans and drag races for Derby
Are you one of the thousands of bikers planning on riding your motorcycle to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby? Due to its popularity, by checking your local biker forums, you may find a caravan that wants to travel with you. Over the past decade, the state has placed a focus on this aspect of tourism to encourage bikers.
Along with the help of local motorcycle riders, various maps have been produced that give tourists on motorcycles the knowledge they need to make the journey. A good place to get started with a route is MotorcycleRoads.com. Of course, do not forget about the Screaming Eagles MC Club of Louisville. Each Kentucky Derby Weekend, they host a drag race that brings in bikers from all over the region.
Last minute cheap Kentucky Derby airline tickets?
For most of the population, Kentucky Derby tourism is only possible if an airplane is used. Despite the fact that you can buy your tickets almost a year in advance, should you wait until the last minute to get cheaper Kentucky Derby flights?
After all, publications like the General Aviation News are known to announce cheap Kentucky Derby flights the week before the event. In these cases, waiting until the last minute is only a good idea if you are staying with friends in Louisville and want to party in the Infield. Otherwise, if you have expensive tickets to covered seats and a hotel booked, you do not want to risk being a no-show because you did not purchase your tickets in advance.
Louisville’s odd train options
Sadly, there is no longer a train option for direct train travel to Louisville that does not involve transferring to a bus. Nevertheless, the train does get extremely close. According to Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet website, there are train stops through Amtrak on the Cardinal Route and the City of New Orleans Route.
The train stops are in Ashland, Fulton, Maysville, and South Portsmouth. For Kentucky Derby travel by train to Louisville, major hubs are in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. From there, you can take Amtrak trains and transfer to a “thruway motor coach” that will drop you off at the Greyhound Station in Downtown Louisville.
Three kinds of Kentucky Derby buses
Do you live close enough to Louisville, Kentucky but do not want to drive to the Kentucky Derby? For tourists living in nearby cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville or St. Louis, three to six hours on a bus can certainly save you a lot of stress and money.
Along with options like Greyhound or Megabus, you can look online for private buses or hired coaches that are specifically geared toward travel to the Kentucky Derby. In addition to buses that leave on Saturday, there are also ones that will leave on Friday and drop you off on Saturday. In some cases, getting to the Kentucky Derby at a reasonable hour with bus transportation means leaving in the early morning hours.
As a last resort, try Craigslist
When all else fails and you are stranded in your hometown with your Kentucky Derby dreams far away, you can always use resources like Craigslist. Check your local listings and see if anyone is offering a rideshare. To stay on the safe side, be sure to send a picture with your phone of the driver and the license plate number of the rideshare car with someone that stays behind.
In most cases, this is a perfectly safe way to travel on a budget and the gas money is split evenly among the all of the people riding in the car. It may not be your most reliable way to get there, but the Kentucky Derby is all about taking a chance.