Lexington Kentucky Culture
Kentucky offers a range of experiences that almost every traveler will enjoy, and here is where to wallow for a weekend in the heart of bluegrass country. Lexington, Kentucky, may be known as the horse capital of the world, but there are a number of eclectic destinations that offer a wide variety of cultural experiences, from horseback riding to hiking and camping. Whether you are relaxing after visiting a park or farm, or looking for big city culture in a first-class Louisville, here are some of Kentucky's most popular destinations for your next trip. The city is a springboard for authentic Kentucky culture and is best reached with a visit to the Kentucky Museum of Natural History and the Lexington Kentucky Historical Society.
Other popular attractions include Kentucky's historic sites that tell the story of Lexington and its role in the Civil War. Kentucky 1938 also provides much of this information: "When news of a Confederate attack in South Carolina broke to us in Lexington, Kentucky, heralding the beginning of the Civil War, Lexington and the Bluegrass region, like the rest of Kentucky, were deeply divided," J. Winston Coleman wrote in his book Lexington during the Civil War:
The border guards named Lexington, Kentucky, after the town of Lexington in Massachusetts, where all shots were fired and the American Revolutionary War began. The colonists named their campsite "Lexington" and named the place after Lexington; and they named all their campsites after Lexington and the city itself.
Lexington was named after Fincastle County, Virginia, which was considered a state. In 1829, it became part of the state of Kentucky and became the capital of Lexington, Kentucky, the second largest city in the United States.
Today, Keeneland still hosts the Blue Grass Stakes, which is part of the famous Kentucky Derby in Louisville every year. At Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, you can visit the International Horse Museum, see real farm animals, see the parade of breeds, get up close and personal with horses, discover thoroughbred legends and much more.
Lexington is also home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, a basketball team that has made a name for itself as the nation's leading team. The newly renovated Lexington Opera House, Kentucky's oldest opera house, is located in an adjacent block. Lexington offers free tours of the Kentucky Museum of Natural History and the Lexington Historical Society.
The state is the center of bluegrass and country music and has produced many stars, but it is also the birthplace of the music genre created by the likes of country singer John Prine and the Kentucky Bluegrass Band.
The Mountain Bluegrass region represents the two ends of the Kentucky cultural spectrum, while other regions in Kentucky are somewhere in between. In northern and central Kentucky, in northern and western Kentucky, the mountains, Appalachians and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the bed of prayer.
Lexington, Kentucky is generally known for its Southern-style cuisine, but there are also over 120 locally owned restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine influenced by the growing number of immigrants in the area.
Given that over 90% of the world's bourbon is produced in Kentucky, it is not surprising that this is a cherished feature of Kentucky's history and culture. Interactive distilleries offer guided tours and tastings that detail the history of Kentucky bourbon and explain the history of bourbon production and its role in the Kentucky economy. Horse racing in Kentucky dates back to the late 18th century and has its roots in hardy perennials such as bluegrass, which have long produced thoroughbreds bred for their competitive ability, especially in the Lexington area. In the 1820s, Kentucky was called Athens West because of its culture and rich lifestyle and was home to some of the first American professional football teams, such as the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats.
The state is essentially the promised land of the rider, and Lexington remains home to one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, the Kentucky Derby. Take a look at the state's rich history as a breeding center for thoroughbred horses and a world-class racecourse, and Kentucky continues to this day. Lexington was also home to Kentucky's first professional football team, as well as the Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Wildcats.
Notable sites in the city include the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University and the Kentucky Museum of Natural History. Lexington and Fayette County are also home to one of the world's most popular tourist attractions, Lexington International Airport, which attracts nearly half a million visitors annually.
The Lexington Latino Festival, held annually in downtown Lexington in September, is an explosion of cultural traditions and music that attracts more than 10,000 people from nearly 20 countries. The Lexington area is also served by the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, which starts east of Lexington and provides access to the Appalachians, and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway, which starts in Versailles and ends in Elizabethtown on I-65. Less than 90 minutes from Lexington, Louisville is home to the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 64 connects Lexington with the largest city in western Kentucky, Louisville.