Lexington, Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World, is recognized for its friendly, small-town atmosphere. With an important equestrian history, Lexington is home to University of Kentucky and a flourishing thoroughbred horseracing industry. The city's many tourist attractions, lush countryside offering beautiful rolling hills, and a number of famous horse farms. Those moving to Lexington will discover nothing short of a small town paradise.
Native American tribes had earlier used the area for hunting grounds before European settlers took their land. Named after Lexington, Massachusetts, a campsite was founded in 1775 to commemorate a colonial victory during the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. The area was considered a dangerous frontier with many conflicts occurring between settlers and native Indians. Daniel Boone was an early explorer of the area. The town of Lexington was officially established in 1782 after the inhabitants successfully petitioned the Virginia General Assembly. The area grew into a sophisticated and wealthy community and was often referred to as the "Athens of the West." During the 19th century, the city of Lexington became a great manufacturing and trade hub. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate factions controlled the city. Several prestigious political figures are from Lexington such as Henry Clay and John Cabell Breckinridge and. The city continues to grow and expand as the second largest city in the state of Kentucky. Major events revolving around horseracing and showing draw thousands to the area each year.
Horses are a billion-dollar industry in Lexington. Home to more than 450 horse farms, Lexington is surrounded by the largest concentration of thoroughbred horse farms in the world. Rich limestone soil, lush grasses and a moderate climate combine to create a model spot for the raising, breeding and training of horses. While horse breeding is the area's big business, horse racing is probably its claim to fame. The local economy benefits from tourists who come from around the world in large numbers to witness the horses in action. Agriculture also benefits from the mineral-rich land. Kentucky is the leading producer of burley tobacco in the U.S., with Lexington-Fayette County producing the largest crop. Corn, alfalfa hay, soybeans, wheat and barley are also produced in the area, and Lexington is a major market for beef cattle as well. The University of Kentucky, located in Lexington, is a center for educational conferences and sports attractions and is one of the Lexington area's major employers. More than two dozen national organizations have made Lexington home. Industry analysts forecast continued progress for Lexington, particularly in the areas of finance, insurance and real estate.
Lexington features many tourist attractions, including Kentucky Horse Park offering museums, theaters, galleries and over 50 breeds of horses. For anyone who admires horses, a day at the park is the experience of a lifetime. The only park of its kind in the world, the Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm and educational theme park dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. Set on more than 1,200 acres in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, the park in a learning experience for everyone -- from beginners to experts. Next, a wonderful place to experience art, a few of Lexington's best museums and art galleries include the University of Kentucky Art Museum, ArtsPlace, Lexington's Ashland, the Henry Clay Museum, the Headley Whitney Museum and the American Saddlebred Museum. Or, head over to the Bluegrass Railroad Museum. This museum offers an exciting journey through the rolling hills and beautiful farmland known as The Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky. Before calling it a night, check out Alltech's Lexington Brewing Company, a famous institution in the Lexington area, offering guided tours to those of age.