Map of Lexington Kentucky Area
Lexington is one of the most charming and inviting cities in the United States and located in the mid-northeast part of Kentucky. It’s a woodsy city full of rolling landscapes and lots to do and see. If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle that life can be, Lexington is the place to go!
It offers the luxury and conveniences of big cities, but none of the noise and pollution. It’s like a small-town American with expressways, shopping, and entertainment consisting of more than just the adorable animals on their pastures.
How big is Lexington?
Located in Fayette County, Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky. As of 2021, its population 324,604, up significantly since 2010 (295,803). Clearly, it’s a popular place to live, but also, attracts millions of visitors every year due to its historical sites, outdoor activities, horserace parks, and great lodging.
Its geographic land area is 286 miles, making the density of people per square mile 1,144. In simpler terms, Lexington is less crowded than Boston, MA, and more crowded than Columbus, OH.
As with any fairly large city, there is one less savory part of Lexington that visitors and residences should be aware of–the northeast part of downtown. Crime is high there, but it only spans 2% of the entire city of Lexington. There are two major sections of the city–inside New Circle Rd. and outside New Circle Road.
New Circle Rd. is a large street that creates a perimeter to the downtown area and some of the more rural areas that surround it. Outside of the perimeter road are more rural areas and suburban sections.
What is Lexington known for?
Mainly, Lexington is reputed to be the “Horse Capital of the World.” Three well known racecourses there are Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile, and Keeneland. Fun facts about why Lexington has this honor…
It was the first American city to ever host the World Equestrian Games. The bluegrass pastures that feed the horses are highly nourishing, making the horses there grow healthy and strong; some horses are even memorialized there as legendary, like Man O’ War. And for every 12 people, there is one horse in Lexington.
For anyone interested in learning to ride horses, check out the Lexington Riding Academy when you’re in town.
But the lush city is also known for…
- The site of the Mary Todd Lincoln House–This was the family home of Mary Todd who would eventually marry President Abraham Lincoln. It was built in 1803 and has been well-maintained ever since. The historic home is open for tours. Check the website for hours.
- Aviation Museum of Kentucky–Locate at Blue Grass Airport, this museum showcases aircraft from different decades, including the F14 Tomcat, the Navy plane made famous by the movie Top Gun.
- Raven Run Nature Sanctuary–This hiking trail of forest and wildflowers leads to a modest waterfall and a point from which you can view the foundations of an early 1800’s grist mill.
- The Lexington Cemetery–From the spring blooms, autumn hues, and white wonderland in winter, this cemetery is one to visit for both reflection and beauty.
- Various tours of plantation homes and mansions–
- Wild Things! of Kentucky–Your destination for all things wild…snake pits, aquariums, and beehives. Plus, it has a nature shop and handmade candy. Mmmm…
Is Lexington a good place to live?
Obviously, the city is a great place for a vacation, but living there is fantastic, too! Let’s break it down…
Cost of living
The overall cost of living is less than the national average among cities. Significantly below average is the housing cost! The median (not average) cost of a single-family home or condominium in Lexington is $185,700, whereas it’s $231,200 among all other U.S. cities. Property taxes are 16% less than the national average.
The home sales boom that began in May 2020 has significantly reduced inventory for 2021 would-be buyers, but there are still some great houses in wonderful neighborhoods still available. Based on last year, Lexington is certainly an attractive place to live.
The public schools are ranked as being in the top 22% of all public school districts in the country. Lexington is in the top 15% of places to live in America, especially if raising a family. The schools offer top-notch sports programs, activities, and clubs.
With a host of different industries to choose from, the city’s job market and the economy are stable. The unemployment rate dropped from 9% in 2010 all the way down to 3% in 2019. It popped up to 4.1% since the pandemic but still remains lower than the national average.
Work is available in fields including agriculture, technology, health care, education, and logistics.
Lexington has no city or county sales tax. Consumers only pay a 6% state tax on purchases. As far as income taxes, residents pay a county flat tax of 2.25% earned income plus the regular state and federal income taxes.
These are the best places to live in Lexington:
- Chevy Chase and Ashland Park. If you have the financial means, move into this desired area. Homes here typically cost around $400K. With its historical charm, low crime, and excellent schools, this is a win in every aspect.
- Beaumont. For a less expensive area, this is the place. The homes range from $225K to $400K, and residents are close to the airport and enjoy the convenience of nearby grocery stores and weekend entertainment.
- Historic Downtown. For an urban vibe, downtown has cultural events, exciting nightlife, and a myriad of entertainment venues…an opera house, live shows, art exhibits, etc. The unique architecture of the majority of the homes here is worth every dime to enjoy. The median home price is around $250K.
- Kenwick. If you’re on more of a tight budget, then this is a great place to settle down. This walkable neighborhood is picturesque with a Victorian flair. Home prices range from only $150K to $200K. The local businesses offer pilates, gourmet coffee, and a great array of pubs and restaurants.
Go give Lexington, KY a try! You won’t regret it.