September 19, 2008 / 10:04 AM / 10 years ago

Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Lexington, Kentucky

LEXINGTON (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Lexington, Kentucky, which is known as the horse capital of the world?

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill preserves the utopian ideals of this celibate community of the 1800s. It is described as America's largest restored Shaker community. REUTERS/Kentucky Department of Travel/Handout

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge give tips on how to make the best of a short stay.

The city, which is due to host the World Equestrian Games in 2010, has attracted visitors ranging from the ruler of Dubai to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. Apart from racing there are many attractions to enthrall visitors to the city.


7 p.m. - After arriving in the city stop for dinner at the Mansion at Griffin Gate Marriott, a haunted plantation house that serves mint juleps on the porch.


9 a.m. - Begin the day by buying one ticket, which grants entry to four historic homes, from the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-845-3959 or Start with Ashland, home of “The Great Compromiser” Henry Clay. He opposed slavery but held the country together with a compromise on adding slave states.

10:30 a.m. - Visit the house of Mary Todd Lincoln, who was courted by presidential rivals Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln won both the election and Todd’s hand. 859-233-999 or

11:30 a.m. - Around the corner is the house of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan who is reputed to have ridden his horse through the house to escape union soldiers during the Civil War. 859-233-3290 or

12.00 - Have a bite to eat at Dudley’s Restaurant located in an old school building in downtown Lexington. Try the Debbie Brown sandwich, made of rolled turkey.

2 p.m. - Famous pioneer Daniel Boone had a family home in Lexington, which is now the Waveland State Historic Site. Its slave quarters are still intact.

3 p.m. - 859 233-4303 or

4 p.m. - Scott Goodlett guides a horse country insider tour to private barns where famous horses live with chandeliers and other necessities. 800-450-6444 or

7 p.m. - Stop for a drink and listen to a trio of musicians who greet guests on the porch of the Holly Hill Inn. The Greek Revival home was once a tavern and serves an excellent champagne bourbon cocktail.


7 a.m. - Feeling hungry. Try breakfast at the Keeneland Track kitchen. Join jockeys and trainers for a meal of eggs, bacon, sausage and the ultimate southern dish — grits.

9 a.m. - Bourbon originated in Kentucky and the state produces much of the world’s corn whisky. The Buffalo Trace provides one of the best tours and tastings. It kept producing during Prohibition in the 1930s, when alcohol was illegal in the United States. 00-654-8471 or www.buffalotrace.

10 a.m. - Woodford Reserve is a century-old National Historic Landmark. The stone barrel house practically floats with the bourbon in the air, called the “angel’s share.”

11.30 a.m. - If you’re still feeling spirited, try some bourbon-laced buffalo at the Serafini in Frankfort.

Slideshow (3 Images)

1 p.m. - Horses race at Keeneland in April and October. Proper dress is expected in the clubhouse. If you’re lucky you may see a celebrity or even royalty.

4 p.m. - Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill preserves the utopian ideals of this celibate community of the 1800s. It is described as America’s largest restored Shaker community.

6 p.m. - Dinner at Jonathan in Gratz Park. Try the Kentucky stew with beef, pork and bison. .

Reporting by Verna Gates; Editing by Matthew Bigg and Patricia Reaney

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