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Idea Guide

What are your special interests? Here is a collection of articles covering everything from bourbon to bicycling to help you make the most of your vacation in Lexington. For more information on the subjects listed below, just click on the title of each paragraph. Overwhelmed with your options? Click here for our Top Ten List. Keep track of what you'd like to do while in the area with our new Trip Planner feature.

Horse Farm Tours
A "must do" when visiting the Horse Capital of the World. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the multi-billion dollar Thoroughbred industry on personalized horse farm tours. Take a van tour, go with a private guide, or schedule your own visit.

African American Heritage Trail in Downtown Lexington
Created by Doris Wilkinson, this Trail explores ten sites of significance in the downtown area.

African Americans in the Bluegrass
Whether you are spending a day, a week or longer in the Bluegrass, you will learn fascinating information about African Americans and answers to questions you might never have thought to ask!

Antiquing the Bluegrass
Search for treasures from the past, including "local" finds such as antique quilts, cherry corner cabinets and Shaker baskets, in over 200 area antique shops-- we'll guide you to the best bets.

Arts and Crafts
Shop for Appalachian crafts and folk art in Berea, "The Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky" or tour a variety of artist's studios. Visit one of the top craft festivals in the state at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg.

Bed & Breakfasts
Whether located in quaint downtown historic neighborhoods or in the heart of horse country, Bluegrass bed & breakfasts are a combination of charming tradition, historic atmosphere and modern conveniences.

Touring a Bourbon Distillery

Bourbon Distilleries
Explore the spirited Kentucky tradition of bourbon-making by touring The Woodford Reserve Distillery, the only distillery using the original Scottish "pot still" method; Buffalo Trace, maker of Ancient Age; Boulevard Distillers, maker of Wild Turkey; beautiful Four Roses Distillery, and others.

Civil War Sites
Mount your own Civil War campaign to explore a state whose citizens supported both sides. Discover battle sites, homes of abolitionists and historic slave quarters. Visit the homes of Kentucky's first millionaire, one of America's most famous statesmen, a Civil War general, and a controversial First Lady.

Covered Bridges
Although there are none to be found in "Madison County", Kentucky, the state boasts 13 remaining "timbered tunnels." Nestled along backroads like hidden jewels, they are the perfect excuse for a leisurely drive in the country.

Cycling Through the Centuries: A Bicycle Tour of Historic Lexington
Lexington's long, colorful and well-documented history can be explored by bicycle on this 11 mile long route through historic neighborhoods. Produced by the Blue Grass Trust.

Downtown Lexington
Downtown Lexington has a lot to offer; sightseeing, dining, shopping and entertainment in "the city in the park." In the heart of the beautiful Bluegrass region lies a very cosmopolitan yet casual city.

Dreamer Driving Tour
Dreamworks' 2005 movie starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning is set in Lexington and the incredible Bluegrass Region. See the movie, then plan your getaway to the Horse Capital of the World, where the horse reigns supreme!

Fall Foliage
From paddlewheel rides along the Kentucky River to horseback riding through deciduous forests, there are a number of ways to enjoy Kentucky's fall foliage in October and early November.

Family Fun
Find interactive fun at the Explorium, sample the sweets and see how candy is made at Old Kentucky Chocolates, and experience horses "hands-on" at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Free Things To Do
Go behind the scenes to watch race horses go through "early morning workouts"; relax in the reading room of the nation's #1 bookseller; learn about another kind of Kentucky horsepower at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant; or discover one of 70 other fabulous freebies.

Garden Tours
Enjoy Lexington's "growing" attractions: take a memorable stroll through Lexington Cemetery, nationally recognized for its arboretum and gardens, or take a "plant walk across Kentucky" at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Arboretum.

Enjoy championship-caliber courses (some designed by the sport's top course architects) along with scenic horse farm settings and affordable greens fees.

The Grape is Back
Visit the Kentucky wineries and vineyards that dot the landscape of the Bluegrass Region. Learn our surprising connection to the birth of the wine industry in the United States.

The Great Outdoors
Hike and bird-watch at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary or the Daniel Boone National Forest, saddle up and hit the trail, cast your line in at bass-filled fishing lakes, and canoe or boat in the state with more navigable waterways than any other besides Alaska.

A Heritage of Worship
Religion has played a cherished and important role in Bluegrass life from the arrival of the first settlers in the late 1700's. Historic sites, diversity of denominations and special events reflect the importance of religion in the Bluegrass.

Heritage Tours
Follow in the footsteps of Abe Lincoln and Daniel Boone, discover African-American achievements, search for ghostly spirits, or trace your family's Bluegrass roots.

Historic Homes of Lexington
Visit the homes of Kentucky's first millionaire, one of America's most famous statesmen, a Civil War general, and a controversial First Lady.

Holiday Delights
Reunite with family and friends for Southern Lights, the state's largest holiday light show. Tour historic homes decked out for the season.  Celebrate by attending seasonal performances of  theatre, music and dance. Join in the fun of numerous holiday special events.

Horse Farm Tours
Meet past and future Kentucky Derby winners and get a behind-the-scenes look at the multi-billion dollar Thoroughbred industry on personalized horse farm tours.

iPhone Application: Slide Puzzles Be careful, it's addictive. Download this FREE game. Nine challenging slide puzzles reveal majestic Lexington landscapes. It's fun to play, it's challenging, and...don't say we didn't warn you: it's addictive.

iPhone and Android Application: Big Lex City Guide
Horse attractions, dining and shopping, events, golf courses, historic sites and our popular "Idea Guide" all on your "Smart Phone". Check out Big Lex's easy listings. View attractions on a map to easily find your way, or call/browse to find out more.
For Android
For iPhone

Kentucky Derby Traditions
The race is held in Louisville, but Lexington is where Thoroughbreds are bred, foaled, trained, bought, sold, raced and retired; where the Derby Eve parties are held; and where the mint julep was perfected.

The Lexington Walk and Bluegrass Country Drive
The perfect detour to your vacation drive on I-75 or I-64: explore historic downtown and Lexington's scenic byways at your own pace. Call and we'll put your copy of this popular illustrated map in the mail: (800) 845-3959.

LexWalk Audio Tour
You don't have to wait till you get here to experience historic downtown Lexington! Download and print the map in the comfort of your own home, then hit play, and listen as you explore 19 points of interest. Or, download our new LexWalk Audio Tour as an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch App, for free!

Take time to learn about equines at the International Museum of the Horse, jewels at the Headley-Whitney Museum, planes at the Aviation Museum and much more with this "A to Z" guide to historical, artistic and unique collections.

Natural Wonders
Agritourism is an up-and-coming industry in the Bluegrass. There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy nature's bounty in and around Lexington and discover our agricultural heritage along the way.

The Right Stuff
From brand names to bargain buys, great shopping abounds in Lexington. From charming boutiques to mega centers, you can find your favorite national retailers and, without looking too hard, are sure to discover locally owned shops that are pure Kentucky along the way.

Seabiscuit: Hollywood Comes to the Bluegrass
Here’s a guide to the locations where the Kentucky footage was shot, and some must-sees for fans of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit. The film crew spent about a month filming in Lexington and Paris. Spend a few days among the rolling hills of Central Kentucky and you’ll see why Hollywood fell in love with us.

Scavenger Hunt
At the root of the legend of the blue horse is the famous horse of the mid 1800's named Lexington. Do the Big Lex Scavenger Hunt and find ten sites related to the horse behind the legend, and we’ll reward you with a special prize!

Welcoming Secretariat
When film makers think about doing a "horse movie", they think about filming in the Horse Capital of the World. Secretariat spent 16 years at Claiborne Farm right here in the Bluegrass. Fans of Disney's Secretariat will enjoy this two night itinerary. So will fans of Big Red.

Cheer on the Lexington Legends, Lexington's professional baseball team; play one of Lexington's tournament caliber golf courses; attend live Thoroughbred or Standardbred racing; and experience the action of University of Kentucky basketball or football.

Top Ten List
From visiting a Bourbon distillery to wandering Lexington's historic restaurant district -- there's so much to do in the Bluegrass! Make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun. Here are ten activities you'll want to include in your Bluegrass itinerary.

Visitor Planning Guide
Our comprehensive Visitor Planning Guide is printed once each year.  This colorful magazine has suggestions for dining and shopping, sample itineraries, information on attractions in the region, a complete list of accommodations, and more!  You can register to receive a Visitor Planning Guide by mail. If you wish, view our virtual guide online now.

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