Where: Louisville, the state’s unofﬁcial capital every May
Earn your stamp: Pick up a custom hat from the stylish Peacock Boutique. Choose from 130 bourbons for the perfect mint julep at Bourbons Bistro. (We recommend basil-infused Basil Hayden’s.) Sample the inﬁeld minus the muck with the “Inﬁeld Experience” exhibit, which opens April 8 at the Derby Museum.
When to go: For a less crowded experience, try the Kentucky Oaks (May 3).
Plan it now: The Oaks on May 3 ($30), the Derby on May 4 ($50). kentuckyderby.com; shopthepeacock.com; bourbonsbistro.com