Weekend urban exploration, from Wilmore.
If you’re a city lover, I’m guessing your first choices of colleges were in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. I’m also guessing that you realized the prices of those universities are quite steep, and you decided that you actually aren’t comfortable with turning your bathtub into a bed at night to save money. Welcome to rural Kentucky. Fear not! There’s bustling urban life all around Asbury’s campus that’ll maintain your city dream while studying for your vocational dream.
Waking up to the sound of cows outside your dorm window, yet again. Just kidding! We have no cows on campus, but let’s say you’re needing a city fix that offers shopping, cityscapes, fine dining, and great photoshoot landscapes and backdrops.
Lucky for you, Asbury sits right in the middle of an outside circle of city life that will make you feel (almost) like you’re in a mini-New York City minus the traffic jams.
Asbury’s closest city life hub is in downtown Lexington. It features rows with antique boutiques and modern stores such as Urban Outfitters and classy cafés and restaurants with five-star ratings. The infamous dessert joints Crank & Boom Ice Cream, North Lime Coffee and Donuts, and Insomnia Cookies will spark your sweet tooth. Because the downtown area is around the University of Kentucky, many theatre venues, fast food places, and entertainment centers are at every street corner. Lexington has bigger city activities like Lex Live, which is a hybrid movie theatre, game center, dining area, and restaurant with fun that’ll last for hours.
Many times, when I go to Lexington, I’m doing photoshoots on parking garages or in a chic street. On days with nice weather, it’s relaxing to walk around Town Branch Park that sits in the middle of downtown and take photos as I tour around the city. There’s also the Lexington Farmer’s Market for a fun time in the heart of the city that also supports local farmers.
If you’re willing to travel a matter of hours to see a city, Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville have an expansive urban life that could easily last an entire weekend.
Louisville is a huge hub for independent filmmakers and city dreamers. Many short films are in production in the heart of the city. On my way to Louisville, I frequent the Bluegrass Outlets which features discounted versions of higher-end stores and then typically swing over to the St. Matthews Mall for more shopping! Cincinnati features the Cincinnati Art Museum, Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati style chili, beautiful Ohio River walks, and unique shopping and dining experiences.
Indianapolis, a couple of hours farther, has attractions such as White River State Park and the Indianapolis Zoo. I have toured the city multiple times with friends and have fallen in love with the shopping and eateries that the city offers. In the other direction, the “Athens of the South,” Nashville offers a huge country music hub with the Grand Ole Opry and Lower Broadway. Pack some cowboy boots so you don’t look too lost.
In all these cities, I’ve had safe experiences and trust my friend group of girls to take a day off and travel. If you crave the concrete jungle, these are charming options to experience a shift from the beautiful rural landscapes of Wilmore.