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TDIFest 2011 Discussion about TDIFest 2011 on the Labour Day weekend (September 2-4th, 2011) in Lexington, KY.

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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:11   #1
Turbojäger
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kentucky
Default Tips from a Kentuckian

Hey TDI club,

Its been a looonnnng time since I've posted on here, not sure if I ever really have honestly, more of a lurker.

Plus I've been over in Germany for school (coming home at the end of August finally) so maybe being away from the car has something to do with it...

Anyway, I'm from an hour north of Lexington and went to school at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, so I know my way around a bit there. Its always nice to get some tips from a local so I figured i'd help "ya'll" out by suggesting a few things.

In Lexington
A great place to eat in Lexington is Ramsey's. There are I think 3 of them in the city, but the one we always went to (and the oldest one I think) is on the corner of E. High Street and Woodland Ave. They have mostly traditional southern cooking. Great stuff!

Another good place to eat is Malone's. Its a more expensive restaurant with really good steaks. They are located off of Tate's Creek road I believe.

There are lots of bars in Lexington, catering mostly to the college crowd, especially those close to campus (Two Keys Tavern for example, with $10 all you can drink on Thursday nights) or the Paddock which has an all you can drink special on Wednesday I believe. I think they changed it, but they used to have all you can drink domestic bottles for $5! Talk about a good time!

Good downtown bars are McCarthy's (an Irish pub which at night can also be quite packed with the college crowd), Cheapside (lots of outdoor seating) and the Horse and Barrel Tavern (across the street from the Hilton, next to DeShe's, with a nice bourbon selection).

Another nice place is Molly Brooke's irish pub. Its across from the courthouses (ask around), has a better pint of Guinness than McCarthys, and isn't as packed/collegy.

Woodford County
Drive out to Versailles in Woodford County and take a tour of the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Its beautiful, and even if you don't like Bourbon the drive from Lexington is quite nice and the distillery tour is interesting as well. Grounds are pretty nice. Out in Versailles there is a little restaurant called Ricardo's, right on the main drag when you come into town. They have good steaks and so on. I recommend. Stop in after the tour.

High Bridge and Wilmore
One of my favorite things to do around Lexington is to drive out to High Bridge, the highest bridge in Kentucky, a railroad bridge, which spans the Kentucky River. Its out past a little town called Wilmore, which is this really cute (almost creepily so) small town which still has an IGA store (I know, right??) and is also home to Asbury College which a seminary or something with lots of strict rules like no drinking, no sex etc. This adds to the creepy feeling we always got when driving through the town haha. No offense to anyone who may happen to live in Wilmore. I'm sure its a nice place, it just feels like a scary utopia to me.

From Lexington ,take Harrodsburg road all the way out (towards Harrodsburg) until it turns into a two lane road. Keep going, until the road splits at a gas station. Veer left past the gas station, and keep going straight. You will drive through Wilmore (lock your doors and watch out for Stepford wives). Asbury's campus is on the right as you drive thorough town, and IGA (worth stopping in to get a drink and a snack, it seriously feels like a store from the 1950s) can be found by taking a left at the only traffic light in town, and then a quick right into the parking lot past the SubWay. To get to High Bridge, keep going on the road you came into town on. You will eventually dead end into High Bridge's visitor area. There is a viewing platform at the end of the park on the right, near the big white pavillion. Good place to take a picture.

When you leave the park, after cross under the bridge the way you came in, if you have time take the little road on the left which seems to drop off sideways over the hillside. Taking a left at the bottom of the hill will take you past some of Kentucky's finest river dwellings (houses on stilts as well as scary redneck places where you wonder how people can live there) and straight under the bridge. Going straight at the bottom of the hill through the stone entrance will take you to a small dam type thing which is also worth checking out. There's no need to really choose, as the road past the river houses dead ends eventually, forcing you to come back the way you came.

Tight curves to Shakertown, waterfall
Remember the split at the gas station mentioned earlier, where you could take the left to do all of the things above? Well, taking a right will take you towards Harrodsburg, into Murray County I think its called. If you like driving through curves, do yourself a favor and take this road. There is a section of really tight curves that are formed at the base of a cliff. They are fun, but be mindful of water trickling down off of the cliffside and onto the road. I almost lost it once due to an approx. 1 foot wide stream of water on the road. My 8.5, 9.5 in. staggered tires didn't seem to like part of them being wet and part of them being dry and i almost spun out in the curve.

Past the curves you cross a little bridge into Murray or Mercer or something-or-other County and there are some more nice turns through the woods. Then everything opens up and you're out in farmland again. Ahead on the right is Shakertown, a preserved village of houses made by the Shakers, a religious sect that died out some time ago. Worth checking out if you have the time, they also have a great restaurant with fried chicken, etc. Right before Shakertown on the left is the entrance to Shaker landing (I think the gate closes at 4?) where you can take an old steamboat paddleboat looking thing tour of the Kentucky river that lasts an hour or something. Never done this though, so call Shakertown for info. Driving down to Shaker landing is cool though even if you don't take the tour. The road is curvy. One side is a cliff, the other is a guardrail and a hillside/dropoff. At the bottom of the hill is a parking lot for the boat tours. If you walk into the woods straight at the end of the parking lot (there is a little foot trail) and walk about 3 minutes, there is a really nice waterfall.

Harrodsburg
Past Shakertown you come into Harrodsburg, typical central-Kentucky small town. Very old buildings. Neat place really. Would be a good place to live if it weren't so damned isolated. The nearest interstate is back in Lexington! Anyway, when you come into town there is a house on the left hidden behind a row of high bushes, with a narrow gap wide enough for a gate. The house is (at least as of last year) for sale on Sotheby's and is the SCARIEST HOUSE I HAVE EVER SEEN. Beautiful, but you probably couldn't pay me to sleep there. It says no trespassing but pull into the drive and check it out for a second. Tell me if you can sleep later. I bet you can't!

Past the scary ghost house there is a light where you turn left to go up into the old part of the town. There are some cool buildings and at the top of the hill there is a church I think. Take a left and somewhere back in there, on the right, there is a sign for a place I believe is called the Beaufont or similar. Its some old Bed and Breakfast or something and its really neat looking. There is a restaurant called Owl's Tavern, I believe, which has decent food in my experience. Eddy Montgomery's (from the country band Mongomery Gentry) Steakhouse is also nearby, but I've never eaten there and don't really remember exactly how to get there either. Also in Harrodsburg is Fort Harrod, and old fort you can take tours of. Kind of cool!

Well I've rambled on enough about what to do in and around Lexington. I am thinking about stopping down for a day or so and getting my car tuned. If I don't see any of you, enjoy the Bluegrass State!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 15:36   #2
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Oops I thought the downtown hilton was being referred to. The horse and barrel is not across from the TDIfest hotel. oops.
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