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The Horse that Won My Heart in Lexington

Remember when I told you I was taking a road trip to Lexington, Kentucky because I’m a sucker for fall color, horses (of any kind), country roads and wide open spaces? Well…everything I had ever seen in pictures or dreamed about all the way on the west coast was all there and even better in person. I fell in love with Lexington and a horse stole my heart.


I also ran out of adjectives and vocabulary to describe the beauty of this small Kentucky city. I don’t usually run out of words…so you have to know…it was “all that and MORE!” How’s that for articulate?

I still have to pinch myself that I can actually drive to so many destinations in so little time. When you live in California, you pretty much need two days to even get out of the state…so this going from state-to-state in a matter of hours, is still very new.

Lexington is about 3.5 hours from Franklin – literally just a morning’s drive. Coffee and bagels in the car and we were out the door bright and early. I love road trips, don’t you?

So come along and relive our trip.

The Bed & Breakfast God was watching out for me because I had no idea where to stay, so I googled and we ended up at Essence of the Bluegrass, which is pretty close to perfect.


The grand staircase. My husband playing piano.


Located on 10 acres of land in the country, with horses grazing in the pasture, you can’t help but take a breath and slow down.


The view from the back of the house.


Beautiful accommodations and true Southern hospitality. You will not go hungry. If you go to Lexington…try and stay here. I really can’t say enough about this place.


A warm welcome in our room.


This is where the horse stole my heart. We took a walk down the private road and as we approached the fence suddenly she came running and well..that was it. I have a horse crush. Pretty sure this picture tells the story.


Instant bonding…not sure how this happens but when it does, it’s pure magic.


I could have stayed right there with her for the entire three days and would never have tired of that affection. What is it about horses and man?


Lexington offers something for everyone. We wanted a glimpse of it all. Here’s our itinerary including restaurants.

Recommended Attractions…

Kentucky Horse Park is like Disneyland for horse fans. Truly you can spend the entire day here and never get bored. We didn’t plan enough time for this stop.


A bronze of Secretariat.


Be sure not to miss the Champions Barn and Show. I noticed that the park is now offering a tour of Private Horse Farms. I would do this next time.


Champions Barn



Keeneland Race Track was in full swing when we were there. If you like horse racing this is a must see.

My favorite stop was Old Friends Farm – a retirement home for Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. I get teary just writing this. You want to talk about people doing good work on behalf of these majestic animals…Old Friends Farm is the place.


This is Silver Charm…Kentucky Derby, Preakness Winner. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by jockey, Gary Stevens. We were told that when Bob Baffert came to visit this horse, he cried. Silver Charm traveled from Japan to spend the rest of his days at Old Friends Farm.


If you love horses and racing and great stories…this tour will warm your soul, melt your heart and leave you wanting more. Be sure and wear comfortable shoes.


Afternoon Deelites once owned by Burt Bacharach now lives a peaceful life in his pasture.


Now I am not a bourbon drinker…at least I wasn’t before touring Woodford Reserve Distillery. I had no clue how bourbon was made, thus this was particularly fascinating.


Woodford is historic for many reasons but if you are interested in history and photography…then make this your bourbon stop.


And after my guided tasting of their bourbon, I purchased a bottle of Double Oaked Bourbon.


I’m told that following the bourbon trail makes for a great day…we ran out of time.

Best attraction is jumping in your car with the windows down…music on the radio and just randomly driving along these magnificent country roads. Let the beauty guide your path.

Good Meals are easy to come by in Lexington. We ate every breakfast at Essence of the Bluegrass and that carried us through most of the day.

Malone’s Steak House served up the finest fillet mignon I’ve ever eaten. Malone’s serves U.S.D.A prime beef with a huge variety of side dishes. The Lexingtonian salad is ridiculously good and comes with your dinner. Truth be told…I could have eaten only the salad and been happy – it’s that good. Excellent customer service…a wide array of cocktails combined with melt in your mouth steaks and I’m a happy girl. How about you? (I was so busy eating, I forgot to take a picture.)

If you want BBQ…the real deal BBQ…then you’ve got to go to Red State BBQ. It’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s melt in your mouth deliciousness. I had ribs and my husband had double smoked brisket. Best sauce? Kentucky Small Batch. We both had sides of cole slaw and corn pudding and yes…we indulged in peach bread pudding. I mean…come on y’all. This is a must.


That’s our short trip in a nutshell. If you’ve been to Lexington and have tips for me…please share below. And if you haven’t been…treat yourself to this lovely, soulful…peaceful getaway. I was needing a little food for my soul and I found it here.

Come join me here!

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