March Madness Kentucky Style
It’s March Madness – that’s college basketball season to the rest of the world – and there is no place in the world better for lovers of college basketball than Lexington, Kentucky! Kentucky fans “bleed blue” and Lexington, home of The University of Kentucky (and this year’s unbeaten 36-0 Kentucky Wildcats), is the perfect place to celebrate the college basketball season. This time of year you can’t turn around in town without seeing “Big Blue” and “Cats” specials everywhere.
So here is your guide for the best places to gear up, eat up, drink up, and soak up some Kentucky Big Blue Madness!!!
- Head to North Limestone Donuts and get a donut. You’ll find it at 575 N. Limestone St. Try the Maple Bacon or the Long John Calipari. Just because. If donuts aren’t your thing, then enjoy the best coffee and company you’ve ever had at Third St. Stuff at 257 N. Limestone. This funky hangout is full of friendly people and there will surely be a wildcat special on the menu.
- Get your Kentucky Gear. Personally I always like to shop local and my favorite little shop is High St. Fly at 887 E High St. It’s got great Unique Kentucky T-shirts and gear that nobody else has! Walk across the street and visit The Morris Book Shop (“MoBoSho”) for their knowledgeable friendly staff and all kinds of books including an entire section of Kentucky books. WHile there be sure to pick up the latest copy of our local STORY Magazine. This well made publication will entertain and inform you. Every edition is a great read. Get a copy of this year’s Kentucky Basketball Yearbook to be sure you have all your information about each player on the Kentucky roster. The Cat’s Paws is a local paper dedicated to information just about the wildcats.
- Take a Tour of The Joe Craft Center: (If you can arrange for one.) This 30 million dollar facility is the practice and training home for the University of Kentucky Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. It is really something to see. You generally have to get somebody local and “in the know” to arrange this but if you have a connection – get ready to be amazed. You will see how the basketball players experience life at UK as student-athletes, and if you are very lucky, you might get a peek into the office of the top cat, John Calipari. Alternatively, you can take a tour of the University of Kentucky and it’s beautiful campus. You won’t be disappointed
- Rupp Arena: Get your picture taken on the original floor of Rupp Arena. If you pull into the Hyatt Hotel valet parking you can run inside the front revolving doors of Rupp Arena and Lexington Convention Center. Just beyond the box office is the original floor of Rupp Arena. This is a great photo opportunity for anyone wanting their picture next to the Rupp Floor. You can’t actually get into the arena when there isn’t an event scheduled – but this is close.
- Have lunch at The Square. Right across from Rupp Arena you can enjoy lots of downtown eateries. You’ll be in the heart of Lexington which provides lots of downtown shopping for wildcat fans! My favorites are Pies and Pints, Saul Good (get the chicken and waffles) and Shakespere and Co. (Try their flowering tea and crepes! ). For the largest piece of pizza you have ever had, head around the corner to N. Mill St. to Goodfellas Pizza.
- Settle in to Watch the Game. Kentucky Basketball consumes this town. So where are you going to watch it? Don’t watch the game alone in your hotel room. If you are lucky enough to be in town for a home game try to get tickets. if you aren’t able to (every game sells out) watching with a crowd of fellow fans is always easy. If you are younger, you might head to The Tin Roof (303 S. Limestone) or Two Keys Tavern (333 S.Limestone). Less rowdy fans might want to check out the Kentucky Theater (214 E Main St.) which shows games free of charge on the Big Screen.
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