Grab your gal pals and escape to Shelbyville, Kentucky for good fun, food, and time together.
When’s the last time you really laughed? Not a mere giggle, but that deep sort of can’t-stop laughter that vibrates down to your toes?
If it’s been awhile, then it’s time to plan a fun-filled escape with your besties.
Deciding where to go is easy: Shelbyville, Kentucky offers so many ways to have fun that whether you come for the day, weekend, or even a week, you won’t exhaust every appealing option—which leaves plenty of good reason to return.
The best part of any girlfriends’ getaway is, of course, spending time with friends. Leave responsibilities behind to relax, reconnect and laugh.
From incredible shopping opportunities to bourbon tastings, horse encounters to live musical entertainment, art experiences to enviable accommodations, Shelbyville has all the ingredients for a perfect girlfriends’ getaway. And with so many options located right downtown, getting around is a breeze.
Whether coming to Shelbyville for a bachelorette party, college roommate reunion, gathering of far-flung cousins or lifelong friends, we make it easy to plan a girlfriends’ getaway.
Consider these compelling ideas an invitation to come have some fun this spring.
2020 is Kentucky Tourism’s “Year of Music” and Shelbyville is in the groove. “Jammin at Jeptha” is a free concert series hosted by the Jeptha Creed Distillery on Fridays. Local bands perform original compositions and covers in a wide range of musical styles including country, bluegrass, jazz, R&B, and Top 40. Check the event calendar to plan your trip around a particular band or musical style. Whoever is on stage, enjoy craft cocktails and food at the bar.
The Barrel Room, the first expansion of the Old Louisville Brewery, is now open in a reclaimed building on Shelbyville’s Main Street. With 20 beers on tap—representing a diverse mix of styles from Old Louisville Brewery and other regional brews—plus a selection of wine and bourbon, it’s easy to quench thirst. In addition to drinks, the new hotspot is gaining a reputation for its pub games, fun friendly atmosphere, and live music. Ladies nights and karaoke also dot the event calendar.
Convenient, Luxurious Accommodations…
Downtown Shelbyville boasts several distinctive Airbnbs to accommodate groups of any size. Whether you and your friends want to share space or spread out across multiple properties, you can enjoy the conveniences of home within walking distance of boutique shops, spas, galleries, and restaurants. Superhosts Ben and Melinda Hardin own three of the city’s most luxurious Airbnbs. Urban Loft Downtown, which has been featured on TV and in magazines, is a breathtaking high-end loft that comfortably sleeps up to 17 without relegating anyone to the couch. It boasts a theater room, game room, dream kitchen, and even a rooftop deck with a fireplace plus a Big Green Egg.
A fitting place to celebrate women is at Jeptha Creed Distillery, where mother and daughter distillers Joyce and Autumn Nethery transform the heirloom “Bloody Butcher” red corn grown on their family’s 1,000-acre farm into distinctive bourbons and other spirits. Take a guided tour of the distillery to see all phases of production up close, ask questions, plus taste bourbon, moonshine and vodka. Even if you don’t have time for a tour, stop by the tasting bar to savor flights of any four Jeptha Creed spirits, sip seasonal cocktails, or lap up other delicious concoctions made using fresh farm-grown products.
A new stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bulleit Distilling Co. is housed in a facility that first opened to visitors in 2019. Its unique interactive sensory tour boasts lights, sounds and smells; the experience includes olfactory bulbs and a timed light-and-soundscape. Tours also delve into brand history as well as the production processes and technologies behind these high rye spirits. Whether you opt for the one-hour “Frontier Whiskey Experience” tour and tasting or the 30-minute “Unlocking the Senses” tasting, you may want to hang around afterwards to sip cocktails, play board games, or even create a custom bottle label at the design kiosk.
Downtown Shelbyville is ready to satisfy hunger with its diverse restaurant options. Among them, cozy pub The Red Lion offers a menu of familiar favorites like spinach artichoke dip, smoked salmon, and prime tenderloin filet alongside mouthwatering creations like lamb and curried noodles, fried green tomato lasagna, and house-made black bean burger with avocado sour cream sauce and cilantro-lime drizzle. Bell House Restaurant, tucked inside a renovated home that offers several different Tuscan- and French-themed dining rooms, serves upscale preparations of classics including Kentucky Hot Brown, seafood cakes, Caesar salad, crispy rosemary chicken, cedar plank salmon, and prime rib. La Cocina de Mama will transport your taste buds to Mexico with its high-quality ingredients, skilled preparations, and amazing flavor combinations.
Shelbyville is known as the “American Saddlebred Capital of the World” and is where many of the nation’s most famous and accomplished show horses are bred and trained—over 90 stables bustle with activity all year long! Among them, Kismet Farm trains show horses plus offers progressive riding lessons for riders of all ages and ability levels. If riding sounds like your definition of fun, you can also saddle up at Shelby Trails Park. Bring your own horse or borrow one: guided rides and lessons are available. Explore miles of trails that weave through 462 forested acres on foot or horseback.
Perhaps no girlfriends’ getaway is complete without shopping and Shelbyville has you covered. The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is the only designer outlet shopping center in the state of Kentucky. Enjoy discounts up to 70 percent at retailers like Gucci, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, and more. Downtown, explore Shelby Main Street’s eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques like Little Mount Lavender (which sells products made using organic lavender grown on the owners’ farm alongside other local items), Eight Twenty 8 Boutique (that offers trendy clothing, jewelry, purses, and more), I Do…A Bridal Boutique (a full-service wedding dress salon), and Polka Dotted Pineapple (where you can find some of the showy hats popular at the Kentucky Derby). Don’t miss Wakefield-Scearce Galleries that houses one of the world’s largest antique silver collections as well as one of the nation’s largest collections of antique English furniture and antique home décor including paintings, chandeliers, architectural elements, and more eye-pleasing accessories.
Once you visit Shelbyville with your favorite gals, you may want to make it a tradition.