Lexington, nestled in the heart of central Kentucky, was named by a group of Pennsylvania frontiersmen camping in the area when they learned of the battle at Lexington, Massachusetts. Born of history, the city of approximately 250,000 combines sufficient indoor and outdoor excitement to satiate the palate of any traveler. Arrive in July and celebrate the country’s independence with a slice of Americana; ice-cream socials, parades, pie-eating contests, waiters’ races, concerts, food and, of course, fireworks are scheduled. (For events later in the year, see calendar information below.)
Known across the world as the Thoroughbred horse capital, Lexington is also the home of this country’s only native spirit — bourbon. Both come alive in tours throughout Bluegrass Country. The Kentucky Horse Park spreads across 1,200 acres of rolling countryside, and is dedicated to all breeds of horses. In addition, there are about 150 horse farms in the area, many open to visitors. The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Wild Turkey distilleries are proud of their accomplishments and well-respected methods of producing bourbon. The pure water of the region owes its taste to the limestone shelf under the lush pastures, creating a natural filter.
Although horses and bourbon may get top billing in the Bluegrass area, history definitely plays a significant role here. The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a national treasure offering guests 33 restored buildings to peruse. Historic houses, the campus of Transylvania University, Union and Confederate Civil War sites and McConnell Springs all invite guests to pay homage. Nearby locations include outdoor theater, pioneer forts and scenic byways. Visitors should consider signing up for a Bluegrass Country Driving Tour to do justice to the area; call (800) 845-3959 for a map.
For more information, go to www.visitlex.com
KENTUCKY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Please call for more information on each of these events. Contact the number listed below, or call the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau at (859) 233-7299 or (800) 845-3959. Events are subject to change.
Ballet Under the Stars, call (859) 288-2925
Picnic with the Pops, call (859) 233-3565
Grand Circuit Harness Racing, call (859) 255-0752
Roots and Heritage Festival, call (859) 492-6121
Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing Fall Meet, call (800) 456-3412
Perryville Battlefield Commemoration, call (859) 236-7794