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Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, combines a big city's culture and energy with a small-town friendliness. It is also called the 'city in the park' due to the dozens of horse-farms by which it is surrounded. But it is not only horse-lovers that will be charmed by this city; anyone with a taste for bourbon, bluegrass music and quaint, southern ways of life will also enjoy a visit. Our choice of the best places to stay in Lexington put you at the heart of the action.
With the famous Kentucky Derby taking place (in May) at nearby Louisville, and the countryside's superb grasslands, Lexington has become a horse-breeding centre. Most of the horse farms can be toured and there's an equine museum. Of course, there are also plenty of horse-riding opportunities.
As it's a relatively quiet area, the surrounding countryside is excellent for exploring by bicycle while the limestone cliffs of the Kentucky River Palisades will please hikers.
If you want more gentle pursuits, there's an aviation museum, children's museum, civil war museum - in the historic Hunt-Morgan House - plus the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of President Abraham Lincoln).
Whiskey lovers are in for a treat with plenty of distillery tours; Bourbon is American's only native spirit. And then there are a host of bars and venues where you can not only find bourbons but the real ol' foot-tapping bluegrass music. Come in the summer to enjoy a picnic in an outdoor venue. The best places to stay in Lexington ensure a taste of all the city has to offer.
For art lovers
- As much art gallery as hotel, the 21C Museum Hotel is a stunning conversion of the historic Fayette National Bank building. Rooms are sleek and contemporary while modern art and sculptures dot the public areas.
Best Hotels in Lexington
21c Museum Hotel, Lexington 88 rooms from £122Lexington (KY)
An inspiring, contemporary art museum come boutique hotel in the historic Fayette National Bank Building. White on white rooms with contemporary furnishings, splashes of pop colours and original art on the walls. Restaurant championing local Bluegrass ingredients. Lively and super-artsy.Artworks - Original art work in rooms and interesting installations in the barViews - Great views from hotelFull of characterQuirky - An experience!