You thought the Derby was just for Louisville? Think again!
When you live in Kentucky, there is one weekend of the year that stands out from all the rest. That particular weekend, always in early May, celebrates the running of the Kentucky Derby. Let’s be honest… there’s nothing better than betting on the ponies, wearing your most fabulous clothes, and enjoying more Mint Juleps than you can count. And you can trust us when we say that you don’t have to be at Churchill Downs to have a great time on Derby weekend. Though the Derby is always run in Louisville, Lexington is the horse capital of the world, and we love to showcase that heritage. Here in Lex, we are not only surrounded by some of the most gorgeous horse farms in the region, but we are also home to the Kentucky Horse Park, and more importantly, Keeneland Racetrack. Keeneland offers a spring and fall meet every year, and people from all over the world flock to Lexington to be a part of the magic. You can spend the day watching the races while sipping on a delicious cocktail (we recommend the Keeneland Breeze), and you will have the opportunity to view Southern fashion at its finest. Since the spring meet is over by the time the Derby rolls around, they are open for the weekend to allow people to watch races and make wagers, which is how we spent our day this year. It was a fantastic way to celebrate the events without having to stand out in the rain, and some of us even got lucky and won a few bucks! After the big race was over, we weren’t ready to call it quits just yet. It seemed like the perfect night to try out a new local hotspot, the Distillery District. This area in downtown Lexington is already home to Barrel House Distillery, and the historic James E. Pepper Distillery is undergoing renovations. There are also restaurants and bars (and if you love ice cream as much as we do, you have to check out Crank & Boom). We decided to have pizza and drinks at Goodfellas Pizzeria, which did not disappoint! The restaurant had plenty of indoor and outdoor space, the vibe was relaxed and casual, and there were tons of options for local bourbon and craft beer. Even if you’re not the pizza and beer type, the Distillery District has so much to offer. It was a great way to spend a Saturday night! No night out in Lexington would ever be complete without a stop at a few of our favorite places to grab a drink. We ended the night at Belle’s Cocktail House, which is definitely one of our most frequented bars because of the rooftop space. With two main bars in the building and a satellite bar on the roof, you never have to wait in long lines. And for anyone that enjoys a good signature cocktail (like we do), the options at Belle’s are unique and delicious. When you grow up in a city, it can be easy to forget how truly amazing it can be. Lexington continues to remind us that it is an incredible city with so much to offer! We can’t wait for our next Lex adventure.
You don't have to be at the race to enjoy Derby weekend!
The gorgeous paddock at Keeneland is open year-round.
The grandstand offers the perfect atmosphere for watching the races with a cocktail in hand!