LEXtoday City Guide Play Banner

10 museums in Lexington, KY

Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or sports fan, these 10 museums in Lexington have it all.

A little girl standing next to a blue penguin at 21c Lexington.

Art is for everyone. | Photo by @asiseetheworld

Table of Contents

Museums are the cultural hubs of Lexington. Whether you’re looking to learn something new about LEX or plotting a way to spend your Saturday afternoon, here are 10 museums to visit in our city.

The facade of Henry Clay's mansion

Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, is located off Richmond Road on Sycamore Lane. | Photo courtesy of VisitLEX

History

Henry Clay, The Ashland Estate, 120 Sycamore Rd. | $0-$25
Located in the heart of town, you can take a self-guided tour of the grounds or schedule an educational tour of the Ashland mansion + learn more about the Founding Father.

Mary Todd Lincoln House, 578 W. Main St. | $0-$15
Learn about the life of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, from her beginnings here in Lexington to her path to the White House.

Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Ln. | $6-$15
Observe and educate yourself about the history of the enslaved peoples of Waveland and explore its 10 acres featuring curated gardens.

Don’t miss: Attending a vintage baseball game, where players abide by rules from the 1860s.

The outside of the 21 Museum Hotel

Getting a picture with the blue penguins is a 21c rite of passage. | Photo courtesy of VisitLEX

Arts

21c Museum Hotel, 167 W. Main St. | Free
Stay the night or hop in for an evening at this museum within a hotel. Upon entry, you’ll be greeted with 7,000 sqft of exhibits from different mediums, including photography, paintings, and sculptures.

University of Kentucky Art Museum, 405 Rose St. | Free
There’s no shortage of unique exhibits at this on-campus museum. Whether you’re looking to take a group or peruse the over 5,000 objects alone, there’s an experience for everyone.

Headley-Whitney Museum of Art, 4435 Old Frankfort Pike | $0-$10
Discover trinkets and bibelots (French for “small, ornate, decorative object of beauty”), as well as vintage dollhouses.

Don’t miss: Strolling through the surrounding gardens or attending a yoga class within one of the space’s exhibits.

Two women looking up at a planetarium.

The LASC mobile planetarium is out of this world. | Photo courtesy of The Living Arts & Science Center

Science

The Living Arts & Science Center, 362 N. Martin Luther King Blvd. | Pay what you want
This living, breathing museum features rotating exhibits in the Marksbury Discovery Room, art galleries commemorating Lexington’s vibrant history, opportunities to meet animals, and the city’s only public planetarium.

Don’t miss: The Kinkead Gallery, which is dedicated to abolitionist + lawyer George Kinkead, whose family inhabited the original house that is now the museum.

Aviation Museum of Kentucky, 4029 Airport Rd. | $6-$10
Kids will love exploring historic air crafts, including a recreation of a Wright Brothers-inspired plane and a WACO Biplane.

LEXtoday_explorium

Let the kids try on different professional hats. | Photo by LEXtoday

Kids

The Explorium of Lexington, 440 W. Short St. | $8-$10
This interactive space includes exhibits that will appeal to all kids, including those interested in architecture, STEM, health, and physics. For children that aren’t so sure about their future, don’t fret, the Explorium Way will allow them to discover a variety of professions.

A statue of a horse outside of the American Saddlebred Museum.

Get a crash course on all things horse country at the Kentucky Horse Park. | Photo courtesy of VisitLEX

Equestrian

International Museum of the Horse, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy. | $6-$20
Learn about our rich equestrian history, from the Black jockeys like Isaac Murphy that contributed to what racing looks like today, to the Arabian Horse gallery that chronicles the life of this breed.

Don’t miss: Exploring the entirety of the Kentucky Horse Park grounds, which include an up-close look at horse training sessions, the campgrounds, and tours.

American Saddlebred Museum, 4083 Wing Commander Way Ste. 150 | $6-$20
Also located within the Kentucky Horse Park, here you can come learn all about the American Saddlebred horse through film, art, and its commemorative sidewalk.

What did we miss? If you know a museum that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.

Check out our other Guides
Check out these brunch restaurants, cafes, and diners in Lexington, serving a variety of egg dishes, mimosas, bloody marys, and more.
These 10 hiking trails cater to all skill levels in and around town.
Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best local summer events and activities.
If you don’t have coffee already in hand, consider this your sign to grab some.
We’re highlighting the 21 best parks that Lexington, KY has to offer — complete with splash pads, playgrounds, walking trails, and even a few dog-friendly spots.
As Lexington continues to grow, we’re keeping an eye on upcoming developments and recently opened businesses.
We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Lexington, KY has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.
From brands to artists, Lexington’s business scene is truly inspired.
To help make your entire process at Blue Grass Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from parking to details on the airport’s 16 nonstop flights.
Explore the Horse Capital of the World through its history, food, drink, and art on these tours.
LEXtoday phone
Good news for Lexington.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.