Weekend in Lexington, Ky.

Plan a weekend visit to a Lexington, Kentucky three ways: On a budget, spending a bit more, or when the getaway calls for a splurge.


Getting there: The drive from Atlanta is under six hours or 290 miles. Frequent weekend sale rates from $158 round-trip; Delta nonstop (depart Saturday; return Monday or Tuesday).

Stay: Candlewood Suites offers studio accommodations with a full-equipped kitchen at rates from $89 per night through September; from $116 for a one-bedroom suite. Rates rise to $98 and $125, respectively, during October. On-site is a barbecue gazebo, an indoor pool, a CD and DVD library, complimentary guest laundry, an exercise facility and the Candlewood Cupboard -- a handy convenience store for meals, snacks, and sundry items; 603 Ad Color Dr., 859-967-1940, www.candlewoodsuites.com.

Eat: Bourbon n' Toulouse is a colorful local favorite serving up authentic Cajun and Creole dishes such as Etouffée, Jambalaya, Gumbo, sausages, red beans and rice. An entree is $6.50 or $7.50 for a half-and-half order; 829 E Euclid Ave., 859-335-0300, www.bntlex.com.

Experience: Tour the oldest bourbon distillery, Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark. The drive from Lexington to the brewery in Versailles is about 30 minutes. You'll travel along scenic twisting lanes past the region's more beautiful horse pastures and stately farmhouses. The Bourbon Discovery Tour is $5; free for ages 18 and under. Unique weekday tours are $10; 7855 McCracken Pike, 859-879-1812, www.woodfordreserve.com.



Getting there: Vision Airlines offers one daily nonstop flight from Atlanta to Louisville, located 75 miles west of Lexington. One-way rates from $119.

Stay: Hilton Lexington Downtown offers a "Race Track" package to experience live thoroughbred horse racing at Keeneland Race Course, a national historic landmark and one of the most beautiful equine racetracks in the world. Rates from $199 include two course admission tickets and a racing schedule. Room only rates from $135. The hotel features an indoor heated pool, spa, fitness club and on-site dining and nightlife; 369 W. Vine St., 859-231-9000, www.lexingtondowntownhotel.com.

Eat: Start out with a traditional Caesar salad prepared tableside (serves two, $14) at the J Morse on Vine. This intimate American bistro, located downtown, offers starters from $7-$12; entrees $12-$25. Save room for the flambeed Bananas Foster; 102 W. Vine St., 859-368-9888, www.jmorseonvine.com.

Experience: Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours run every day of the week with a walking tour of the Keeneland Race Course and a visit to a beautiful horse farm. The tour route is one of the most lovely in Bluegrass Country; $30 adults, $20 ages 12 and under; www.seethechampions.com. In downtown Lexington, explore Victorian Square, an historic block of sixteen buildings that today houses, under one roof, the most unique retail stores, restaurants, entertainment and children's activities; www.victoriansquareshoppes.com.



Getting there: Round-trip Economy Class rates from $392 with a 21-day advance purchase; from $492 with 14-day notice; Delta nonstop.

Stay: The Lyndon House Bed & Breakfast is located in historic downtown and within walking distance to many top attractions and dining venues. Guests start the day with a hearty breakfast and end it in the Gathering Room, the social center of the house. Rooms featuring eleven-foot ceilings and elegant moldings range from $189-$279 per night; 507 N. Broadway, 859-420-2683,www.lyndonhouse.com.

Eat: Azur Restaurant and Patio offers extensive menu choices of rabbit, sea bass, veal, bison, elk, salmon, tuna, boar's tail and scallops. The restaurant frequently offers fresh seafood flown directly from Hawaii as a daily special. Tapas and first plates are $6.95-$13.95; entrees $12.95-$34.95; 3070 Lakecrest Circle, 859-296-1007, www.azurrestaurant.com.

Experience: Take a guided culinary walking tour of downtown along the city's bustling urban Main Street to historic and tranquil historic neighborhoods such as Cheapside and Gratz Park. Tastings at some the best and most popular restaurants are included in this three-hour, mid-morning tour, Saturdays through October; $43 adults (rain or shine); www.bleuplatetours.com.


Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.