Richmond, Kentucky is an attractive, vibrant community

The North Central community of Richmond (population 32,895) lays claim to the title: “Kentucky’s Fastest Growing City.”  Located proximate to Interstate-75, a major north-south thoroughfare, and just 20 miles south of the busy metropolitan center of Lexington, the town enjoys rapid growth, a vibrant business sector and a dynamic cultural life.

The development of Richmond as a hub of activity in Kentucky probably would have shocked many of its first residents.  Today, it attracts many visitors to Madison County.

How a rural area morphed into a thriving college town

From an historical standpoint, Richmond’s recent expansion seems striking.  For many years, the community remained distinctly rural.

John Miller, an American Revolutionary War veteran born in Richmond, Virginia, reportedly relocated to this area around 1798.  He named the site in honor of his home town.

The community today reflects an economy firmly rooted within the Information Age.  Eastern Kentucky State University began here in 1906 as a college.  The four year, coeducational liberal arts institution expanded right along with the community and now plays an important role in Richmond’s thriving cultural life.  It maintains several campuses in Kentucky, and a distance learning program.

A study in contrasts

Richmond maintains an attractive commercial downtown business district of closely arranged unique specialty and antique shops, eateries and bookstores, where many of the brick storefronts reflect the historic architecture of a bygone era.   Yet at the same time, the town has also attracted many nationally recognized retailers and brands.  So visitors may relish the sense of a rich local past without sacrificing any modern amenities.

In fact, the population enjoys a wide selection of merchandise and services, with over 39 full meal restaurants, numerous grocery stores, a wide selection of convenience stops and at least two major “super”centers all accessible within the greater Richmond area.

The residents tend to be younger, more mobile and more highly educated than those of many other communities of comparable size in the state—a factor which encourages new businesses to relocate to the vicinity.  Numerous hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast facilities offer comfortable accommodations for overnight guests.

Plentiful recreational opportunities in Richmond

Richmond’s population benefits also from the presence of numerous recreational opportunities.    Residents may enjoy exercise at the community’s largest park, Lake Reba Park.  It offers hiking and biking trails, baseball and soccer fields, picnic facilities and several maintained playground areas.

The town has also attracted some private amusement park retailers, plus golf courses and tennis courts.  A few years ago, Richmond benefited from the construction of a new aquatic facility.  So a number of different types of recreational pursuits help the local population keep in shape.

Sports fans appreciate Eastern Kentucky University’s Richmond athletic center.  There, audiences may observe competitive football, basketball and swimming matches at various times during the year.    

For people interested in quieter pursuits, the town also maintains a modern public library with an impressive collection of reading and audiovisual materials.  Both video rental companies and cinemas operate in the community, also.

Day trips to nearby recreational sites  

Additional opportunities for educational leisure time activity exist within the surrounding area.    These include touring three nearby historical attractions located just a few miles to the north of Richmond:  White Hall State Historical Site, Fort Boonesborough State Park, and, on the outskirts of Lexington, Boone Station State Historical Park. 

During the summer months, hobbyists enjoy participating in historical recreations of Civil War battles conducted in the local areas.  It is wise to check in advance with the Kentucky tourism department to verify the specific dates and times of these events.

In summary, Richmond, Kentucky offers a variety of important community features and activities for people in the North Central part of the state.   It will likely continue to attract visitors and additional residents in the future.