Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Lexington, a city guide for meeting professionals. Famous for its scenic beauty, small town charm, true hospitality and legendary bourbon, Lexington also holds the distinction of Horse Capital of the World. Lexington's blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, as well as its commitment to historical preservation, make this Kentucky city cosmopolitan, with a vibrant downtown district that is lined with award-winning restaurants, boutiques and world-class entertainment options. It is also anchored by the famed University of Kentucky Rupp Arena and expansive Lexington Convention Center. Downtown Lexington is set up like a wheel with spokes, with main arterial roads running into horse country's Thoroughbred farms and rolling pastures. The area's wealth of horse farms makes it obvious why Lexington was chosen as the host of the 2010 World Equestrian Games – the first U.S. city chosen, in fact.
Situated at the intersection of I-64 and I-75 in Fayette County, Lexington sits at the heart of the Bluegrass Region, within a day's drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population. The city's Blue Grass Airport sits amid horse farms, just four miles from the central business district. Serving 13 nonstop destinations and more than 86 daily flights, the airport makes it easy for delegates to fly in and out of such major markets as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Washington, DC. In addition to Blue Grass Airport, Lexington is 83 miles away from the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati International Airport, the second largest hub airport in North America. Once in Lexington, delegates can hop aboard the city's LexTran bus system, which provides direct access to the Lexington Convention Center and Blue Grass Airport, and the free Colt downtown circulator service, which takes passengers to such sites as the Lexington Convention Center.
Situated in the heart of historic downtown Lexington, the recently renovated Lexington Convention Center features 66,000 square feet of versatile, elegant exhibition space in the center of historic downtown Lexington. The sprawling, light-filled convention center features 40,000 square feet of up to 18 meeting rooms and ballrooms, 25,000 square feet of pre-function space and a new 12,000-square-foot conference area overlooking downtown. The center sits adjacent to a two-level food court and shopping area and two full-service hotels, as well as offers access to a 1,000-seat historic Opera House and 24,000-seat Rupp Arena – the place to be on game day. Delegates are within steps of downtown dining, shopping and entertainment, as well as lodging options.
Aside from the prestigious Lexington Convention Center, Lexington is home to a number of special event venues for group functions and adventures. The world's only park dedicated to humanity's relationship with the horse, Kentucky Horse Park welcomes nearly one million annual visitors to its museums, Hall of Champions, equine presentations and major sporting events. Groups can gather in the park's variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, ranging from VIP sections in the Alltech Arena to the outdoor Man O'War Memorial. Located near Blue Grass Airport, Keeneland Race Course is a beloved Lexington Thoroughbred racetrack and auction company in one. Featuring live racing for three weeks in April and three weeks in October, Keeneland welcomes year-round tours of its spectacular grounds and private events in such spaces as its 1,000-person Sales Pavilion, 500-person Entertainment Center and Keene Barn and 350-person Phoenix Dining Rooms, which overlooks the saddling paddock and walking ring, among many other spaces.
Situated within a 30-minute drive of Lexington, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill serves as America's largest restored Shaker community, a popular tourist attraction and fantastic event venue. The 3,000-acre National Historic Landmark, features a Living History Museum with 14 original Shaker buildings, 70-room The Inn at Shaker Village, Trustees' Office Dining Room and Winter Kitchen, two craft stores, 40 miles of trails, riverboat rides and horse-drawn wagon rides. Groups can gather in the village's more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as participate in such group programming as bonfires, concerts and nature walks. Lexington cultural venues that double as unique meeting venues include the Singletary Center for the Arts and the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center. Set on the University of Kentucky campus, the Singletary Center for the Arts showcases 400 annual events and offers private rentals of its 1,467-seat Concert Hall, 381-seat Recital Hall and President's Room. Built in 1948 as a movie house, the newly reopened Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center houses a 540-seat theater, art gallery, museum and outdoor courtyard, all available for group events. Last but not least, The Kentucky Theatre shows first-fun and independent movies and welcomes private events in its downtown space.