Lexington, Kentucky is full of unique sights and opportunities– no matter what, you can rest assured that you won’t be bored in the Horse Capital of the World. Here are 10 things you’ll find only in Lexington!
Horse Mania is a public art initiative in Lexington that brings brightly-painted horse statues to various locations throughout the city. The tradition is over two decades old, with the first iteration of Horse Mania taking place in 2000. With dozens upon dozens– more than 160, to be exact– of fiberglass horses taking to the streets, it’s hard to miss this beloved Lexington event finally making a return after the last Horse Mania in 2010.
Though the Railbird Festival won’t be taking place this year, the event will make its return next year at Lexington’s Red Mile infield. The iconic local music festival has featured a variety of artists across different genres over the years, including the likes of Hozier, My Morning Jacket, and the Decemberists.
The World’s Largest Ceiling Clock
…Can be found inside the impressive, five-story Central Library location of the Lexington Public Library. Besides this record holder and a wealth of books, DVDs, and other media, the Central Library also has its own art gallery on the ground floor.
Historical Lexington Sites
These include the Mary Todd Lincoln House, the Henry Clay Estate (Ashland), The Loudoun House, the Lyric Theatre, the Kentucky Theatre, and many others.
One of the most fiercely beloved horse racing locations this side of Churchill Downs, it’s no surprise that Lexington is the home of the Keeneland Association, Inc. Keeneland serves as both a racetrack and a thoroughbred auction house and brings equine-loving visitors from all over Kentucky and the world.
The Dixie Cup Water Tower
This fascinating water tower– that is, as the name would suggest, shaped like an enormous paper Dixie Cup– was once part of the company’s Lexington manufacturing plant. While the plant has since shut down, the kitschy tower remains visible for passersby to appreciate and snap photos of.
Harry Dean Stanton Fest
While Harry Dean Staton is a celebrated actor on a national scale, the multi-talented star of blockbusters and independent films alike is especially loved in his home state of Kentucky. Though he was born in West Irvine, Staton also grew up in Lexington, and it’s here that an annual film festival is held in Staton’s honor. The festival’s film screenings appear throughout downtown Lexington for a few days in July, featuring classics such as Paris, Texas, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, and even episodes of Twin Peaks.
Besides being a great place to take a leisurely hike and take in the natural beauty of central Kentucky, McConnell Springs is also the site of Lexington’s naming and founding in 1775. It’s a wonderful way to learn a little more about the history of Lexington while appreciating sights such as a roughly 250-year-old Bur Oak tree and not one but two separate springs.
Art lovers will have a blast taking part in Lexington’s Mural Challenge, where snapping pictures of six murals using your GPS location will net you a prize from the Lexington Visitors Center.
Kentucky Aviation Museum.
The Aviation Museum of Kentucky, located at the Blue Grass Airport, hosts various historical airplanes and related ephemera. It’s also the home of the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame.