Billed as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington farms have raised several Kentucky Derby champions, with thoroughbreds bred here since the late 1700s. The city is also known for the University of Kentucky and its wildly successful Wildcats basketball team, and other local higher education options include Bluegrass Community & Technical College and Transylvania University.
Besides education, the economy is strong in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and technology (not to mention its popular bourbon distilleries). Scenic amenities include 130 public parks and Red River Gorge for hikers. Lexington rates high for housing options and affordability, and a walkable downtown district features great restaurants, upscale shopping and a vibrant cultural scene.