12 Best Things to do in Lexington, KY

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Known because the ‘Horse Capital of the World’, Lexington lies in the center of the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. While a lot of its fundamental vacationer sights relate to horse breeding, rearing and racing, it additionally acts as an essential financial and cultural middle.

Due to its engaging structure, influential public figures and prestigious college, the town has additionally typically been known as the ‘Athens of the West’.

While wandering about, you’ll uncover quaint Victorian neighborhoods, grand mansions and historic plantations with fantastic distilleries and eating places. When in city, nevertheless, one of the crucial standard issues to do Lin Lexington is watching an unforgettable race or two at both the world-famous Keeneland Race Course and the Red Mile harness racetrack.

12. Mill Ridge Farm

Mill Ridge Farm

Set on the southwestern outskirts of the town are the pristine paddocks and breeding sheds of Mill Ridge Farm. Located close to the enduring Keeneland Race Course, it’s famend for each elevating and promoting a number of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses in the world.

Since being based in 1962, it has produced an outstanding variety of title-winning horses with 36 Grade 1 winners bred, raised and skilled on the farm since 2000. Over the years, its majestic thoroughbreds haven’t solely received the Kentucky Derby, Bluegrass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby however the coveted Horse of the Year title, too.

On excursions of the property, you possibly can find out about Mill Ridge’s wealthy historical past of horse rearing and dealing with earlier than feeding and taking part in with mamas and their cute younger foals. Overnight boarding on the farm can be on provide.

11. Headley-Whitney Museum

Headley-Whitney Museum

Home to a colourful, if eclectic, assortment of jewelry, dollhouses and ornamental arts, the wonderful Headley-Whitney Museum could be discovered simply fifteen minutes’ drive northwest of the middle. Situated amidst attractive grounds and gardens, it has lengthy been certainly one of Lexington’s hottest vacationer sights.

After a profitable profession as a jewelry designer for the Hollywood elite, George Headley returned to his household farm in Lexington, along with his spouse Barbara Whitney, in the fifties. In 1968 they opened a museum on its scenic grounds to showcase his outstanding artworks that includes, not solely glinting jewels and ornately carved objects, however fascinating statues and elaborate dollhouses, too.

Just as intriguing as all of the arresting artwork, is the property’s distinctive structure with Thai, Greek and Georgian parts on show. Particularly spectacular are its luxurious Jewel Room and Library, whereas its shell grotto automotive storage is coated in wonderful mosaics, coral motifs and fairly, polished stones.

10. Aviation Museum of Kentucky

Aviation Museum of Kentucky

On the sting of the town’s Blue Grass Airport is the excellent Aviation Museum of Kentucky containing an enormous assortment of historic airplanes and aircraft-related artifacts. In addition, it has interactive reveals and shows on the historical past, evolution and way forward for the aviation business.

Founded in 1995, it covers an infinite space with classic biplanes, assault helicopters, jets and strategic bombers. Besides all its civilian and army plane, you can too see photographs and clips of planes with fashions and memorabilia alongside previous engines and gear.

At the museum, guests can watch planes land and take off from the adjoining airport, check out a enjoyable flight simulator and cease by the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame.

9. Rupp Arena

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For fast-paced sports activities and thrilling exhibits, Rupp Arena is certainly the place to go. Located in the center of downtown, it’s the house court docket of the Kentucky Wildcats – one of the crucial profitable faculty basketball groups in the nation.

Named after legendary coach Adolph Rupp, the multi-purpose area opened in 1976 and is in the Central Bank Center. Aside from watching action-packed basketball video games on the atmospheric venue, you can too get pleasure from live shows and epic occasions that it hosts over the course of the yr.

Besides massive names equivalent to Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Guns N’ Roses, the sector additionally places on thrilling WWE exhibits, circus acts and family-friendly vacation spectacles.

8. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

The idyllic Raven Run Nature Sanctuary lies on the southern fringes of the town. As effectively as fabulous fauna and flora, it has picturesque mountain climbing trails and ample wildlife viewing alternatives on provide.

The sanctuary encompasses verdant woodlands and wildflower-filled meadows with babbling brooks and meandering streams. Right subsequent to it’s the speeding Kentucky River whereas every kind of birds and small animals reside inside the park’s scenic confines.

Other than mountain climbing, birdwatching and having fun with the untouched wilderness, guests can try the Nature Center or historic homesteads and ruins that had been left behind by early settlers to the area.

7. University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky

One of Lexington’s most prestigious establishments and largest employers, the University of Kentucky campus covers a lot of the town’s downtown. Its expansive grounds characteristic wonderful monuments and spectacular artwork museums, in addition to numerous halls, schools and libraries.

Established in 1865, the institute has expanded significantly with quite a few residence halls and recreation services now scattered throughout the positioning. Lining its pathways and plazas are placing fashionable buildings and big multi-purpose arenas. But there are additionally engaging previous edifices, equivalent to Memorial Hall and the majestic Main Building.

Besides having fun with the energetic atmosphere of the campus and its thriving cultural scene, company can watch one of many college’s many sporting occasions or go to its distinctive artwork museum.

6. The Red Mile

The Red Mile

Aside from the famend Keeneland Race Course, probably the greatest locations in city to watch a quick and frenetic race is at The Red Mile. The storied venue is the second-oldest harness racetrack in the world with thrilling occasions going down from July via to September.

Named for its mile-long, distinctive crimson clay monitor, it was based again in 1875 with a contemporary clubhouse and grandstands now lining its oval route. From its sidelines or VIP sections, guests can cheer on the drivers on their sulkies as they race neck and neck towards different champion pacers and trotters.

When competitions aren’t being held, you possibly can nonetheless watch and wager thanks to its simulcast races on TV. A complete host of gaming terminals may also be discovered on the website alongside an excellent bar and grill.

5. Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

As Lexington is ideally positioned for exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, no go to could be full with out sampling a number of the state’s signature drink. Since being based in 1999 to promote the whiskey business, the path has was a high vacationer attraction with award-winning distilleries.

In the middle of city alone are 4 implausible spots the place you possibly can attempt a number of the greatest bourbons. Tours additionally take you to see how the flavorsome whiskeys are produced. These embody not solely Barrel House and Bluegrass however the distilleries of Town Branch and James E. Pepper too.

On high of this, one other 5 services could be discovered inside half an hour’s drive of the town. Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve are notably standard to go to due to their wealthy historical past, distilling heritage and atmospheric tasting rooms.

4. Ashland

Ashland

Protected as a National Historic Landmark, the elegant Ashland and all its parkland was as soon as the plantation of the good Kentucky statesman, Henry Clay. Set only a quick drive southeast of the middle, it has unimaginable artwork, structure and reveals for company to get pleasure from and is surrounded by attractive grounds and gardens.

Built in 1857, the marvelous mansion reveals beautiful Italianate-style structure with fantastic furnishings and interval items adorning its resplendent inside. On excursions, you’ll study in regards to the former House Speaker and Secretary of State and see a lot of his most-treasured possessions and centuries-old heirlooms.

Originally positioned on the outskirts of Lexington, the big property is now a part of a fancy historic neighborhood with its lush inexperienced grounds containing beautiful sculptures and arresting monuments devoted to Henry Clay.

3. Mary Todd Lincoln House

Mary Todd Lincoln House

While it might not seem to be fairly as spectacular or intensive because the Ashland property, the Mary Todd Lincoln House gives up an interesting perception into the life and instances of the previous First Lady. At her childhood dwelling, in the middle of city, you possibly can discover rooms of genuine artifacts and listen to all about her marriage to President Abraham Lincoln.

Now preserved as a historic home museum, the straightforward brick constructing was the house of Mary Todd between 1832 and 1839. After her marriage ceremony to Abe in 1842, the couple would commonly return to see her rich, slave-owning household and stroll in regards to the property’s small backyard.

Inside you possibly can see interval furnishings and previous images whereas informative shows educate you all about Mary’s childhood, the lavish balls she threw on the White House, and the extended interval of mourning she entered after Abraham was assassinated.

2. Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

Yet one other of the town’s many horse-related sights is Kentucky Horse Park; an enormous equestrian sports activities middle and academic theme park devoted to ‘man’s relationship with the horse’. Lying simply twenty minutes’ drive north of downtown, it boasts an astonishing array of reveals and actions with stay demonstrations, horse exhibits and occasions commonly going down.

Sprawled throughout a large website, the working horse farm was based in 1978 with paddocks and parkland stretching so far as the attention can see. Twice every day, you possibly can watch the Horses of the World present the place greater than fifty breeds from across the globe are ridden about in genuine costumes and girdles.

In addition, guests can cease by the wonderful International Museum of the Horse, watch stay harness maker and blacksmith demonstrations, or go for a stunning experience across the park both on horseback or in a carriage.

1. Keeneland Race Course

Keeneland Race Course

After Churchill Downs in close by Louisville, the Keeneland Race Course is undoubtedly Kentucky’s most essential and prestigious racetrack. At its hallowed grounds you possibly can watch champion horses and thoroughbreds compete; exhilarating races and competitions happen in each April and October.

Founded again in 1936, it’s now a National Historic Landmark with magnificent previous grandstands and immaculately manicured grounds lining its oval monitor. As they pound their method across the course, the horses and their jockeys kick up mud and grime and create fairly a cacophony, which solely provides to the thrilling ambiance in its stands.

Besides putting bets and having fun with the distinctive atmosphere, guests to Keeneland may attend certainly one of its frequent horse auctions the place native farmers, sheikhs and sultans alike purchase prized horses from its well-known breeding facility.

Map of Things to do in Lexington, KY


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