#8 Best Large City to Live In, Wallet Hub
#6 Most Inspiring Cities for Young Adults, World Wide Learn
#6 Best College City - WalletHub
#7 Best City for Quality of Life - Nerd Wallet
#7 Most Affordable Big City in America - Kiplinger
#24 World's Smartest Cities - National Geographic
#3 Best City to Start a New Life - My Life
#8 Best City for Working Parents - Nerd Wallet
Although it is Kentucky's second-largest city, Lexington has retained its small-town charm and hospitality. This friendly atmosphere, along with its scenic countryside and plethora of entertainment opportunities, makes Lexington a very pleasant place to live or visit.
Below are a few highlights of what makes Lexington great!
Established over 200 years ago as one of the first settlements west of the Allegheny Mountains, Lexington is rich in culture and entertainment. For those with classical interest, Lexington has a philharmonic orchestra, a ballet company, a Broadway theater series at the Lexington Opera House, and numerous musical, theater and art events available through the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. Numerous gallery hops also serve as evening entertainment.
If you're looking for something to check out in Downtown Lexington, here are a few suggestions:
Thursday Night Live: Held in Cheapside Park each Thursday in the summertime- Local vendors sell food and drink, live bands play, and artisans sell crafts. A great place to bring your friends, family, and dogs.
Woodland Arts Fair: A spectacular showing of the work of over 200 artists, held in Woodland Park every August.
Farmer's Market: The largest farmer's market is held in Cheapside Park each Saturday, but there are also other locations around town available on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with delicious locally grown products for sale.
Vineyards & Breweries: Lexington also boasts many local vineyards and breweries that make a great place to visit or have a meal. If you are willing to venture a bit outside the city limits, you can follow the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and check out many local distilleries in the area
Lexington is most famous as the "Horse Capital of the World," with the surrounding horse farms raising some of the finest thoroughbreds in the country. Showcasing the splendor of horses is the Kentucky Horse Park, only a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Lexington. Encompassing more than 1,000 acres of a former horse farm, it is the only public facility in the nation devoted to celebrating the horse. The Horse Park boasts a horse museum, ample horse riding, and viewing facilities, and picnic and camping facilities for the enjoyment of the whole family. In 2010, the Horse Park hosted the World Equestrian Games, marking the first time this event has been held outside of Europe.
Lexington is also home to Keeneland Race Course, arguably the most beautiful racecourse in the world. Keeneland offers live thoroughbred racing each April and October and simulcast betting available year-round. Most Lexingtonians view Keeneland as the smaller yet nicer, quainter, and more elegant, version of Churchill Downs in Louisville (which hosts the Kentucky Derby each May). The beautiful horse farms located on Old Frankfort Pike, Newtown Pike, or Old Richmond Road also make for a leisurely and scenic drive or bike ride. And that's not all as far as horsing goes...American Saddlebred Museum
Red Mile Harness Track
Old Friends-Thoroughbred Retirement Farm
Lexington also is appealing to anyone who loves the outdoors. With its large lake and wild river system, beautiful gorges and rock formations, and an extensive cave system, Kentucky's State Park system is rated as perhaps the best east of the Mississippi. Within an hour's drive of the city, you can hike or rappel in Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge State Park, canoe the Kentucky River Palisades, bass fish in Herrington Lake, or participate in any of a number of other outdoor activities at one of the many state parks within easy reach of Lexington.
Cumberland Falls, 90 minutes south of Lexington, is one of only two places in the world where you can see a "moonbow" (a rainbow formed by the mist of the waterfall visible only during a full moon, especially spectacular during January or February). The other location is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Africa.
Our residents are official members of the Big Blue Nation! The enthusiasm for UK sports pervades Lexington year-round. Find out more about UK Athletics here. Basketball fans will be familiar with the Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball's all-time wins leader (2,111 and counting!), eight national championships (2nd all-time), and 15 Final Fours (3rd all-time). Though basketball may be the most well-known sport, the University of Kentucky has 20 Division 1 sports teams (10 women's, 9 men's, and 1 co-ed team) to provide something for everyone!
Football in the fall is a great tradition as well, as residents from far and wide always enjoy spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon off work by tailgating for SEC football! Recently, tailgating baseball games and watching from the party deck has also become popular among residents.
Lexington has one professional sports team, a Class A minor league baseball team (Legends). Legends games are a popular pastime for residents and their families, with admission prices less than $10, lots of great deals on food and drinks, and theme nights to make it a fun night out! Also, Lexington is only a 90-minute drive away from NFL football and major league baseball in Cincinnati, Ohio.
OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST
- Lexington Blue Grass Airport
- Lexington Chamber of Commerce
- Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
- University of Kentucky