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Old 04-12-2010, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2 posts, read 1,957 times
Reputation: 10
Default Traveling to Lexington at the end of April

Hello,

I will be traveling to Lexington April 22 - 26 for the Rolex 3-Day from Raleigh, NC. Super excited to be going and to be visiting Kentucky for the first time. Just had a few questions as I have a limited amount of time while I am in the area as it will be mostly at the horse park.

1) What is the best route, (I really despise driving through mountains, but I think that is pretty much unavoidable unless I want to drive through Florida). GMaps takes me I-77 and I-64 through WV.

2) What are some must do's while in Lexington? I am going with my very non-horsey boyfriend, and will have time in the late afternoon and evenings to be tourists. We will be staying at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort‎ and do not mind driving at all. We'd like to go out to eat a few nights, see the downtown area, and anything else that you may recommend.

3) What is the weather usually like this time of year?

Thanks!
Kelly
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:20 PM
 
54 posts, read 88,700 times
Reputation: 51
I'm really not sure about the best route but I'm fairly certain you could hop on I-75 at some point. You may have to go well out of your way to do it, but it would keep you out of W Virginia. There are some smaller foothills you'll have to drive through in the southern part of the state, however.

Definitely have dinner at DeSha's downtown if possible. It's a slightly nicer place with reasonably priced Kentucky cuisine. There's a bar connected to it called Horse and Barrel which has a nice relaxed atmosphere (mostly professional and grad student crowd) and just about any bourbon available. The wait may be ridiculous that weekend however, as both places tend to be patronized by horse people. The Penguin bar is a fun bar right down the street from the other two places. It's more of a mixed crowd with a lot of undergrads all the way up to middle age (that's not to say always "professional", if you know what I mean). Anyways, it's a dueling piano bar and they fly in the players from all over. You can make a request by giving a small tip and writing down your song on one of the sheets they provide. They can play anything: Classic rock, country (new or old), 80's...

Weather can be finnicky this time of year. Anywhere from 90 and sunny to 65 and rainy. Maybe even both in the same day or even at the same time . Kentucky has some of the craziest weather I've ever experienced. Your best bet is to check the forecast.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:50 AM
 
127 posts, read 190,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy van winkle View Post

Definitely have dinner at DeSha's downtown if possible. It's a slightly nicer place with reasonably priced Kentucky cuisine.
desha's is the LAST place I would reccomend to eat. If you are eating downtown, IMO any place but there. Portofinos, dudley's, a la lucie, for pricier cuisine, cheapside/big blue martini for drinks outside (food is meh), atomic cafe, pazzos, alfalfa, and ramseys for cheaper cuisine. IMO some of the best places to eat are Malones and johnathans, but they aren't downtown.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:06 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 4,220,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertdilbert View Post
desha's is the LAST place I would reccomend to eat. If you are eating downtown, IMO any place but there. Portofinos, dudley's, a la lucie, for pricier cuisine, cheapside/big blue martini for drinks outside (food is meh), atomic cafe, pazzos, alfalfa, and ramseys for cheaper cuisine. IMO some of the best places to eat are Malones and johnathans, but they aren't downtown.
Jonathan's is downtown at the Gratz Park Inn or are you talking about somewhere else? I agree with your recommendations. I would have a nicer dinner at Jonathan's or Malone's and go to Ramsey's for a cheaper "Kentucky" style dinner. Definitely hit Alfalfa's as well, I love that place. Atomic Cafe is fun for good food, nice patio and live music.

Other ideas:

-Distillery tour, Woodford Reserve has a nice one, it is probably the closest, but you need to reserve one for that weekend, Kentucky Bourbon Trail
-Go to Midway, check out the little shops, have lunch, don't go the interstate to get there though, go the backroads to see the horse farms
-Even though your boyfriend isn't a "horsey" person, I would still check out Keeneland
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:35 AM
 
127 posts, read 190,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc76 View Post
Jonathan's is downtown at the Gratz Park Inn or are you talking about somewhere else?
you are correct, i mispoke. i also agree with woodford and keeneland if you have time. I have been to woodford 5 or so times and still love it everytime
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Lexington Ky
889 posts, read 1,914,187 times
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I agree with rnc76 and robertdilbert on restaurant suggestions. Jonathon's is my personal favorite. I would add Merrick Inn to the list for a nice meal. Merrick has a great patio. Malone's is good if you're in the mood for steak. Make reservations at any of these or you may have a long wait.
If you have a rainy evening you should see what's howing at the Ky Theatre. Joseph Beth Booksellers is a great bookstore and you can easily spend a few hours there.
If you want a nice stroll go to Ashland-Henry Clay's estate. The garden is beautiful.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:30 PM
 
265 posts, read 277,346 times
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Jonathon's is nice. The rock-salt chicken was the only thing I could taste for day's when I had a bad flu around the last time I went.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2 posts, read 1,957 times
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions and advice! It is greatly appreciated. I think we will definitely go to Jonathan's and a la lucie. I would love to do the distillery tour, but I don't think we will have time with most days going till 4 and the only open morning being Sun. Are there any guides to drive by the different racing farms in the area?
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Elgin, Illinois
215 posts, read 326,777 times
Reputation: 140
Just got back from a four day weekend to Lexington. Mrs. IRV is a horsey nut so that's where we went for the Keeneland meet. Drive Thursday, Keeneland Friday and Saturday, drive Sunday. This was my second trip to the Lex area, Mrs. IRV has been there three or four times.

1) "I despise mountain driving". Driving on the Interstate no matter where is just great. No worry. BUT on a follow up post you asked about driving by the famous horse farms. YIKES!!! Get a tour bus. She had me driving on these little skiny roads from Paris to Wilmore to Midway ....all over the countryside. Don't have the map in front of me. But there are marked Scenic Roads. These roads are indeed scenic but damn they are narrow little "lanes" that twist and turn up and down with scenic stone walls, trees, guard rails,drop offs....you don't like mountain driving? You won"t want to do this.

2) Ate at Joe Bolangas last night. Excellent Italian food fairly priced.

3) On Friday it was 82 and windy. The wind made it nice. On Saturday it was 63 and windy. Okay if you kept out of the wind.

EDIT: Please do enjoy your trip. I forgot to mention that everybody that I met or dealt with in Lex was very helpful and cordial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeichertKelly View Post
Hello,

I will be traveling to Lexington April 22 - 26 for the Rolex 3-Day from Raleigh, NC. Super excited to be going and to be visiting Kentucky for the first time. Just had a few questions as I have a limited amount of time while I am in the area as it will be mostly at the horse park.

1) What is the best route, (I really despise driving through mountains, but I think that is pretty much unavoidable unless I want to drive through Florida). GMaps takes me I-77 and I-64 through WV.

2) What are some must do's while in Lexington? I am going with my very non-horsey boyfriend, and will have time in the late afternoon and evenings to be tourists. We will be staying at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort‎ and do not mind driving at all. We'd like to go out to eat a few nights, see the downtown area, and anything else that you may recommend.

3) What is the weather usually like this time of year?

Thanks!
Kelly

Last edited by IRV007; 04-18-2010 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:02 PM
 
Location: The Lakes
2,375 posts, read 2,750,720 times
Reputation: 1066
For good, cheap food, eat at every single place on Euclid! As a college student who could afford more expensive food, I choose to eat here as the quality is great and there's some truly unique places on campus.
Charlie Brown's
Bourbon and Toulouse
Campus Café
Tolly Ho
J Gumbo's (pretty sure this is a chain, but it's really good nonetheless)
Detroit Coney Island off of Vine/Winchester is great for sub 10$ burger, fries, and coke
Sushi Friend has dollar roll nights, and the quality is far better than you'd expect on a dollar roll night as it's most often an indicator of less-freshness.
Thai Orchid Cafe off of Virginia is amazing, awesome curry
Aguascalientes off of Versailles rd. is the best AUTHENTIC (not Tex-Mex) Mexican cuisine you'll find east of the Mississippi IMO, GREAT tortas al pastor, pretty sure the horchata is homemade. Only place I've ever found lengua (beef tongue, yum!) as an option for taco filler
Marrika's, as much as I love German food, went downhill, not sure if they're still lacking in quality... Give it a shot?
Lynagh's Shamrock Bar and Grill is supposed to have legendary burgers, but I've never eaten there myself.
Billy's Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q was good. Not a big bbq guy though.
Old Chicago is a pizza chain that operates a location in Lex, but makes a decent deep dish.
Pazzo's makes a decent pizza, not really my typical style though.

As for things to do:
SHOP - Fayette Mall, as well as the area of North Limestone as well as a lot of the strip malls on Leestown/Newtown etc. have some decent stores.
Visit parks - Kirklevington is great, Triangle Park is plain beautiful, though a bit small. I'm a big fan of Masterson Station park for the numerous soccer fields.
Watch sports - if there's a UK game, even just a scrimmage/blue-white game, people get REALLY into sports in this town.

http://www.visitlex.com/whattodo/

I know you'll already be spending a lot of time at Keeneland :P

If you like relaxing and driving, try driving 169 to the Kentucky river, and many of the numerous roads (Catnip Hill, Hwy 169) that branch off of Harrodsburg road to see some of the farm country that's right near some of the amenities. I64 west of Lexington has some pretty vistas, but it's also the interstate, not much fun in that. I recommend heading out to Woodford, Jessamine, Garrard, Boyle, Bourbon, Scott, Clark, Franklin etc. counties for some nice sightseeing.

Look up attractions in Frankfort too, our state capital is just a short trip from the north side of town!

Last edited by UKUKUK; 04-18-2010 at 11:17 PM..
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