Your shift: Acquire a tour of Lexington’s ‘Queen’s Gambit’ web pages | Travel

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington, a city in the heart of Kentucky that is surrounded by 250 thoroughbred horse farms, has usually been known as property to the Sport of Kings. Now, many thanks to “The Queen’s Gambit,” a ideal-marketing novel by the late Walter Tevis and a Netflix miniseries considered by upwards of 62 million individuals all over the world, it is also recognized as the household of the Match of Queens.

The very last time the town acquired this variety of amusement visibility it was with a authentic-life equine hero, Seabiscuit. This time about, it is a fictional anti-heroine – Elizabeth Harmon, a chess whiz whose success is thanks in equivalent components to her math genius and her addiction to hallucinogenic drugs.

Tevis’ novel and, as a result, the miniseries (No. 1 on Netflix rankings in 60 international locations) are established predominantly in Lexington, a actuality that VisitLEX, the city’s tourism arm, was brief to pounce on.

“’The Queen’s Gambit’ put a spotlight on Lexington and piqued people’s desire in the metropolis that served as the backdrop for Beth Harmon’s increase to fame,” suggests Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX.

Knowing that they desired to take edge of the show’s worldwide reputation, the VisitLEX workforce has made a Queen’s Gambit Driving Tour, created, as Ramer places it, “to roll out the purple carpet for website visitors smitten by the show.”

The tour is a mix of places that presently exist and people that no longer do. For example, you won’t locate Ben Snyder’s Division Keep exactly where Beth and her adopted mom shopped on the web-site of the previous store is the city’s neo-classical courthouse with its array of dancing fountains – a most loved position for locals to interesting off all through the sultry summer time months.

Similarly, the Phoenix Resort, where Harry, Beth’s buddy and chess mentor, experienced a home is no longer there, obtaining been demolished to make way for the central branch of the Lexington Public Library. Move inside of to see the world’s major ceiling clock, a Foucault pendulum that rises 5 stories large, as properly as a frieze depicting the historical past of the horse in Lexington. Then end for a selfie at adjoining Phoenix Park, a beautiful pocket park.

Quite a few of the spots prominently featured in the miniseries can however be found. The former Henry Clay Superior University on Main Road, now house to the city’s Board of Training, was the web-site of a number of of the show’s chess tournaments. Magee’s Bakery throughout the road is a terrific position to quit for a doughnut and cup of coffee.

New Circle Street, a loop about Lexington, receives a shout-out in the early moments of the very first episode, and it’s the finest way to get to some of the area’s lovely horse farms (right after very first grabbing makings for a picnic from Parkette Drive-In, renowned for its fried rooster, and a midcentury icon true to the series’ time frame.) You can’t pass up Parkette’s large neon sign.

It’s the Chevy Chase neighborhood, nevertheless, that truly gives Queen’s Gambit lovers a perception of place. This location of tranquil, tree-lined streets and upscale outlets and restaurants, just a stone’s throw from the College of Kentucky, was not just Beth’s household in the sequence, it was also Tevis’ true-everyday living ‘hood. He discovered to participate in pool at a friend’s property listed here just before likely on to generate “The Hustler” (you just realized it would be a logical go from pool to chess, now, did not you?).

Chevy Chase is also property to legendary places which make for obligatory stops: the a single-of-a-sort outlets housed in bungalows on Clay and Euclid avenues the school hangout Charlie Brown’s, with its worn leather-based sofas and fireplaces, and the Chevy Chase Inn, Lexington’s oldest bar and normally really worth a take a look at.

Roy Espresso, whose image hangs on the wall of the 88-12 months-aged bar, certainly imagined so. Roy rode his horse in Lexington’s Fourth of July parade each and every 12 months and determined the Chevy Chase Inn would make for a excellent watering gap put up-parade. On his initially go to, he hollered within for the bartender to convey him a beer. The barkeep hollered back that he didn’t produce if he required a beer to come in and get it. Undaunted, Roy, accompanied by his horse, proceeded inside and a custom was born. They do enjoy their horses listed here in Lexington.

Although you are in the place, you can shell out time walking the roomy grounds of Ashland, 19th century statesman Henry Clay’s palatial home, or the campus of the College of Kentucky, Tevis’ alma mater where he acquired bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist A.B. Guthrie Jr.

Wheeler’s Pharmacy, a Chevy Chase space icon for 50 percent a century, is a fitting substitute for the series’s fictional Bradley’s Pharmacy. If you are at Wheeler’s in the course of lunch time, grab a stool at the soda fountain and appreciate a new-cooked food.

And even though, unhappy to say, there’s no real-lifestyle counterpart to reel-lifestyle Lex Liquors, the Lexington area is house to 14 distilleries and the Brewgrass Trail of craft beers, so there are lots of chances to imbibe. Just make absolutely sure you designate a nondrinking driver and know that you owe him/her a meal at Tony’s or Jeff Ruby’s, two of the city’s upscale steak properties.

A Area Like No Other

Even Beth Harmon would be impressed with the Harmon Area at 21c Museum Lodge, a pop-up suite that is a collaborative work of the hotel and VisitLEX.

The Harmon Area is a time capsule of American midcentury fashionable layout, accented by vintage extras and time period household furniture loaned by local antique store Scout and personal collectors.

“I’ve been amassing home furnishings from that period for three a long time,” suggests Lucy Jones, who loaned the lodge a pair of parasol chairs and the classic Television cabinet. “It’s a pleasure to bring to everyday living the rich scenes from web page and screen.”

The room’s serene shade palette of sand, apple inexperienced, light blue and dim brown claims friends a peaceful night’s slumber, in contrast to Beth’s vivid nighttime hallucinations. Custom wallpaper characteristics photos of chess figures. Scattered throughout the place are copies of Chess Evaluation Journal and uncommon chess publications on bank loan from classic bookstore Black Swan Textbooks. There is even a handmade walnut and maple chessboard from Iron Bridge Woodshop for guests’ use for the duration of their keep.

In situation you have not seen the miniseries and approach to, SPOILER Warn.

The room’s most remarkable characteristic is a larger-than-lifetime upside-down chessboard suspended from the ceiling in excess of the bed as an homage to Beth’s drug-induced hallucinations. Produced of plastic, the king and queen are 24 inches tall and alongside with the pawns weigh fewer than a pound every.

“Everyone doing the job on this undertaking did an remarkable job,” claims Brian Pulley, the hotel’s director of sales. Pulley is not sure how prolonged the Harmon Suite will adhere all-around, though he admits that “we’re scheduling to have it out there at the very least through late spring.” (Fees begin at $234 and fluctuate dependent on the evening of the week.)

Soon after immersing oneself in Beth Harmon’s Lexington planet for a number of days, there is no assure you’ll grow to be a chess pro like she did, but 1 thing’s for confident — you’ll come to feel like one.