Its that time of year, the time of year where you can count the days until freedom on one hand. (Three days and five exams are all that stand in my journey to summer and freedom) However, what do you do without class? You could try and go on a vacation, but money (even in the summer) can be hard to find when in college. The good news is that Lexington has a million things to do and some cost no money at all!
Take a Walk in the Outdoors
Not sure if you like the outdoors or not, but the summer is the perfect time to go and explore some of Kentucky’s best outdoor adventures. Kentucky is full of natural wonders, but the ones listed are closest to Lexington. If you’re interested in traveling a little further, consult places like TripAdvisor to find a longer journey.
Sampson Nelson National Cemetery and Civil War Site
At Camp Nelson you can hike more than five miles of trail through a former Civil War base and then go and visit the graves of the nearly 1600 soldiers buried in the cemetery. Perfect for those who like hiking, history, and a little bit of supernatural adventure.
Kentucky River Palisades
Apparently the word majestic doesn’t just apply to unicorns. Go to the Palisades and see the majestic limestone cliffs that run along the Kentucky River between Frankfort and Clay’s Ferry (southwest of Lexington).
Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
This is only a twenty-minute drive from Lexington (and considering you probably have to hike at least twenty-minutes to get downtown or in line at Chipotle I’m sure you can drive it to see this place!) The Sanctuary is dedicated to preservation of the Palisades area and includes five hiking trails (ten miles total) and a nature center. The best part? Its open daily year-round!
Red River Gorge
This is the most frequented by students, for a fun weekend get away, you’ll hear about tons of students going to the Gorge. Its part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, and is about an hour drive from Lex. The area is known for having over eighty natural sandstone arches, and a lush forest.
Visit a Blast from the Past
We learn from our past mistakes (at least that’s what they tell me even though sometimes I seem to repeat the same one over and over), but sometimes we just learn from the past and what happened. Take a trip in town and learn about the rich history that Lexington has to offer!
Mary Todd Lincoln House
Everyone’s heard about Honest Abe and if you haven’t, please visit UK’s history department for an update. But what about his wife, Mary? Mary Todd Lincoln lived in Lexington with her prominent family and there’s guided tours Monday through Saturday starting mid-march through November.
The Hunt-Morgan House
The first millionaire of Kentucky: John Wesley Hunt built this house and inside you will find many wonders. Inside has the Alexander T Hunt Civil War Museum and items related to the Confederate General John Morgan (Hunt’s grandson). Guided Tours available Wednesday through Sunday, April through mid-December.
Historic Grantz Park
Not feeling a historic house? Take a stroll through the historic neighborhood where you can walk the campus of Transylvania University (the oldest college in the area, but no worries they can’t beat us in basketball). If you’re walking through you can even pass the nineteenth century law office of Henry Clay (the man that if you took the AP test and the answer wasn’t a president, it was always Henry Clay because he did everything).
Cemetery’s can give some people the creeps, but this cemetery has a beautiful parklike atmosphere. Even though its the resting place over over sixty thousand people (including the previously mentioned Henry Clay and Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, and basketball coach Adolf Rupp) you will find a ton of monuments. The most famous monument is the 130-foot tall Henry Clay monument, where he faces his Ashland Estate. The grounds are open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week.
Who doesn’t want to give up this whole “adulting” thing and be a kid again? Take a trip to one of these structures in Jacobson and Shilito parks and embrace your inner child.
Art and culture is housed in the home of the Lexington Art League, talk a walk inside and share the visions of Lexington artists.
On a Saturday, spring through fall, visit the Cheapside Park off Main Street. Take and stroll and pick up some local produce.
Old Kentucky Chocolates
I know that everyone loves chocolates, but for those of you with a sweet tooth come and watch the process behind the sweets and see how the candy is made. (Of course this may cause a sweet tooth and you may just want to buy some as well!)
Views for Days
Not many students go to the Public Library (probably because have you seen Willy T?), but go to the Lexington Public Library and see one of the most interesting interior views. Inside you will find a five-story atrium with the largest ceiling clock at 120 East Main Street. You can even go to the upper floor windows and see a view of downtown!
Live life like a movie montage: Ride escalators, preview music, or just relax by the fireplace at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (one of the largest book stores in the region). It is a great place to meet, mingle, and film your idea 80s movie montage to make your insta a little more interesting. (Located at The Mall at Lexington Green, Nicholasville Road)
Go visit the outdoor labyrinth at the Old Episcopal Burying Ground (just try not to get lost too long and join the tenants…) located at 3rd and Elm Tree Lane.
If you have lots of energy or test angst to burn off: walk or bike the twelve-mile trail that runs from downtown Lexington to Kentucky Horse Park.
Whatever you like, just try and find something new to try this summer in Lexington. You never know what lies ahead on your adventures here at UK.
For more possible adventures visit the Lexington Visitors Center website for more ideas and where to go to spice up your snapchat story!