Lexington, KY aerial shot

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 48
Demographics 49
Economy 41
Education 63
Health 63
Housing 61
Infrastructure 49

#57. Lexington, KY

Lexington, KY may be known for its bourbon or for being the Horse Capital of the World, but that’s not all this dynamic city has to offer. Entrepreneurs love Lexington. It’s a gigabit city with Internet faster than its racehorses and has an entrepreneurial ecosystem to help businesses succeed. The bourbon, barbecue and bluegrass music are additional perks for the city’s more than 320,000 residents. Lexington is also home to the highly accomplished University of Kentucky basketball team and their loyal fan base is known as Big Blue Nation. Finally, the city is perfect for those who love to travel, as it is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the United States population.  

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Kentucky & Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Top Industries & Employers: University of Kentucky and Toyota Manufacturing are among the major employers in the region. Education, health care and manufacturing are key industries.

Weekend Plans: Cheer on the minor league baseball team, the Lexington Legends, or listen to live music at Headliners Music Hall.

Favorite Place to Feast: Putting a twist on barbecue, County Club has smoked Kentucky-raised meats and menu items with global influence (think: smoked chicken wings with Oaxacan or Sichuan rubs).

Beloved Beverage: Get an excellent introduction to bourbon (and bourbon cocktails) at Bourbon on Rye.

Outdoorsy Activity: Bordered by the Kentucky River, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is a 734-acre area with hiking trails that meander through meadows and woodlands. The Kentucky River Overlook provides scenic views of the Kentucky River Palisades.

Rooftop Bar: Belle’s Cocktail House, where the drinks are as Instagram-worthy as the rooftop views.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Even downtown dogs have their own dog park, Phoenix Park.

Remote Work Perk: Lexington is a gigabit city. Plus, it has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, including SPARK, an initiative that hosts forums and events to connect entrepreneurs to funding groups and other helpful resources.

One More Thing … The Lexington Public Library is home to the world’s largest ceiling clock, a five-story Foucault pendulum and frieze. 

– Brittany Anas

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