Bluegrass Region

A horse farm in bluegrass country

The Bluegrass Region is perhaps Kentucky's most famous region, if not its most visited. The coveted grass that suburban homeowners slave to get to grow on their lawns throughout the country grows naturally in this bucolic region on its native soil, and helps sustain the major local industryKentucky horse farms.


Other destinations

Get in

By plane

Visitors have the option of flying directly into the smaller Blue Grass Airport (IATA: LEX) , in Lexington, or flying into larger airports further away. Louisville International Airport (IATA: SDF) and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVG) are both about 1.5 hours away from Lexington, but are served by more airlines than Blue Grass Airport.

By car

Travellers can access the Bluegrass Region via one of the two major interstates that arc around the northern and eastern borders of the city. I-64 runs from east to west, connecting Lexington with the largest city in Kentucky, Louisville, to the west. I-75 runs north-south, connecting Lexington with Cincinnati and Knoxville respectively. These interstates intersect just north of Lexington.

By train

There are no passenger rail lines in the Bluegrass Region. Amtrak has routes that serve Eastern, Western, and Northern Kentucky as well as Cincinnati, and has bus service from Chicago to Loiusville.

By bus

Long-distance bus company Greyhound serves both Lexington and Frankfort.

Get around

A car is a necessity to get around the area. The Bluegrass region is a large area, with public transportation only existing in the largest towns in the region, and even then limited to busses and by-appointment-only taxis.



Old Kentucky

Drive to Harrodsburg and Danville, 32 miles southwest of Lexington, to see some of the oldest buildings in the State. Take Versailles Road, out of Lexington, then take the Bluegrass Parkway to US-127, to Harrodsburg. This path will take you by the Castle on Versailles Road, and through Central Kentucky's scenic farmland.

From Danville, Lexington Road will connect you with US-27, which will return you to Lexington.



Visit small towns

The Bluegrass Region is home to many small towns, each with their own reason to visit.


Kentucky cuisine to look for includes the Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich of turkey, bacon, and cheese sauce; burgoo, a traditional game stew with as many variations as there are people who make it; beer cheese, a spicy spread of cheddar cheese and beer; benedictine spread made from cucumber and cream cheese; and bourbon balls, a chocolate and bourbon truffle with pecans.

Note that smoking is banned in restaurants, bars, and many public buildings.

In town

Lexington is home to an astonishing number of independently owned restaurants at all price levels. The city's college town atmosphere and affluent lifestyle contribute to this relatively small metropolitan area's great culinary offerings. Chain restaurants, typical in most American cities and towns, can be found here, as well as a great number of privately owned and operated establishments. Lexington has an amazing variety of regional and ethnic foods. Almost any taste can be fulfilled, from Home Cookin' to Fine Dining and from Cajun to Vietnamese.

Frankfort has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from while visiting.

Small stops in the country


In town

Lexington is a large college town, so there are many bars and nightclubs catering to all crowds. Frankfort and Richmond have their own smaller bar scenes.

The Bourbon Trail

Bourbon distilleries are plentiful in the area, due to the particular geology of the region that make this distinctively Kentuckian liquor possible. Many distilleries operate tours where you can learn about the processes of mashing, distilling, and aging, and often sample the product. Traveling between the distilleries is called "Taking the Bourbon Trail." Souvenir T-Shirts and Bourbon Trail "passports" are available. Each distillery has their own souvenirs available for purchase, ranging from shot glasses to Bourbon Balls.

Five distilleries are within 30 miles of Lexington.

A little farther afield:Maker's Mark, 3350 Burk Spring Rd, Loretto (1½ hours from Lexington),  +1 270 865-2099. Tours Monday to Saturday 10:30AM-3:30PM every hour on the half-hour; Sunday March–December 1:30, 2:30, 3:30; closed some holidays. Aside from the usual distillery tour perks, Maker's Mark offers a unique souvenir: you can purchase a small bottle of bourbon and dip it yourself in their signature red sealing wax (must be 21 or older). The drive out to Loretto is also very scenic. Free.


In addition to the Bourbon Trail, Lexington has two Breweries. Alltech's Lexington Brewery and Distilling Company, previously mentioned, and West Sixth Brewing, 501 West 6th Street, Lexington. Monday to Thursday 3:00-10:00, Friday and Saturday Noon-Midnight, Sunday Noon-10:00. No tours are given at West Sixth, but they have a large tasting room onsite.


Many Kentucky Wineries produce award winning wine. The winery business is growing, with several new vineyards starting up in the Bluegrass Region.

Go next

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