Shelby County, Kentucky is a charming, yet high-end, area of the Bluegrass state that's known for its bourbon, rich culinary traditions, one-of-a-kind shopping, upscale lodging, small-town charm, rolling hills, and American Saddlebred horses. Located just 30 minutes from downtown Louisville and less than an hour from Lexington, ShelbyKY (Shelbyville, Simpsonville, and Shelby County), is a classic Kentucky getaway. Last year, visitor spending in Shelby County ranked in the top fifth of all Kentucky counties.
“It's a sweet respite from urban life, featuring lovely stretches of rolling countryside, antiquing, a thrilling foodie scene, the famous Bourbon Trail — and some of the best fried chicken in the country.” | USA Today – May 2023
- ShelbyKY is the home to the internationally-known Bulleit Distillery and the only mother-daughter-operated distillery in Kentucky, Jeptha Creed Distillery.
- Within easy driving distance of all distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.
- Home to several farms where corn is grown and processed in the making of bourbon, including the world’s most well-known labels, such as Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Wild Turkey.
- A bourbon weekend can easily be created by staying in one of the many upscale lodging options including Bottled in Bond (featured on HGTV), and Saddlebred Suites’ upscale-loft, boutique-hotel experience.
- ShelbyKY is the American Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World and boasts more than 90 Saddlebred farms, many of which can be toured, such as Kismet Farm in Simpsonville.
- Red Fern Riding Center is one of only a handful of horseback riding experiences available in Kentucky.
- Cerulean Farm is the only combo guest and horse B&B in the state.
- Léttleiki Icelandics is a nationally recognized center for the Icelandic Horse and is located on the historic Swallowland Farm, which dates to the early 1800s.
- Including Tory Burch, Restoration Hardware, and Kate Space, the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville is the state’s only designer outlet mall.
- The historic Wakefield-Scearce Galleries at Science Hill is known around the world for its vast collection of European antiques. Synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, sterling silver Julep Cups from Wakefield-Scearce have been made for and given to every U.S. President since FDR and governor of Kentucky since the 1930s.
- There are many locally owned boutiques in Shelbyville and Simpsonville, such as the Polka Dotted Pineapple, The Lovely Fig, and Little Mount Lavender Company.
Rich Culinary Traditions
- Claudia Sanders Dinner House is named for the wife of Colonel Sanders of KFC fame – the chicken is a must try and is the original KFC recipe and methods.
- The Bell House historic restaurant is known for the Hot Brown and homemade desserts.
- The ShelbyKY Coffee Trail includes four locally owned and operated boutique coffeehouses, each with its own flair and quirky character.
- Four professional golf courses are available, including Weissinger Hills Golf Course, which has undergone more than $1m in renovations in the past five years.
- Two lakes (Guist Creek Marina & Campground and Lake Shelby) are available for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
- Shelby Trails Park is home to Red Fern Riding Center and miles of wooded trails available for hiking and horseback riding.
The historic town of Shelbyville has been around since 1792, so you better believe there are some lingering spirits and ghosts.