An Early Spring for Couples in Kentucky

A Couples Weekend to Lexington, Kentucky, part two

By Michael Dwyer and Sonya Julie

Spring comes about a month earlier in Kentucky compared to Michigan. Head south for an early spring and a couple’s weekend.

Shopping Around Lexington 

Barbara Harper Bach and co-authors - photo by Michael Dwyer

Barbara Harper Bach and co-authors – photo by Michael Dwyer

This extraordinary bookstore, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, with its massive domed structure is home to thousands of titles, gifts, educational games, and the popular Bronte Bistro. Priding itself in being an integral part of the community, Joseph-Beth hosts activities including author signings, holiday events, and book fairs. For a list of upcoming events at their Lexington store, visit their events page.

Personal Note: On our last visit to Lexington, we found cookbook author Barbara Harper-Bach signing her book “The Derby Party Cooking Clinic” and serving samples of Meatballs, Cheese Straws, Kentucky Bourbon Balls, and other southern delicacies.

Keeneland Race Course Gift Shop offers traditional souvenirs, as well as the unexpected. Along with T-shirts and cool toys for the kids, find a book celebrating the history of Keeneland, a cashmere throw, equestrian inspired jewelry, men’s ties, handbags, apparel, a Peter Williams print, or an artfully designed hat to wear to a dressy spring event.

More shopping stops are explained in detail at the Visit Lexington website.


Ale-8-One Factory Tours are Family Friendly - photo by Michael Dwyer

Ale-8-One Factory Tours are Family Friendly – photo by Michael Dwyer

For some fizzy, family fun, visit the Ale-8-One Factory and tour the home of a popular native Kentucky soft drink. For over eighty years, “Ale-8” ginger ale has satisfied consumers with its perfect blend of ginger and citrus with a “kick”. Available in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee, Ale-8 is produced by the Wainscott family in Winchester, KY. Be sure to visit the gift shop where you can find T-shirts, fun memorabilia, and yummy salsa made with Ale-8.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail and its many distillery tours offer a more adult take on beverage touring. The five Lexington area distilleries are Town Branch, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and The Woodford Reserve. Tours range in price and amount of walking, call ahead to see what is best for you. Here is a complete list of the five Lexington distilleries.

Visit the Town Branch Distillery while in Lexington - photo by Michael Dwyer

Visit the Town Branch Distillery while in Lexington – photo by Michael Dwyer

Food and Drink

Malone’s in Landsdowne, off Tates Creek Road, is connected to their sister store, Drake’s – both part of the Bluegrass Hospitality Group – have several locations in and around Kentucky. Known for their steak dinners, the menu offers a variety of options. From the Bottomless Lexingtonian Salad with mixed greens, bacon, and homemade herb dressing to the fresh Sushi from the Aqua menu, it will be difficult to choose. Finish off with a giant chocolate chip cookie; warm, gooey, and served with ice cream. The full-service bar offers a large selection of drinks, including brews from the local Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. and many drink specials with Bourbon.

The Bluegrass Tavern is Bourbon Heaven - photo by Michael Dwyer

The Bluegrass Tavern is Bourbon Heaven – photo by Michael Dwyer

Downtown Lexington has several options. Table 310 has a seasonal menu that is farm-driven with sustainable ingredients. They also have a large, attractive bar with classic drinks and southern cocktails.

Just around the corner is the Bluegrass Tavern with more than 150 Bourbons available. Talk to the bartender to figure out what Bourbon might peak your interest.

Click here to  read A Couples Weekend to Lexington Part One.

If you go …

Visit Lexington, Kentucky


About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at


  1. I just have to say both pieces are wonderful! It’s so nice to see Lexington getting some love. Just a note for anyone who stays in the Downtown area…The newly created Vibrancy Maps, which display 81 locally owned spots in the “NoLi” area, are the work of the NoLiCDC (North Limestone Community Development Corporation). Visitors can grab a map to discover interesting places they might otherwise miss. That said, you can’t go wrong with any of the locally owned coffee shops (A Cup of Commonwealth has already been written about on HuffPo after only one year in business). Heaven. We also have delicious restaurants (A la lucie is a longtime local favorite), bakeries (Le Matin, Sunrise, and the newly opened National Boulangie is fab), bookstores (The Morris Book Shop), breweries (West Sixth just released a fantastic new Lemongrass beer, in fact), quirky boutiques (ahem, The Crushed Violet), lots of antiques, and more! I believe the maps are available in all 81 of its listed locations. Stop in one locally owned business, then pick up a map to discover the others. And don’t forget about the Colt Trolley – a good way to get around town and find the fun. Thanks again for sharing Lexington with your readers.

  2. Will do asap! 🙂

  3. Sorry, one more thing:

    *National Boulangerie (not Boulangie)

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