Your Guide to a Weekend Trip to Lexington, KY.
Take a break from the city and head down south where the air is fresh, the grass is green (with a hint of blue), and the bourbon is strong. Here are a few suggestions for a quintessential Lexington experience.
After just a six-hour drive from Chicago, you’ll be surrounded by the rolling hills of horse country—or you can book a direct flight to the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington and go straight to a bourbon distillery. Head downtown for some craft beer, hunt for murals, grab a bite and find a live show. No matter what you’re into, Lexington is perfect for a weekend getaway from the city.
Known as the Best Place in America to Grab a Drink, there are 14 bourbon distilleries within 45 miles of downtown and 13 craft breweries on our Brewgrass Trail. Plus, the bartenders around here can make a mean cocktail.
It’s the world’s most award-winning distillery and the oldest continually-operating distillery in America. See the sprawling bourbon warehouses lined with barrels aging for up to 23 years. All tours are complimentary and include a free tasting. buffalotrace.com
Here, every bar is a bourbon bar, like Bluegrass Tavern, which is regularly recognized as one of the best bourbon bars in the South. With over 450 distinct bourbons to choose from, there’s nothing holding you back from tasting some of the rarest bourbons in the world. thebluegrasstavern.com
Country Boy offers a no-nonsense approach to brewing. With brews that boast fine ingredients and minimal processing, this brewery is never afraid to be adventurous, so you’ll likely find a handful of experimental beers in the mix. countryboybrewing.com
As the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is surrounded by 450 horse farms and miles of beautiful fence-lined countryside. Tour a horse farm, visit a world-class race course or simply drive in any direction to take in the pastoral landscape that can only be found in Central Kentucky.
Visit retired Kentucky Derby winners at Old Friends Farm, see the world’s most successful breeding operations and marvel at the glorious life of a stallion on a Horse Country Tour. See the Horse Country Guide
During the months of October and April, experience the thrill of Thoroughbred racing at Keeneland. Tour the perfectly-manicured grounds of this National Historic Landmark, go behind-the-scenes of the world’s leading auction house and visit the largest library dedicated to the Thoroughbred any time of the year. See Keeneland’s Guide to Keeneland
The perfect place to learn about horses and see them in action. Visit famous racehorses in the Hall of Champions, take a walking tour of the park or see the Parade of Breeds show to understand the history and build of horses from all over the world. kyhorsepark.com
Farm-to-table isn’t just a trend here—it’s all we know. Lexington’s culinary scene is on fire, with celebrated chefs and inventive menus raising the bar at every turn. These are just a few of our favorites.
Named after the middle fork of the Elkhorn River, on which Lexington was founded, Middle Fork is located in the ever-popular Distillery District. Chef Mark Jensen’s seasonal menus offer distinct, bold flavors from local ingredients. With imaginative small plates and delicious vegetarian offerings, Middle Fork is a restaurant you’re sure to love. middleforkkb.com
Featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Wallace Station is a train station turned local darling located in the heart of Horse Country. Be sure to try the famous Big Brown Burger, a Guy Fieri favorite. wallacestation.com
Known for their savory smoked meats and classic take on poutine, County Club proudly uses responsibly raised Kentucky beef, pork, mutton, goat and chicken to create unique dishes inspired by flavors from around the globe. countyclubrestaurant.com
There are hundreds of ways to get out and explore in and around Lexington. From city streets to hiking trails to historic buildings, be prepared to discover something you never expected.
There are more than 30 murals scattered around Lexington. Take the Mural Challenge to see how many you can find, like the world’s largest Abe Lincoln mural, painted by celebrated Brazilian artist Eduardo Cobra. See the Street Art Guide
Go back in time at this perfectly preserved destination, once home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States. From hiking trails to dining to shopping, you’ll find yourself in awe of this historic Kentucky jewel. shakervillageky.org
Within an hour’s drive, you can see stunning vistas and insane rock formations at the Red River Gorge. Named one of the “Seven Wonders of the South” by Southern Living, the Gorge is a nature lover’s paradise. Find a trail and take a hike, then stop for a bite at Miguel’s Pizza to taste one of the best pies around. redrivergorge.com