16 Best Things to Do in Lexington, KY

16 Best Things to Do in Lexington, KY

Horse Riding and More Fun Awaits you with these 16 Amazing Things to do in Lexington

Lexington in Kentucky is world-renowned for its excellent steed and the riding parks that make it a great destination for those looking to enjoy the experience of getting on horseback.

However, the place is filled with many delightful places, monuments, and activities.

From artistic locales to historical sites, you will not have a single dull moment in Lexington, Kentucky.

The natural beauty of the place is also second to none.

It also has its share of delectable eateries, breweries, and museums to make this place perfect for a complete holiday package.

You can take advantage of this list of the 16 best things to do in Lexington, Kentucky, and carve out the perfect itinerary for your liking.

Mary Todd Lincoln House

Mary Todd Lincoln House
James R. Martin / Shutterstock.com

Situated in the heart of West Main Street in the downtown, this famous mansion dates back to the early 1800s.

It is constructed of mesmerizing Georgian brick and has quite a colorful history to it.

Mary Todd actually came to own this place only in 1932 when her father bought it.

This legendary site is now well maintained and preserved as a tribute to this famous character in the golden history of the United States.

This manor is exceptional in that it is the first-ever building restored in honor of a first lady, and hence also stands as a proud symbol of women empowerment.

Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park
aceshot1 / Shutterstock.com

We will set the course straight right at the outset by seeing some of the famous steeds of Kentucky!

The Kentucky Horse Park is the perfect destination for equine lovers to have an immensely pleasurable experience.

This large horse farm not only rears the horses but also goes beyond its brief with its outreach program to spread awareness for equine culture.

The Smithsonian International Museum of the Horse is located in the same facility and is a delight for equine history enthusiasts.

You will learn everything about horse-rearing and the role of horses in culture as it progresses through the ages.

Also, get a deep dive into the various horse breeds inhabiting our planet and the equally fascinating story of their evolution!

One of the star attractions at this place is the impressive Calumet Trophy Collection.

You will also spot a grand statue of Mon o’ War, one of the iconic breeds of this stable.

Other attractions around this park are the fun demonstrations of old-era trades like wagoners and blacksmiths, laid out in various spots.

You can also attend one of the fantastic horse shows conducted by them.

You will have some tremendous equine fun feasting your eyes on the finest steed.

The variety of breeds here is enormous. You can see workhorses of all types, and you will be surprised that so many types even exist.

Also, experience another level of exciting thrill when one of the gorgeous rare species parades out!

Finally, enjoy a royal carriage ride on a horse-driven wagon.

Just to experience life as it was in the past era is a romantic experience that you would not want to miss.

Aviation Museum

Aviation Museum
Irina Mos / Shutterstock.com

From horseriders to aviators, we are really moving fast on our Kentucky sojourn!

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is heaven for aviation enthusiasts and lovers.

You can gasp in awe at the fantastic aviation-related exhibits displayed here.

Relive the story of flight as it played out in the last century, as this place is packed with many artifacts, some of which narrate the minutest details about the rich history of aviation.

This museum spans a massive 20,000 square feet space, and you can bask in aviation glory to your utmost contentment in its hallowed boundaries.

The famous aircraft on display include the legendary Bell Cobra that was used extensively in the Vietnam War.

The F-4 Phantoms are a majestic sight to behold and you cannot miss the sheer elegance of these crafts.

One of the amazing things about this museum is that it stocks a healthy balance of aircrafts from all eras.

You can find fine vintage as well as the sleekest modern planes here.

Hunt-Morgan House

Hunt-Morgan House
FloNight (Sydney Poore) and Russell Poore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

John Wesley Hunt enjoys the rare prestige of being the first-ever millionaire to the west of Alleghenies Mountain Range.

The Hunt Morgan House enjoys its share of stature by being the residence of this famous entrepreneur.

This mansion dates back to 1814, and its original name was Hopemont.

This place is reminiscent of a bygone era, and you can get a glimpse into the ways of that era here.

But, hold on a minute! While you read all the tasteful history behind this manor, you found it odd that the names do not add up!

John Welsey justifiedly adds the Hunt to this famous place's name, but who is the elusive Mr. Morgan who also makes an appearance in the name?

Well, the other famous resident of this house was Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan ( apologies for creating further confusion with the additional Hunt in the dear doctor’s name; our only saving grace is that we are just the narrators, not the writers of this colorful history).

Dr Thomas Hunt Morgan earns his right to fame for being the first resident of Kentucky to bag the prestigious Nobel Prize.

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com

The University of Kentucky was the Agricultural and Mechanical College when it first sprang to life in 1865 with the blessings of its founder, John Bowman.

It was renamed the University of Kentucky in 1916.

This university houses the Art Museum which is a visual feast with its many exquisite paintings, prints and photographs on display.

There are also some gorgeous life-like sculptures in this museum.

The artworks span an extensive range of artistic styles and movements.

The collection is a delicate balance of classic and contemporary pieces.

You can also take an art workshop in this facility and fine-tune some of your artistic chops.

Another place worth checking out inside the University campus is the Rupp Arena.

This is a fun place and is the official training facility of the Kentucky Wildcats, the state basketball squad!

Waveland State Site

Waveland State Site
ehrlif / Shutterstock.com

This Historic Site will take you back into the plantation times.

This place is exceptionally maintained to preserve some remnants from that long-gone era.

The natural beauty around the area is exquisite.

The red bricks and Doric columns transport you to a different time with their old rustic charms.

You can get an idea about the luxury that Lexington enjoyed during the plantation era by marveling at the elegance that these old ruins still carry.

One of the finest examples of these riches is the magnificent antebellum mansion.

This is an architectural marvel still standing erect in indefatigable splendor.

Three smaller buildings surround the main mansion.

You can also find the dilapidated remnants of an old ice house and smokehouse nearby.

Kentucky Theatre

Kentucky Theatre
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

The Kentucky Theatre graces downtown Kentucky with its century-old presence and runs some fantastic shows.

This theatre was active in the "talkies" period and has run some legendary performances. One of those was The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This theatre is not one of the most abundant ones, but the screenings are top-notch.

You can also feast on some of the indie films showcased here – you never know when any of these turns out to be a dark horse and gives you immense viewing pleasure.

Besides, you might just find its name being announced as one of the nominees at the Oscars.

River Run Sanctuary

Located toward the southern edge of Lexington, this lush green nature sanctuary spreads out over an area of 734 acres.

You can enjoy the rustling winds as you roam among its thick forests.

You can also take a hike on any of the 10 miles of trails.

You will be treated to a sumptuous visual feast with the picturesque scenes around you on your hike.

The motivation behind establishing this nature sanctuary was to protect the natural rich greenery of the Kentucky River Palisades.

Keeneland

Keeneland
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

This is another of the equine heavens that Kentucky is so famous for.

Keeneland is an impressive well-maintained racing course, and its stable is packed with the finest breed of steed you can ever find.

If you happen to visit this place, make sure to do it on one of the race days.

The excitement can reach crazy levels at these races, and your heartbeat will be racing along with the horses at equally frenzied paces!

A stellar attraction at this place is their famous auction.

It is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

You would sight some of the most graceful thoroughbreds getting new owners at this auction.

West Sixth Brewing

The West Sixth Brewing is a testament to the greatness of Kentucky’s world-famous breweries.

This place has a rugged hipster vibe to it. The drinks are fantastic and are served in typical Kentucky style.

The place is exquisitely designed with some of the exotic design styles fused into creative beauty.

The homemade beer on offer is delicious and trendy.

Red Mile Harness Track

We are back to horses with the Red Mile Harness Track – there just seems to be so many equine places in Kentucky!

This is a classical equine delight. The one-mile race track is a sheer delight.

The race track also carries some impressive history, with it being the second-oldest harness race track in the entire world!

You must attend one of the love races here.

The atmosphere gets truly electric, and you will enjoy a thrilling experience.

Lexington Cemetery

Lexington Cemetery
Theodore P. Webb / Shutterstock.com

You can pay a visit to the Lexington Cemetery located toward Lexington’s downtown region.

The place will humble you and leave you in a slightly somber state.

There is a little bit of history to this cemetery.

The place is the resting ground for famous Kentuckians of the past like Gay Brewer, the legendary golf player, Levi Todd, who founded this city, and Jim Varney, the actor.

McConnell Springs

McConnell Springs
RogerDownes / Shutterstock.com

This beautiful natural wilderness lies on the northern extremity of Lexington and is a beautiful place to visit.

You can spend all day here marveling at the pristine greenery.

The place takes its name after a famous frontiersman, William McConnell, who set his camp here back in 1775.

They set up this place in the early years of the American Revolution and named it Lexington, after a town in Massachusetts of the same name.

There are some great trails that you can hike on. Ash trees and brooks dot this space to give it the perfect shire feel!

Arboretum

Lexington Arboretum
Ivelin Denev / Shutterstock.com

This is one of the most famous tourist hotspots in Lexington.

Spread over 100 acres of lush green land, Arboretum was established in 1991 to conserve the natural flora and fauna of Kentucky.

Other than having a peek at rare varieties of plants and animals.

You can participate in the many activities available here.

Henry Clay Estate

Henry Clay Estate
Irina Mos / Shutterstock.com

This is another famous historical site to see in Lexington.

Designed in Italian style, this large building is built in the middle of vast green expanses.

You can connect the dots of the long history of Lexington by walking through the remnants of this place.

In 1811, a massive earthquake had damaged this building.

It was refurbished and this time the architects did it in the Greek Revivalist style.

You can spot the juxtaposition of these contrary design aesthetics as you observe this grand mansion closely.

Windy Corner Market

Windy Corner Market
seesaw1 / Shutterstock.com

Situated in the middle of Bluegrass territory, you can treat your taste buds to delectable local recipes lovingly cooked in the homemade style.

If you love authentic food, then the Windy Corner Market is the place for you to visit.
Get ample varieties of baked items, inviting salads, chicken snacks, and juicy subs to enjoy a sumptuous culinary delight.

Lexington is a historical town in Kentucky that still carries a touch of the refined aura of the classic times.

Packed with multiple offerings, you can just about do anything in this town.

However, its great steed and equine places remain the crowing jewel of Lexington.

If you visit Lexington in Kentucky, you should visit some of the sites we have listed in this mega-guide.

We promise you won't be disappointed!