The Mary Todd Lincoln House in downtown Lexington has done an excellent job creating special tours that showcase particular aspects of the Todd family, the First Lady, and the Lincoln presidency.
Within a day's drive of two-thirds of the population of the United States, Lexington is strategically located at the intersection of interstates 64 and 75 in Fayette County, Kentucky. (See map. ) Lexington is accessible by air with approximately 100 direct and nonstop flights. Nestled among world famous Thoroughbred horse farms, Blue Grass Airport (LEX) welcomes travelers with one of the most beautiful air approaches in the nation.
The city is set up like a wheel with spokes, with main arterial roads running from downtown out into horse country. Major car rental companies have desks at the airport and branches around town. Public bus service is provided by LexTran and the free Colt Trolley system serves downtown. Visitors also have access to a number of cab companies. A great way to see horse country is with a van tour company. Click here for more about transportation options.
Visitor Information When you are in the Horse Capital of the World, be sure to stop by and see us at our downtown Visitor Center, 401 West Main Street, in The Square. Look for the awning with the famous blue horse, Big Lex. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Open Sunday afternoons from noon till 5 p.m. in the summer.) Speak with a Visitor Information Specialist, browse our informative brochures and maps, watch videos about the Bluegrass Region on one of five interactive screens and check out our Bourbon still and other memorabilia.
When European settlers arrived on the scene, the Bluegrass region was in use as a hunting ground for numerous Native American tribes. Daniel Boone was one of the first Anglo-Saxons to explore the area. He helped establish Kentucky's first forts in Harrodsburg and Boonesborough.
Lexington was founded in 1775, seventeen years before Kentucky became a state. William McConnell and a group of frontier explorers were camped at a natural spring when word came from nearby Fort Boonesborough that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of the battle, the group named their site "Lexington". By 1820, Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, our city soon gained the nickname "Athens of the West."
Fayette County consists of 283 square miles of gently rolling plateau in the center of the inner Bluegrass Region. The area is noted for its beauty, fertile soil, excellent pastureland and horse and stock farms. Poa Pratensis (bluegrass) thrives on the limestone beneath the soil's surface, playing a major role in the area's scenic beauty and in the development of champion horses. Numerous small creeks rise and flow into the Kentucky River.
The latest U.S. Census estimate for Lexington-Fayette County is 295,800 (2010). The estimated population of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which is comprised of Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford counties, is 555,000.
Places of Worship
There are over 230 churches and synagogues in Lexington, representing 38 denominations as well as mosques and a Hindu temple. Call the Lexington Visitors Center if you are having trouble locating a specific house of worship.
The Lexington Herald-Leader is our daily morning newspaper.
Commercial television stations:
WLEX-TV (Channel 18-NBC affiliate) (859) 259-1818
WKYT-TV (Channel 27-CBS affiliate) (859) 299-0411
WTVQ-TV (Channel 36-ABC affiliate) (859) 294-3636
WDKY-TV (Channel 56-FOX affiliate) (859) 269-5656
Public television (PBS affiliate):
KET (Channel 46-Kentucky Educational Television) (859)258-7000
WLAP AM 630 (859) 422-1000
WUKY FM 91.3 (859) 257-3221
WVLK AM 590 (859) 253-5900
Minimum drinking age is 21. Alcoholic beverages may be sold in licensed bars and restaurants from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. Sunday to 2:30 a.m. Monday. Package stores may open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Smoking is not allowed inside public buildings, including restaurants.
November to March: Eastern Standard Time
March to November: Eastern Daylight Savings Time
The mean average temperature in Lexington is 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual precipitation is 45.68 inches. Lexington and the Bluegrass Region have four distinct seasons that include cool plateau breezes, moderate nights in the summer, and no prolonged periods of heat, cold, rain, wind, or snow.
Average minimum and maximum temperatures:
|Spring:||34-74 degrees F|
|Summer:||61-86 degrees F|
|Fall:||36-79 degrees F|
|Winter:||23-54 degrees F|
Lexington's crime consistently ranks below the national average. In addition to foot and car patrols, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police Department operates two highly visible units that have proven to be effective crime deterrents. The Lexington Mounted Police Unit and Mountain Bike Unit patrol the downtown area on horseback and bicycles to help assure community safety. A survey released in 2005 by Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranked Lexington as one of the five safest cities in the United States.
Corporations/Industry in Lexington
Traditional products of the area include horses, bourbon, tobacco and handcrafts, but an increasing diversity of products and services contributes to a healthy economy. Major employers in the Lexington area include:
Clark Material Handling Company
General Electric Company
GTE Products Corporation
J M Smuckers (Jif Peanut Butter )
Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company
Long John Silver's
Square D Company
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.
The Trane Company
United Parcel Service
University of Kentucky
The Valvoline Company
The Council of State Governments, the National Tour Association and the Association of Retail Travel Agents are national organizations that are headquartered in Lexington. Also, The National Horse Center at the Kentucky Horse Park is the national headquarters for more than 30 equine associations.
Universities/Colleges in Lexington and the Region
Asbury Theological Seminary
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Eastern Kentucky University
Kentucky State University
Lexington Theological Seminary
National College of Business and Technology
University of Kentucky
Sales and Hotel Taxes
Kentucky state sales tax is 6 percent. Groceries are exempt. There is a hotel tax of 6 percent and a state fee of 1%, bringing the total tax on hotel rooms to 13.4%.