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.