If you’ve never traveled to Lexington before, be prepared for the urge to stay forever. This Bluegrass Region gem offers the excitement level of a big city with the charming and slow pace of a small southern town. With so many opportunities for adventure, it’s a challenge for first-time visitors to know what to do in Lexington, Kentucky. Fortunately, this travel guide covers everything you need to know.
H2: Sip Bourbon like a Local
Kentucky is known as Bourbon Country, and with 13 distilleries in the area, Lexington might as well be the capital of it. For that reason, you won’t want to miss out on a taste test and tour while you’re in town. Of the six historic options, just one is centrally located downtown — James E. Pepper Distillery, which offers tours five days a week from April to October. There are also three craft distilleries within city limits, including Barrell House Distilling Company, Bluegrass Distillers, and Town Branch Distillery.
To get a taste of all the options available, book a guided distillery tour through Copper Still Tours for convenience. Or, use the Kentucky Bourbon Trail map to create your own tasting route. If whiskey isn’t to your taste, visit one of the growing number of wineries or breweries in the area. Some of the top local favorites include Black Barn Winery, Blue Stallion Brewing, and West Sixth Brewing.
H2: Check out the Culinary Scene
When you need to soak up the bourbon, hit one of Lexington’s many eateries. Don’t blink or might you miss a local favorite: Red State BBQ. The roadside diner specializes in southern barbeque, offing pulled pork, brisket, and ribs with a variety of customary sides, like baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. For more traditional Kentucky fare, grab a plate of fried chicken or a Hot Brown sandwich at Ramsey’s Diner. Additionally, drinks and burgers are artfully served at Saul Good Restaurant & Pub, while North Lime is the go-to spot for coffee and doughnuts.
H2: Explore Downtown
If you’re still trying to figure out what to do in Lexington, KY, simply take a stroll through downtown. The area operates as the city’s soul, featuring an eclectic curation of shops, galleries, and activities. Catch a play at Kentucky Theatre, find literary treasure at Glover’s Bookery, and grab a snack for your furry friend at dog-friendly Pet Wants.
While the downtown district covers a fairly large area, The Square is a one-block tourist and local hotspot. The location dates back to the late 19th century and consists of 16 mostly historic buildings. At The Square, you’ll find top attractions like Sincerely Yours, Main Cross Gallery, and Artists’ Attic, along with various restaurants.
H2: Delve into the Historical Side
Lexington is a dream destination for history buffs of all ages. The city has been home to many significant events and people in the past, including First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. In fact, her childhood home on Main Street is an official museum. But the Mary Todd Lincoln House is only one of a long list of historical sites in the area. Other prominent locations include the Hunt-Morgan House, the Waveland State Historic Site, and the Henry Clay Estate at Ashland.
H2: Horse Around with the Derby’s Finest
In many people’s eyes, Lexington was first put on the international map thanks to the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. Even if you’re not in town for the event, there are numerous opportunities to get a closer look at what makes it so popular. An excellent way to delve into the legendary culture is by visiting a local horse farm. Local outfits, like Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours and Horse Farm Tours, Inc., offer public and private tours that last around three hours and feature some of the most prestigious farms in the area.
The city is also home to the Kentucky Horse Park. The attraction serves as both a working farm and theme park. Guests have the opportunity to get up close and personal with horses, take a walking barn tour, and watch a blacksmith in action. There are also multiple on-site museums dedicated to equines, including the International Museum of the Horse, the American Saddlebred Museum, and the Wheeler Museum. A $20 ticket gets you full access to the park and its exhibits.
H2: Save on Your Lexington Bus Tickets Today
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