Things To Do In Lexington This Summer

Dated: 04/11/2018

Views: 604

With the warm weather taunting us over the last month, I have begun incessantly fantasizing about summer. I suspect many of you looking at a real estate page such as this one might be new to the area, or contemplating a move here. So, I figured I should turn my daydreaming into something helpful, and make a list of fun warm-weather activities for Lexingtonians. Presented in no particular order:

  • Tour the Ale-8-One factory. I had my first Ale 8 sitting in the bed of someone’s truck outside the weight room during the Chuke Williams era of Lawrence County football. I don’t recall who gave it to me, but I remain grateful. When I was in a high school myself, my morning routine 4-days a week involved a fried chicken biscuit and an Ale 8 from the Citgo station near the school. My metabolism can’t accommodate that anymore, but Ale 8 will always have a special place in my ever-nostalgic heart. Besides, it tastes amazing.  Tours of the Ale 8 factory are free, but reservations are required. For reservations, call (859) 744-3484.

  • Catch a baseball game. We are really fortunate here in Lexington to have such easy access to so much quality baseball. This is a tragically under-appreciated fact, in my opinion. 

  • The UK baseball team is more competitive than ever under Coach Nick Mingione’s leadership, games are a blast to attend, and tickets are surprisingly inexpensive. Adult GA tickets are $8, children (5 – 18) are $5, and children under 5 can attend for free.

  • Although they are currently in the midst of a rebuilding phase, the Cincinnati Reds still have some exciting players—especially Billy Hamilton. Regardless of whether you think baseball on tv is the most boring thing imaginable, a trip to Great American Ballpark is always a good time. The food vendors are excellent, and the design of GABP really makes you feel the history of the world’s first professional baseball franchise. I love spending a Saturday in Newport at Hofbrahaus or at the Montgomery Inn and then heading to a Reds game. You can purchase vouchers for heavily discounted Reds ticket packages at the Lexington Costco. If you have dogs, I also heartily recommend checking out some of the “Bark in the Park” games during the summer. Dogs are allowed in the seats down the first base line, and there is also a parade before the game where you can take your dog down on the field and walk the basepaths.

  • I will forever be grateful to my Dad for taking me and Tyler Childers to our first Bob Dylan concert at what was then Applebees Park when we were in high school. I always think of that night when I am there, and I still miss seeing the big red apple outside when I drive by, but regardless—I always have a good time when I visit the now Whitaker Bank Ballpark for a Lexington Legends game. The Legends are our local Kansas City Class A affiliate and always field a quality baseball team.  You never know who is going to make a start there, either. I remember a high demand for tickets when Roger Clemens pitching several games there a few years ago. Tickets are available on the Legends website and range from $8 - $25.

  • Visit the farmer’s market (and the Ruddy Duck). Another one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning is visiting the nationally ranked Lexington Farmers’ Market at Cheapside Park and following that with brunch on the patio across the street at Cheapside Bar & Grill.  Cheapside has closed, but Cheapside’s original founder Keith Clark has opened The Ruddy Duck Grille in the same location. The Ruddy Duck opens at 4:00PM as of now, but Keith informed me over the phone that they plan to be open for weekend breakfast and brunch for the summer, starting April 7th.  There are also several other great farmers’ markets open during the summer in Lexington:

    • Southland Drive: Sunday – 10AM – 2PM (April 8 – October 28)

    • Maxwell & Broadway: Tues/Thurs – 7AM – 4PM (May – November)

    • The Summit: Wednesday –4PM – 7PM (May – September)

  • Take a pedal boat ride at Jacobson Park. This is a personal favorite of mine and Rachel’s to do during the summer. It is an easy (and cheap) way to get out on the lake, enjoy the weather, and get some exercise.

    • 2 Seat Pedal Boat $4 for 30 minutes

    • 4 Seat Pedal Boat $6 for 30 minutes

  • Take a walk! Lexington offers several top-notch walking/running trails. A few of my favorite are McConnell Springs Park, the Arboretum, Legacy Trail, and Brighton Rail Trail. 

  • Attend a live concert. Lexington has a burgeoning music scene and several excellent venues to take in live music. Manchester Music Hall frequently hosts recognizable national acts, and The Burl might be my favorite venue for local music place on the planet. 

  • Relax outside at the distillery district.Located in the former James E. Pepper Distilling Company Campus, the Lexington Distillery District might be the best place to spend a Friday evening within 100 miles. The Distillery District has ample, dog-friendly outdoor seating and features several excellent bars and restaurants including The Break Room, Barrel House Distillery, Crank & Boom Dessert Bar, Middle Fork Kitchen & Bar, Ethereal Brewing, Goodfellas Pizza, James E. Pepper Distillery, The Burl, and The Local Wag. I also highly recommend playing a game or three of bocci ball while you are there!

  • Experience history. At the mid-line of the Civil War, Central Ky. was home to many historical figures and events from the era. Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis each called Lexington home at one time. Here is a list of historical tours available in the area

  • Travel the Bourbon Trail. If it doesn’t come from Kentucky, it isn’t Bourbon.  As such, you can visit most all places that Bourbon is made as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, in about 3 days time. Plan your trip here.

  •  Have some coffee. Central Kentucky features several unique, local coffee houses, some of which even do their own roasting. I recommend picking up a coffee disloyalty card and checking out A Cup of Commonwealth, Daily Offerings Coffee Roastery, Coffea, Common Grounds, North Lime Coffee & Donuts, Coffee Times, Chocolate Holler, and Happy People Coffee in Paris.

  • See the horses. I would be remiss if this list didn’t include places to visit with some exceptional equine athletes, given Lexington’s stature as the “Horse Capital of the World.”

    • Keeneland might be the most beautiful racetrack in the world. Not to mention, people tailgate here as seriously as at any college football stadium in the South. The Keeneland event calendar is available here.

    • Red Mile racetrack held its inaugural race in 1875, making it the second oldest harness track in the world. Find out more here.

    • Kentucky Horse Park – the world’s only park dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse, opened to the public in 1978. Summer Season tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children, and include admission to the grounds as well as various horse shows throughout the day.   More information is available here.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list—just some of my favorites. I know lots of times it can feel like there is “nothing to do,” but the truth is that people come from around the world to visit Lexington every year for many of the things on this list. I suggest saving or printing this post for reference during those inevitable times when you’re not sure what to do with your summer weekend!

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