Have you ever been to Shelbyville, Kentucky? Yes, you have heard of it, yes, you may have visited a distillery or the famous restaurant, Claudia Sanders, but have you ever explored this cute, little Bluegrass town?
Tam and I recently spent the day in Kentucky's 25th largest city known mostly for its equestrian stronghold. Home to over 80 saddle-horse farms, Shelbyville is often referred to as the American Saddlebred Capital of the World, but there are so many things to love about this city and we are giving you five good reasons why you should take a day and tour!
1. The Bell House - Tam will tell you that our favorite thing to do is eat and she ain't lying. In fact, my belly is proof of it. And if you too, are a foodie then The Bell House is the place for you. Nestled in the heart of downtown, The Bell House is a fully renovated, historic home converted into a Southern style restaurant, complete with screened-in porch, old-fashion furnishings and front porch dining. Aptly named the Bell House after the large bell residing in the front yard, the ambiance is more reminiscent of Grandma's house than a fine dining eatery, it's that warm and inviting.
I had the grilled pimento cheese sandwich (you know you are in Kentucky when that is on the menu) and homemade tomato soup while Tam had the fresh fruit, chicken salad, and sweet tea. YUM! The quaint dining establishment is so comfortable and cozy, you never want to leave!!! The service is excellent too! Our only regret visiting The Bell House is that we did not save room for dessert. What the heck were we thinking passing on their homemade petite praline cheesecake, coconut cream pie or crème brûlée? But no worries, we will be back and we hope to see you there!
2. Jeptha Creed - Anyone who knows me, knows I love bourbon. In fact, my husband and I are collectors and most recently joined the Lexington Bourbon Society. So, it's no surprise that we love Jeptha Creed. Not only is their bourbon the bomb, but they are owned by a mother-daughter duo. How cool is that?! Not to mention, their distillery is one of the coolest in the state. If you have ever driven on I-64, then you have noticed this building. It's so eye-catching.
Photo courtesy of Jeptha Creed Facebook
Furthermore, they have an onsite bar and cafe, complete with signature cocktails, pizza, along with other lite bites and often times, live music! It's a great place to hang out. And don't forget to visit their barrel tasting tour and wonderful gift shop. In addition to bourbon, they also sell other fine spirits such as vodka, moonshine and brandy. Check out this Jeptha Creed Straight 4-Grain Bourbon we received. This is a perfect bottle to add to the collection!
3. Downtown Shopping - We love downtown strips lined with unique boutiques and treasure finds and Shelbyville does not disappoint. From trendy styles to antique goods, there is something for everyone. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and I promise you will find something you love. Below, is a list of some of the great places you will see. It's no coincidence that several of these shops were voted Best Boutiques in Kentucky by our followers! These places are terrific!
While you are at it, be sure to stop by Spotz Gelato (another one of our favorite women-owned businesses) and treat yourself to a cup or cone of deliciousness.
Spotz Gelato downtown Shelbyville
4. Shelby County Community Theatre - A fourth reason to visit Shelbyville is to see a play! The Shelby County Community Theatre has become the heart of the Shelbyville's
cultural community, providing great shows and entertainment for adults and children alike. Their fall and winter lineup includes the Bright Star, A Christmas Story and Jubilee Barndance. Tickets are reasonably priced and there is not a bad seat in the house. Purchase your tickets today and tell them the Buds sent you!
Photo courtesy of Shelby County Community Theatre
5. Bottled in Bond: Air BnB. Shelbyville is so fantastic that you may need more than one day to take it all in. There are several really awesome Air BnB's you can stay at but I have to say, that Bottled in Bond is my favorite. Check out the pics below or their website to see why. Featured on HGTV, this swanky loft has it all. It's the perfect bourbon trail location and has so many luxury amenities that you need to bring your whole family to enjoy. This is a bucket list place for Tam and I to stay at... it's simply that amazing. The only struggle is finding a date when they are not booked! But have no fear, there are many other great places to choose from as well.
Photos courtesy of Bottled in Bond Air BnB
It's easy to see why we adore and appreciate Shelbyville so much. Big time charm, with small town flair. We'd like extend a BIG thank you to Chennelle McGee, President and CEO of Shelby County Tourism and Debra Locker Griffin of Debra Locker Group for hosting us. We had such an incredible time! Shelby County tourism takes great pride in their cities and it shows. Click on their website to start planning your trip today! It's the perfect place to eat, stay and play in Kentucky!