The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Lexington, KY

Lexington is consistently featured on lists as one of the best small cities to live in the United States. Job opportunities, small business growth, a strong regional medical hub, and a lively entertainment scene make it an ideal location for singles, families, and retirees alike. The following 5 neighborhoods all have a great deal to offer.

1. Chevy Chase/Ashland Park

One of the most highly-sought after (and priciest) residential areas in Lexington, the district combines history, plenty of green space, and easy access to all amenities. Much of the neighborhood was designed in the early 20th century by landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers. Shady tree-lined avenues and parkland could make you forget how close you are to downtown and the University of Kentucky campus. Restaurants, shops, and all the benefits of Main Street are just a short walk away. Its convenient location, low crime rate, and access to good schools make it attractive to retirees and families alike.

Highlights:

Ashland Estate. Once a sprawling 600-acre estate, the historic home of statesman Henry Clay is a registered National Historic Landmark. The house and gardens are open to the public. Garden parties, jazz concerts, and other events are held throughout the year.

The Sage Rabbit. One of the many excellent restaurants in Chevy Chase, The Sage Rabbit offers a farm-to-table menu of pasta, steaks, and burgers. Try one of their craft cocktails or enjoy the popular Saturday-morning brunch on the patio.

2. Beaumont

Thirty years ago, Beaumont was an open sprawl of unused land. Since the 1990s it has grown into a popular neighborhood. High-end houses, townhomes, and condos make up this area that is close to the airport, Keeneland Racetrack, and within driving distance of downtown.

Beaumont was designed with convenience in mind. Well-maintained green spaces and sidewalks make it easy to get to the nearby grocery store, medical offices, restaurants and offices. The schools are some of the best in the city, and with the YMCA and the Moondance Amphitheater on your doorstep, you need never be short of something to do.

Highlights:

Moondance Amphitheater. What better way to enjoy a summer evening than viewing a movie or attending a concert in this beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Attendees bring blankets or lawn chairs and picnics for a relaxing casual atmosphere.

Azur Restaurant. Chef Jeremy Ashby is something of a local celebrity. His menu at Azur includes high-quality local produce and European-inspired dishes. Examples from the innovative seasonal menu include lobster crepes, pork chop in bourbon molasses,  and sea scallops in a lemon jalapeno bacon butter sauce.

3. Kenwick

Once part of the fruit orchards on Henry Clay’s extensive Ashland estate, the Kenwick neighborhood is now a picturesque mix of Victorian and early twentieth-century Craftsman bungalows.

Residents are justifiably proud of their homes and host an annual tour of some of the bungalows to display their restorations. The neighborhood is small and friendly, with regular community get-togethers and a shared garden.

Highlights:

National Avenue. A five-minute walk from Kenwick brings you to National Ave, home to an array of craft breweries, eateries, and coffee shops.

Pivot Brewing and the Lexington Pasta Garage. Find both of these businesses across the railway tracks that border one end of Kenwick. Pivot offers a range of ciders and beers, and holds a variety of events from painting classes to trivia nights. Just along the road, the Lexington Pasta Garage has locally sourced Italian-style food in a casual, family-friendly location.

4. Southland

Funky, eclectic, artistic, a true feeling of welcoming and inclusivity… just a few of the ways residents describe the Southland Corridor. The area has undergone a period of exciting revitalization in the last decade or so. The main stretch of Southland is home to dozens of locally-owned businesses. The surrounding residences sell quickly attracting a lot of younger professionals and families. Nearby schools, availability of public transport, and a strong community vibe all contribute to making this one of Lexington’s liveliest places to be.

Highlights:

Marikka’s Bier Stube. Schnitzel, sausage, a huge selection of beers from around the world, and a German-style beer hall are just a few of the attractions at Marikka’s. The newly renovated location also includes beach volleyball courts and a patio for watching the summer evening matches.

Willie’s Locally Known. Willie’s has become a popular spot for good food, good drinks, and good music. The menu offers such Southern favorites as bbq, po-boys, and street tacos. The venue features live music most nights.

5. Liberty Heights

This Lexington neighborhood of charming post-war homes and apartments is often overlooked but has a lot to offer. It is great for young professionals who want the benefits of city living without the price tag.

Houses are reasonably priced, sometimes with a surprising amount of land. Crime is low. Public transport runs regularly providing quick access to theaters, restaurants, shops, and Rupp Arena.  Liberty Heights retains its quiet charm while also being on the edge of revitalization efforts along National Avenue.

Highlights:

Parkette Drive-In. The Parkette is a piece of Lexington history – a drive-in diner in operation since the 1950s. Choose to eat in the diner itself or have the food brought to you in your car. Be sure to order one of the house specials, perhaps the famous Poor Boy, and a milkshake.

Johnson Heights Park. The neighborhood park is accessible via a small bridge and is a nice place for some peace and quiet.



Fiona Young-Brown