7 Special Spots in Lexington, Kentucky

12385672495?profile=RESIZE_930xRuss Glasson

The main claim to fame of Bluegrass State´s second largest city (pop.around 323,000 ), located in the Bluegrass Region in Kentucky´s center and north is as "the horse capital of the world," cradle of thoroughbreds (even though the famed Kentucky Derby is held in Louisville, an hour and a half away). Equestrian enthusiasts can check out some 450 horse farms as well as the Kentucky Horse Park (see below), but there´s plenty more to this gracious city. Here are a few of the spots not to miss:

Kentucky Horse Park

Established in 1978, the most prominent of the local horse farms is a 1,224-acre (495-hectare) spread which is also a theme park dedicated to "man´s relationship with the horse," including four museums (most notably the Smithsonian-affiliated International Museum of the Horse) and a Hall of Champions. There are frequent equine and equestrian shows, visitors can take trail rides (and pony rides for the kids); and special events are held throughout the year, with a highlight being the annual High Hope Steeplechase, which takes place every third Saturday in May. For those wishing to overnight, there are camping facilities on the grounds, but also a number of nearby hotels and motels, among them the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington/UK Coldstream, and the luxurious Kentucky Castle, an 18-room boutique affair built to resemble a medieval european castle and with Versailles-inspired decor.

Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company

Founded in 1999, this key spot along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is also the only one where you can sample craft beers - more than a dozen of them - and they also distill rye and malt whisky. A tour through the distillery and brewery takes you through the distilling and brewing procedures and finishes off with a tasting; afterward take a break in the garden with another glass of beer or spirits and browse the on-premises shop for a tipple to take home with you.

12386212068?profile=RESIZE_930xdamian entwhistle

Headley-Whitney Museum

Established in 1968 as a gallery to display the work and collection of jewelry designer to the rich and famous George Headley III and his wife Barbara Whitney, it´s home to many collections of bibelots, jewelry, and semiprecious stones created and acquired by the pair, as well as dollhouses created by artisans to honor Whitney's daughters. The museum also houses their extensive collection of decorative and fine art from all over the globe. There are workshops for kids as well as adults who want to improve their skills in floral arrangement and jewelry making. Many describe it as an hidden gem and an exceptional experience in an area where bourbon and horses are usually the primary tourist attractions. Check ahead for operning hours, however; sometimes it´s open only on weekends.

Lexington Cemetery

Near the city's downtown, this 170 acres (69 hectares) is more than just a graveyard; it´s also an amazing arboretum and garden, with more than 200 species of trees - notably dogwoods, magnolias, weeping pink cherries, and crabapples - and a plethora of flowers including some 16,000 tulips alone. Founded in 1848, it also offers history buffs a variety of Civil War statues, memorials, and mausoleums, with historic figures interred here such as 19th-century Secretary of State and Speaker of the House of Representative Henry Clay.


Hunt-Morgan House

Also known as Hopemont, this Federal-style red-brick manse was built in 1814 by John Wesley Hunt, the first U.S. millionaire to be born west of the Allegheny Mountains (in part, sadly, thanks to the slave trade). Period offers a glimpse of the way of life in the beginning of the 19th century in an area that was once known as"the Athens of the West, and there´s also an interesting museum of the U.S. Civil War. Visitors may attend lectures, about topics such hemp production and slavery (both of which the family was involved in).

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

A gem among the USA´s premier (and dwindling) independent bookshops, established in 1986, this expansive paradise for bilbliophiles also hosts a diverse array of events such as author readings and wine tastings as well as customer appreciation days, book fairs, and many more (before you go, check its website for what´s coming).

Jacobson Park

For a pleasant breath of fresh air, head to east Lexington, where these 216 acres (87.4ha) are home to a reservoir lake you can naviagte in kayaks and pedal boats, go fishing, and take in a round of golf at the 18-hole waterside course. Other amenities inlcude basketball and volleyball courts, kids´ playgrounds, and a dog park.

Intrigued? Get more info at VisitLex.com and book cheap flights to Lexington with Lowest Flight Fares!



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  • As a big horse lover, it´s on my bucket list to get here as well as to Louisville, where the Derby is run.

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