Having Fun in Lexington, Kentucky

Last week, DH had to go to Lexington, Kentucky to do some work, so once again I packed a bag and tagged along.  I had a fun time shopping and sight seeing while he was working. Lexington says it is the horse capital of the world, with much in the town being about the horse. There are horse farms, a horse racing track, an entire park dedicated to horses and Man O’ War, and many of the streets are named for race winners or tracks.  I took over 300 pictures, and I promise I will not show them all to you, LOL!!  But today, come with me as I shop and eat, visit quilt shops and bookstores, and have fun in Lexington.


In some places in town, there are horse statues painted by local artists that were apparently part of an art project some time ago.   We do the same thing here with our bears every year. I only found four of these horses, but this one was the most compelling, did you see what was behind it in the picture above?

Painted Horse 10

Oh, yes, a Kentucky institution, Old Kentucky Bourbon Chocolates. Every last bit of this store was chocolate! The aroma of freshly worked chocolate hit you as you walked in, there was no way to leave without having some.

Ky Chocolates 2

A couple of free samples later, I decided on a large box of Bourbon Truffle Chocolates, and two little samplers. One of the samplers was Black Forest Truffles (bourbon, chocolate truffle with chopped cherries), and the other was Chocolate Covered Bourbon Cherries. I am carefully rationing these out, excuse me for a moment while I go nab one, my treat for today.

Chocolates bourbons

This horse was across the street from the chocolate shop. It was beautifully done, and I think was my favorite of the ones I found.

Painted Horse 11

Next on the west side route plan was this shop, Quilter’s Square.

Quilter's Square 1

Beautifully light inside, and huge! Owners Chana and Kayla were so friendly and helpful, I really enjoyed chatting with them.

Quilter's Square 4

They are doing the Row by Row too, and had a darling hot air balloon pattern. Although I can’t show it to you, you can see in these pictures how many projects they have going on, with samples above the fabric. Just stop by and get their kit if you are near the area.

Quilter's Square 3

They had fabric and more fabric!  So much choice!  I could have spent a lot longer just admiring all the displays and quilts.

Quilter's Square 2

While I was on the west side, I had to go to my favorite chain bookstore, Half Price Books. I was delighted to find two stores in Lexington, this was the smaller of the two.

Half Price Books Lexington 1

Yet it was stuffed as is usual for these stores.  The cookbook corner had the same amount of space as this one for crafting, sewing, quilting, gardening and more.  The clearance section was huge too, with lots of books at just $2.

Half Price Books Lexington 3

Dinner that night was at a local eatery called Saul Good, I had a flatbread pizza.

Saul Good pizza

DH had a tuna steak, and shared his asparagus with me.

Saul Good tuna

On the corner of the shopping center, this horse was standing watch.

Painted Horse 5

The next bit of shopping was on the east side, with Sew-A-Lot leading off the afternoon of fun.

Sew-A-Lot 1

I have to say, I had just as much fun chatting with Patti, Thomas and Kim. They were trying to get to their lunch but were willing to chat as long as I was there, and I just couldn’t leave, LOL!! Sorry for delaying your lunches, but I was just enjoying myself too much!!  There were a lot of goodies to see, patterns and fabric galore.

Sew-A-Lot 2

Their Row by Row pattern was inspired by one of their customers who uses a little red wagon to carry all her class supplies. It is a darling pattern, so stop over and get their kit if you are nearby this summer.

Sew-A-Lot 3

The east side’s Half Price Books was next on the list, and wow, what a pretty storefront with the arbor and flowers!!

Half Price Lexington flowers

This large store kept me entertained for over an hour as I perused the fiction for books on my to-get list, and then the non-fiction for what might be fun.

HalfPriceBooks 2

The last horse is the only one of the four with a plaque to show what it was all about, but it wasn’t dated. This one is in front of the TV station and is named Color Bars. It was bought at the art event and donated to the station.

Painted Horse 4

Dinner that evening was at Columbia Steak House. The original restaurant has been there since 1943. We went to one closer to the hotel that has been there for 17 years. It is locally owned, not a chain.

Columbia exterior

I usually look for one of a kind places like this when traveling. We have to resort to chain restaurants often enough on the road, so these are a treat. We started off with a shrimp appetizer as we were both hungry. I had skipped lunch to shop and sight-see.

Columbia shrimp

My dinner was a nicely grilled rib-eye with steamed broccoli.

Columbia steak

DH had a Kentucky staple, a Hot Brown. I was surprised to find out that this is not an open faced roast beef with brown gravy. Quite different!! It is sliced ham and turkey on a piece of bread, covered in a mornay-like sauce, topped with cheese and sliced tomato then broiled to melt and brown the cheese. Then it is topped with crispy bacon. Yum!!

Columbia hot brown

Inside the restaurant was again, all about the horse, with somewhat old fashioned decor and horse pictures on the stucco walls.  It was a bit dark, with stained wood beams on the ceiling and wood floors.

Columbia interior

They had several beautiful stained glass like art on the doors and windows.  Only by getting very close could you see that it was done with paint, still they were nicely done.

Columbia window

So, that was shopping and eating. In future posts, I’ll show you some of the other places I visited, including the Arboretum and Keeneland. We were not able to get to the Kentucky Horse Park where Man O’ War is memorialized as the greatest horse that ever raced. The tickets were $20 each plus $5 to park, and we just didn’t have the whole day to spend there to make that worthwhile. But, DH will have to go back later in the year, so we may try then.

Are you going to do a Row by Row quilt this year? Do you have patterns left over from last year like I do?


Take Me Away!


23 thoughts on “Having Fun in Lexington, Kentucky

  1. karenfae

    it looks like you had fun going through quilt shops, book shops and eating! and looking for horses. I read a lot to but tend to do more of that on my kindle than actual books now but still love to wander.

  2. I’m so glad you had a good time in Ky. You were about an hour and half from me (Louisville). Did you get to see the bluegrass?
    Good to see you got back home safely. Looking forward to see what you make with some of the fabric.

  3. Maureen

    Kentucky Horse Park is definitely worth a visit next time. If you have an extra day, consider visiting Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, about an hour from Lex.

  4. What a fun photo tour!!! A hot brown is news to me! As for the Row By Row, I made a quilt last year. I have the patterns from the year before. From now on, I’m just collecting the patterns from the shop I work at and will make a wallhanging of those patterns. We have 4 patterns so far, starting from 2014. It’ll be interesting to see how long it continues. Quilters seem to be not too keen on the applique rows. Ours is pieced every year.

  5. It looks like a fun place to visit with so much shopping and sights to see. Our granddaughter has been there all week for a horse show. I guess I should have gone with her. lol

  6. Rosemaryflower

    What a great adventure. I love all of the photos and commentary.
    I need to get out more….
    I love the horses. We have horses like this in Loudoun County. We also have foxes. All of them are so well done. Really art pieces.
    Thanks for sharing your adventures. Quilting/fabric shops overwhelm me. I want everything

  7. Patricia

    We spent a week in Lexington several years ago before my quilting days. Had a great time, now I see we should go again.

  8. After reading your post, I think Lexington will be on my Destination List. Chocolate, quilting, books, horses, beautiful flowers, so much FUN! As for Row x Row, I only collect ones I like. I have 2 from two years ago that I still want to make and turn them into window toppers for my sewing space. One day ….

  9. Hi Carole,
    It looks like you had a blast in Lexington. Those quilt shops look like they will definitely be a must-visit when I get in the area, and who doesn’t like Half Price Books??!! I love to go and browse, even if most of my reading lately is done on my iPad. You just never know what you might find! How fun are all those colorful horses. ~smile~ Roseanne

  10. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, These are wonderful pictures and such a fun read this morning. Thank you for sharing your great “adventures” with us! I sure wish that we could go on a trip such as this and just go browsing and shopping, yet when we do leave town and go some where else there is always other sight seeing adventures picked out that take over any sort of this type. Someday maybe…LOL. Until then, I will enjoy what you share!! Deanna is over this weekend and we are both trimming up the half square triangles needed for the Scrap Dance Tango. I believe I did one Row by Row quilt, but would have to go searching all through pictures and blog posts to be positive, which I might do since my curiosity is really going now! Well, it is time for me to get busy and stop being on the computer. Thank you again for sharing your great trip with us, I really enjoyed it! Have a great day!

  11. catsandroses

    What a fun trip! And I haven’t had any breakfast yet, so the food & chocolate pics are making me hungry — everything looks so yummy! Love the colorful horses, looks like a lovely area to explore. (And I didn’t get to comment on your Safelight project update, but so glad to see all those amazing cards and goodies for the ladies! What a wonderful cause, so glad you brought this to our attention!)

  12. Mary Crawford

    What a fun trip! I love doing just what you did….checking out new places, visiting with people, taking it all in. Love the horses around town – I may have to put Lexington on my list to visit. Indianapolis was like that only with tennis shoes painted in every way imaginable. I have 2 Row by Row quilts half done from the last 2 years. Perhaps they should be completed before collecting more rows! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Diann Smith

    Ha…I moved to Lex seven years ago with hubby as retirees to be able to watch grandchildren grow up and help the parents..ha. You did such a beautiful report and Lexington is a wonderful place to live. I enjoyed the read and the pictures. And the bluegrass…oy…we came from Tennessee where there is Bermuda and it creeps everywhere and you have to pull weeds weekly. So now no weed pulled in seven years…more time to quilt. I am working on finishing the Dear Jane quilt started about 1997,,,,,,,,,I’m slacker Jane. But I will finish. And last year I DID make the 365 quilt and stayed with it and didn’t give up. A nervous breakdown in the making but it’s over and now I am glad I finished. Can’t wait to read Lexington Part 2.

  14. I love virtual trips Carole, and have only driven through Kentucky, not stopping to see or explore anything. The horses are fantastic, and it looks like you found some stores that you loved!

  15. dezertsuz

    Maybe I am, and yes, from the last … okay, let’s just say I’ve never actually made a row in the years I’ve been collecting! LOL Thank you so much for the tour. This does help with my decision about whether to stop at the quilt shops as I go up to Ohio. Your food looks delicious – all of it – and so nice to see actual crisp bacon on something!

  16. Cheryl Buchanan

    Loved your visit to Lexington. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, so entertaining. I have been to Lexington, but it was a quick overnight trip and I didn’t get to sight see like you did. Perhaps I’ll get to go back. Loved the trip to the chocolate shop, that would be a must for me. Absolutely love liquor chocolates and haven’t had any good ones since I lived overseas. I know you don’t do Facebook, but there was a row by row quilt done by a lady in Hawaii that was all hot air balloons. I don’t recall seeing that many of those patterns on the Hawaii site so I don’t know how she got them all, but it was beautiful I have two patterns with those but only used one. I want to make some pillows out of some of them. Can’t wait to see your other pictures!

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  18. Love all the statues around! Our town did that with bikes one year. How fun to tag along on your husband’s trips; we do that with my husband’s whenever we can too!

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