7 Things To Do In Lexington, KY

keenelenad classic mint julip cocktail

1. Keeneland

keenelenad classic mint julip cocktail

At Keeneland, you can enjoy a day of thoroughbred horse racing, take a guided walking and/or driving tour of the grounds and learn about the history of the track, shop at various vendors and stores, take in a variety of entertainment options, including concerts and special events, dine at the many restaurants on site, and much more.

The most famous drink at the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep. The Mint Julep is a bourbon-based cocktail made with mint, sugar, and water. It has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938 and over 120,000 are served at Churchill Downs each year. It is usually garnished with a sprig of fresh mint and served over crushed ice in a traditional silver julep cup.

2. Kentucky Horse Park

kentucky horse park

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm and educational theme park located in Lexington at the end of Iron Works Pike. Founded in 1978, it is one of the only parks in the world dedicated to celebrating horses. They watch over famous horses such as, Clydesdales, Percherons, and Belgians.

Yes, you can ride horses at The Kentucky Horse Park. The park offers guided trail rides, pony rides, and riding lessons.The park is open year-round and offers visitors a variety of activities and experiences with horses, including horseback riding, educational programs, horse shows, carriage rides, and more.

Visitors can also explore the Hall of Champions, which features over 100 equine champions from various equestrian disciplines. Additionally, the park houses the International Museum of the Horse, which showcases artifacts from around the world related to horses and horsemanship.

3. West Sixth Brewery

west sixth brewery

In a little corner in downtown Lexington, it is located at the nexus of two revitalized scenes (6th & Lime and Jefferson Street). West Sixth Brewery is a popular craft brewery located in the heart of Downtown Lexington, Kentucky (you can also find this local beer in most grocery stores).

Founded in 2012, West Sixth has become one of the most successful craft breweries in the state. The brewery offers an impressive selection of award-winning ales and lagers, including their flagship beer, the West Sixth IPA. The taproom also offers a variety of food options from local restaurants and food trucks, as well as live music and other special events.

The brewery is also known for its commitment to sustainability, including its use of solar energy for brewing and their efforts to reduce waste water. West Sixth is a great place to visit for any occasion, whether it’s grabbing a beer with friends after work or hosting a special event.

4. Rupp Arena

rupp arena downtown lex
In the mood for a concert or basketball game? Located in downtown Lexington, head down to Rupp Arena to get some snacks before the big show. It is home to the University of Kentucky’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. The arena, which opened in 1976, has a seating capacity of 23,500 and is the largest basketball-specific arena in the United States. With that capacity, there’s no way you can’t find tickets within your budget. (Just make sure to remember UK colors are blue & white).

5. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

raven run sanctuary in ky

Take a relaxing stroll in one of the park’s many trails. The Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, located just outside of Lexington, is a 734-acre nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of habitats and wildlife, including woodlands, meadows, streams, ponds, and wetlands. It is a major stopover site for migratory birds and home to a variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects.

Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the sanctuary on over seven miles of trails that take you through the diverse habitats. Activities such as hiking, bird watching, nature photography, canoeing, camping and exploring the outdoors can provide an opportunity to develop a greater appreciation for nature, strengthen relationships and promote physical health.

6. Mary Todd Lincoln House

mary todd lincoln house downtown lexington

The Mary Todd Lincoln House is a historic house museum downtown, that was the family home of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The house was built in 1803 and today is a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours.

Their tour provides rich background into the life of Mary Todd Lincoln. The Mary Todd Lincoln House is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sunday, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. It is closed on Mondays and major holidays.

7. The Arboretum​

university of kentucky arboretum

Take a stroll in this local Arboretum located near the University of Kentucky’s football stadium. If you go during the spring and warmer months, you are bound to see tens of hundreds of butterflies flying from one flower to the next.

The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is a 100-acre public garden located in Lexington, Kentucky. Established in 1991, it is the only arboretum in the state and one of the largest public gardens in the region. The garden features a variety of horticultural displays and collections, including over 1,200 native Kentucky plants.

Visitors can explore winding pathways and trails through the garden, take part in educational programs and special events, and enjoy the views of rolling hills and lush gardens. The Arboretum also includes a children’s garden, butterfly garden, and herb garden.

The Arboretum is open every day of the year, with hours that vary seasonally. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Arboretum re-opened in 2015 after a $4 million makeover and expansion project. A new building houses the Gift Shop, Center for Kentucky Flora and Fauna (CKFF), Greenaway House Visitor’s Center, an outdoor amphitheater, and bathrooms/water features. The Arboretum in Lexington is located at 500 Alumni Drive, Lexington, KY 40503. Admission is free.

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