The Ultimate Guide to Lexington, Kentucky


Lexington is a small metropolis that packs an enormous punch. It’s stuffed with historical past, and the horse racing and breeding tradition is its most notable characteristic. Who is aware of, possibly Lexington was the unique #horsegirl?

Small cities like this one make superior journey locations as a result of they’re nearly by no means too crowded and you’ve got loads of choices for getting out into nature, typically with out having to go away city.

Should you’ve by no means considered visiting Lexington, you’re not alone. I hadn’t actually considered it both, however this place shocked me! Try these cool issues to do, eating places to strive, and candy lodging to think about:

Issues to Do in Lexington

Horse Farm Tour & Keeneland Race Monitor Go to

Dive into Kentucky’s distinctive equine historical past with this Horse Farm Tour, which is able to take you to native horse farms in addition to the historic Keeneland Race Monitor. There’s no higher technique to uncover why Lexington is “the Horse Capital of the World” than on this unforgettable three-hour tour.

You’ll be taught concerning the lush life-style of thoroughbred horses, see the beauties up shut, and even go to the filming areas of a few of Hollywood’s most well-known horse motion pictures, like Seabiscuit. Even in case you’re not a horse aficionado, anybody who’s curious concerning the space’s historical past and tradition will totally take pleasure in this tour.

Massive Blue Pedaler

Photograph credit score: Massive Blue Pedaler

Hop on the Big Blue Pedaler for a tour on one of the vital distinctive automobiles you’ll see driving down the road in Lexington. This tour firm takes guests alongside on its “celebration bike” for an unforgettable expertise, irrespective of the tour. Select between distillery excursions, historical past excursions, and mural excursions, amongst others.

Kentucky Bourbon Path Craft Tour

By now you’ve in all probability already learn all about Kentucky bourbon in our Louisville guide, however I’ve obtained nice information: the enjoyable doesn’t cease there. The Kentucky Bourbon Path operates excursions of bourbon nation; itineraries are divided amongst 4 areas of the state, with many distilleries situated in Lexington.

That is the last word expertise for bourbon lovers. You can begin planning your journey here.

Shaker Village of Nice Hill

This landmark vacation spot consists of 3,000 acres of extremely well-preserved Shaker historical past. The Shakers are a non secular group that was energetic in Nice Hill from 1805 to 1910. These days, due to the efforts of nonprofit group Shaker Village, guests can take pleasure in taking a step again into historical past by trying out the 34 historic buildings, nature protect, and conserved farmland on the location.

As one of many Lexington space’s largest vacationer sights, Shaker Village has loads of facilities for any size of keep. You possibly can even lease a room, suite, or non-public cottage on-site if you wish to get absolutely immersed.

The biggest Abe Lincoln mural on the earth

Downtown Lexington is dwelling to the most important mural of Kentucky-born President Abraham Lincoln on the earth. At a whopping 60 toes tall, the huge murals is difficult to overlook. You’ll discover it on the bottom of the Kentucky Theater. Of all of the cool spots in Lexington to snap a photograph, this one might be probably the most Insta-worthy.

Ashland: Henry Clay Property

This 18-room mansion was as soon as the house of one in every of Kentucky’s most well-known statesmen, Henry Clay. The mansion options an Italianate type and is immaculately preserved with artifacts from Clay’s life. Past telling his story, the mansion-turned-museum serves up an in depth look into American historical past throughout the early-to-mid-1800s.

The Henry Clay Memorial Basis has an fascinating manner of telling the tales of people that lived, labored, and have been enslaved on the Ashland property. This guided tour is an effective way to go to the property, because it presents numerous choices relying on what you’d wish to be taught extra about.

Boone Creek Gorge zip-lining

Only a fast drive exterior Lexington is gorgeous and historic Boone Creek Gorge, a favourite mountaineering spot for locals that includes contemporary forests and streams, with neat rock formations and canyons to discover. One of the thrilling methods to go to the gorge is to do a fully guided zip-line canopy tour, which is an adrenaline-filled route for experiencing the realm and studying about its historical past.

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky

Housed at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky is a must-stop for historical past buffs and aviation fanatics alike. The museum options shows starting from the Wright brothers’ first flight to present-day plane. You’ll see a T-38 Talon from the US Air Drive’s Thunderbirds, an A-4 Skyhawk from the US Navy’s Blue Angels, and rather more. Apart from the plane, the museum additionally shows artifacts, resembling memorabilia and coaching gear.

Get your tickets to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky here.

Kentucky Horse Park

One other treasured equine treasure in Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place for horse fanatics. It’s dwelling to the Smithsonian Worldwide Museum of the Horse, which takes friends on a journey by way of horse rearing in society and the way the animals have coexisted with people because the starting of historical past.

Past the museum, the Kentucky Horse Park is a totally operational horse farm that exists to coach guests and locals alike concerning the wealthy horse-related historical past of Kentucky and past.

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

With over 10 miles of mountaineering trails throughout 734 acres of pristinely preserved land, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is the right place to spend a sunny day. You’ll discover quiet woods, trickling streams, and smooth meadows, all bustling with native wildlife. There are over 600 species of vegetation and 200 species of birds all year long, a shocking show of Kentucky’s biodiversity.

Begin your go to by signing in on the Raven Run Nature Heart and embark in your hike, following one of many park’s trails.

Jacobson Park

Situated in east Lexington, Jacobson Park is greater than a typical metropolis park: it spans 216 acres alongside a reservoir, which you’ll be able to discover through paddle boat or kayak. You’ll discover rolling inexperienced hills, trails, volleyball courts, a disc golf course, and extra.

This can be a good spot to hang around throughout the day. Convey a picnic, your favourite sports activities gear, and even your furry buddy for a candy day on the park.

Headley-Whitney Museum

This museum is actually the head of the Lexington artwork scene and a must-see for artistic minds. Lexington locals Barbara Whitney and George Headley created it in 1968 to showcase their crafts: Barbara’s sister Marylou was a crafter who specialised in dollhouses and miniatures, whereas George was a jewellery and bibelot designer.

These days, the museum options work from not solely this creative energy couple but in addition different designers, artists, and craftspeople. It’s really one in every of a form and price a visit when you’re in Lexington.

The biggest ceiling clock within the Western Hemisphere

Have you ever ever questioned the place one of many world’s largest ceiling clocks are? Properly, I hadn’t both till now. Apparently it’s on the Lexington’s Central Library! The clock was the brainchild of Lucille Caudill Little, a Lexington philanthropist. She dreamt of the huge clock, and native artist Adalin Wichman designed it.

It’s really a murals. In true Lexington vogue, the clock includes a sequence of 60 horses, which gentle up in succession to present the phantasm of motion. Fairly neat!

Institute 193

This place will make you query the whole lot you thought you knew concerning the South. Institute 193 is a up to date artwork gallery that showcases the work of recent artists, writers, and musicians. As a comparatively new institution that opened in 2009, it serves as Lexington’s solely up to date artwork house and dedicates itself to supporting local artists.

Go to Institute 193 and immerse your self within the distinctive perspective of artists whose work will certainly provide you with a contemporary take a look at tradition and artistry within the South.

Eating places & Extra in Lexington

County Membership

Being a vegetarian is a reasonably international idea for meat-loving Lexington locals, who’re accustomed to the world-class BBQ of their hometown. Should you’re all concerning the barbecue life, County Membership is the place to go. This beloved smokehouse is likely one of the finest locations to get it and makes use of solely responsibly raised “Kentucky cows, hogs, sheep, goats, and chickens.”

Not solely do clients flock there for the meat choice, however the sides are additionally bursting with taste and custom. You received’t need to miss a meal at County Club whereas visiting Lexington.

Blue Door Smokehouse

That’s proper, there will not be one however two barbecue joints on the record. Why? Properly, I couldn’t select just one — and Lexington locals even have a tough time doing so. Consuming at Blue Door Smokehouse is a ceremony of passage when visiting the town. This uber-popular smokehouse is barely open 4 hours a day many of the week (9 hours on Friday and Saturday, and closed on Sundays), typically much less as a result of they typically promote out utterly.

Due to its recognition, plan forward, and attempt to get there proper when it opens at 11am in case you can!

James E. Pepper Distilling Co.

If you wish to get a style of bourbon from a model that began producing liquor throughout the American Revolution, James E. Pepper Distilling Co. is the place to take action. This distillery is filled with historical past and positively value taking a look around even in case you don’t drink. James E. Pepper even has a “Henry Clay” whiskey… keep in mind that man?! Every thing ultimately comes round full circle.

Third Avenue Stuff & Espresso

This wacky espresso store is proof that Lexington is extra than simply bourbon, bluegrass, and horses. Overflowing with hippie and psychedelic artwork on almost each inch of the partitions, Third Street Stuff & Coffee captures the essence of an period that guests shall be delighted to step into for a second.

The espresso store prides itself for its dedication to serving domestically roasted fair-trade certified-organic espresso together with domestically baked items. That’s a purchase order you may be ok with, for certain!

Finest Locations to Keep in & round Lexington

Paris Livery Historic House & Tour

Housed inside a circa 1863 brick constructing that has been absolutely renovated, the Paris Livery Home is likely one of the most original lodgings that you simply’ll discover in all of Lexington. Not solely will you have the ability to keep within the historic constructing, however the Airbnb presents a three-day tour of the state’s final 12 remaining lined bridges.

This one-bedroom place begins at $195 per evening, with a two-night minimal.

Sport of Thrones Home

Able to take your GoT fandom to the following degree? This Airbnb describes itself as a “palatial chamber” and is totally decked out with Sport of Thrones decor, full with dungeon trappings and an iron throne. Oh sure, it’s the actual deal, of us.

A night at this medieval kingdom prices round $206 (plus some charges). The place comes with two complimentary bikes and is situated proper within the coronary heart of downtown Lexington.

Cabin with a non-public waterfall

Come once more? Was that “a non-public waterfall” you learn? Sure, sis! This superbly remodeled cabin within the Kentucky wilderness sits on two acres of forest with a non-public waterfall. It’s about an hour from Lexington, however the distance is completely value it to remain on this quiet escape.

There are three bedrooms on this distant paradise, making it an superior place to share with buddies. There’s a scorching tub, too! An evening right here is about $450; there’s a two-night minimal.

The Pete Treehouse

Should you’ve been dying to remain in a treehouse after watching Kristin’s treehouse adventure, it will get you much more excited. This treehouse is completely off the grid and was a part of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. The mastermind behind this unimaginable place is treehouse grasp Pete Nelson.

The home is surrounded by nature and includes a hearth pit and balcony good for watching the sundown. It’s stuffed with considerate touches and has an total homey really feel. It’s a few 1.5-hour drive from Lexington however positively well worth the drive for the peace and quiet.

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