Situated in the heart of bluegrass country, Lexington is Kentucky's second-largest city. It is the world capital of the horse industry and a cultural hub of the state. In many ways it’s just the right size, not too big to abandon the small-town lifestyle, but large enough to have urban amenities and employment opportunities. Future economic indicators are positive. Tech giant Lexmark and a major Toyota assembly plant in Georgetown are just north of the city and smaller businesses have found the area attractive, while university, health care and public sector employment are strong.
The impressive horse farms in the surrounding countryside and the historic downtown and exceptional historic districts make Lexington visually attractive. The University of Kentucky just south of downtown adds a strong college-town element and set of amenities, including the area’s secular religion of basketball. University-related health care facilities are excellent.
Good suburbs lie mainly south, southeast and west, although long-time locals are alarmed at the recent spread, especially north into Georgetown and south and east into the area’s fabled horse country. Interesting small-town alternatives lie west in the historic capitol city of Frankfort, southwest in the historic Harrodsburg and the college town of Danville, although the physical geography gives Frankfort the only practical commute. “Fayette” is actually the name of the county; Lexington and Fayette County are merged into a unitary government, hence the metro area name.
For cultural and service amenities, Cincinnati and Louisville are reasonably convenient. Daniel Boone National Forest and Lake Cumberland to the south and southeast provide outdoor recreation. Home prices are moderate on a regional and national scale, and value received is good for the money. Lexington is an easy place to live with friendly people in an unusually attractive and prosperous environment for the region, and has few negatives.
Lexington sits on a gently rolling plateau with a mix of open grassland and deciduous wooded forests. The grassland areas typically contain horse farms surrounded by miles of attractive fencing. To the southeast, terrain becomes hillier and more wooded near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The climate is continental with four distinct seasons.
Summers are warm and humid, but seldom extremely hot. Winter is typical for the latitude, with alternating mild and cold periods. Below zero temperatures are relatively rare. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout winter, spring, and summer. Fall is pleasant and somewhat drier. Snowfall amounts are variable and seldom remain for more than a few days. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.