Lexington, Kentucky may be one of the best-kept secrets for finding a satisfying, comfortable, and affordable way of life. Many factors make this area great for people of all ages. Although known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington has more than just the equine industry going for it. Here are 14 great reasons why you should consider Lexington, Kentucky as your home.
Quality of Life
Southern in nature, there is a touch of the Midwest that creates a feeling of being at home. The friendliness of residents is experienced on the streets, in business, and throughout neighborhoods. Lexington ranked #36 out of 100 Top Best Places to Live in 2019 by Livability.com. US News ranked Lexington #29 out of 125 Best Places to Live. The low unemployment rate and the never-ending list of things to do helped to secure these high ratings. In 2018, Lexington had a lower unemployment rate than the national average at 3.4%. The diverse job market is not just geared to one specific group. Everything from agriculture to technology employment can be found in this area. Free concerts and walking downtown are a common sight, and everyone is welcome.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Lexington came in 14% lower than the national average in 2008. This figure has held consistent throughout 2019. This proves a stability in the economic status of this mid-sized city. The median value of a home in 2019 is around $183,000. This figure has increased by 5.2% from the following year and is expected to rise again in 2020. Compared to other parts of the country where home values are exceeding 50% and upward, Lexington remains at a realistic pace for keeping the market secure. Property taxes and utilities seem to remain steady according to a report issued by KPMG LLC. Transportation costs, education fees, and necessities are steady, as well.
The Foundation for Affordable Housing was created in 1993 by citizens of Lexington. Quality housing for the homeless or low-income families proves the concern and care that this community has. This type of program has helped to bring pride back to residents that may be suffering from hardships. Further programs are available for first-time buyers when the time comes to upgrade.
Lexington is a college town with the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University attracting students from all across the country. The Bluegrass Community and Technical College is also a favorite for receiving an outstanding higher learning education. It is believed that the reason Lexington is considered one of the highest educated cities in the nation is due to the outstanding educational programs available here. Many graduates can easily find work to advance their careers by staying and residing in the area. According to US News & World Report, there are currently 4 high schools that are considered some of the most high-ranking schools in the nation. There are a mixture of both public and private schools from k-12 available for families in the Lexington area.
Highly Educated City
The US Census rates Lexington at #10 for having the most educated residents in a city of more than 250,000. Over 20% of residents over the age of 25 hold a Bachelor’s Degree and more than 10% have a Master’s Degree. The city takes learning very seriously, beginning at an elementary level. The top 10 average test scores for grades k-5 in 2018 was between 85% and 97% in the Fayette County district. Pride runs deep in this Southern community and many students attend the higher learning institutes in Lexington as opposed to moving away.
Proud Historical Roots
The Lexington area was the first part of Kentucky to be settled and the beginning of the Wild West. Residents are proud of their heritage and it shows. Beautiful antebellum houses and buildings that date back to the 18th Century are still standing and well-kept. Many respected homes, such as the Mary Todd Lincoln House, are on display for the public to experience history first-hand. Fields of battle are noted and many monuments mark the battles of the Civil War. They say that with pride comes respect. Perhaps this is why the residents are so eager to share their historical past.
Kentucky has a moderate climate that offers the 4 seasons in a brilliant array of colors. The overall average temperature for Lexington is 55 degrees F. While there is snowfall during the winter months, the average annual snowfall is only 13 inches. The average temperature during the summer months is 83 degrees F. There is rarely extreme heat or cold forecasts. Humidity can become high at times, however. Overall, the weather is comfortable while providing seasonal beauty.
Lexington is conveniently located within 100 miles from Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. The Blue Grass Airport services Allegiant, American, Delta, United Express and US Airways. The city is basically vehicle-based, but car rentals and taxis are city-wide. An intra-city bus service is available, but lacks service to the suburbs. There is also a Greyhound Bus station for traveling to and from the city by bus.
According to charts provided by the Lexington, Kentucky government website, crime has been on the decrease since August 2017. This is an unusual statistic since the city has steadily grown in population since the World Population Review began tracking this data. The police force in Lexington is active in community partnership outreach programs to ensure positive opportunities and relationships to benefit the community.
The Horse Capital of the World leaves no shortage of Equine events. The Kentucky Horse Park has a renowned stadium set within the 1200-acre park for shows and events. The park also hosts events such as dog shows, soccer tournaments and music festivals. Horse racing is a huge sport with exquisite thoroughbreds competing for honors at 2 different race tracks. The University of Kentucky brings national attention to football and basketball. There is no end to the games and fun, both professionally and amateur, when it comes to sports in Lexington.
Restaurants and Shopping
Lexington has a way of getting things done. Take their downtown renovation of shops and restaurants. Many cities lost traditional shops and eateries in their downtown areas to make room for skyscrapers and parking. Lexington took a different approach by keeping 16 original buildings in the heart of the city for dining and shopping. Known as The Square, this area was reconstructed in 1985 and placed under one roof. History was preserved, and there is an open, airy courtyard where residents and visitors are free to enjoy the light-hearted atmosphere.
There is a large variety of eats in Lexington. From fine dining to local cuisine, you will find whatever you are hungry for. Corto Lima is a 5-star restaurant that is rated #2 in the best places to eat in Lexington. The cuisine is Mexican, Latin, Central American, and South American. On the other hand, local cuisine can be enjoyed at Red State BBQ that serves up excellent ribs and pulled pork or Ramsey’s Diner where Chicken and Dumplings or Cajun Catfish are excellent choices.
Unique shops are part of Lexington’s mixture of Brand name stores and large department stores. There is little that you will not find in terms of gifts, souvenirs, handcrafted items, or seasonal products.
Parks and Recreation
There are more than 100 parks within the city limits and more that lie close by. Lexington promotes fresh air and outdoor activity by making it simple to choose the location of your choice. Each park has an individual beauty. Whether it is the streams and trails of Raven Run Nature Sanctuary or the trees and flowers of the Arboretum, the city prides itself in presenting nature at its best. Walking and biking trails are abundant, and some parks even have a children’s garden for promoting learning and outdoor fun.
Don’t forget the horse farms that provide tours of the lavish green acres set aside for first-class horses. Several activities involve riding, tours, and spectator sports. The great waterways bring a different type of excitement to residents and visitors. Kentucky is known as the House Boat Capital of the World due to the natural formation of streams, rivers and lakes. Fishing, hunting, canoeing, and camping are available in many areas. Lake Cumberland is close by and a retreat all its own. Over 1,250 acres of shoreline is larger than that of Florida with 770 miles.
Art and Cultural Events
Everywhere you turn a cultural event is taking place. Theater, dance, and art are very much alive in Lexington with performances and museums too numerous to mention. You can watch painters at work, attend a Broadway play, or visit countless galleries that display paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media or photography. Festivals are frequent and upbeat with Blue Grass and Jazz music.
You cannot visit Lexington without remembering the good old southern hospitality. The people are genuine when greeting you on the street or helpful in providing directions or aid. It is hard to put a reason to this type of behavior except that the love, pride, outdoor attachment and quality of life keep them motivated to keep the good in their home — Lexington, Kentucky.
If you are looking for a city that has 4 seasons, hospitable residents, action, and quiet, you can’t do better than Lexington. The population increases each year as more and more people become aware of this jewel.