Whether you’re a Lexington native like myself, a transplant or you’re in town visiting, taking Dr. Coleman’s Lexington History Walk is a must!! My husband and I had a night away from the kids and decided to check out the Spirits! Scandals! Sordid Secrets! walk one Saturday night. That walk is offered each Saturday night at 8 pm and costs $10 per person and just $5 for kids age 6 – 12. (Check out the full review below!)
Dr. Coleman also offers private tours featuring the Scandals walk or a general Lexington history walk called The Grand Tour. Private tours can be booked for up to 10 people and are $100. If you have more than 10 just add an additional $10 per person. You could book one with some friends, a group of kids, or a personal tour for your family.
Spirits! Scandals! Sordid Secrets! (Saturdays at 8pm)
Genteel Lexington has its dark side. Uncover why Lexington was called “the wicked city.” Learn of the duelists, gamblers, and ladies-of-ill-repute who once walked these streets–many locals claim their spirits still do. Come see for yourself! (75 minutes, approx. 1.3 miles)
The Grand Tour (Available for a Private Tour)
Discover the history of Lexington, Queen of the Bluegrass. From horses to heroes, First Ladies to phantoms, our Grand Tour takes you through 200 years of history as you stroll down the city’s loveliest streets and past its renowned historic architecture. (75 minutes, approx. 1.3 miles)
All tours depart from the street outside of the Lexington Visitors Center, located at 401 West Main Street, in the Victorian Square Shoppes and just opposite Triangle Park and Rupp Arena. Please arrive ten minutes early as tours start promptly on the hour.
No Reservations Necessary
Only: $10 per Person
$5 for Kids (Ages 6-12)
Dr. Coleman accepts cash and major credit cards. The season lasts from late-March to early-November, but you can schedule a private tour all year long.
Most street parking is free after 5 pm, and plenty of it can be found near our meeting place. There are also a number of pay lots in the vicinity of the Visitors Center, as well as the Victorian Square Parking Garage (entrance on Short Street, which is one block north).
Although rare, unforseen circumstances or inclement weather will sometimes require us to cancel tours. It is always a good idea to check our social media for cancellations or text/call us at 859-321-4728.
My husband and I had a night out without the kids so we decided to check out Dr. Coleman’s Spirits! Scandals! Sordid Secrets! History walk (held on Saturdays at 8pm). Based on the title you can guess there are some topics that are discussed along the way geared more toward teens/adults but he does a great job of covering the history and fun (leaving out a few details if there are smaller kids around). I like to stick to bedtimes for my kids so 8 pm would be a bit late for us but he does do private tours that you can schedule anytime and you can request The Grand Tour which is a more general tour that would be perfect for all ages!
We met at the Visitor’s Center across from Triangle Park and Dr. Coleman was right on time (which is 10 minutes before 8 so he can gather the group and take payments)! We parked on the street downtown so parking was free but you can also try the Victorian Square garage that is usually just around $3. We did stay downtown for drinks after so it’s fun to make a night of it! When he arrives he will take your payment (cash or credit card) and then wait until right at 8 pm for anyone else to arrive.
We left and started exploring the streets of Lexington. It was fun to walk along streets I’d driven on and learn more about buildings I’ve walked past dozens of times! From duels to ghost stories – Dr. Coleman covered so many unique facts and stories. It was interesting to learn more of the history of the famous people and some neat places in town. The walk itself isn’t too long – you’ll go around Short, Second, near Gratz Park, by churches and more. He’s very knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. Our group was very small but he does have a microphone so even if your group is larger you’ll be able to hear him as well as get engaged in conversation if you wish.
You’ll hear about cholera epidemic, a couple of ‘haunted’ houses, the infamous Belle Breezing and famous names like Henry Clay and Daniel Boone! It would be fun to continue to read up on some of these characters and I’m sure Dr. Coleman could share some names of great resources to read or review.
I highly recommend the walk for older kids (middle school – high school) or for adults and I do want to plan The Grand Tour with some friends and their kids so my elementary aged kids can learn more about the place we call home!