Lexington Fall Visitors Ideas

In a little over a week, I have friends from out of state coming in town for the Tough Mudder in Maysville. They're staying with me in Lexington, and I have a very short amount of time to convince them how amazing this city is. Here are some of my initial ideas. Consider using them if you're trying to entertain guests this fall!

Keeneland

I mean, you know that'd be the first thing on anyone's list, right? Thankfully, the Fall Meet runs through October 26th on all days except Monday and Tuesday. First race post time is 1:05 pm daily.

Kelley Farms Corn Maze

photo credit: Kelley Farms

This year's corn maze at Kelley Farms just out Old Richmond Road in Lexington is a tribute to R.J. Corman. Corman was a Nicholasville native and backhoe operator turned railway magnate. He passed earlier this year, and this is a great tribute. Kelley Farms has the corn maze, goats, hayrides, yummy festival food, pumpkins, and more. The farm is open through October 26th. Hours and prices are on their website.

Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace Distillery
photo credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Going on a tour of at least one distillery is a must-do for visitors and residents alike, but seasonally appropriate is the Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace. These night time tours are equal parts spooky and interesting. The tours run Thurs-Sat at 7pm, and last 1 hour. Reservations must be made well in advance.

Food

photo credit: Shakespeare & Company

As much as I love my friends, I don't like cooking 3 meals a day for groups. A list of non-chain restaurants is always handy in these occasions. Maybe we'll stop by Nick Ryan's Saloon for The Stirrup Cup Hot Brown plus a little flavor of downtown. Or we could head to my favorite place for southern diner food plus a piece of Missy's Pies: Ramesy's. For a completely different environment, we might go to Shakespeare & Company (photo above) downtown. And if we want some of the best brunch around, a trip to Winchell's on Southland Drive will be on the agenda. Elvis Pancakes, perhaps?

What other fun visitors ideas do you have?

In Photos: Favorite Lexington Diners

Summer in Lexington means patio dining at my favorite local diners.


Ramsey's. Go to the original at High and Woodland. Order the fried green tomatoes.


Stella's.  The best hamburger in Lexington.


What are your favorite summertime diners?

It's Chicken Salad Time

I'm not quite sure what I sat down to write about because it was thrown out of the window today when I heard these precious words outside of my car window as I was driving past Ramsey's in Lexington:

"I'll have the chicken salad, please!" 

Yes, it's chicken salad time again. Really, you need to excuse to visit one of Ramsey's Diners (not to be confused with Louisville's Ramsi's Cafe on the World, which is also mighty delicious).

the original Ramsey's
Ramsey's started in 1989 near downtown off of Woodland Avenue. Known for the mixed, painted wooden chairs (no two are alike), random tables, and no-fuss attitude, Ramsey's is what many southerners known as a "meat and three" restaurant. You pick your meat, and then three delicious side dishes, many of which are seasonal and Kentucky Proud.

Ramsey's is also known for its hot brown. Originally created at Louisville's Brown Hotel, the hot brown is an open-faced sandwich with bread, turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce (or cheddar cheese). It's artery-clogging for sure, but people flock for this Kentucky tradition.


I didn't come here to write about the hot browns though. I came to write about the seasonal chicken salad plate. 

I am a mayonnaise hater, yet love the creamy chicken salad that Ramsey's only has in the summertime. Here is the description, straight from their menu:
Traditional chicken salad served with sliced fresh locally grown tomatoes, slices of fresh avocado, and fresh eggs. No pecans, no grapes, no pineapple, no water chestnuts- JUST CHICKEN SALAD!
It's one of those things you need to taste to understand. Something about pairing it with fresh avocado slices and sliced hardboiled eggs (something else I'm not fond of). Nom.

Now, when dining at Ramsey's, pay attention to the whiteboards around the restaurant which list the Missy's Pie's that they're selling for the day. Save room for a slice, or at least order one to take home with you. My husband strongly recommends the peanut butter pie, and I opt for the sugar free cherry pie. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, we make sure to pre-order their pumpkin and pecan pies. 


I've never had any food at Ramsey's that I didn't like and that wasn't comforting as lots of southern traditional food is. Who wants to be my lunch date?

Emmie's 20 Things

Several weeks ago, the HerKentucky contributors each listed their favorite things about Kentucky. I am the turtle in the group, but figure this post is better late than never! There are so many things I love.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Awesome people
  2. Lexington Athletic Club
  3. The pedestrian-friendly Bardstown Road in Louisville
  4. Missy's pies: Served at Lexington-based Ramsey's (not the Louisville Ramsi's) and also available out of their small Ashland Ave. store, these pies are amazing and there are dozens of flavors
  5. Columbia Steakhouse Nighthawk: if you like steak, you must try this
  6. Keeneland: Spring meet is during my birthday and fall meet is during my favorite time of the year
  7. Woodland Art Fair in Lexington
  8. Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park
  9. Graeters ice cream: yes, they're Cincinnati based, but they're coming back to Lexington soon. Raspberry Chocolate Chip is ridiculous
  10. Bluegrass Tavern: nothing fancy about this bar, but it's near Cheapside and I've had great memories there
  11. US60: The drive from Versailles Road to I-64. Gorgeous horse farms lining the drive.
  12. Coffee Times: Lexington coffee house I've gone to for over 12 years
  13. Bourbon
  14. Kentucky basketball
  15. Brunch at Winchell's
  16. The Legacy Trail
  17. Lexington Farmers Market on Saturdays when it's outside
  18. Chrisman Mill Winery - where I got married
  19. Lexington Corn Maze at Kelley Farms
  20. (and 21.) Ramsey's (Lexington) and Ramsi's (Louisville).