As we look forward to ringing in the new year with friends, family, and loved ones, thoughts might turn to the many fun things you’ll do over the next 12 months. As you’re making plans for 2024, consider ShelbyKY for everything from horseback riding to bourbon tasting to culinary tours. Plus, enjoy hands-on and behind-the-scenes horse farm tours in the lead up to the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby and luxurious places to stay, just 30 minutes from Churchill Downs.

Ride a horse near Louisville

Child horseback riding at Shelby TrailsA visit to Kentucky isn’t complete without a horseback riding excursion. At Red Fern Riding Center at Shelby Trails Park, riders with or without any equestrian experience and as young as seven years old can enjoy a picturesque ride through 21+ acres of Shelby Trails Park. (Please note: Red Fern Riding Center will reopen for the season on April 15, 2024.)

The parkland, which was donated to the county parks system nearly ten years ago, is an ecological wonderland and features several miles of trails. If you prefer hiking over horseback riding, Shelby Trails Park is also open to hiking throughout the season. 

Explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® in Your Bourbon Destination

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® is a collection of more than 40 distilleries in Kentucky, including ShelbyKY’s own: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and Jeptha Creed Distillery. The many distilleries in Kentucky that have international recognition, like Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, and Heaven Hill, are less than an hour from ShelbyKY, leading to ShelbyKY’s recognition as Your Bourbon Destination.


Kentucky Ground-to-Glass DistilleryJeptha Bourbon Tasting

Jeptha Creed Distillery is the first distillery to operate in ShelbyKY since the end of Prohibition and is a ground-to-glass distillery, which means the family-owned-and-operated distillery grows all of the corn and major ingredients used in their bourbon, vodka, and moonshine. Plus, they are the only distillery in Kentucky that is owned and operated by a dynamic mother-and-daughter team.




Visit Bulleit DistilleryBulleit Distilling Co Distillery

Bulleit Distilling Co., the newer of ShelbyKY’s two distilleries, has quickly established its tour and tasting as a must-see on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Like Jeptha Creed, Bulleit takes care to source their ingredients as locally as possible, with many of the grains needed for their bourbon coming from farms in ShelbyKY. The multi-sensory tasting ends the visit to the distillery, which focuses on sustainability. With solar panels on several buildings throughout the property and shuttle buses that rely on low-emission fuel, Bulleit has a larger commitment to sustainability and has recently planted more than 1,000,000 trees to offset the wood used in the barrels used to age bourbon.

Sample authentic Southern cuisine

After riding a horse and sampling Kentucky Bourbon, you’ll work up an appetite. With dozens of restaurants and types of cuisine, even the pickiest eater will find something to satisfy their hunger in ShelbyKY.

Bell House Hot BrownBest Kentucky Hot Brown

No visit to the bluegrass state is complete without a Hot Brown, a signature Kentucky dish invented in Louisville at the Brown Hotel. (Rumor has it the Hot Brown was developed by the hotel’s chef to satisfy the appetite of Louisville's Jazz Age partygoers.) With a base layer of thick Texas toast, sliced roast turkey, rich mornay sauce, crispy bacon, and fresh tomato, the Hot Brown is a filling and delicious meal to enjoy after a bourbon tasting. The Bell House Restaurant in Shelbyville, KY has the best Hot Brown — just try one, and you’ll know it’s true!


B&N Food MarketMeals worth the drive

Trust us — these restaurants are worth the drive! Tucked away in more remote areas of ShelbyKY, you can find Channel Cat Fish House, Carriss’s Grocery, and B&N Food Market. In warmer weather, enjoy a meal on the porch at Channel Cat Fish House, which overlooks the calm and picturesque Guist Creek Marina. For a meal in the countryside, look no further than Carriss’s Grocery and B&N Food Market, both classic country stores, but perhaps best known for their lunch and breakfast offerings. Carriss’s Grocery is a staple in the Shelby County community and was recognized by Kentucky Living as one of Kentucky’s best breakfasts. B&N Food Market, in charming Bagdad, features their signature brisket and burgers alongside daily specials like a truly massive fried fish sandwich on Fridays. You can’t go wrong with any of these three — and don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Bottled in Bond interiorBest places to stay near Louisville and Lexington

You can hit the hay in horse country with ShelbyKY’s hundreds of places to stay. From classic, brand-name hotels to charming vacation rentals to luxury bed and breakfasts, the best places to stay in ShelbyKY all have two things in common: they provide a wonderful place to rest your head and are just a short drive from your favorite distilleries. Click here for a full list of places to stay in ShelbyKY.