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Lexington in Nov.

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Birmingham, AL
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Lexington in Nov.

We will be in Lexington the weekend of Nov. 5th for the Auburn/Kentucky. I have never been to Lexington and would love ideas on what to do, where to stay, and where to eat. I know that is a lot to ask for... We will probably be having dinner out on at least Friday night. I would love to know some great places to go, expensive or not. As far as a place to stay... convenient to nightlife and the University. Since I haven't been there, I don't know the layout of the city. And lastly... what are the must dos over the long weekend we will be there. Thank you in advance for any help.

Cambridge, MA
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1. Re: Lexington in Nov.

Read the Trip Advisor reviews of hotels in Lexington for ideas on places to stay - and book early. UK sports weekends are always crazy! The Hyatt used to be "the place," but from what I hear it's gone way downhill.

Lexington's other claim to fame besides the Wildcats is its horse farms. You can head out from town in just about any direction to enjoy passing by miles of nothing but white rail fences, lush (maybe not as much so by November) fields, and grazing thoroughbreds. Be sure to get to the Kentucky Horse Park, just off I-75 on the northern outskirts of town, while you're in the area.

The Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is less than an hour southwest of Lexington along "twisty turny" Route 68. It's the largest settlement of its kind still existing, although no real Shakers live there and few exist anyplace now. You can tour some of the restored buildings, check out the famous furniture and crafts, and stuff yourself at dinner there.

In fact, for your "occasion" dinner I'd recommend either Shaker Village or the Boone Tavern. The latter is also out from Lexington, about a half-hour south in the town of Berea just off I-75. It and the hotel it's in have been in business for about 100 years, owned by Berea College and staffed entirely by students. Their menu is "classic regional specialties with modern additions," and the "spoon bread" is unforgettable.

One place to get to within Lexington is the Hunt-Morgan House. It's a fairly interesting place to take a guided tour through, more so if you're into antiques and big old houses and Civil War history.

Downtown Lexington is easy to get around in. The streets are in a grid pattern. So that you don't give yourself away as being from out of town, be sure to refer to Limestone St (one of the main drags) as "Lime." Everybody there does.

Birmingham, AL
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2. Re: Lexington in Nov.

Thank you very much for your suggestions! You are right, I was asking early so I could book hotel early! I appreciate your help.

Cambridge, MA
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3. Re: Lexington in Nov.

You might also want to check out visitlex.com ;-)

Richmond, Virginia
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4. Re: Lexington in Nov.

Hey, I have lived in Lexington for over 10 years, so I can tell you about anything you need to know. If you want to stay downtown...I would choose the Radisson over the Hyatt. If you want to be in downtown but in a more residential area, I would choose the Gratz Park Inn or The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast. There is also a great restaurant at the Gratz Park called Jonathan's. My favorite restaurant is also downtown; it's italian and called Metropol...it is really intimate and personable.

You may want to also look at staying at the Campbell House (Crowne Plaza). It is alomst completed a renovation and it on a road that leads directly to the stadium.

If you were here during October, I would tell you to go to the horse races at Keeneland. It is beautiful there (though right across from the airport). It will still be open and you can see horses, but no live racing.

I would also check out the Ashland Estate, close to downtown. It was the home of Henry Clay, a famous politician from Kentucky. If your into historical homes, you may enjoy this.

Depending on what you are into, there are a few night spot options. Most are in the downtown area. One place to check out is a music club called The Dame. They have acts that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Check the web at www.dameky.com. A lot of people have been going to a club liquid which is in Woodhill Shopping center. (not the best part of town, but nothing to fear..it is mostly gay, but the straights go to dance) One of my favorites is Rosebud which is downtown, it's kind of trendy dive bar...there are others right around the corner too.

In addition, I don't know if you smoke, but there is a smoking ban in Lexington...no smoking in public places including bars.

Lexington is not too hard to get around in. If downtown is the hub of a wheel...all the major streets run into and away from downtown...a map looks like a wheel or spider web.

Hope this helps

Paris, Kentucky
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5. Re: Lexington in Nov.

I have also lived in Lex for several years. As far as places to stay, I agree with the above statement, I would go with the Radisson above the Hyatt. But both are nice and are downtown.

Places to eat:

These places are around the 25 dollar range for an entree

Boones Tavern--in agreement, it is fabulous. It is in Berea, which is about 30 min S of Lex on I-75.

DeShas--Downtown--good food

Malones--On Tates Creek Road, a few minutes from downtown (High Street will become Tates Creek when you follow it out).

Belinis--Downtown GREAT ITALIAN

Metropol--Very Good

Cheaper places (about 10 an entree)

Joe Bolognas--downtown, in an old church Italian

Alfalfas--downtown on Main Street--mostly vegetarian, but do have meat, lots of organic stuff

Also I have to mention Tally Ho's. It is a greasy spoon on Limestone. Open 24 hour cept for Sunday. Hamburgers and the like. Great people watching at 2 AM!

Night Clubs:

The Dame--I am partial to this place. Good bands not a lot of people buggin you trying to be seen and picked up

The Bar--GREAT drag shows on Friday night. Is a gay bar, but that is where the straight pretty people go to dance.

Short Street Lounge---a little "darker" place. Small and cool

High on Rose--little older crowd, great bands

Things to Do:

As mentioned, Keenland in October is great, not sure you are going to be around in time.

Scenic Drive---Take Main Street out of town, it becomes Leestown Road, goes past the Lexington Cemetary, which is a very cool cemetary with lots of very old stones. Follow it further out and goes past lots of gorgeous horse farms. It will come into Frankfort and hit I-64, so you can either hit that to go back to Lex or turn around. I have never been to any of the historic houses, but there are several, you can find that online.

SHOPPING---Some cool and unique shops are:

The Black Market--girly stuff, lots of imported bohemian jewelry and clothing. Also have different odds and ends

Sqecial Media---just funky stuff, lots of odd and ends, incense, ethnic accessories, used books

Bella Rose--very nice clothing and accessories

If you have any more questions, just post em and I will try to answer!

Bowling Green...
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6. Re: Lexington in Nov.

I lived in Lexington for 7 years and went to UK. I completely agree with the previous posters' suggestions, here are mine.

Here are my restaurant/bar selections:

I'm partial to the downtown and campus areas, so most of mine revolve around that area.

I don't know your age, but Two Keys Tavern on South Limestone is the big sports/college bar in town.

Joe Bologna's is a medium priced Italian restaurant with great food and atmosphere and it is just out the back door of Two Keys. It is in an old church and the alter is now the bar, I've never seen that anywhere else.

Cheapside is a nice bar downtown with an awesome patio (they have large portable heaters if you happen to have decent weather in November), they always have live blues music on the weekend, as well as pretty good food.

I had an amazing meal once at Portofino's dowtown. Portofino's is an upscale Italian place on East Main that specializes in seafood dishes.

Atomic Cafe is a caribbean restaurant on North Limestone with great food and a happening nightlife.

Lynaugh's on the corner of Euclid and Woodland often have great bands and know how to pull a good Guiness.

Johnathan's at Gratz Park is the restaurant that the Lexington upper crust swear by. I've never been there, but I hope to take my wife there sometime when we are back in Lexington.


I've never stayed there, but the Gratz Park Inn (which is the same building as Johnathan's) is in a great area right next to downtown (5 minute walk from Hyatt or Radisson) and in a beautiful old building.

I stayed at the Hyatt once, it was fine. I think either the Radisson or Hyatt would be good if you want to stay downtown.


I would go to Keeneland even though the horses aren't running. The grounds are beautiful and you can walk around because they do simulcasting.

The Kentucky Horse Park is always open and the perfect place to appreciate the Bluegrass State.

The Woodford Reserve Distillery (a very fine Kentucky bourbon) is in Versailles just 20 minutes or so from Lexington. The give tours daily (www.woodfordreserve.com). I would recommend taking back roads to the distillery because you'll be driving right through the heart of the horse farms around Lexington.

I know that is a lot of information, I got carried away. Hopefully I'll be able to live in Lexington again someday.

Flemingsburg, KY
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7. Re: Lexington in Nov.

Hi, I also live near Lexington, just finished graduate school at UK. I just wanted to tell you about a restaurant that nobody has mentioned. It is Ramsey's. There are several locations in town and is locally owned. My husband and I eat there almost every time we are in Lexington. We live about an hour away but visit there frequently due to school and friends there. It's not necessarily one of the great night spots, but they do have a bar at each location. The closest one for you would be the downtown location...the original Ramsey's...on High Street. We have tried some of the fancier, more chic restaurants in town, but we always go back to Ramsey's because it is very affordable and has great home-cooked food. A year or two ago we were eating at Ramsey's and the most recent former mayor (female) was eating there at the same time with some friends. Sorry can't remember her name right now. Anyway, she fell backwards in her chair and many of the guests chimed in with comments. Staff rushed to help her. A lawyer rushed over and gave her his card and made some kind of joke about the whole thing...and so on, it was quite entertaining. It's just a very laid back place with mismatched tables and chairs, etc., has a small patio where you can eat outside if you prefer. If you like good old home cooking you will like this place...and the prices, very reasonable! Also, one of my instructors at UK goes to Alfalfa's a lot, really likes it! But it's vegetarian, as a previous writer stated. I have never been there myself. There is a great review of Ramsey's at http://www.igougo.com/planning/journalEntryDining.asp?JournalID=5882&EntryID=5016&n=Ramsey's%20&t=Local%20Cuisine. Just paste into your address bar and read away.

By the way, if you want to stay at the Hyatt, which is right next to Rupp Arena where the Wildcats have their basketball games, try Priceline. I have gotten rooms there for $40.00 a night and less when I had to stay overnight in Lex for school stuff. However, with it being a game weekend, you might not be able to get a good rate. Worth a try though. If you are paying full price (excuse me, I'm choking on that one), the Radisson or the Campbell House are probably better choices.

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8. Re: Lexington in Nov.

hope you all have better luck w/Katrina..

bars close at 1am.. cops all over downtown,so don't drive...

Kentucky Horse park...nice place,see John Henry, Western Dreamer and Cigar ( he loves peppermint candies,also sry Ky friends but he's a Md bred horse)

if flying in hit the burbon bar at the airport, do the burbon sampler....

yes, the bar ( club 421 ? ) last time we hit it..what a trip !!!

lexington, ky
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9. Re: Lexington in Nov.

Recommend Holly Hill Restaurant in Midway (1/2 hour from Lexington), Buddy's Restaurant, Johnny Carrabbas (chain but very good Italian, Murrays.l

Check the Keenland website to see if they are having horse sales -- great experience. Also early morning breakfast at the Keenand track kitchen -- not elegant, but "horse people" ambience -- then see the AM exercises at the track and go down to the training barns to say hello to the thoroghbreds.

Book in advance to tour Three Chimneys Farm -- Smarty Jones' stud digs -- I should live in such surroundings.

Richmond, Virginia
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10. Re: Lexington in Nov.

In response to an earlier post, the bars now stay open until 2 or 2:30. This resulted from concerns the smoking ban would hurt business, so they let bars stay open longer so they could sell more alcohol.