11 Nov Family Vacation
With miles of fenced pastureland, a naturally gorgeous park system, Kentucky’s only designer outlet mall, plenty of local dining options and lodging with lots of elbow room, Shelbyville & Simpsonville, Kentucky, makes a great destination for family vacations. It’s affordable, accessible and offers an array of activities so all members of the family can find something to suit their interests – all against the scenic backdrop of the American Saddlebred Capital of the World.
What to Do
Parks & Rec: Each park has its own charms: Clear Creek is home to an outdoor swimming pool with water slide and Lake Shelby with fishing and boating; Shelby Trails Park offers horseback riding lessons and guided trail rides; Red Orchard Park, ablaze with color during fall, is where the Miller Outdoor Education Center with wildlife exhibits is located; and tiny Finchville Park has a walking trail, athletic playing field, and small pond.
Shopping: The shoppers of the family will enjoy an outing to the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. Home to about 100 choice designer stores, including Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Fossil, Carter’s, Children’s Place and so many others, this beautifully designed shopper’s paradise also has eateries for grabbing lunch or a snack.
Horsing around: Prefer seeing horses in action? Head to Simpsonville’s Kismet Farm for a tour of an American Saddlebred horse farm and learn what these graceful equine show athletes are all about. Riding lessons are also available for all ages and abilities.
Where to Eat
You can grab your coffee and breakfast for the day at Brick+Mortar Boutique and Coffeehouse and enjoy some of the most creative coffee drinks you will try. A crowd favorite from the fall menu includes the Lumber Jack Latte, which includes maple syrup, hickory smoke, espresso, steamed milk, cinnamon, and sea salt. It’s basically the outdoors in a mug! Their boutique is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir to remember your trip or for the upcoming gift-giving season.. They have all kinds of Shelby County and Kentucky branded merchandise including t-shirts, bracelets, pillows and greeting cards.
For a sit-down dining experience that you can get only in Shelby County, the historic Bell House Restaurant serves fine dining with “southern hospitality.” Bell House Restaurant, tucked inside a renovated home 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.
Families can top off the night in downtown Shelbyville at Spotz Gelato for handcrafted gelato and sorbet made from local Kentucky proud ingredients.
Where to Stay
While ShelbyKY offers numerous Airbnb options, particularly in the downtown area, if you are looking to stay more connected, there is one particular location that offers an intimate spot for a family vacation, Chandler Ridge. This cabin rental can be great for a couple or family, but also offers enough space to accommodate a retreat, training seminar, church group, or event. Accommodations are flexible to meet the needs of two guests, up to 25 guests.
Plan your trip with help from the ShelbyKY Commission & Visitors Bureau at 502-633-6388 or VisitShelbyKY.com.
Written in part by Allie Hembree Martin
Allie Hembree Martin is a native ShelbyKYian, residing now in Louisville where she lives with her husband, Brandon. Allie is a podcast host, frequent contributor to national publications, and runs a brand management company, Fame and Fortune.