The Horse Capital of the World
Before the Europeans settled in central Kentucky, the region was home to grazing herds of buffalo. The Iroquois Indians called the area the “meadow land” which became the origin of our state's name "Kentucky."
In the 19th century central Kentucky's meadow lands reminded some immigrants of their home in the British Isles - so many settled here and brought their love of horses with them. Soon thoroughbred breeding, trading and racing became a primary enterprise in the Lexington area. In the first Kentucky Legislative Assembly a bill was introduced by Daniel Boone for "improving the breed of horses" and eventually Lexington gained the reputation of being the “Horse Capital of the World.”
Built in 1969, the Thoroughbred Center is located just outside the city limits of Lexington, on prime central Kentucky farmland.
Old Friends is “a Kentucky facility for retired thoroughbreds,” a place where equine champions can live out their remaining days with dignity.
Experience why Kentucky is world famous! These tours take you through the heart and soul of Kentucky's beautiful Bluegrass Horse Country.
Founded on October 15, 1936, Keeneland is a one of a kind Thoroughbred racetrack and an auction company.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased this property in 1972 and opened the Kentucky Horse Park to the public in 1978.
Fine Dining and Casual Fare
When many guests first make their reservations at Lyndon House they ask if there are wonderful restaurants nearby and would we make a reservation for them. Well, since they will be staying in downtown Lexington this is an easy request to honor. Most of Lexington's culinary talent practices downtown and the chefs offer a variety of cuisines, specialties, and artistic culinary expressions.
Some of our favorite upscale restaurants within five or six blocks of the Lyndon House:
One of Lexington’s favorites, located in historic downtown and serving an award winning American Cuisine.
An innovative blend of Italian and American Cuisines, with a "nuovoelegante" ambiance and sophisticated wine list.
Many of our guests arrive with travel-fatigue and just want a comfortable place to have a relaxing dinner. The best remedy is one of the downtown bistros - small restaurants with a bar and a casual atmosphere. They serve a variety of comfort foods - including a burger and a beer. The following is a list of casual restaurants within walking distance of the Lyndon House:
The Grey Goose
California style bistro serving “gourmet pizzas that rock.”
Nick Ryan's Saloon
Serving Southern cuisine in a fashionable setting.
Shakespeare and Company
A cozy, chic ambiance reminiscent of Victorian elegance, with gourmet food, drinks and excellent service.
Bourbon is an American whiskey that is barrel-aged and distilled mostly from corn. The invention of Bourbon is often credited to the frontier Baptist minister Elijah Craig. He was the first to age the distillation in charred oak casks which gives Bourbon its reddish color and distinct taste.
In 1964 Pres. Lyndon Baines Johnson, with the support of the US Congress, declared Bourbon a "distinctive product of the United States."
As you explore Bourbon Country you will notice there are six historic working distilleries within 25 miles of downtown Lexington. These distilleries are listed below.
The distillery itself is the oldest and smallest working bourbon distillery and a National Historic Landmark. Henry Clay was a friend and patron.
Barrel House Distilling Company, is crafting its very own small batch Bourbon in the Old Pepper Distillery, but it probably won't be ready till 2014.
Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, where the buffalo migration route crossed the Kentucky River.
The originally distillery was founded by the Ripy family on what is now known as Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
It begins with a story of romance and roses, and turns into a passion for creating a truly American Whiskey.
Distinctly a Bluegrass enterprise, built in Lexington's Bourbon district, the Alltech Company brings the Bourbon Trail to downtown Lexington.
Lexington's Craft Brews
The popularity of the craft breweries continues to grow in Kentucky's Bluegrass region. There are five micro breweries with in a mile of the Lyndon House and most of them are on Lexington's free trolley line. Most the breweries have a tap room where visitors can sample these amazing brews. Some have gathering spaces for social events. On the weekends the food trucks stop by to offer their culinary services. If it's to sample the brews or to make a night of it, join us, a good time will be had by all.
Blue Stallion Brewing Company continues the fine traditions of the German lagers and British Ales. The brewery also show casing Live music and hosts special events.
An old-school taproom offering stone-baked pizzas along with house-made brews.
The owners are three Country Boys who love good beer and all things Kentucky. One of the brews on tap is a Jalapeño Smoked Porter.
Our offerings will be quite broad, but our main focus will be on brewing delicious Belgian farmhouse and American craft beers.
Distinctly a Bluegrass enterprise, built in Lexington's Bourbon district, the Alltech Company is brewing Kentucky Ale and Kentucky Bourbon Ale.
Lexington Beerworks carries over 100 different craft beers. Discover how easy it is to make your own, or learn to pair your brews with your favorite foods.
West Sixth Brewers are dedicated to brewing quality craft beers, using local products and working to protect the environment.
In 1798 Jean-Jacques Dufour was sent to the new world by the Marquis de Lafayette to find land that would support his interest in viticulture. Upon arriving in central Kentucky he met several distinguished businessmen, including Henry Clay, who agreed to help finance his proposal. Dufour followed advice from Thomas Jefferson who suggested he look in central Kentucky for land and bought 600 acres on the Kentucky River just outside Lexington. The same year Dufour established the Kentucky Vineyard Society and built America’s first commercial winery - five years later he presented his first vintage to the public.
Since then Kentucky vineyards have survived several agricultural disasters, the Civil War, and Prohibition to grow into a main branch of Kentucky Agritourism.
The following is a list of vineyards and wineries around the Lexington area.
Located in Nicholasville, 18 miles south of Lyndon House, in the rolling hills of Hickman Creek Valley and a few miles from America’s first commercial vineyard, their wine-master makes wine from 100% Kentucky grown grapes.
Equus Run Vineyard is working the rich fertile Bluegrass soil to produce a fine Kentucky vintage. It is located in Midway, Kentucky (13 miles south of us).
Located in Winchester, Kentucky, this vineyard is truly a family affair -- they love the land, and they love working it and making it productive. Harness Edwards is 18 miles southeast of Lyndon House.
Located in Fayette County (12 miles south of us), the fine products of the Jean Farris Winery are a culmination of education, tradition and love for the vine.
Talon's five-acre vineyards sits on 300 acres of rolling historic Fair View farm, just outside Lexington and 12 miles south of Lyndon House.
The name Wildside is reflective of the beautiful wild flowers that grow in the farmland’s rich soil. Located in Versailles, 17 miles east of us.
The First Vineyard is a restoration of the historic Dufour Vineyard and Winery - the birthplace of the American wine industry. It is 26 miles south of Lyndon House.
Must-See Historic Places
The Bluegrass region was the first part of Kentucky to be settled. Early on Lexington functioned as the gateway to the western frontier and soon developed into a mecca for economic, intellectual, and political activity. As a result Lexington gained the reputation of being the "Athens of the West.” The historic buildings and homes that remain today have stories to tell about the influential and fascinating people who not only helped build the city, but our nation as well.
The Mary Todd Lincoln House was built between 1803-06. This was family home of the Todd Family, and first lady and wife of the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.
The Ashland Estate was built in 1806 in the Federal style. It was the home of Henry Clay, one of Lexington's favorite patriots: a horseman, attorney and statesman.
The Pope Villa was built between 1810-11, for Senator John and Eliza Pope. The designer was architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the founder of the American School of Architecture.
The Hunt-Morgan House, built in the Federal style, 1814, has many beautiful architectural features, including the Palladian window with fan and sidelights.
Nightlife & The Arts
Lexington's Downtown Nightlife
In the evenings downtown Lexington has become a haven for both work-weary souls needing to recharge and for folks looking for a fun place to let loose. Whether you’re interest is live music, dance, or theatre, there's something for everybody in Lexington's vibrant downtown nightlife. The following are examples of what you will find as you go exploring.
The Kentucky Theater's marquee announces a variety of productions - foreign, independent, art and first-run films.
The Lexington Opera House is four block south of the Lyndon house and presents a variety of concerts, ballet and theatre productions year round.
Central Kentucky's premier performing company for classical and contemporary ballet since 1973.
Song writer-singer MichaelJohnathon is the host of this live-audience radio show.
Cheapside Bar & Grill is one of Lexington's favorites serving a mix of rhythm & blues and rock & roll on the weekends.
A seasonal celebration at Fifth Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park from 4:30 - 8:00 p.m. Beverages, food from local restaurants, and of course, great music by live bands!