With August fast approaching, it might seem that summer is starting to wrap up– maybe you or your loved ones are headed back to school soon, or maybe you’re just prematurely excited for the arrival of pumpkin spice-flavored coffee. That doesn’t mean the warm weather and long days are over, of course, which means there’s still plenty of time to fill out your Lexington summer bucket list. Below are five ways to have some local fun in the sun.
Grab a (cold) bite to eat.
If there’s one thing– besides bourbon, of course– that there’s no shortage of in Lexington, it’s ice cream. Whether you prefer nationwide classics like Baskin Robbins or Bruster’s, regional favorites like Graeter’s, or enjoy local specialties, you’re covered. Crank & Boom are famous for their distinctive “craft ice cream” and boozy treats, which is appropriate given their first location in the Lexington Distillery District. If you’re looking to satisfy some late-night cravings, Insomnia Cookie has your back; you’ll also find a variety of treats in a retro-inspired atmosphere (including many vegan flavors) at Freshie’s Ice Cream & Soda Fountain. Other Lexington exclusives include Sorella Gelateria for gelato lovers, Panchitos Ice Cream on New Circle, and Chui’s Ice Cream & Soda Pop Shop in Greyline Station.
…Or a bite in general.
Another thing Lexington is rich with is good restaurants, with cuisine from all over the world available to you locally. There’s fine dining like Carson’s and Close 735. Asian Wind makes spectacular Chinese food for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano and Joe Bologna’s both serve up great Italian food from pasta to pizza. If you’re in the mood for Thai with ample vegan options, check out Archa Nine Thai Kitchen. Sav’s Restaurant & Gourmet Ice Cream offers West African cuisine and frozen treats to die for. No matter what your favorite dishes are, you can rest assured Lexington’s got them.
Treat yourself to a day trip.
Though it may not be in Lexington, the city is still a great place for visiting major cities. Lexington is situated near the likes of Louisville, Cincinnati, and Covington; it’s also not a long shot to make it to Dayton, or to Mason for a day at Kings Island. Some longer weekend road trips living in Lexington makes possible include Indianapolis, Asheville, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, and Chicago– all of which are typically between three and six-hour drives (If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can drive up to New York City in a single day. The south, midwest, and east coast are all your oyster in central Kentucky.)
Take the scenic route.
An afternoon walk is good for the spirits, to begin with, but the many picturesque backdrops in Lexington will make yours even better. For starters, the city boasts more than one hundred public parks, a number of which include paved and hiking trails. Taking a stroll around downtown Lexington offers plenty of impressive sights as well, from local landmarks to the gorgeous architecture of the city’s historic districts. Be sure to pack some water and sunscreen, of course, as the central Kentucky sun can sometimes sneak up on you. Oh, and check the forecast– as unpredictable rain is another facet of the region’s fickle weather. Bringing out the umbrella, though, can be a great way to take a break from the heat.
Be on the lookout for some unique entertainment.
Not that you need to be– opportunities to partake in the arts and culture of Lexington are everywhere. If Museums are your speed, the University of Kentucky Art Museum and the 21c Museum Hotel are both free to pay a visit. Thursday evenings mean the Central Bank Thursday Night Live, where music, food, and drinks are plentiful. The Burl and Manchester Music Hall are also popular hangouts for music enthusiasts. There’s no better place to watch the newest flick than the Kentucky Theatre, be it the latest blockbuster, a buzz-worthy indie film, or a classic. And, of course, there’s both Keeneland and Kentucky Horse Park– it’s not called the Horse Capital of the World for nothing, after all.