Lexington Vacation: Not Just Horsing Around
If you love horses, good drink and food then get yourself to Lexington.
The Blue Grass State is worth exploring.
Of course, we have to warn you.
Lexington – whether it’s the bourbon or horsing around -- can get into your head.
Here was our intro we fumbled through for our show from Lexington.
We still don't know what he was drinking or if a horse put a hoof to his head.
Either way, Versailles is just a short drive from Lexington. We’ll get to the castle in a bit.
But let’s start with the state’s biggest export – even to China. It is distilled corn. Or as we know it -- bourbon.
Hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail which runs throughout the state. In the Lexington area, you can hit these four: Town Branch Bourbon; Woodford Reserve; Four Roses; and Wild Turkey.
John’s Dad loved his Wild Turkey and used to say, “This is how I prefer my corn on the cob.”
You can tour and taste right at the distillery. They even have buses for you. Check out this site that has a trip planner.
While Bourbon is king, tobacco is now a pauper.
But that is grape expectations for wine drinkers.
Because many of those tobacco fields are now vineyards. Over the past 20-30 years as tobacco flamed out due to health concerns, tobacco farmers needed to plant something. Thankfully the wine boom was happening.
And hang onto your saddle, these Kentucky wines are incredible – and unique.
There are three wineries we highly recommend.
The first is Jean Ferris. They have plenty of medals for their wines. The Petite Syrah and Cab-Franc might be their best – evidenced by John’s continued, but partial French insanity.
Jean Ferris Vineyard also has a great restaurant and bar.
The second is the Grimes Mill Winery with a superb Malbec Nouveau that has a unique touch of effervescence – better than John’s faux Franco bubbliness.
The third is Equus Run that boasts the Derby Chardonnay and the Derby Merlot for the Kentucky Derby. Both superb.
As you heard, the wines have a smoky scent and taste. It could be the terroir from centuries of tobacco. But it could also be the barrels which perform double duty distilling wine and bourbon.
Once lubricated, get your sports needs drenched.
If you love college basketball, Lexington is home to the legendary Kentucky Wildcats. You can get tickets to the games. But if it is a big Southeast Conference rival it won’t be easy. Plan ahead. And yes you can buy them online.
For Golf fans, you can participate in the longest running charity and celebrity golf tournament in the United States. It is called the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass. And John has played in it a number of times.
After some golf, the horses are a must. Going to Lexington and not seeing a thoroughbred race would be like going to Japan and never eating sushi.
Plan on either April or October for Keeneland Race Track. Those are the two big racing months.
Check out the website. Check the schedule to see what’s running when you will be there. You can also plan a big event with a group too.
Right near Keeneland is a cool place to stay -- Castle Post. If you saw our crazy video lead-in at the top here, you will know that this is a replica of a 13th Century European castle reminiscent of the Robin Hood Days.
Inside, Castle Post resembles the Palace at Versailles -- with ceiling art, antiques from around the world, and solitude – thanks to the expanse of property, the elevation, and thick walls.
Romantic weekends, family gatherings, weddings, and company retreats are perfect here.
Jetsetter Deals has the best deals on a ton of hotel rooms in Lexington.
Best times of year for Lexington are Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Winters can be chilly with an average high of around 41 degrees.
Hey, that’s why they have bourbon.