The Ultimate Guide to Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington is a small metropolis that packs a giant punch. It’s filled 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, generally with out having to depart city.

If you happen to’ve by no means thought of visiting Lexington, you’re not alone. I hadn’t actually thought of it both, however this place stunned 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 Observe 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 Observe. There’s no higher option to uncover why Lexington is “the Horse Capital of the World” than on this unforgettable three-hour tour.

You’ll study concerning the lush way of life 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 for those who’re not a horse aficionado, anybody who’s curious concerning the space’s historical past and tradition will totally take pleasure in this tour.

Huge Blue Pedaler

Picture credit score: Huge Blue Pedaler

Hop on the Huge Blue Pedaler for a tour on probably the most 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 most likely already learn all about Kentucky bourbon in our Louisville information, however I’ve acquired 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 positioned in Lexington.

That is the final word expertise for bourbon lovers. You can begin planning your journey right 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 spiritual group that was energetic in Nice Hill from 1805 to 1910. These days, because of the efforts of nonprofit group Shaker Village, guests can take pleasure in taking a step again into historical past by testing 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’ll be able to even lease a room, suite, or personal cottage on-site if you wish to get totally immersed.

The biggest Abe Lincoln mural on this planet

Downtown Lexington is dwelling to the biggest mural of Kentucky-born President Abraham Lincoln on this planet. At a whopping 60 ft 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 considered one of Kentucky’s most well-known statesmen, Henry Clay. The mansion options an Italianate model 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 in the course of the early-to-mid-1800s.

The Henry Clay Memorial Basis has an fascinating method of telling the tales of people that lived, labored, and have been enslaved on the Ashland property. This guided tour is a good way to go to the property, because it affords varied choices relying on what you’d prefer to study extra about.

Boone Creek Gorge zip-lining

Only a fast drive outdoors Lexington is gorgeous and historic Boone Creek Gorge, a favourite climbing 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 completely guided zip-line cover tour, which is an adrenaline-filled route for experiencing the world 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 aT-38 Talon from the US Air Pressure’s Thunderbirds, an A-4 Skyhawk from the US Navy’s Blue Angels, and far more. Apart from the plane, the museum additionally shows artifacts, resembling memorabilia and coaching tools.

Get your tickets to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky right here.

Kentucky Horse Park

One other valuable 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 visitors on a journey via horse rearing in society and the way the animals have coexisted with people for the reason that starting of historical past.

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

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

With over 10 miles of climbing 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 mushy 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 Middle 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 discover through peddle 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 in the course of the day. Convey a picnic, your favourite sports activities tools, and even your furry good friend for a candy day on the park.

Headley-Whitney Museum

This museum is really the head of the Lexington artwork scene and a must-see for inventive minds. Lexington locals Barbara Whitney and George Headley created it in 1968 to showcase their crafts: Barbara was a crafter who specialised dollhouses, bibelots, and miniatures, and George was a jewellery designer.

These days, the museum options work from not solely this inventive energy couple but additionally different designers, artists, and craftspeople. It’s really considered one of a sort and value a go to when you’re in Lexington.

The world’s largest ceiling clock

Have you ever ever puzzled the place the world’s largest ceiling clock is? 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 trend, the clock includes a sequence of 60 horses, which gentle up in succession to offer the phantasm of motion. Fairly neat!

Institute 193

This place will make you query every little thing you thought you knew concerning the South. Institute 193 is a recent 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 modern artwork house and dedicates itself to supporting native artists.

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

Eating places & Extra in Lexington

County Membership

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

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

Blue Door Smokehouse

That’s proper, there aren’t one however two barbecue joints on the checklist. 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 town. This uber-popular smokehouse is simply open 4 hours a day (and closed on Sundays), generally 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 for those who can!

James E. Pepper Distilling Co.

If you wish to get a style of bourbon from a model that began producing liquor in the course of the American Revolution, James E. Pepper Distilling Co. is the place to take action. This distillery is stuffed with historical past and undoubtedly value having a look round even for those who don’t drink. James E. Pepper even has a “Henry Clay” whiskey… do not forget that man?! All the things finally 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 practically each inch of the partitions, Third Avenue Stuff & Espresso captures the essence of an period that guests will probably 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 Residence & Tour

Housed inside a circa 1863 brick constructing that has been totally renovated, the Paris Livery Residence is among the most original lodgings that you just’ll discover in all of Lexington. Not solely will you have the ability to keep within the historic constructing, however the Airbnb affords 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.

Recreation of Thrones Home

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

An evening at this medieval kingdom prices round $206. The place comes with two complimentary bikes and is positioned 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 fantastically transformed 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 mates. There’s a sizzling tub, too! An evening right here is about $450; there’s a two-night minimal.

The Pete Treehouse

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

The home is surrounded by nature and includes a fireplace pit and balcony good for watching the sundown. It’s filled with considerate touches and has an general homey really feel. It’s a couple of 1.5-hour drive from Lexington however undoubtedly well worth the drive for the peace and quiet.

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