I've only been in Lexigton for about a month, but I've been so surprised with how much there is to do. I came in with very low expectations. I think it had something to do with people responding "what? Why are you going to Lexington too?" whenever I said I was moving to Lexington with the boyfriend.
I really thought there was going to be nothing. Just two colleges surround by a few houses, surrounded by a highway, surrounded by hotels, surrounded by mountains. I never even saw a grocery or a hospital in town until the day we moved. Okay, so both were literally 100 feet from our hotel and I just wasn't paying attention, but that doesn't mean my expectation of Lexington was 100% off-base. But there is a lot more surrounding the colleges besides a few houses.
With the boyfriend so busy, we haven't been able to do everything that I've wanted too, but we've done enough that I've gotten a decent feel for the city. If you ever get a chance to visit, here is my travel guide for a perfect weekend in Lexington.
Check into your hotel. The Georges (above) is an beautiful boutique inn that occupies two historic buildings in the heart of downtown Lexington. You can easily walk the entire city from the inn, if you ever leave your room that is. I want to find whoever decorated The Georges and pay them to decorate my home. I have serious envy of every accent piece. Standard Queen rooms start at $175 per night. You can also stay at the Best Western Plus at Hunt Ridge. It's located off the highway just before the city limits. While it's not as centrally located, it's only minutes from Downtown, and rooms start at $110 per night.
Once you've settled in, stop by TAPS for drinks. Located in the lobby of The Georges, TAPS offers craft beers and Lexington-inspired cocktails as well as small snacks. Try The Marshall (gin, simple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon, st. Germain, champagne float, and a sugar rim) or The General (vodka, basil, muddled grapes, fresh squeezed lemon, simple syrup, ginger ale).
Walk to The Red Hen, Lexington's first farm-to-table restaurant, for dinner. If you love anything you eat (or eat off of), ask for the suppliers business card. Chances are it's from a local business that you can visit. It's a great way to be introduced to what Lexington has to offer. The menu changes daily, but the Cheese plate curated by Cheese to You on Main Street is a menu staple and is always fantastic.
If you aren't too full after dinner, head over to Pronto Gelateria. They offer pastries and other Italian desserts, wine and beer, and, of course, gelato. They also serve coffee, espresso, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and soups. For a late night treat, I recommend a Moscato Affogato (1 sorbetto flavor "drowned" in moscato wine).
Roll out of bed and wander into Bistro on Main for a southern-inspired brunch with items like Cajun Omelets and Steak Benedict.
Walk off the food coma with some shopping. Alvin Dennis will fill all your preppy needs with brands like Smathers & Branson and Barbour. If you're looking for gifts, you'll find great treats for a real baby or furbaby at Sunday's Child, and Ladles & Linens has everything you could ever need for your kitchen, including sassy dish towels (pictured above). Head over to Pappagallo for women's clothing and accessories from brands like Frye and BB Dakota. Make sure you stop by Pumpkinseeds, which calls itself the "cutest darn store ever", and it's housewares and women's clothing backs that claim up. Walkabout Outfitters has everything you need for your hike later in the day.
Before heading out for a hike, stop by Kind Roots Cafe and pick up lunch to-go. Try the Cubano with pineapple habanera salsa, or the PBBJ (peanut butter, banana, and jelly).
One of the best photo-op hikes close to Lexington is Devil's Marbleyard (right). Devil's Marbleyard (pictured right) can be reached by following the Belfast trail. It's a 3 mile out-and-back hike, but can be extended. The Lexington Visitor Center provides maps and information about the hike. If you don't mind driving a bit to start your hike, check out Tinker Cliffs/Andy Layne Trail (center), Peaks of Otter, Dragon's Tooth (left), or McAfee's Knob
Finish your day by picking up a pizza from Salerno, and catch a movie at Hull's Drive In. Hull's is the nation's first non-profit, community-owned drive in. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for children 5-11, and free for children 4 and under, and gets you the main feature and a bonus feature. They even allow dogs (pictures of Dixie enjoying the drive in above) and give them a treat when you buy your ticket! Since all proceeds from the snack bar go to keeping the drive in open, make sure to enough stop in to buy some candy or a souvenir soda!
If movies aren't your thing, take your pizza to the Devil's Backbone Outpost and enjoy your pizza over a a tasting flight or a few pints. If you find a beer you like, why not take a growler home!
Lexington Coffee Roasters (right) has just what you need to get going this morning. They roast their own coffee and carefully brew it to make sure they get the most out of every bean. My favorite is the Konga from Ethiopia, but if you really need your caffeine, order a bottle of Caffebierra, a dark and creamy cold brew.
Grab some donuts or a breakfast sandwich to go with your coffee at Pure Eats (left). Their donuts flavors change daily, but I haven't found one I don't like.
I hope everyone gets the chance to visit. As worried as I was, I'm really loving living here.