The city most believed to be the handsomest in Kentucky never failed to impress …. The streets, lined with booths and wagons from which people displayed their wares, had a festive air.
- Jan Watson, Author
The Best Thing About Lexington?
If you’re not from the area and have heard of Lexington, chances are it’s for one of two reasons: 1. The Horses 2. The Kentucky Wildcats.
While it's possible to avoid the horse culture in Lexington it's not possible to avoid the city’s insanity for the Wildcats (at least in-season). Few communities come together and rally around a team (or anything) quite like Lexington rallies around hoops. Being a part of this community is something that residents take great pride in, and often claim is the crown jewel of their city. The large hospital and jobs that come with the massive public university certainly don’t hurt either.
Here's the pov of a local about the pros of Lexington:
Beautiful parks, farms, downtown. Gateway to eastern and southern Kentucky with all its natural beauty, lakes, rivers, and mountains. Plenty of shopping. Good cultural events with events and parades, Opera House, Rupp Arena, Keeneland, Bourbon Trail. Tons of restaurants. Very kid-friendly, very teen-friendly, very college-age friendly, very friendly overall. Highly educated population. Good economy and good city and county leadership.
The Worst Thing About Lexington?
Do not be deceived by Kentucky’s claim of being a southern state. If you’re living in Lexington, expect the weather to be a brutal mix of both southern and midwestern inhospitality. The local parks and nearby outdoor hotspots such as Red River Gorge and Mammoth Cave are certainly a plus, but residents often complain about the fact that there are very few days weather-wise to enjoy them. Snowier and more frigid winter days than most southern cities quickly transition into hotter and more humid summer days than most midwest cities.
Here's a local on how the city handles winter:
Lexington learned a few lessons in 1978 and 79. Many major streets are labelled "snow emergency routes" where you do NOT abandon your car bc it will get towed for plowing. We have plows of all sizes, salt slingers and brine sprayers- brine works better at 22F and below. If busses get stuck, Lextran sends one out with tire chains on to push it. At least, they did last time I rode a bus in weather that bad. Admittedly, that was in 1979.
You learn to avoid the steepest streets in icy weather-they are mostly downtown. Oh yeah…we have had ice storms here with power outages up to 2 weeks long. Still have plenty of older trees that look like they were bombed. The YMCAs that were open offered free showers.
Lifestyle Of Lexington
While Lexington has weather like the Midwest it feels more southern than midwestern in “vibe” and “heat”. By heat we mean the sense that the city is in the early stages of growth as we’ve seen with other Southeastern cities like Nashville or Atlanta. The city is quiet for a population of 300k but the school and downtown commercial district are enough to keep most people occupied with a smallish but growing arts and music scene and plenty of restaurants and bars. It certainly is a city that feels like a big town and for many that’s just the right vibe.
Workstyle Of Lexington
Horses, agriculture and bourbon are major industries in Lexington. In fact the city has the greatest concentration of thoroughbred horse farms in the world. In addition to horse raising, breeding and training Lexington is also a major tourist attraction for those who want to come and watch the horses race. Lexington and the Fayette County area are the leading producers of burley tobacco in the country. The rich soil also works for growing corn, soybeans and other crops. In addition to the classic industries Lexington is known for there is also manufacturing happening via Toyota and small and large tech ventures, including the city’s largest employer, Lexmark International. While there’s plenty to do for work here we also expect growth to come from wfh refugees looking for the quality of life without the price tag of bigger cities.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
A Remote Haven
As more and more people transition to permanent remote work, Lexington has become popular due to its mix of great homes and close proximity to city amenities. With a new world class 100% fiber-optic network running throughout the city, Lexington is making strides to transition its identity from a small, midwest/southern college town into a city of the future.