Top-Rated Things to Do in Lexington, KY


By Daniela Howard

Welcome to Lexington, Kentucky! Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” this vibrant city has so much to offer visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a horse lover, a history buff, or a bourbon connoisseur, there’s something for everyone in Lexington. From exploring the famous horse farms to immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of the area, you’re sure to have a memorable time in this charming Southern city.

One of the top-rated things to do in Lexington is to visit the Kentucky Horse Park. This sprawling park is home to a variety of equestrian activities and attractions, including horse shows, horse racing, and even horseback riding lessons. You can explore the park on foot or take a guided tour to learn more about the history and importance of horses in Kentucky. Don’t forget to visit the International Museum of the Horse, which is located on the park grounds and offers fascinating exhibits on the history of horses and their impact on human civilization.

If you’re a history enthusiast, a visit to the Mary Todd Lincoln House is a must. This beautifully restored childhood home of the former First Lady provides a glimpse into the life and times of one of America’s most famous families. Guided tours are available, allowing you to explore the meticulously preserved rooms and learn about the fascinating history of the Todd family. In addition to the main house, there is also a small museum on the property that showcases artifacts and exhibits related to Mary Todd Lincoln and her family.

No trip to Lexington would be complete without indulging in some of Kentucky’s famous bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the most renowned distilleries in the state, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace. Take a scenic drive through the picturesque rolling hills of the Bluegrass Region and sample some of the finest bourbons in the world. You can also learn about the bourbon-making process and the history of this iconic Kentucky spirit.

Whether you’re a history buff, an equestrian enthusiast, or a bourbon lover, Lexington, KY has something to offer everyone. From exploring horse farms and racing tracks to immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of the area, there are countless top-rated things to do in this charming Southern city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Lexington!

Explore the Beautiful Horse Farms

If you’re a fan of horses, a visit to Lexington, KY wouldn’t be complete without exploring its beautiful horse farms. Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington is home to some of the most prestigious and historic horse farms in the United States.

Take a tour of the renowned Keeneland Racecourse, where you can watch thoroughbred horses in action and learn about the history of horse racing. Marvel at the picturesque landscapes and stunning barns as you drive along the scenic routes of the Kentucky Horse Park. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of newborn foals frolicking in the fields.

Additionally, don’t miss the chance to visit famous horse farms such as Claiborne Farm, where legendary racehorses like Secretariat and War Admiral once roamed. Explore the sprawling grounds, visit the historic stables, and hear fascinating stories about the farm’s rich equine history.

For those interested in equestrian sports, Lexington offers opportunities to experience horseback riding and take lessons from experienced trainers. Go on a guided trail ride through the countryside or try your hand at show jumping at one of the local equestrian centers.

Whether you’re a horse enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of these majestic creatures, exploring the horse farms in Lexington is an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the world of horses, learn about their care and training, and witness firsthand the passion and dedication that goes into breeding and raising these extraordinary animals.

Visit the Historic Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Immerse yourself in history by visiting the historic Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate in Lexington. This magnificent estate was once the home of Henry Clay, a renowned statesman and one of the most influential figures in American history.

Ashland offers visitors an opportunity to explore the life and legacy of Henry Clay. Take a guided tour of the beautifully preserved mansion and discover the stories behind the rooms, artifacts, and artwork on display. Learn about Clay’s political career, his role in shaping the nation, and his contributions to the state of Kentucky.

Stroll through the stunning gardens and grounds that surround the estate. Admire the meticulously landscaped lawns, vibrant flowers, and towering trees. Find a peaceful spot to sit and reflect, or take a leisurely walk along the walking trails that wind through the property.

While at Ashland, make sure to visit the Henry Clay Research Library and Archives. Here, you can delve deeper into the life and times of Henry Clay through the extensive collection of documents, manuscripts, and other historical resources.

Before you leave, stop by the onsite visitor center and gift shop. You can purchase unique souvenirs, books, and other items related to Henry Clay and Ashland to take a piece of history home with you.

Important Information:

– Admission fees apply to visit Ashland and may vary based on the type of tour and package you choose.

– Guided tours are available, and it is recommended to book in advance.

– The estate is open to visitors year-round, but the hours may change seasonally, so be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

Don’t miss the chance to visit Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, and discover the legacy of one of America’s greatest statesmen. It’s a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the rich history of Lexington, KY.

Indulge in Bourbon Tastings at Local Distilleries

Lexington, Kentucky is known for its rich bourbon heritage and is home to several top-rated distilleries. If you’re a bourbon enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to indulge in bourbon tastings at these local establishments.

One of the must-visit distilleries in Lexington is the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Located in the heart of Kentucky’s bourbon country, this distillery offers guided tours that take you through the entire bourbon-making process, from the milling of the grains to the bottling of the final product. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly the bourbon tasting, where you’ll get to sample different varieties of Woodford Reserve’s world-renowned bourbon.

Another popular distillery is the Buffalo Trace Distillery. With a history dating back to the late 18th century, Buffalo Trace is one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States. The distillery offers tours that provide a fascinating glimpse into its storied past and the bourbon-making process. During the tasting portion of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample Buffalo Trace’s award-winning bourbons and discover the unique flavors that set them apart.

If you’re looking for a more intimate bourbon tasting experience, The Barrel House Distillery is worth a visit. This small-scale craft distillery specializes in handcrafted, small-batch bourbon production. The distillery offers personalized tours where you’ll learn about the art of bourbon-making and have the chance to sample their unique and flavorful bourbons. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at The Barrel House will guide you through the tasting, teaching you about the subtle nuances of each bourbon.

Indulging in bourbon tastings at local distilleries is not only a great way to learn about the history and craftsmanship behind this iconic American spirit, but it’s also a chance to savor some of the finest bourbons in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned bourbon connoisseur or just starting to develop your palate, a visit to Lexington’s local distilleries is sure to be a memorable experience.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some restrictions and guidelines may be in place at the distilleries. Be sure to check their websites or contact them directly for the latest information.

Discover the Artistic Side of Lexington at the Lexington Art League

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Lexington, Kentucky, a visit to the Lexington Art League is a must. This thriving arts organization is dedicated to promoting and supporting contemporary visual arts in the region.

Located in the heart of Lexington, the Lexington Art League showcases a diverse range of artwork from local, national, and international artists. From paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media, there’s something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

One of the highlights of the Lexington Art League is its ever-changing exhibitions. With rotating shows throughout the year, you’ll always find something new and exciting to experience. These exhibitions feature both emerging and established artists, providing a platform for creativity and innovation.

In addition to its exhibitions, the Lexington Art League offers various educational programs and events for art enthusiasts of all ages. From workshops and classes to artist talks and panel discussions, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with the art community and expand your knowledge.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Lexington Art League’s stunning 19th-century building, which adds to the overall ambiance of the experience. The beautifully restored space provides the perfect backdrop for the artwork on display, creating an immersive and inspiring environment.

Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply curious about the local art scene, a visit to the Lexington Art League will leave you feeling inspired and enriched. Discover the artistic side of Lexington and let the creativity of this vibrant city captivate your imagination.

Experience the Thrill of Keeneland Racecourse

When it comes to horse racing, there’s no place quite like Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, KY. With its stunning architecture, beautiful grounds, and world-class racing, Keeneland is a must-visit destination for racing enthusiasts and casual fans alike.

Located in the heart of the Bluegrass region, Keeneland is known for its rich history and tradition. Founded in 1936, it has been the setting for countless memorable moments in horse racing, and continues to attract top trainers, jockeys, and horses from around the world.

One of the highlights of visiting Keeneland is experiencing a live race day. The adrenaline that builds as the horses thunder down the track, the cheering of the crowd, and the sheer beauty of these majestic animals in motion is an experience like no other.

Not only can you watch the races, but you can also bet on your favorite horse and feel the excitement as you cheer them on to victory. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or a novice, the friendly staff at Keeneland will be more than happy to assist you with placing your bets.

But racing isn’t the only thing that Keeneland has to offer. The racecourse also features a lovely Kentucky historic home, an art gallery, and an equestrian library. You can take a tour of the grounds and learn about the history of horse racing in Kentucky, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

If you’re interested in learning more about the sport of horse racing, Keeneland offers educational opportunities as well. Whether you want to attend a seminar, watch the morning workouts, or participate in a handicapping workshop, there are plenty of ways to enhance your knowledge and appreciation for this thrilling sport.

So, whether you’re a lifelong racing fan or just looking for a unique and exciting experience in Lexington, be sure to make a visit to Keeneland Racecourse. From the thrill of the races to the beauty of the grounds, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.


  • World-class horse racing
  • Beautiful architecture and grounds
  • Opportunities for betting and excitement
  • Historic home, art gallery, and equestrian library
  • Educational programs and seminars

Note: Keeneland Racecourse is open for races during its racing season, which typically runs from April to October. Be sure to check the schedule for race dates and times before planning your visit.

Take a Stroll through the University of Kentucky Arboretum

If you’re looking to surround yourself with natural beauty in Lexington, KY, then a visit to the University of Kentucky Arboretum is a must. This 100-acre botanical garden and horticultural research facility is a hidden gem in the heart of the city.

With over 2,500 plant species, walking through the arboretum is like stepping into a living museum of diverse flora. From vibrant flowers to towering trees, this picturesque setting offers something for everyone.

The arboretum is not only a place of scenic beauty, but it also serves as an educational resource for the community. Visitors can learn about the different species of plants through interpretive signs and guided tours. The knowledgeable staff is always available to answer any questions you may have.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the University of Kentucky Arboretum is the perfect destination. Take a leisurely stroll along the meandering paths, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this natural oasis.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the arboretum’s signature feature, the Home Demonstration Gardens. These meticulously designed gardens showcase a variety of gardening techniques and plant combinations, providing inspiration for your own green space.

Before you leave, be sure to stop by the Arboretum Visitor Center. Here, you can browse through a selection of gardening books and gifts, or grab a cup of coffee to enjoy while you take in the stunning surroundings.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, taking a stroll through the University of Kentucky Arboretum is an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

Tip: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the beauty of the arboretum.

Explore the Fascinating Kentucky Museum of Natural History

If you’re a nature lover or simply curious about the world around you, a visit to the Kentucky Museum of Natural History is a must-do when you’re in Lexington. This incredible museum is dedicated to showcasing the natural wonders of Kentucky and the world, giving visitors an opportunity to learn and explore.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll be greeted by a wealth of exhibits that highlight the rich biodiversity of Kentucky. From stunning dioramas showcasing local wildlife to interactive displays on geological formations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The museum’s knowledgeable staff are also on hand to answer any questions you may have and provide additional insight into the exhibits.

One of the standout features of the Kentucky Museum of Natural History is its collection of fossils. From the remains of ancient sea creatures to the bones of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth, the fossil exhibit offers a glimpse into the prehistoric world. As you explore the museum, you’ll be amazed by the sheer diversity and scale of these ancient creatures.

In addition to the fossil exhibit, the museum also offers a range of educational programs and events. From lectures and workshops to hands-on activities for kids, there’s always something happening that will keep visitors of all ages engaged and entertained. Be sure to check the museum’s website for a schedule of upcoming events.

As you make your way through the museum, don’t forget to visit the gift shop. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of books, souvenirs, and educational toys related to the natural world. Whether you’re looking for a memento of your visit or a unique gift for a nature enthusiast, the gift shop has you covered.

Overall, a visit to the Kentucky Museum of Natural History is a truly enriching experience. It’s a chance to learn about the natural wonders of Kentucky and the world, all while being surrounded by fascinating exhibits and knowledgeable staff. So be sure to add this museum to your itinerary when exploring Lexington.

Enjoy a Relaxing Day at the Blue Grass Yoga & Wellness Studio

If you’re looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating experience, a visit to the Blue Grass Yoga & Wellness Studio is a must-do during your time in Lexington, KY. This top-rated studio offers a wide range of classes and services to help you relax, unwind, and improve your overall well-being.

At Blue Grass Yoga & Wellness Studio, you’ll find a serene and welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for both beginners and experienced yogis. The knowledgeable and attentive instructors will guide you through a variety of yoga styles, including hatha, vinyasa, and restorative yoga. Whether you’re looking to increase flexibility, reduce stress, or simply find a moment of peace, there is a class that will suit your needs.

In addition to yoga classes, Blue Grass Yoga & Wellness Studio also offers other wellness services to enhance your experience. You can schedule a massage or bodywork session to release tension and promote relaxation. If you’re interested in exploring your spiritual side, you can book a Reiki or energy healing session. These services, combined with the calming ambiance of the studio, create a comprehensive wellness experience.

After your class or session, take a moment to relax and unwind in the studio’s cozy lounge area. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea, read a book from the studio’s library, or simply sit in quiet meditation. This is the perfect way to extend the benefits of your practice and fully embrace the peaceful atmosphere.

If you’re a visitor to Lexington, KY, or if you’re a local looking for a new way to relax, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a day at the Blue Grass Yoga & Wellness Studio. With its wide range of classes and services, as well as its tranquil environment, this studio provides the ideal setting for you to experience a moment of tranquility and self-care.

Address: 123 Main Street, Lexington, KY
Phone: 555-123-4567

Try Your Luck at the Red Mile Harness Track

If you’re feeling lucky, head to the Red Mile Harness Track for an exciting day of horse racing. Located in Lexington, KY, the Red Mile is known for its thrilling harness racing events.

Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just looking for a fun day out, the Red Mile offers something for everyone. Watch as the horses and their drivers race around the track, and cheer on your favorites as they compete for the finish line.

The Red Mile features a variety of wagering options, so you can try your hand at betting on the races. From simple win/place/show bets to more complex exotic wagers, there’s a betting option to suit every level of experience.

Even if you’re not into betting, the Red Mile still offers plenty of excitement. You can enjoy the atmosphere as you watch the races from the stands, and soak up the energy of the crowd as they cheer on their chosen horses.

If you’re feeling peckish, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the Red Mile’s many dining options. From casual concession stands to upscale restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

So why not roll the dice and try your luck at the Red Mile Harness Track? It’s a thrilling experience that you won’t want to miss!

Step Back in Time at the Mary Todd Lincoln House

If you’re interested in history, the Mary Todd Lincoln House is a must-visit attraction in Lexington, KY. This historic house was the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Abraham Lincoln. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of this influential First Lady.

Built in the early 1800s, the Mary Todd Lincoln House has been restored to its former glory and is now a museum dedicated to telling the story of Mary Todd Lincoln. As you wander through the rooms, you’ll see period furniture, family portraits, and personal belongings that belonged to the Lincoln family.

One of the highlights of the Mary Todd Lincoln House is the guided tour, where knowledgeable docents will take you through the house and share stories about the Lincoln family and their time in Kentucky. You’ll learn about Mary Todd Lincoln’s upbringing, her courtship with Abraham Lincoln, and her experiences during the Civil War.

Another interesting aspect of the Mary Todd Lincoln House is the focus on the relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her half-sister Emilie Todd Helm, who was a Confederate sympathizer during the Civil War. The museum explores the tension and complexities of their relationship, adding an additional layer of intrigue to the story.

Visiting the Mary Todd Lincoln House is not only a chance to step back in time and learn about the history of one of America’s most famous First Ladies, but it also provides a unique perspective on the Civil War era and the challenges faced by families on both sides of the conflict.

For history buffs or anyone interested in American history, a trip to the Mary Todd Lincoln House is an absolute must. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Mary Todd Lincoln and the time in which she lived.

Delight in the Beauty of the Lexington Opera House

The Lexington Opera House is a historic and stunning venue located in the heart of downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Built in 1886, the opera house has a rich history and has hosted a variety of performances over the years, including Broadway shows, concerts, and community events.

Visitors to the Lexington Opera House are sure to be delighted by its beautiful architecture and ornate detailing. The exterior of the building features intricate brickwork and decorative trim, while the interior boasts a grand staircase, elegant chandeliers, and plush seating. The opera house’s intimate atmosphere creates a truly immersive experience for guests.

Throughout the year, the Lexington Opera House offers a diverse range of performances, from touring Broadway shows to local theatrical productions. The venue also hosts concerts by both established musicians and up-and-coming artists. Whatever your taste in entertainment, you’re sure to find something that captivates you at the Lexington Opera House.

In addition to its regular performances, the Lexington Opera House also offers behind-the-scenes tours. These guided tours provide a fascinating look into the history of the opera house, as well as a glimpse into the world of theater production. Visitors can explore the backstage area, learn about the technical aspects of putting on a show, and even see the dressing rooms used by performers.

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in Lexington, be sure to visit the Lexington Opera House. Whether you’re attending a performance or taking a tour, you’re sure to be enchanted by the beauty and history of this incredible venue.

Experience the Charm of The Shops at Lexington Center

Located in the heart of downtown Lexington, The Shops at Lexington Center offer a unique shopping experience for visitors and locals alike. With a mix of local boutiques, national retailers, and gourmet food options, this charming shopping center is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best of what Lexington has to offer.

One of the highlights of The Shops at Lexington Center is its selection of local boutiques. From trendy clothing stores to unique home decor shops, you can find a wide range of one-of-a-kind items that showcase the talent and creativity of local artisans. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or a treat for yourself, these boutiques have something for everyone.

In addition to the local boutiques, The Shops at Lexington Center also feature several national retailers. From well-known clothing brands to popular beauty stores, you’ll find all your favorite names under one roof. Whether you’re in need of a new outfit or looking to update your beauty routine, these national retailers have you covered.

When you need a break from shopping, The Shops at Lexington Center offer a variety of gourmet food options. From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing beverage in between your shopping adventures. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely dining experience, there’s something for every palate.

Overall, The Shops at Lexington Center provide a charming and vibrant shopping experience that combines the best of local and national retail. With a mix of unique boutiques, popular brands, and delicious dining options, this shopping center is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Lexington, KY.

Marvel at the Incredible Exhibits at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky

Located in Lexington, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky is a must-visit destination for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs. This top-rated museum showcases a wide range of aviation exhibits that will leave you in awe.

Step into the world of aviation as you explore the museum’s extensive collection of vintage aircraft, including a restored Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, one of the fastest aircraft ever built. Get up close to these incredible machines and marvel at their engineering ingenuity.

Learn about Kentucky’s rich aviation history through the museum’s interactive exhibits and displays. Discover the stories of local aviators and their contributions to the field, from early pioneers to modern-day heroes. Gain a deeper understanding of the technological advancements that have shaped the aviation industry over the years.

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky also offers educational programs and events for both children and adults. Participate in hands-on activities, workshops, and lectures to further enhance your knowledge and appreciation for aviation. Whether you’re a seasoned aviation enthusiast or just curious about flight, there’s something for everyone at this captivating museum.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Aviation Museum of Kentucky during your time in Lexington. It’s an experience that will take you on a memorable journey through the fascinating world of aviation.


What are some top-rated things to do in Lexington, KY?

Some top-rated things to do in Lexington, KY include visiting the Kentucky Horse Park, exploring the Lexington Opera House, touring the Mary Todd Lincoln House, and checking out the vibrant local food and bourbon scene.

Is the Kentucky Horse Park a popular attraction in Lexington?

Yes, the Kentucky Horse Park is a popular attraction in Lexington. It is a working horse farm and an educational theme park that offers guided tours, horse shows, and interactive exhibits.

What can I do at the Lexington Opera House?

At the Lexington Opera House, you can enjoy live performances including Broadway shows, concerts, and plays. It is a beautifully restored historic theater that offers a unique experience for theater enthusiasts.

What is the Mary Todd Lincoln House?

The Mary Todd Lincoln House is the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Abraham Lincoln. It is now a museum that offers guided tours to learn about the life and legacy of Mary Todd Lincoln.

What is the food and bourbon scene like in Lexington?

The food and bourbon scene in Lexington is vibrant and diverse. The city is known for its delicious Southern cuisine, farm-to-table restaurants, and bourbon distilleries. Visitors can enjoy tasting local specialties and exploring the bourbon trail.

What are the top-rated things to do in Lexington?

The top-rated things to do in Lexington include visiting the Kentucky Horse Park, exploring the Lexington Opera House, and touring the Mary Todd Lincoln House.


Best Things to Do in Lexington, Kentucky

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Daniela Howard

Daniela Howard, a dedicated Harpers Ferry resident, serves as the foremost expert on West Virginia. Over a decade in travel writing, her work for Family Destinations Guide offers in-depth knowledge of the state's hidden treasures, such as fine dining, accommodations, and captivating sights. Her engaging articles vividly depict family-friendly activities, making your West Virginia journey truly memorable.

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