GETAWAY OF THE DAY: The Best Hotel In Louisville, Kentucky

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Photo: jesscrossviaFlickr

It’s the Kentucky Derby this weekend, and racegoers are already piling into Louisville for a weekend of revelry.Derby-related tourism slumped during the recession but is back in full force, with most major hotels in the vicinity of Churchill Downs selling out weeks ago.

Even if you’re missing out on this weekend’s festivities, Louisville, a city rich in culture and history, is worth a visit in its own right.

The 21c Museum Hotel, the 90-room boutique that topped Conde Nast traveller’s readers’ choice list in 2009 and 2010, is infused with over 5,000 square feet of art-filled meeting and event spaces.

The hotel offers several year-round, themed packages, including a Louisville arts special and a bourbon-themed trip.

Book it: Rooms start around $250 per night.

Get there: Round-trip flights from New York start at around $360.

The hotel was once a series of 19th century tobacco and bourbon warehouses.

In classic Southern style, all rooms come equipped with silver mint julep cups.

The hotel's red penguin icon is ubiquitous.

More red penguins.

You can even rent the hotel's signature red limo.

Proof on Main, the hotel restaurant, was recently named one of Esquire's best new restaurants.

It combines the cuisines of Italy and the American south.

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