Things to do in Lexington, KY

When you visit Lexington, you’re never more than 10 minutes from breathtaking rolling hills, fence-lined pastures and more than 450 horse farms. You’ll find no shortage of things to do in and around Lexington.

Ark Encounter
Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built to the dimensions given in the Bible. It is the largest timber frame structure in the world. Live animals include Tibetan yaks, kangaroos, and ostriches. Creation Museum and a zip line is also located at the site.


Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
The largest restored Shaker community, with 3,000 acres of farmland and 34 restored 19th-century buildings. Shaker Village hosts a wide variety of hands-on classes, music performances and special events and has 33 miles of trails for hiking.


Horse Country Tours
There are about 450 horse farms in the Bluegrass region (about 150 in Fayette County alone). Ride along with an area expert on a guided van tour of Horse Country. Tour providers have daily or regularly scheduled tours that you can join.


Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
Explore the 734-acre Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, where hiking trails wind through meadows, woodlands and along streams in the scenic Kentucky River Palisades.

Over 10 miles of hiking trails provide access to streams, meadows, and woodlands characteristic of the area.  Numerous 19th century remnants of early settlers, as well as over 600 species of plants, allow visitors to become acquainted with and appreciate the natural world.  Raven Run also accommodates over 200 species of birds throughout the year.


Loudoun House
Explore the Lexington art scene at Loudoun House, 209 Castlewood Dr., the home of the Lexington Art League. The house, a Gothic villa built in 1852, is a work of art in its own right.

The Loudoun House was designed by New York architect A. J. Davis. Built in 1850 for Francis Key Hunt, cousin of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the U.S. national anthem and the 10th child of John Hunt, one of the first millionaire’s west of the Appalachians.


Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate
The site of celebrated U.S. statesman Henry Clay’s 19th-century estate, a National Historic Landmark and museum open to the public. Visitors can tour the 18-room mansion, outbuildings, 17-acre grounds and gardens. Tours include the Henry Clay Signature Tour, Traces: Slavery at Ashland, and Women’s Voices.


Mary Todd Lincoln House
Located in the heart of downtown, the Georgian- style brick house is one of the oldest structures in Lexington and the nation’s first historic site to honor a First Lady. Childhood home of Mary Todd, wife of Abraham Lincoln, the home was restored to reflect the Todd family’s residency with period furniture, family portraits and furnishings from the Todds as well as the Lincolns, taking you back to a time of social elegance and turbulent politics.


Kentucky Castle
Located in Versailles, this unique and beautiful property has grown into a one-of-a-kind experience as Kentucky’s very own castle. The guided tour provides a brief history of the castle and showcases various spaces on the 1st and 2nd floor, terrace views, rooftop access, and the ability to explore the castle grounds afterward.


The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky
The Arboretum is the state’s botanical garden. The 100 acres include the Walk Across Kentucky which includes plants and trees from Kentucky’s seven physiographic regions, The Arboretum Woods, rose gardens, horticulture display gardens and the Kentucky Children’s Garden. Located on the grounds of the University of Kentucky.


Crank and Boom Ice Cream
Crank and Boom Ice Cream, a former food truck turned brick and mortar ice cream parlor that serves over 40 unique flavors of ice cream. The bourbon honey ice cream is top-notch, but if you’re feeling indecisive you can order a sampler flight and taste several flavors.


Blue Door Smokehouse
You’ll find the best brisket in the area at Blue Door Smokehouse, hands down. Opened in 2013 by two Lexington natives, this BBQ joint doles out sandwiches and plates piled high with the smoked meats of your choice. Ask for the “Blue Door Special” to sample all the proteins in stock on any given day.