Sometimes you just need to get away. With the easy breezy days of summer right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to plan a leisurely drive through Kentucky's famed horse and bourbon country — ShelbyKY.

As the mid-point between Louisville and Lexington and within a day's drive from Chicago, Nashville, and Atlanta, ShelbyKY is recognized as the American Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World and is the home of more than 90 horse breeding and training farms. And, with its location right on the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and just a short drive to attractions near Louisville, Shelby provides the perfect destination for a summer away.

Mark your calendars for horse shows and farm tours

Horse ShowEquestrian lovers…what better place to plan a summer road trip than in the Saddlebred Capital of the World, ShelbyKY.  Make your plans now for upcoming Shelby County Kentucky events and horse shows and arrange for some of the most impressive horse farm tours in Kentucky.  

Miniature Horse aficionados — don’t miss the Kentucky Miniature Horse Show, June 3-4, and the Kentucky Mini Breeders Cup June 3, 2023.  Both events take place at Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.

Make your plans for the Shelby County Classic Horse Show June 19, and the Shelby County Fair Horse Show. June 20-24, 2022.  Both events take place at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

And, for your late summer horse show calendar, make your plans to attend the annual world-famous Shelbyville Horse Show, August 2-6 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. What a treat to see these champions compete in the Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World!

Schedule a horse farm tour

Kismet HorizontalKismet Farm, a Thoroughbred horse farm in Simpsonville, sitting on 150 acres of beautiful rolling bluegrass hills along Elkhorn Creek, was once owned by actor and author Sam Shepherd.  This picturesque farm offers a variety of venues for magical weddings, corporate affairs, and special events. 

Kismet offers full horse training and breeding facilities, horse sales and riding lessons for all ages and abilities. Tours are available by appointment.

Nearby West Meadow Farms breeds, raises and trains Thoroughbreds, and provides sanctuary for racehorses that have finished racing or are ready for other careers.  West Meadow is also available for corporate and special events and tours. Contact West Meadow Farms for an appointment.

The historic 1860 Cerulean Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn homestead and working horse farm is the ideal place to stay in Shelby for your horse country road trip. Horse-themed rooms, panoramic views of the farm and its equestrian friends, an all season wrap-around porch and a full hot breakfast all add to the charm of this unique inn. And you can bring your horse!

Plan a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® road trip

No Kentucky road trip is complete without a few stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and ShelbyKY is a great place to begin your bourbon tour. 

Barrel Barn at Jeptha CreedIf you’re wondering what makes Kentucky Bourbon so special, it’s the environment, coupled with distinctive distilling techniques. The fertile soil of Shelby County, like other Bourbon Trail locations, produces the abundance of corn needed for the mashes.  Water enriched by limestone deposits and the ideal seasonal temperatures and distilling techniques passed on by generations create the unique flavor that can be called Bourbon. Shelby County is the home of two award-winning Kentucky Bourbon distilleries.

Bulleit Distilling Company, home of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, is a must-stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for some fine high-rye bourbon tasting and a tour of their state-of-the-art distillery. You might also be interested in participating in the Bulleit Mixed and Muddled Cocktail Series: Creative Cocktailing – Infuse Your Own Bourbon, May 27, June 10, June 24, 2023. 

Also in Shelbyville, Jeptha Creed Distillery sits on 64 acres of farmland and grows its own Bloody Butcher corn and other ingredients for producing bourbon, vodka, moonshines, and brandy.  With its unique Barrel Tasting Experience, where you can taste bourbon straight from the barrel, Jeptha Creed is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Craft tour. A variety of mixology classes and spirits tastings are offered -- Bourbon Mixology classes Friday and Saturday, Spirit Tastings Thursday through Sunday, and Vodka Mixology Classes on Friday and Saturday each week.

A good road trip is a safe road trip

Claudia Sanders Fried ChickenShelbyKY is a great place to start your Bourbon Trail getaway and road trip, and there are plenty of places to stay in Shelby so that you can do so safely.  You’ll find accommodations ranging from nationally recognized brands to cozy bed and breakfast inns, vacation homes and trendy city lofts.

You’ll also enjoy a tempting selection of dining options in Shelbyville, including a delicious part of Shelby County history, Claudia Sanders Dinner House.

In addition, many group transportation options are available, including Bourbontown Tours, Mint Julep ToursTravel the Trail, and Ride with Rae. Be safe — 

Start your road trip plans and mark your calendars for a great ShelbyKY getaway — Your Bourbon Destination!