Evening view of the historic architecture downtown
John C. Breckinridge statue in Cheapside Park downtown
Buds in bloom on a spring day along shady Pisgah Lane
Admiring the thoroughbreds at a countryside horse farm
Thoroughbreds leisurely grazing at sunset
Blooming cherry trees overhanging the drive at the Lexington Cemetery
Victorian-era architecture of The Square, a historic landmark
Old-fashioned carriage touring the Kentucky Horse Park
- Major Airports:
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG)
Kentucky bluegrass and bourbon, city-style
Kentucky’s rich thoroughbred tradition lives on at Lexington’s 150 horse farms. Saddle up at Kentucky Horse Park and take a ride or go on a horse-drawn trolley tour. Thoroughbred Center offers behind-the-scenes tours of its training facility, and Thoroughbred Park’s 12 bronze horses, depicted mid-race, are a fitting tribute in the “Horse Capital of the World.”
In the 1940s, Kentuckian Bill Monroe’s band plucked that bluegrass sound from their instruments for the first time, and Lexington never forgot it. The foot-thumping, banjo-backed music can be found everywhere here, in restaurants, bars and even barbershops. The city holds Festival of the Bluegrass annually at Kentucky Horse Park, but in between, there’s a host of jamborees, concert series and jam sessions as well as bluegrass radio showcasing the animated style.
In the Spirit
When it comes to bourbon, Kentucky’s got the market cornered: 95 percent of all U.S. bourbon is produced in the state, and Lexington’s five historic distilleries show visitors how it is done. Learn and drink your way through the story of bourbon-making on a tour at Woodford Reserve Distillery, Buffalo Trace or Wild Turkey. Or head to one of the new, small-batch craft distilleries that bring a little something new to the table.
Established in 1775, 17 years before Kentucky became a state, Lexington’s historical roots and modern city feel are as blended together as its bourbon. Take advantage of the mix in the city’s downtown area, where antique shops and popular indie boutiques live side by side. You’ll find innovative dining next to a good old bluegrass tavern, and new art galleries in the same neighborhood as the Mary Todd Lincoln House. Get the full experience of the area on a walking tour.