Trendsetter’s Guide to Shelby County

Savvy travelers will find dozens and dozens of upscale designer shops, unrushed fine dining, cool places to chill for an evening on the town, and uber chic nests for kicking back and relaxing – all in Shelbyville and Simpsonville.

The shops

A recent fashion trend report by fashion magazine included these styles as among the most au courant: dark romantic florals, plaid, the color red, bell sleeves and embellished boots. Fortunately, all are showing up at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

“Stores where you can find ‘the look for less’ include H&M, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Nine West and Gap Outlet,” said Amy Duke, marketing director.

Kentucky’s only designer outlet mall, with more than 100 choice shops, just keeps getting better. The newest store that has opened at The Outlet Shoppes: American lifestyle brand Tory Burch.

Another two designer retail darlings will be added to The Outlet Shoppes’ directory when these shops open their doors: iconic global lifestyle brand Calvin Klein and Le Creuset, a store known for inspiring and empowering people everywhere to make joy through cooking.

Hip haunts



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Crafting the next generation of high-end heritage distilled spirits and foods is Jeptha Creed Distillery, a gorgeous venue that offers tours, tastings of its bourbon, vodka and moonshine and Friday night Jammin’ at Jeptha concerts.

Come for outstanding live music accompanied by delicious food truck noshes and craft cocktails from the Jeptha Creed bar. At the Farm to Table Dinners, scheduled throughout the year, enjoy 4-course small plate dinners created by high-profile chefs and paired with cocktails crafted with Jeptha Creed spirits.

Upscale eats

At Red Lion, linger over fine Kentucky fare – Summer shrimp and grits, deviled crab, the classic Hot Brown – that focuses on fresh, local ingredients and brings Mom’s Sunday dinners to mind. And for dessert, how about a chocolate flourless torte?

The restaurant is located in what was originally an 8-room brick building that opened in 1825 as a school for young ladies. Expanded over the years, it is also home to the Shops of Science Hill, including the New Silver Shop. Red Lion is open for dinner and Sunday brunch and is elegant dining with a Southern accent in a historic setting in downtown Shelbyville.

Dynamic digs

Shelbyville has two downtown urban lofts given a sophisticated but cozy ambience with exposed brick walls, gleaming hardwood floors and a wall of windows overlooking shops, boutiques and restaurants.

The Loft on Main is a gorgeous 1,250-square-foot, 1-bedroom loft suite tucked into a historic building. Features include a great room area with two fireplaces and two 60-inch TVs, a bar with a 42-inch flat screen TV and seating for up to seven people, full-service kitchen with both pantry and a laundry room and a spa-like bathroom with tiled shower. It is located above La Cocina de Mama, a local favorite known for its beautifully plated, authentic and homemade Mexican food.

No expense has been spared converting this space into Le Coop, a luxurious 2-bedroom, 2-bath urban loft with excellent art gracing the walls. Situated near Harvest Coffee and Café, it is a beautiful retreat with soaring ceilings, comfortable furnishings and elegant appointments throughout. Available a la carte options include a private chef, personalize horse tours and chauffeured bourbon tours.