Kentucky Wildcats: Ultimate 5-Star Fan Guide to Gameday in Lexington

by Dustin Schutte

Outsider has teamed up with Kentucky Sports Radio and On3 to create the most in-depth Gameday guides.

UK Gameday Guides: Things to Do | Bars | Restaurants | Tailgates | Parking | Watch Parties

Autumn Saturdays in Lexington are special, especially when the Kentucky Wildcats hit the field. Football might be the main drawn in those fall months, but there’s so much to eat, drink, see and do, fans don’t have to limit their visit to just a trip inside Kroger Field.

Working with the Kentucky Sports Radio team, we’ve created a perfect Gameday Guide for your Lexington visit on a fall Saturday. Whether it’s locating a parking spot, checking out the tailgate scene, finding things to do or searching for the best food and drinks in town, we’ve got you covered!

Map of Lexington

If you’re not familiar with Lexington, it’s good to get acquainted with this map. It provides a general idea of where things are located throughout the city and helps assist in your gameday planning when the Wildcats are in town!

Finding the Perfect Parking Spot

Arguably the biggest concern on gameday in Lexington is finding a suitable parking spot. Fortunately, there are plenty of options located throughout Lexington — whether it’s on the University of Kentucky’s campus or somewhere downtown. Free spots are available in select garages across campus and cheap options are available downtown, as well. A shuttle runs from downtown directly to Kroger Field, charging just $1 each way. If you’re looking at season-long options, UK Athletics provides several parking pass packages.

The Tailgate Scene

The draw of gameday is always the tailgating scene. In the heart of bourbon country, you’ll find a plethora of pregame festivities on a Saturday afternoon in Lexington. Tailgating begins as early as noon on Fridays before UK home games, making it a weekend-long experience. You can find family-friendly tailgates — like Wildcat Refuge — for fun festivities and games. Or, if you’re into the party scene, the RV lots and Cooper Drive can get pretty festive. Regardless of your pregame preference, be sure to check out Kentucky’s tailgate FAQ guide to ensure you’re following all rules and policies.

Where to Eat & Drink

If you’re not interested in tailgating, you’ll still have plenty of options in Lexington. With so many great spots for food and beverages, you really can’t go wrong. Stop by the Local Taco for an assortment of unique taco options before the big game. Looking for more traditional gameday fare? Hit up KSBar & Grille for their famous “Smoke’ n’ Fried Jumbo Wings.” If you truly want a taste of Kentucky, be sure to hit up Centro for its extensive bourbon selection. Bluegrass Tavern is another great option, tabbed as “Kentucky’s favorite bourbon bar.”

Things to See & Do

Whether you’re traveling with the entire family or going to Lexington with a group of buddies, there’s plenty to keep you busy. On gameday, you can arrive early for the “Cat Walk,” allowing fans to see their favorite players up close. If you’re going to enjoy a full weekend in the city, hit up the Distillery District or visit the Kentucky Horse Park. There are also several great breweries around town.

The Watch Party Scene

Not everyone can make it to Lexington on gameday. Don’t worry, Big Blue Nation, there are options for those who live a little further away from Kroger Field. There are several “Watch Party” locations throughout the country, offering UK alumni and fans the opportunity to gather and enjoy those fall Saturdays among friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in Boston, New Orleans or Tempe, you’re going to find a spot to watch the ‘Cats.

Other SEC Destination Guides

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