Welcome to Lexington!

horses racing at track
Photo by Mary Jane Speer

This article is published in partnership with VisitLEX and Visit the SEC

So you’re coming to Lexington to see your team take on the Wildcats. Although our Southern hospitality doesn’t extend to hoping you win, we do want to make sure you love Lexington as much as we do. Here’s some information about how to enjoy the community like an honorary Lexingtonian. Come early, stay late. That will be the best way to see everything our community has to offer.

 Culinary Delights:

grilled rack of lamb dinner plate
Photo by HoneySage Photography, Amani Nichae

We’re pretty serious about food here. Our critically acclaimed dining scene has a little something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for a casual bite, a white tablecloth experience or a down-home southern meal. Our very own Chef Ouita Michel is  a James Beard nominated chef with multiple establishments in the area. Being surrounded by Kentucky farmland means that many of our restaurants are farm-to-table, so if you consider yourself a foodie, you’re in for a treat.

If you like your food with a dash of history and want to sample much of what Lexington has to offer in a short amount of time, sign up for a downtown walking food tour through Bites of the Bluegrass, which will create a mobile afternoon dinner party filled with fabulous food, new friends and captivating history.

Horse Capital of the World:

people interacting with horse
Photo courtesy VisitLEX

The vibrant colors of a Kentucky fall are seriously hard to beat. Take a drive through the picturesque beauty of the Horse Capital of the World, tour a famous horse farm, the Kentucky Horse Park, or check out one of Lexington’s beautiful orchards. Learn more about the best ways to experience the colors of fall here.

Bourbon and beer:

glass with ice and bourbon on a distillery barrel
Photo by Mary Jane Speer

It wouldn’t be a true Kentucky experience without America’s Native Spirit. Explore any of the 16 working bourbon distilleries in the region, including many in and around downtown Lexington that have tasting rooms, such as Fresh Bourbon and RD1. You just might leave a bourbon connoisseur. (Pro-tip: Make the most of your Bourbon Country experience by doing a little research beforehand.)

Lexington has an entire trail dedicated to its booming craft beer scene. If you’re a fan of creative craft beer, hop on the Brewgrass Trail and find your new favorite local brew at any of the featured breweries in the area. If you’re really committed, you can download the Brewgrass Trail Pass and win prizes! 

Get outside:

ourdoor landscape with river and trees
Photo by Billy Yarosh

Few places are as beautiful as Central Kentucky. if you’re looking to get out and explore, a hike at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is a great place to start. In addition, the world-famous Red River Gorge and its endless hiking trails, breathtaking vistas and legendary climbing routes are less than an hour away. 

Maybe you’re more of a water enthusiast. If so, check out Canoe Kentucky to rent a  kayak or a canoe to float down the Elkhorn River, or check out the world-class ziplining canopy tour at Boone Creek Outdoors.

Evening special events:

people at craft brewery
Photo courtesy VisitLEX

If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, check out these special events:

  • Central Bank Thursday Night Live takes place every Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in Tandy Park from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. for beverages, tasty food and great live music.
  • Comedian Kevin James also will be performing Thursday night at the Lexington Opera House.
  • Twelve Lions Film Festival, which runs Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, will showcase quality independent film from around the world through film premieres, retrospectives, workshops, panels, meet-and-greets, and other networking events. 
  • The Bronx-bred Artist Dubose, better known as A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, will perform Sept. 29.

Transportation tips:

Lextran, the local bus service, runs a shuttle for people who want to avoid parking at Kroger Field. The price is $1. (Drivers don’t make change.) The shuttle operates four hours before the game and one hour afterward. Click here for more info.

Now you’re ready to do Lexington like a local, but don’t forget your SEC passport, so you can pick up rewards for your visit. You can receive points at these participating locations on Bandwango and receive your prize at the Visitors Center:  KY for KY, LexLive, West Sixth Brewing, UK’s Wildcat Statue, Raven Run, the Visitors Center, Rupp Arena, the Distillery District, Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park.

See you soon!

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