The perfect cure for cabin fever, Shelby County, Kentucky, is your gateway to bluegrass country, the legendary Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and the beauty of the American Saddlebred Capital of the World. With its rolling hills, fenced pastures, and some of the most bucolic horse farms near Louisville, you’ll be miles away from the pressures of everyday living but only a short drive to a romantic getaway or relaxing long weekend.
Just off I-64, about halfway between Louisville and Lexington, historic Shelbyville, with its charming downtown business district, is an easy five-hour drive from Chicago, under two hours from Cincinnati, and three hours from Nashville, TN.
Convenient to attractions near Louisville and Lexington, Shelbyville provides a memorable background if you are attending Shelby County, Kentucky events or as you embark on your Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure. Begin your Bourbon Trail experience with Bulleit Distillery, with its celebrated Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, and Jeptha Creed Distillery, an award-winning, woman-owned Kentucky craft distillery on the acclaimed Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail.
You’ll find an assortment of places to stay in Shelby County ranging from familiar national brand hotels, unique bed and breakfast inns, vacation rentals, and jazzy upscale Airbnb lofts in Historic Downtown Shelbyville.
Indulge in a romantic getaway at a peaceful horse country retreat.
If your idea of romance or relaxation is a quiet and peaceful country setting, the 1860’s Cerulean Farm Bed and Breakfast homestead and working horse farm has four quaint but luxurious horse-themed rooms, most with fireplaces. The inn features a four-season wrap-around porch overlooking the farm and plenty of spaces—inside and out—for relaxing, reading, and simply unwinding. You’ll enjoy a hot home-cooked country breakfast with organic free-range eggs, savory breakfast meats, freshly baked from scratch bread, and much more.
Bring your horse! Cerulean Farm is the only combination guest/horse bed and breakfast in Kentucky. The farm has professional accommodations for your equine friends, including stalls, private turnouts, and a professionally designed outdoor arena.
Romance is really in the air if you’re scouting the area for the perfect country wedding or event. Kismet Farm and Walnut Grove Farm offer perfect locations for your special day. These horse farm tours near Louisville are available, but make sure to call ahead because they both book up well in advance.
Kismet Farm, sitting on 150 acres of Kentucky bluegrass and the scenic banks of Elkhorn Creek, is a working farm offering full training for horses from yearlings to aged show horses, as well as riding lessons for all ages. With multiple barns, paddocks, pastures, a pond, and the peaceful sounds of Elkhorn Creek, the farm provides picture-perfect backdrops for your special event, from intimate weddings to large gatherings.
Walnut Grove Farm and Lodge, an exclusive rental and event venue, is a perfect Kentucky family reunion location and a rustic setting for weddings, ceremonies, business meetings, church groups, and holiday getaways. A renovated barn and multiple indoor and outdoor settings set the stage for a true Kentucky Horse Country event. Rent the Lodge! Once an old dairy barn, the space has been renovated as the perfect gathering spot for your family and friends.
Whether your visit is for a getaway, for Shelby County equestrian events or simply a day trip, if horseback riding is on your itinerary, Red Fern Riding Center at Shelby Trails Park in Simpsonville has riding trails, guided horseback rides and lessons as well as full boarding and training facilities. Shelby Trails Park is also great for hiking and enjoying just being outside.
Evermore Farm in Simpsonville is home to an elite string of American Saddlebred Show Horses, including many past and current World Champions. Expert owners and trainers Michael and Jessica Richardson have numerous World and National Titles and provide the finest riding lessons and training from novice to champion competitors. Reservations required.
Enjoy Downtown Charm
Shelbyville is the ideal home base as you are planning a Bourbon Trail trip, attending Shelby County Events, or if you’re here simply to enjoy the surrounding bluegrass horse country.
Saddlebred Suites, a boutique loft hotel in a historic 1890s building on Main Street in Shelbyville, has been renovated with modern amenities, fashionable furnishings, and a big-city feel. Four suites are available, both cozy studios and two-bedroom suites. If you are gathering your friends for a Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure or other Shelby County events, multiple suites can be connected to accommodate your needs. Downstairs is a delightful coffee spot for breakfast or lunch, and restaurants, boutiques, and a community theater are within walking distance.
Bottled in Bond — WOW! Upscale and dramatic…think James Bond, 007. This top-floor AirB&B loft in a renovated late 1800s clothing factory sets the perfect backdrop for your Kentucky Trail vacation. Showcased on HGTV, the loft features original trusses, exposed beams, and hardwood floors with updated, upscale furnishings and appointments—right in the middle of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and within walking distance of restaurants, bars, shopping, and museums.
Whether you reserve a room on a horse farm or in a trendy city loft, unique restaurants, cafes, and pubs provide the cuisine and atmosphere just right for your special visit.
The Bell House Restaurant welcomes visitors for fine dining with a comfortable “down-home” touch. Its landmark bell in the front of the home was manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky, in the mid-1800s. (Suggestion: Get the hot brown. You'll thank us later — after your nap.)
The Red Lion at Science Hill, a historic restaurant and cocktail lounge in downtown Shelbyville, is acclaimed for its fine dining and seasonal American cuisine and for supporting local farmers for ingredients and resources. Relax and enjoy carefully curated cocktails in the Red Lion Cocktail Lounge.
Claudia Sanders Dinner House is not only a fine example of Southern hospitality and old-style Kentucky cooking but is forever a piece of Shelby County history. Founded by the iconic Colonel Harlan Sanders and his wife Claudia, this landmark restaurant offers the best family-style dining.
Welcome to Bourbon Country
The best place to start planning your romantic getaway and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Vacation is VisitShelbyKY.com—your local Kentucky visitors guide to the best in Bourbon and Horse Country.
If you’re up for some bourbon tasting, Bulleit Distillery, with its Bulleit Frontier Bourbon, and Jeptha Creed Distillery, a must-visit on the Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail, are both open for tastings. For an enjoyable and safe bourbon experience, check with your hotel for the availability of transportation and tours of distilleries in the area.
Whether it’s a romantic setting you’re looking for or a place to kick back for an easy and relaxing weekend, ShelbyKY — Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Shelby County, Kentucky — is a winner ... and Your Bourbon Destination!