Known for sprawling horse farms and pastoral scenery, Lexington is a must-visit in Kentucky.
Drive 1.5 hours east of Louisville to enjoy the farm country along the way to Lexington and its charming surrounds. Lexington offers a perfect base for a camping adventure—while the city’s parks and trails are worth a visit, it’s the wider Bluegrass region that draws campers with famous horse farms and equestrian culture. Between rides, hikes, and outdoor adventures, you can venture out to a plethora of nearby camping hot spots, including the Red River Gorge within the Daniel Boone National Forest and Natural Bridge State Resort Park, which showcases natural sandstone bridges as an ideal spot for camping amid the beauty of Kentucky's wilderness.
Just 20 minutes from Lexington, the 216-acre Jacobson Park is a local favorite for outdoor fun including pedal boats, kayaking, lake fishing, and walking trails. A number of Hipcamps and other campgrounds dot the surrounding area nearby. Meanwhile, the famed Kentucky Horse Park also sits close to Lexington, 20 minutes’ drive away on the other side of the city outskirts.
A 90-minute drive southeast of Lexington, Natural Bridge State Resort Park is known for its natural sandstone bridge and winding hiking trails. Campers can hike to the arch, take in panoramic views, and go tent camping in the Natural Bridge campgrounds, most of which link up to the Red River Gorge.
This is Kentucky’s most famous outdoor destination, notable for hiking, incredible rock climbing, and camping. Head 1.5 hours southeast of Lexington to the Red River Gorge for camping within Daniel Boone National Forest, home to wild trails and epic overlooks created over time by the Wild and Scenic Red River. Horseback riding and rock climbing serve as the primary day-time activities for campers who sit back by the campfire come nightfall.
Two-hundred miles of shoreline? Yes, please. With that much space, Cave Run Lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping within Daniel Boone National Forest. Visitors can get out on the water, hang on the sandy beaches, go fishing from one of two marinas, explore the surrounding forest, and set up camp for the night.
About 1.5 hours southwest of Lexington, the UNESCO-listed Mammoth Cave National Park makes up the world's longest cave system. Explore the cave, go hiking, and keep an eye out for wildlife at one of Kentucky’s most famous outdoor spots. Although you can’t camp inside the cave, the park’s designated campgrounds provide plenty of options for tent campers and RVers.
Lexington is a year-round destination that experiences a full four seasons. The peak summer can see high temperatures and humidity, while spring and fall are best for camping. Fall is especially nice for cool evenings and warm days with colorful foliage. Winter is surprisingly mild on most days as well—snow can accumulate on occasion, but for the most part, temperatures are cool but freezing.