Lexington

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Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Kentucky Lexington

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Introduction

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Lexington is the second biggest city in the US state of Kentucky, with around 300,000 inhabitants in the city and about 450,000 in the total metropolitan area. Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington has traditionally been dominated by the horse industry and is also heavily influenced by the University of Kentucky, the state's flagship university and the largest employer in the city. The horse industry has greatly influenced Lexington's culture and scenic beauty; the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University contribute to a college town atmosphere with a richer and more diverse culture than some might expect from its size and location. Lexington's compact central downtown district is surrounded by historic neighborhoods. Lexington is in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky and is still home to hundreds of horse farms.

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Sights and Activities

  • Ashland (Henry Clay Estate), 120 Sycamore Rd (off Richmond Rd), ☎ +1 859 266-8581. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM; Jan closed, Feb only open for groups. Home of the famous Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, set near downtown Lexington. Beautiful park surrounding the home accessible even if you do not wish to take a tour. Adults $10, children ages 6–18 $5, children 5 and under free.
  • Boone Station, 240 Gentry Rd (Richmond Rd 1.5 miles past I-75, then left on Cleveland Rd, right on Gentry Rd, park is on the left after 0.4 miles), ☎ +1 859 263-1073. Apr-Oct. Boone Station State Historic Site is on 46 beautiful acres in Fayette County. Daniel Boone (1734-1820), known for his role in the exploring and settling of the Kentucky frontier, decided that the settlement of Boonesborough had become far too crowded. In December 1779, Boone and his family established Boone's Station. The park features a 1-mile trail and a grave site where several members of the Boone family are buried.
  • Hunt-Morgan House, 201 N Mill St (downtown, in historic Gratz Park, 1 block from Broadway & 2nd St), ☎ +1 859 233-0362. W-F 1PM-4PM, Sa 10AM-3PM, Su 1PM-4PM; weekend hours subject to change. Built by the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies, John Hunt-Morgan, the house showcases early Kentucky furniture, 19th century paintings, and antique porcelain. The Alexander T. Hunt museum featuring Civil War memorabilia is located on the second floor. The house was built in 1814 when Lexington was known as the "Athens of the West." Adults $7, seniors $6, students and children under 12 $4.
  • The Kentucky Theatre, 214 E Main St (downtown, 2 blocks from Limestone), ☎ +1 859 231-7924. A historic two-screen cinema with restored architecture and beautiful interior murals located downtown on Main Street. Its schedule tends to emphasize foreign, independent, and art films, plus occasional concerts and panel discussions at the premiers of controversial films. During the Summer Classics Series every Wednesday night a classic film is shown. The theatre has an offbeat side as well, and raucous midnight showings of movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show draw crowds of nearby University students, adults, and teens every weekend. Tickets $7.50; children/seniors and before 6PM $5.50.
  • Lexington Public Library, 140 E Main St (downtown, at Limestone), ☎ +1 859 233-0362. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. The Central Library is worth a quick look for its art installations. Rose-colored granite covers the facade, and the airy atrium houses a 5-story-tall Foucault pendulum, which tells time using the rotation of the Earth. In front, Phoenix Park offers some nice greenery and fountains, and a small statue of a Bedouin on a camel marks the "zero milestone", the point from which all distances to Lexington are measured. However, the view is hampered somewhat by construction across the street, which has recently restarted after almost a decade in limbo.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln House, 578 W Main St (downtown, 3 blocks NW of Broadway), ☎ +1 859 233-9999. Tours M-Sa 10AM-3PM mid-March–Nov. The two-story girlhood home of Abraham Lincoln's wife, and the nation's first shrine to a First Lady. The 14-room house contains period furniture, furnishings from the Todds and Lincolns, and family portraits. Adults $10, children 6-12 $5, children under 6 free.
  • Triangle Park (especially at night), 400 W Main St (downtown, in between Main St, Vine St, & Broadway, adjacent to the Lexington Convention Center). Year-round; fountains shut off in winter. Enjoy slipping off your shoes or sandals in the summertime and wandering in the step-like fountains that ring the backbone of this park. Get plenty of pictures of the illuminated fountains against the Lexington Convention Center. Events throughout the year include summer movies on alternate Friday nights, a winter ice skating rink, and occasional concerts. Cross the street and talk to the concierge at the Hilton Hotel to book a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown.
  • Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Ln (near Nicholasville Rd & Man o' War Blvd), ☎ +1 859 272-3611. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Tours and museum closed Jan-Mar, but grounds open year-round. Built in 1848 by Joseph Bryan, a grand-nephew of Daniel Boone, the Greek revival home preserves 19th century plantation life in Kentucky with acres of hemp and grain. The smokehouse, icehouse and slave quarters still stand as outbuildings. Adults $7, seniors $6, students $4, children under 6 free.
  • Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy (7 miles north of the city. I-75 exit 120, or take Newtown Pike or Georgetown Rd for a scenic route), toll-free: +1-800-678-8813. 9AM-5PM daily; in winter (Nov-Mar) closed M-Tu and some holidays. The Park is basically a tourist-oriented horse farm and offers a museum, nice walks, views of famous racehorses, and lots of bluegrass (the plant, not the music). There are various horse shows throughout the day, as well as extra activities including horseback and pony rides. The Park is also the host of some very large horse events. Probably the most high profile annual event is the Rolex Kentucky Three Day, a major eventing competition which takes place every spring. The park also hosted the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. These horse trials are also used as Olympic selection trials so you can expect to see some world class horses and riders. Adult $16 summer/$10 winter; children 7-12 $8 summer/$5 winter; children 6 and under free. Parking $3/day, special event parking $5/day. There are many horse farms clustered north and west of Lexington. Several companies do daily van tours of private farms, either on guided or customized tours (get referrals from the Lexington Visitor's Bureau). Tour itineraries vary daily and seasonally, but a typical tour might include a stop at one or more farms where you can get close enough to touch some horses (if the conditions are right: no petting young horses that aren't calm enough, or ones that are being taken for training or other duties), a stop at Keeneland race track and/or the Kentucky Horse park, and a scenic drive past many other famous and ritzy farms like Calumet. You can also book your own visits directly. However, these are all working farms, so if you're visiting independently, call in advance to check availability and make arrangements.
  • Keeneland Race Course, 4201 Versailles Rd (at Man o' War Blvd, 1 mile west of New Circle Rd), ☎ +1 859 254-3412, toll-free: +1-800-456-3412. Live races Apr and Oct. Enjoy horse racing in a "days-gone-by" setting. Recent movies Seabiscuit (2003), Dreamer (2005) and Secretariat (2010) have been filmed at Keeneland, which prides itself on maintaining racing traditions in a facility that has changed little over the decades: for example, it didn't install public address speakers until 1997. Keeneland hosts live thoroughbred races only twice a year, with the Spring meet in April and Fall meet in October, but they welcome visitors year round (you can use online or print maps to explore the grounds for free, or book a tour). During races you can choose your level of comfort near the track (general admission, grandstands, or nicer indoor rooms), or tailgate in the free parking lot while watching races on a jumbo TV and wagering. The feature race of the Spring meet is the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby. When its live races are not in session, entry is free; you can explore the stadium and walk right up to the race track, watch other races broadcast from around the world, or attend events like the yearling horse sales, where many young stallions command price tags in the millions. Buyers include local horse farms and bidders from Europe, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. Year-round tour $10/person, 12 and under free; special tours $30-50. During race meets, general admission $5, grandstands $8-20, indoor rooms $15-65, but if you don't put some money on your favorite horse or jockey, you're missing the point. BETologists are around to explain betting, for beginners and experts alike. Cash bets only (ATMs are available); minimum bet $2. Parking free-$5. The tradition at Keeneland is to dress-up a bit, so no jeans or T-shirts; most indoor rooms enforce dress codes ranging up to "suit or jacket required". Outdoors, bring a coat and hat, too, as it can be cold and windy in April and October.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.

Other Events and Festivals

  • Keeneland - Keeneland includes the Keeneland Racecourse, a Thoroughbred horse racing facility, and a sales complex, both in Lexington. Address: 4201 Versailles Rd, Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 40510, Phone: (859) 254-3412
  • Rupp Arena - Home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. This 23,000 seat arena houses concerts, family shows and everything inbetween. Address: 430 W Vine St, Lexington, KY 40507, Phone: (859) 233-4567
  • Commonwealth Stadium - Commonwealth Stadium is the name of a stadium in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. This stadium, named for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is located on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Address: 1540 University Dr, Lexington, KY 40502, Phone: (859) 257-9000
  • Whitaker Bank Ballpark - Whitaker Bank Ballpark is a stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Lexington Legends minor league baseball team. It was built in 2001. It holds 6,994 people. Address: 207 Legends Ln, Lexington, KY 40505, Phone: (859) 252-4487

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Getting There

By Plane

Blue Grass Airport (LEX) - 4000 Terminal Dr, Lexington, KY 40510, (859) 425-3100. A medium sized regional airport which has service from Allegiant, American, Delta, and United, with daily non-stop service to more than a dozen cities. It deposits passengers directly adjacent to Keeneland Race Course and just a few miles from downtown. There is express bus service by Lextran, once per hour 6AM-6PM. All major brands of car rental agencies have service here, and taxis and hotel shuttles are plentiful. International facilities including customs are available, but no carriers operate scheduled international flights; most passengers will go through customs in a connecting airport.

Louisville (Standiford Field SDF IATA) and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG IATA) are larger airports, each about 1.5 hours drive from Lexington.

By Train

The nearest passenger train service is Amtrak's Cardinal, with stations in Maysville, and in Cincinnati, Ohio (both about 1.5 hours drive); however, there is only service every other day and both trains arrive and depart at night.

By Car

Travellers usually access Lexington via one of the two major interstates that arc around the northern and eastern borders of the city. I-64 runs from east to west, connecting Lexington with the largest city in Kentucky, Louisville, to the west. I-75 runs north-south, connecting Lexington with Cincinnati and Knoxville respectively. Neither interstate penetrates into the city. For access to the far side of the city, use New Circle Road (State Route 4), a loop road of which 3/4 is highway-grade, or during non-peak hours you can just take an arterial road through downtown.

The Lexington area is also served by the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway, starting near Versailles and ending at I-65 in Elizabethtown, and the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, which starts just east of Lexington and provides access to the Appalachian region.

By Bus

The Greyhound station is on New Circle Road on the north side of town, ten minutes from downtown.

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Getting Around

Lexington is a relatively spread out city, though not large. Unless you are mainly visiting the downtown and/or the University campus (which are within walking distance of each other), you will find that getting around by car is the most convenient method.

Downtown, Main Street divides cross-streets North and South, and Limestone marks East versus West. Addresses downtown usually specify a cardinal direction, which provides a clue to what area of the city it's in.

By Car

Lexington's roads form a wheel-and-spokes pattern. Arterial roads radiate from downtown, and New Circle Road (KY-4, sometimes called "Circle 4") forms a circle around the inner city. New Circle Road, an early experiment in urban circumferential expressways, was first built before current zoning rules, so that about 1/4 of it is developed with commercial usage, while the rest is 55-mph freeway with on/off ramps. The radial roads are mostly named after the neighboring towns they lead to (e.g. Nicholasville, Richmond, Winchester, etc.), although as you approach downtown they take on a different name (e.g. Limestone, Main, etc.). Directions in Lexington will frequently start with "Take New Circle to ____ Road (one of the arterials), then turn north/south...."

Man o' War Boulevard forms a half-circle further outside from New Circle Road; however its lower speed limit and abundance of traffic lights make it less ideal for circling the city.

Like any city, Lexington's traffic can be challenging during rush hours. Nicholasville Road has reversible lanes to help the flow. Be careful and aware of the lights as they change throughout the day to accommodate traffic and rush hour. A green arrow indicates appropriate lanes for driving; white turn only arrows indicate a center turning lane; a red X indicates lanes in use by oncoming traffic. If possible, try to avoid traveling north on Nicholasville Road during the evening rush hour, as most lanes switch to southbound traffic to allow people to exit downtown. Be aware of driving near the University of Kentucky on basketball or football days. Downtown can be quite congested when UK plays at Rupp Arena, and Tates Creek Road and Nicholasville Road both move very slowly when UK plays at Kroger Field.

Most of the major arterial streets have multiple names, especially as you approach downtown (Nicholasville Road becomes Limestone; Harrodsburg Road becomes Broadway; etc.). This is also true of many smaller city streets (Winslow Avenue becomes Avenue of Champions, which becomes Euclid Avenue, which becomes Fontaine Road). When you ask for directions, many locals may not know exactly what the street is called where you're going, just remember that the same road may be called any of those at your destination.

Almost all of the arterials, and many smaller roads, are also numbered U.S. Highways or Kentucky State Roads, but no one refers to them by number. The sole exception is New Circle Road, which is KY-4 and sometimes called "Circle 4", but more often called "New Circle".

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Bus service is provided by Lextran, which provides service from the downtown Transit Center to many parts of town and the airport. Most mainlines run every 35 minutes during business hours; others run every 35 minutes only during rush hours, every 60 minutes all other times. The newest overhaul of routes and schedules has increased on-time performance of most routes. Buses run M-F 5AM-midnight, Sa 7AM-midnight, Su 7AM-9PM. Fare costs $1. If you need to transfer between routes transfers are free and can be attained when paying fare, transfers are good for an hour and a half but cannot be used for round trips on the same route. Buses can be tracked in realtime on Lextran's MyStop website or from Google Maps.

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Eat

Lexington is home to an astonishing number of independently owned restaurants at all price levels. The city's college town atmosphere and affluent lifestyle contribute to this relatively small metropolitan area's great culinary offerings. Chain restaurants, typical in most American cities and towns, can be found here, as well as a great number of privately owned and operated establishments. Kentucky cuisine to look for includes the Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich of turkey, bacon, and cheese sauce; burgoo, a traditional game stew with as many variations as there are people who make it; beer cheese, a spicy spread of cheddar cheese and beer; and bourbon balls, a sort of chocolate and bourbon truffle with pecans. Note that smoking is banned in restaurants, bars, and many public buildings in Lexington.

  • Atomic Cafe - This Caribbean Restaurant and Bar sports bright interior murals, rythmic Caribbean music, and wonderful Caribbean cuisine . Address: 265 N Limestone St, Lexington, KY 40507, Phone: (859) 254-1969, Hours: Monday Closed Tuesday 4:00pm - 12:00am Wednesday 4:00pm - 12:00am Thursday 4:00pm – 12:00am Friday 4:00pm – 12:00am Saturday 4:00pm – 12:00am Sunday Closed
  • Bellini's - Bellini's brings fine Italian dinning to the heart of the bluegrass, horse, basketball and Bourbon country. Address: 115 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40507, Phone: (859) 388-9583
  • Cheapside Bar & Grill - Cheapside Bar & Grill. Heads up! YUP. Also, whatever the weather, we're good. Address: Cheapside St, Lexington, KY 40507, Phone: (859) 254-0046
  • Malone's - Lexington's finest restaurants: Malone's, Sal's, Aqua, and Drake's. Address: 1920 Pleasant Ridge Dr, Lexington, KY 40509, Phone: (859) 264-8023
  • Oasis Mediterranean Restaurant - "There is no sincerer love than the love of food" Address: 837 Chevy Chase Pl, Lexington, KY 40502, Phone: 859) 269-6440
  • Joe Bologna's Restaurant & Pizzeria, Inc - Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant – Since 1973, a Lexington, Kentucky Favorite Address: 120 W Maxwell St, Lexington, KY 40508, Phone: (859) 252-4933
  • Third Street Stuff & Coffee, 257 N Limestone (just off Transylvania University campus), ☎ +1 859 255-5301. M-Sa 6AM-11PM, Su 8AM-11PM. This coffee shop also serves up unique sandwiches. It's a hip cool hang out with an artistic vibe and store inside.
  • Bourbon n' Toulouse, 829 E Euclid Ave (at High St), ☎ +1 859 335-0300. M-Sa 11AM-10PM. This popular eatery brings a bit of New Orleans to the Bluegrass. The way Bn'T works is quick and painless: pick what you want from the day's selections listed on the chalkboard menu, then order and pay at the register. Not sure what you want? Just ask them for some samples. Standards include Cajun and Creole classics like étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya, as well as barbecue sandwiches and a few unique creations. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available. All plates are $6.50 (tax included); half-orders are $4.50, and are still plenty of food. edit
  • Charlie Brown's, 816 E Euclid Ave (just off UK campus), ☎ +1 859 269-5701. M-Th 11AM-1AM, F-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Hip sandwich restaurant where patrons lounge in sofas and armchairs while chatting in the permanently low lighting. Bookshelves line all four walls and are crammed with old hardbacks; patrons may take any book they please as long as they replace it with another. Virtually all sandwiches are $6.50.
  • Gumbo Ya Ya, 1080 S Broadway (near Red Mile Rd/Virginia Ave), ☎ +1 859 252-9292. M-Sa 11AM-9PM. Cajun like no other. Menu changes every week, but standards like White Chile, Gumbo, Jambalaya are usually on, as well as a couple of their good vegetarian or vegan options. If you are lucky, you can end up there on a day they are dishing up Pazole Stew or Jambalaya Ya Ya. And their famous Yatwich is something to surprise you: sort of a turkey-based sloppy joe with a lemony kick. Plate of rice or pasta with one sauce $6.75, with two sauces $7.25; the hungry can get a super size for $7.75.
  • Le Matin French Bakery, 890 E High St, ☎ +1 859 269-1511. A quaint little bakery that serves up fresh bread, and other items such as lunches, desserts, and more.
  • Tolly-Ho, 606 S Broadway, ☎ +1 859 253-2007. 24/7; closed some holidays and special events. A typical college town "greasy spoon" restaurant, "The Ho," as it is called by students, serves classic items like hamburgers (from smallest to largest, the Tolly-Ho, Super Ho, and Mega Ho); shakes; Epic Fries with chili, bacon, jalapeños, and cheese; and the ever-popular cheddar tots. It gets extremely crowded when the bars close around 2:30AM and the line stretches out into the front parking lot. Burgers $2.49-7.19, or plain for just $1.25; fries $1.89-5.99; cheddar tots $3.10; milkshakes $2.92-3.71. Be sure to mention if it's your first time.
  • Sav's Grill & West African Cuisine, 304 S Limestone, ☎ +1 859 368-7287. Daily 11AM-9PM. West African soups served over rice or fufu (sticky mashed plantains and cassava). The small menu has beef and chicken, but also lamb, goat, and several vegan options. The cheap interior doesn't seem to bother patrons, as it's consistently busy around lunchtime.
  • El Toro, 1917 Nicholasville Rd (just north of Southland Dr), ☎ +1 859 277-2255. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11:15AM-10PM. A classic Mexicana restaurant with all your favorite dishes that serves up delicious food in which seems like mere minutes after you order. A friendly staff and quick service make this a enjoyable trip.
  • Hananoki, 3284 Eagle View Ln, ☎ +1 859 264-0676. A great Japanese restaurant with a large selection of sushi.
  • Ramsey's. M-F 11AM-11PM, Sa-Su 9AM-11PM. This "meat and three" is a favorite for Southern cuisine, and is frequently filled to capacity. All ingredients are obtained from local farmers. Breakfast is available all day every day. Breakfast mains $10-14; Lunch mains $9-10; Dinner mains $9-12.
  • Dudley's on Short, 259 W Short St, Suite 125 (near Upper St), ☎ +1 859 252-1010. Lunch daily 11AM-2:30PM; Dinner Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. An old mansion that has been converted into a posh commercial complex. Dudley's occupies several rooms and serves American fare.
  • Le Deauville, 199 N Limestone (at W Second St), ☎ +1 859 246-0999. Dinner M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM; Bar M-Th 5:30-midnight, F-Sa 5:30PM-12:30AM. Lexington's downtown French bistro is a convivial place, given to conversation and good food. It shares a name with the city's stylish sister town in Normandy, and it's become quite a culinary destination for folks in the area.
  • Portofino, 249 E Main St (near Rose St), ☎ +1 859 253-9300. Lunch M-F 11AM-2:30PM; Dinner Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. Italian cuisine with a California accent. Try one of the fabulous pasta dishes in this renovated warehouse that also features local artwork and great atmosphere.
  • Tomo, 848 E High St. Lunch M-F 11AM-2PM; Dinner M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. A Traditional Japanese menu in a sleek modern atmosphere. Excellent dishes include tempura, hibachi chicken and steak. Of course best known for their sushi rolls. Voted a top sushi restaurant by several publications over the past several years. Reservations recommended Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Asuka Japanese Grill & Sushi, 360 E Brannon Rd, Nicholasville, KY 40356 (Near Man O' War and I-75), ☎ +1 859 543-0010. 11ː30AM-2PM, 5-10PM. Chefs entertain at this sizable, modern Japanese steakhouse featuring hibachi fare & sushi rolls.
  • Hall's on the River, 1225 Athens-Boonesboro Rd, Winchester, KY 40391. This classic southern seafood restaurant may be a bit far from town, but the scenic drive down KY-418 and location on the Kentucky River make it worthwhile. Try their famous beer cheese for an appetizer, and enjoy their excellent seafood selection, or play it safe with the very large "Kentucke River" Hot Brown.
  • The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles, KY 40383 (near Versailles Rd & Bluegrass Pkwy), ☎ +1 859 256-0322. Th-Sa (hours unknown); breakfast 8AM-10:30AM; tours 11AM, noon, 2PM, 5PM, 6PM. Everyone in Lexington knows about the extravagant (and most would say, eccentric) castle on Versailles Rd. Built by a newlywed couple in 1969, they soon divorced and the castle sat empty and unsold for decades. Finally, new owners and zoning changes allowed the castle to open in 2008 as an upscale bed-and-breakfast, and now as a farm-to-table restaurant, allowing the public their first real chance to see inside the castle walls. They also offer a guided tour of the ornately-decorated first floor and the grounds inside the castle wall, followed by a buffet. Dinner mains $18-47. Breakfast $11-18. Tours lunch $35/person, dinner $55, 2PM (no food) $20.
  • The Merrick Inn, 1074 Merrick Dr (off Tates Creek Rd & New Circle Rd), ☎ +1 859 269-5417. M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM; cocktail lounge open till 1AM. Boasts a classy restaurant nestled within the ritzy gated community "Merrick Place". Main courses $16-$32. Reservations recommended.

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Drink

  • Country Boy Brewing, 436 Chair Ave. Tasting room for one of Lexington's up and coming breweries. Their "Shotgun Wedding" brown ale is their most popular brew, but they always keep it interesting with other options.
  • Chase Brewing Company, 266 Jefferson St. Located in the newly revitalized Jefferson St. corridor, this bar occupies on old gas station. In the warm months the large bay doors can be opened creating a unique indoor/outdoor space. A large selection of premium beers can be found on tap.
  • Lynaugh's Irish Pub, 384 Woodland Ave., ☎ +1 859 255-1292. An Irish pub located near the University of Kentucky campus. This pub draws a mix of UK students and local patrons. Lynaugh's has been a local institution for almost 30 years.
  • McCarthy's Irish Bar, 117 S. Upper St, ☎ +1 859 258-2181. 11AM-2:30AM. Seems to be the default bar for a wide range of people. Sprawled across three storefronts, it has a back patio, no cover charge, and a charismatic old doorman named Miami Steve who usually sports interesting headwear. edit
  • Molly Brooke's Irish Bar, 109 N Limestone (directly across from the new courthouse), ☎ +1 859 420-5792. An original Irish bar in downtown Lexington. Owned by some Irish people and the staff there are Irish too. The drink prices are good and the crowd is fun. They have a nice old patio outback and sidewalk tables too.
  • Redmon's, 269 W Main St Ste 900, ☎ +1 859 252-5802. A snug country bar with live music every night of the week. Popular with the college crowd on Thursday nights.
  • The Beer Trappe, 811 Euclid Ave, ☎ +1 859 309-0911, e-mail: TheBeerTrappe@gmail.com. For beer hobbyists/enthusiasts. Offer hundreds of different beers from different microbreweries. The people who run it also give tasting classes there during some days of the week to teach about different kinds of beer (What's the difference between an IPA and an APA, for example? What does it mean if an IPA says "90-minutes" on it?). You won't find Budweiser here.
  • Tin Roof, 303 S Limestone (at Maxwell St & S Limestone). A cross between a restaurant and bar with an emphasis on live music. Markets itself on a laid back atmosphere.
  • Two Keys Tavern, 333 S. Limestone, ☎ +1 859 254-5000. Quintessential college bar, located straight across the street from UK's north campus and packed with fraternity/sorority students during the school year. The drink selection is limited, but the atmosphere is pleasant. Popular on "Thirsty Thursdays," when the $10 cover gets you all you can drink.
  • Marikka's Restaurant und Bier Stube, 411 Southland Dr, ☎ +1 859 275-1925. M-Sa 5PM-closing; Su closed. With 30 beers on draught and hundreds more in bottles, this is a place to go for beer lovers. If beer is not your thing, they have an equally-hearty selection of hard liquor, including a dozen bourbons you probably haven't heard of.
  • Saddle Ridge, 1030 S Broadway # 1. Opened in 2006. Not near the traditional downtown cluster of bars, it features a spacious design, mechanical bull, and crowd-pleasing country/hip-hop music mix. Clientele is mostly twenty-somethings.
  • Survivor's Bar & Grill, 161 E. Reynolds Rd, ☎ +1 859 272-8294. A well known local karaoke bar. This bar is small but attracts a diverse cross section of people looking to show off their skills on the large music selection.

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Sleep

  • Kentucky Horse Park Campground, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy (7 miles north of the city), toll-free: +1-888-459-7275. Offers spacious sites with 50/30/20 amp electric and water. All sites are 55' paved back-ins with fire rings and picnic tables. Has many extras including a grocery, gift shop and two bathhouses with modern conveniences. Take advantage of our planned recreational activities or catch a game of tennis or basketball on lighted courts, cool off in the junior olympic–size swimming pool, try your hand at pitching horse shoes, croquet, or maybe square dancing in the recreation pavilion. Also has electric primitive and primitive available for those wishing for a more rustic stay. Planned activities are available on most weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Camp has wireless Internet available; first 15 minutes free, various paid time blocks availalble with 24/7 support. $27.
  • Baymont Inn & Suites, 2400 Buena Vista Rd, ☎ +1 859 293-6113, e-mail: generalmanager17915@wynhg.com.
  • Bluegrass Extended Stay, 2753 Richmond Rd, ☎ +1 859 269-4999, e-mail: info@bluegrassextendedstay.com.
  • Days Inn Lexington, 1987 N. Broadway, ☎ +1 859 299-1202.
  • Howard Johnson Inn, 2241 Elkhorn Rd (I-75 exit 110), ☎ +1 859 293-2202.
  • Microtel Inn Lexington, 2240 Buena Vista Rd, ☎ +1 859 299-9600.
  • Motel 6 Lexington East, 2260 Elkhorn Rd (I-75 exit 110), ☎ +1 859 293-1431.
  • Ramada Limited, 2261 Elkhorn Rd (I-75 exit 110), ☎ +1 859 294-7375.
  • Red Roof Inn Lexington South, 2651 Wilhite Dr, ☎ +1 859 277-9400.
  • Quality Inn Northwest, 750 Newtown Ct, ☎ +1 859 233-0561.
  • Clarion Hotel Conference Center - South, 5532 Athens Boonesboro Rd (I-75 exit 104), ☎ +1 859 263-5241, toll-free: +1-800-780-7234.
  • Clarion Hotel, 1950 Newtown Pike (I-75 Exit 115), ☎ +1 859 233-0512. This hotel has a huge atrium with indoor pool and arcade. A restaurant and sports bar are attached. The hotel features a Hertz rental kiosk.
  • Comfort Suites, 3060 Fieldstone Way, ☎ +1 859 296-4446.
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 1973 Plaudit Pl (I-75 exit 108), ☎ +1 859 543-8300.
  • Holiday Inn Express-Downtown/University, 1000 Export St, ☎ +1 859 389-6800, e-mail: gm.lexky@wm.hiexpress.com.
  • Holiday Inn Express-Lexington Northeast, 1780 Sharkey Way, ☎ +1 859 231-0656. Located just 2 miles from the center of Downtown and 2 miles from the Bluegrass Airport, this hotel built in June 2008 is perfect for both business and leisure travelers.
  • Hyatt Place, 2001 Bryant Rd (I-75 exit 108), ☎ +1 859 296-0091.
  • Marriott SpringHill Suites, 863 S. Broadway, ☎ +1 859 225-1500.

Ramada Conference Center, 2143 N. Broadway (I-75 exit 113), ☎ +1 859 299-1261, e-mail: katystephenson@aol.com.

  • Gratz Park Inn, 120 West Second St, ☎ +1 859 559-4853.
  • Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, 1800 Newtown Pike (I-75 exit 115), ☎ +1 859 231-5100.
  • Hilton Lexington Downtown Hotel & Conference Center, 369 West Vine St, ☎ +1 859 231-9000.
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel, 401 West High St, ☎ +1 859 253-1234, e-mail: larry.bell@hyatt.com. Integrated into the Convention Center and Rupp Arena.

View our map of accommodation in Lexington or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Learn

  • Southland Christian Church, Lexington, Kentucky - Southland Christian Church is an evangelical Christian church whose first campus is located in an unincorporated area of Jessamine County, Kentucky, which is just outside Lexington, Kentucky, United States. 5001 Harrodsburg Rd, Nicholasville, KY 40356, (859) 224-1600.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Accommodation in Lexington

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Lexington searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Lexington and areas nearby.

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This is version 30. Last edited at 12:55 on Apr 9, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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