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Embark on Shelby County’s BBQ Trail

Hey, y’all!

We here in Kentucky love trails. Most notably, of course, we hold our Bourbon Trail near and dear – and with good reason. That said, I think there should be more trails for those of us that are more food-focused, as opposed to spirit-focused (note: both are great – ha!).

If you know anything about me or my blog, you probably know that I adore Shelby County, KY. It’s the perfect town, located between Lexington and Louisville, that boasts everything that I love about Kentucky: good food, country roads, kind people, farms, horses, and amazing local businesses.

I was recently in town trying some new-to-me local restaurants and was astounded at the quality of BBQ dishes around the county. Like, mouthwatering good. Write your MeeMaw good. Praising the Lord good, y’all. And I couldn’t help but to think to myself… I think all foodies need to have a BBQ-packed day in Shelby County! Thus, I present to you: the Shelby County BBQ Trail!

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Grab a BBQ Sandwich and a side of Apple Cole Slaw at Mulberry Orchard

1330 Mulberry Pike

Shelbyville, KY 40065

Mulberry Orchard is known for being a locally-owned and operated farm in Shelby County that produces 17 different types of apples (more on that later); that said, they also have other fruits, amazing produce/merchandise (I had the best sugar baby watermelon from the store!), and an on-site café that serves up some delicious BBQ. You’ll want to grab the Orchard Pulled Pork Sandwich, which is flavorful BBQ with incorporated apple pieces, all served on a pretzel bun; and, of course, you have to get the Honey and Apple Coleslaw on the side!

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats\The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Ken-Tex BBQ

1163 Mount Eden Rd.

Shelbyville, KY 40065

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Ken-Tex has been serving up Texas-style BBQ since 1984 – and with one bite, you’ll realize that they are not amateurs! The name, Ken-Tex, was a natural choice: A Shelbyville girl (Ken) met and married a Texas police officer (Tex); together, they opened the business. Though the original owners sold the business, Ken-Tex is still family-owned and operated. You’ll want to grab some of the brisket, as it was fantastic. Come for the rotisserie pit, hickory-smoked BBQ (you’ll smell the deliciousness!); stay for a helping (or two!).

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

 

B&N Food Market

5945 Elmburg Rd.

Bagdad, KY 40003

B&N Food Market was my favorite stop of the trip, hands down. This food market has been family-owned and operated since 1970. B&N is famous in Bagdad, KY – and with good reason. Upon walking in, you know this is a spot for locals to eat, to converse, and (I’m sure) to solve the world’s problems. I know for a fact that I plan to spend a lot of time in the future here – and I’d love for them to cater my next party.

Why will B&N cater my next party? Two words: the brisket. It was THE BEST that I have ever had, and I do not say that lightly. Brisket is my favorite form of BBQ and B&N‘s almost brought tears to my eyes. Get it. Run, don’t walk.

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Apart from the brisket, I also ordered the ribs, smoked turkey, pulled pork, and a bean soup. Every morsel was finger-lickin’ good.

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

B&N is famous in the community for their Newt Burger, which I also tried (all of the food, am I right?). Two thumbs up! If you love burgers like me, order one… along with your BBQ!

Pro tip: When visiting, make sure you say “Howdy!” to Buckshot, the owner. He’s a great guy and I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with him. Tell him that I sent ya!

Red Lion

525 Washington St.

Shelbyville, KY 40065

I’m no stranger to the Red Lion – I’ve been a couple of times and it has been a lovely experience time and time again. The small, intimate, Tudor-style pub is the perfect spot to meet up with friends; the atmosphere is warm and inviting – and the food is great!

Through my visits to the Red Lion, I have noticed that their menu rotates. That said, on my last visit, I was able to order pulled pork poutine. Poutine is a Canadian dish that is comprised of french fries and cheese curds, topped with a brown gravy. The Red Lion made it even more decadent with pulled pork – because, well, why not?

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

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Love BBQ? Love adventure? Love local food? Look no further than Shelby County, KY. Do visit and plan to stay – take a seat, grab a glass of sweet tea, and have an appetite, y’all! I know that my friends will treat you well.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was generously sponsored by ShelbyKY Tourism Commission and Visitors Bureau; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

A Guide To Munfordville, Kentucky: A Rural Oasis In Central KY

Hey, y’all!

Rural Kentucky. I love it. I love it with all of my being, every ounce of it. And Munfordville is a perfect example as to why.

Why do I regard Munfordville so highly? Central Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places in the world to me. The people are warm, kind, and friendly; the terrain is rural, heavy in farmland, and gorgeous; and it’s chock-full of activities for all travelers: solo adventurers, families, children, adults – you name it!

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Hospitality:

Hospitality is at the core of Munfordville. Travelers have been coming to the town for ages; the historic Munford Inn started welcoming guests in 1810, and in present times, the Munfordville Welcome Center is continuing on the tradition [ps: I totally recommend dropping by the Welcome Center – the staff is fantastic (including the tourism director, who is the absolute best!) and there’s a great shop, full to the brim with local goodies!].

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Location:

Munfordville is gorgeously located on the banks of the Green River, which serves as a launching spot for many paddlers and boaters. That, along with hiking and the caves that the region is known so well for, makes Munfordville an outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

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Travel Guide:

That said, upon spending a couple of days in town, I have a few tips for y’all to maximize your time in Munfordville: where to eat, what to do, and where to go. Start planning your trip now, as I can assure a good time will be had by all!

Start Your Morning With Coffee at the Brew House

219 Main St.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

The Brew House is a small, quaint, family-owned coffee shop located on Main St. Serving up delicious coffee (I noticed they have Sunergos, which is one of my favorites!) and fresh-made pastries, this is a fantastic place to start your day. You’ll love the friendly baristas and owner, alongside knowing that you are supporting a local business. Being from a very small town myself, I think it’s special when a community can – and does! – support a coffee shop. Oh, and do grab a muffin and/or a scone!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Explore Downtown Munfordville

Near Main St.

Munfordville, KY 42765

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: small town downtowns are unrivaled in my book – and Munfordville‘s is no exception. After having a coffee at the Brewhouse, take a walk around the vicinity; upon exploring, you’ll find local businesses, historic homes and buildings, murals (I loved the Coca Cola graphic!), and the Munfordville Welcome Center. Bring your camera, as it is picturesque!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Visit Kentucky Stonehenge

201 Lynn Avenue

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Y’all know that I love to travel abroad. That said, did you know that we here in Kentucky have our own version of Stonehenge? A replica of the English landmark was constructed by Munfordville resident Chester Fryer; he built the recreation of ancient history to bring visitors into the region and welcomes you to visit it! In addition to the  display that resembles the world-famous Stonehenge, the estate is divided into several other rock displays: Earth Mysteries, The Garden of Gethsemane, Rock Gardens, and Rock Park.

Dine at Poor Keys BBQ

Open on Thursdays, Poor Keys BBQ is a fantastic business that is owned and operated by local resident Brian Key (who is, by the way, such a fantastic guy!). The BBQ is extremely affordable and – in all honesty – mouthwatering. Give Brian a visit and tell him that I sent you! You can contact him/check availability and location here.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Shop at Deitweiler’s Country Store

12825 Priceville Rd.

Cub Run, KY 42729

Located three miles from Cub Run Cave, Deitweiler’s is a large-scale Amish store that has everything from fabric, clothing, and hats to food items, preserves, household goods, quilts, chimes, and rocking chairs. Amish stores are some of my favorites to visit, as I love the variety of delicious goodies they carry. Deitweiler’s did not disappoint and I very much recommend that you pay them a visit!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP EatsA Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Green River Park and Arboretum

103 River Rd.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Nature lovers + outdoor enthusiasts — look no further. Located on the banks of the Green River, Munfordville boasts the Green River Park and Arboretum. On the property, in addition to the beautiful trees, one can find covered picnic pavilions, grills, a nine hole disc golf course, children’s playground, a hiking trail head, paved walking trail, and a boat ramp that can be used for boating, canoeing, kayaking or fishing.

Browse Schmucker’s Greenhouse

317 Clearview Dr.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Schmucker’s is another fabulous, Amish-owned business in Munfordville. At the greenhouse during the main season, you will find six greenhouses full of assorted, potted annuals and perennials, mixed containers and hanging baskets, knockout roses, fruit trees, ornamental trees and bushes, strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, blackberries, raspberries, and grape vines. Of course, being this time of year, the greenhouse was full of my favorite fall decor – mums!

Drive Country Roads With No Destination

I very much implore that you drive around Munfordville + Hart County with no destination. I did just this on my trip and it was one of my favorite activities. I found dead end roads, fields of goldenrods, beautiful farms, and southern landscapes that were stunning.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Driving backroads is therapeutic; it’s good for the soul. I’ve always felt that way. Maybe it’s because I’m a country boy. Maybe it’s because Munfordville is so beautiful. Most likely, it’s both.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Grab a Burger at the Munfordville Pool Hall

113 West Union St.

Munfordville KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Pool halls are a large part of small town culture. They are chock-full of locals, conversations, and I can guarantee you that many of the world’s problems have been solved within their walls. The Munfordville Pool Hall fit the bill perfectly, serving up delicious burgers, sandwiches, sides, and milkshakes. Don’t miss it!

Feast on Delicious Mexican Food at El Mazatlan

1172 Main St. (US 31W)

Munfordville KY 42749

Even though El Mazatlan is a chain, it’s one of my favorites. I grew to love it while getting my MBA at Western Kentucky University. I was so excited to see that Munfordville had a location – and I had to stop, naturally! You’ll love the manager, the expansive menu, the portion sizes, and the price point. Pro tip: order the chilaquiles. They are fabulous.

Attend a Festival

Munfordville is home to two fabulous festivals during the fall, one of which I got the chance to attend on this trip. Make plans for the second – and plan to attend Civil War Days next year – y’all; the folks in Munfordville know how to throw an event!

Civil War Days

Civil War Days, which sprawls out throughout downtown Munfordville, is a local celebration and appreciation of Hart County’s role in the Civil War. It garners a regional crowd – and after attending, I can see why!

A spectacle of a historic era and heritage, it’s truly something to see. The grounds of the Hart County Courthouse are filled with various food vendors, games, activities, and booths with everything from Civil War items to hand-made arts and crafts. The festival also has live music, historical tours, artifacts, living history encampments, and historical memorabilia on display.

Saturday and Sunday are highlighted with reenactments of the Battle of Munfordville and there is also a Blue Gray Ball. How cool is that?!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

The Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off

The Big Buffalo Crossing Cook-Off is a Kentucky State Championship cook-off and is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Each year (this year is the tenth annual!), professional BBQ teams from all over the U.S. compete for the championship of this highly-regarded festival. This year, they will be competing for both the notoriety + respect that a win in Munfordville brings, along with prize money totaling $15,000.

Competitors cook through the night on Friday and the judging is on Saturday; visitors can watch the BBQ masters in their natural habitat, along with enjoying BBQ from local vendors.

The 2019 Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off is the first stop this year on the Jim Beam Showdown – don’t miss it, y’all!

Dates: October 18 – 19, 2019
Times: Friday 9 am – 3 pm, Saturday 8 am – 5 pm

For more information on the festival, click here.

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Adventure awaits in Munfordville, KY – what are you waiting for? Come hungry, with your camera, and in good company!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

And once again – get on down to the 2019 Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was kindly sponsored by Visit Munfordville; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

Your Next Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY

Hey, y’all!

Scott County. It has quickly stolen my heart, proving to be one of my favorite places in the Commonwealth. There’s something about it. Maybe it’s the charm, the bustling downtown, the kind residents, or the fact that it’s located in beautiful Central Kentucky. Maybe it’s the food (definitely a big part of it). Either way, know this: if you are planning your next Kentucky Day Trip, I assure you that you will love your time in Georgetown!

A Cup of Commonwealth

100 E. Main St., Georgetown, KY 40324

A Cup of Commonwealth has been a long-time favorite of mine in Lexington and I was ticked pink to see that they opened a location in Georgetown; as a company, their mission is simple, yet powerful: embrace community, serve others, and create culture. And they do just that.

My favorite part of the shop? The Pay It Forward board. On this board, a future drink can be bought for anyone; upon taking the coffee sleeve off of the wall, it can be redeemed at any time. Isn’t that a fabulous idea? Help your neighbor, y’all. It’s as simple as that.

I started my morning with a Cold Brew, the perfect caffeine-induced pick-me-up. Alongside my coffee, I chose to also have a piece of avocado toast, which was absolutely delicious. Topped with red pepper flakes, it had the perfect kick. I definitely recommend!

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - A Cup Of Commonwealth

Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm

1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324

Founded in 2003, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm boasts a herd of over 175 retired and rescued horses. A self-proclaimed “living history of horse racing”, I, a devout Kentuckian, felt that exact sentiment. Horses are special to our culture; likewise, they should be treated with utmost respect during their racing prime and equally in retirement.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm

At Old Friends, you take a guided, interactive tour; during the tour, you get to be up-close and personal with several thoroughbreds. As a visitor, be sure to grab some carrots from the tour guide’s bucket and treat the horses. Also, while you’re at it, be sure to give some love and respect to past Kentucky Derby winners on the farm, along with equine movie celebrities, such as Seabiscuit’s Popcorn Delights.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm

Oh, and don’t miss out visiting one of the prides of Georgetown, Little Silver Charm, a miniature horse with a giant personality!

Broussard’s Delta Kitchen

135 E. Main St., Georgetown, KY 40324

After working up an appetite from your morning with the horses, head back downtown for lunch at Broussard’s Delta Kitchen for some deep southern favorites from the Mississippi Delta. A new restaurant to Georgetown, I was very excited to dive into the menu – especially because I love creole food!

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

My meal started off with Seafood Gumbo, which featured shrimp, redfish, crawfish, filé, and okra. It was delicious – needless to say, I was scraping my bowl!

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

I also couldn’t resist the popcorn crawfish, which were served with a delicious remoulade.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

As for the main course? Filet Mignon Ecrivesse, of course – a center-cut filet mignon smothered in crawfish étouffée. I mean, y’all… how does it get much better? Well, if you’re like me, you could order it with the Macaroni and 9-cheeses. Good heavens!

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

For dessert, Chef really spoiled us. We tried three different varieties – a chocolate torte and two pies. All were delicious – and in all honesty, the peanut butter pie was a highlight of my entire day.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Broussard’s

Evan’s Orchard

198 Stone Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324

After lunch at Broussard’s, there’s no better place to visit than Evan’s Orchard. It doesn’t get much better, y’all. They are truly a one-stop shop!

Evan’s Orchard is a fifth-generation family farm – and as an individual that reigns from a Kentucky farm family, there’s nothing that I love more.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

The farm, still a working farm today, covers 175 acres. On location, visitors can enjoy the stunning Farm Market & Store, which was remodeled from the original tobacco barn. In the store, you’ll find lots of fresh produce, local honey, fresh jams, and homemade apple cider, among many other items. Adjoining the market is the Sweet Apple Café and Bakery, which is a fantastic option for visitors to grab a burger, ribeye sandwich, homemade fudge, chicken salad, or a fried pie.

 

Get the fried pies, y’all. I repeat: get the fried pies.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

While visiting Evan’s, I was excited to be able to catch the Sunflower Field. While the season for sunflowers has come and gone, make sure to plan to go next year.

However, fear not – it’s about to be prime apple season, which is a fantastic time to visit Evan’s. Actually, visiting in the fall is my favorite. Pro tip: the café also serves a frozen apple cider slush. That + pumpkins + apple pickin’… does it get more fall than that?

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Evan’s Orchard

Slainte Public House

320 E. Main St, Georgetown, KY 40324

An afternoon in Georgetown is made better by swinging into Slainte Public House, Georgetown’s Irish Pub. With several beers on tap, along with other cocktails, there’s something for all palates. As for me, I noted that they had Country Boy Brewing on tap. I was sold.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Slainte Public House

My favorite part of the Slainte Public House was how cozy it was. Several of the rooms have couches and comfortable chairs, which is perfect for cozying up for an afternoon or evening with friends. Lots of laughs were had at Slainte – and I can’t wait to go back!

Local Feed

214 S. Water St., Georgetown, KY 40324

Up until the time of this trip, had you asked me what Kentucky restaurant was at the top of my list to try, I would’ve said Local Feed. And trust me when I say this: it lived up to my expectations & high standards.

 

Local Feed is located in an 1890’s icehouse; the historic charm, atmosphere, and character is a perfect accompaniment to the southern, farm-to-table dishes that are made from scratch. Oh, and did I mention that it is located just across from Royal Spring, which is where Elijah Craig is said to have pulled water to first make bourbon?!

Our meal started with Skillet Cornbread + sorghum butter, along with Deviled Eggs, which were topped with country ham crisps and chives. The eggs were silky, smooth, and had a beautiful flavor. They were definitely one of the highlights of my meal.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

While dining, be sure to try a drink (or two!). They are known for their craft cocktails – and for good reason.

 

Next came the Brussels Sprouts, which featured mustard cream, bacon, and a fresh farm egg.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

I got to sample a friend’s Chicken and Waffles, which is a speciality of Local Feed. They were amazing, to say the least, y’all. Served with shishito peppers and a chili maple syrup, it is a menu highlight (and a unique twist on a southern classic!).

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

For my main course, I chose the Chicken and Dumplings – one of my favorite dishes. Heavy, warm, hearty – it is the quintessential comfort food in my world. I loved the addition of roasted vegetables + the herbed jus was finger lickin’ good.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

I chose to get the macaroni and cheese on the side. Just order it, y’all. Thank me later.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

For dessert, we chose a cobbler, which was individually served in a small Corningware dish. Having grown up with these dishes in the kitchen – and as my most used dishes still to this day – this bit of nostalgia was really special. I’ve never seen them used in a restaurant setting, though it made for the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Kentucky Day Trip: Georgetown, KY - Local Feed

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Adventure awaits in Georgetown, Kentucky — what are you waiting for?

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was kindly sponsored by Georgetown/Scott County Tourism. all opinions, as always, are my own.

 

From Abe to Cave: The perfect day trip in Central Kentucky

From Abe to Cave: A Kentucky Trail For The Perfect Day Trip

Hey, y’all!

If you know anything about me, you know that I love Kentucky. Even more than that, however, you might also know that I love Central and Southern Kentucky. It’s God’s Country – and in my eyes, it’s hard to beat.

While the landscapes are easy on the eye, there’s so much to do and so much to learn in this area of the Commonwealth, as well. It’s rich in history! With that in mind, I present to you a perfect day trip that is chock-full of adventure, activities, food, and culture: From Abe to the Cave!

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park

2995 Lincoln Farm Rd., Hodgenville, KY 42748

The Abe in the trail? Well, no other than our sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln! The first president born west of the Appalachian Mountains, he was born in a log cabin on Sinking Springs Farm. According to the National Park Service, “the story of Lincoln’s journey from log cabin to the White House that began here has long been a powerful symbol of the unlimited possibilities of American life.  For almost a century, tourists and historians have come here to seek out the origins of the man and his virtues—honesty, unpretentiousness, tolerance, hard work, a capacity to forgive, and a clear-sighted vision of right and wrong.”

The approaching centennial of Lincoln’s birth brought interest in memorializing the president; in doing so, Robert Collier, publisher of Colliers Weekly, bought Sinking Springs Farm in 1905. He, along with his associates, formed the Abraham Lincoln Farm Association to build the memorial. To quote, “Over 120,000 individuals from across the country, including thousands of schoolchildren, contributed a total of about $350,000 for the memorial.” The cornerstone was dedicated in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt, while President Taft dedicated the space for the nation two years later.

From Abe to Cave: The perfect day trip in Central Kentucky

The small cabin reminds us of Lincoln’s beginnings, which were quite humble, and the granite + marble memorial building that houses the cabin is a luxurious, stunning reminder of Lincoln’s rich legacy in the United States.

From Abe to Cave: The perfect day trip in Central Kentucky

I am certain that y’all would love visiting the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park, as it is a fantastic piece of national history!

Mammoth Cave National Park

After a morning spent in Larue County learning about President Lincoln, head on down to the second half of the Abe to Cave Trail by visiting Mammoth Cave National Park! Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system known in the world – and it’s right in our backyards in Central Kentucky. How fabulous is that?

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Fun Fact:

Did you know that Mammoth Cave National Park was deemed a national park in 1941, a World Heritage Site in 1981, and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990? That’s why it attracts visitors from nearby and afar, internationally and domestically!

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From Abe to Cave: The perfect day trip in Central Kentucky

The park spans into Edmonson, Hart, and Barren Counties. Mammoth Cave is famous for having over 400 miles of surveyed passageways, along with stunning limestone strata, capped by sandstone.

There are multiple tours and adventures that one can take at Mammoth Cave – ones that are geared towards families, children, school groups, adults.. you name it! You can find more information about visiting here.

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While a day can easily be filled going from Abe to Cave, if you need more activities (or want some great food), head over and visit my friends in Hart County! In beautiful, nearby Horse Cave, Kentucky, one can have fabulous Amish Doughnuts from R&S Salvage Grocery and Bakery, explore Hidden River Cave, shop locally downtown, dine at 5 Broke Girls (get the Chicken Fried Chicken!), have a glass of sweet tea and a bologna sandwich at the WigWam General Store, visit the famous Dennison’s Roadside Market, pet a kangaroo at Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo, and grab a pizza at a local favorite, Turtlelini’s!

You can find more information on what to do, where to go, and where to eat in Hart County here.

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Needless to say, there’s a lot to do in this area of the state; if I were you, I’d book a hotel + get ready to make some great memories! Take my word, my Kentucky oath, for it – you won’t regret it.

If you need help planning your trip to Central Kentucky, to the Abe to Cave Trail, or to Hart County, let me know – I’d be happy to help!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining Around Lake Cumberland: A Lake Goer’s Guide to Russell County

Hey, y’all!

Heading to beautiful Lake Cumberland? If you aren’t, take my word for it: you should be! Lake Cumberland is a cultural oasis for our Commonwealth and the millions of visitors that it has attracted to the South-Central Kentucky region. Lake Cumberland provides visitors with water sports a’plenty, gorgeous docks and marinas, and a community unlike any other in the region. Oh, and some delicious food + libations!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Join me in celebrating the delicious bites and sips along the shoreline of the Houseboat Capital of the World! Warning: come hungry, bring sunscreen, and be prepared to make lifelong memories!

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Did you know that the shoreline of Lake Cumberland is 1,255 miles, which is longer than the contiguous shoreline of Florida? It also just falls short of matching the total Pacific coastline of the United States (California, Oregon, Washington).  Let that sink in for a minute, y’all! As for water capacity, it is the 9th largest reservoir in the United States!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Side note: I’m not going to downplay my excitement for this post, yet I promise to only get somewhat sentimental — today’s post features the eateries on Lake Cumberland in Russell County. Russell County, specifically Jamestown, is where I am from, y’all. I grew up on the family farm that was homesteaded in 1798, located in what is now the Esto Community of Jamestown. Russell County was officially founded in 1825; thus, it’s fair to say that my roots run pretty deep in this community.

This is my first time getting to work here asJCP Eats in a professional capacity. This opportunity means a lot to me – and I owe it all to you, my dear readers.

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A Culinary Tour of Russell County via Lake Cumberland

The Tiki Bar & Grill

I started my day at the Tiki Bar & Grill, which is located at the State Dock Marina.  Upon grabbing a chair at the Tiki Bar, and after hearing a Jimmy Buffett tune, you’ll forget about all of your worries and be thankful for the forthcoming time that you will have on Lake Cumberland.

On the water, the perfect meal starts with a “boat drink”, as we Parrotheads call them, right? With plenty of beers and a wide-ranging menu, there’s a libation to please all palates. As for me, I started with rum-based cocktails – one with blue curacao and one with pineapple juice!

The fun didn’t end there, though. Don’t miss out on the fried fish, as it was one of my favorite bites on Lake Cumberland. Perfectly breaded, crunchy, and delicious. It was finger lickin’ good.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

The calamari was also a favorite of mine – the portion size was incredible!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

As for small bites + bar bites, I also tried the quesadilla, pulled pork sliders, chicken wings, fries, cole slaw, and pretzel + beer cheese.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Just take my word for it: you can’t go wrong. Especially if you end your meal in an authentic Kentucky fashion: with bourbon pecan pie + vanilla ice cream!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Fishtales

Fishtales is, without hesitation, my favorite place on Lake Cumberland. The food is absolutely incredible! Upon boating up to the banks of Wolf Creek Marina and landing at Fishtales, one could easily think that they are in the Florida Keys. I’ve made my rounds around Kentucky, as y’all know – and I truly believe that there isn’t any place quite like Fishtales in our Commonwealth.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Start your meal with the mahi mahi bites, a healthier option that features perfectly-grilled fish in bite-size form. This is the perfect dish to share (or order your own, because, well, you’ll want it).

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

The fish tacos feature the same mahi mahi, so if tacos are more your speed, by all means – order these! So good, y’all.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Oh, and crab cakes! Get the crab cakes. Just trust me.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

If you would like another drink, look no further than “The Lake Cumberland” – a drink that was born at Wolf Creek Marina. I was so excited to be among the first to try it!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Inspired by the gorgeous colors of the lake – blue and green – this cocktail is one that you won’t be able to get enough of. It was delicious!

Lake Cumberland Marina

Formerly known as Alligator II, Lake Cumberland Marina really impressed me. It had been several years since I had been on-site – and let me tell you: there have been so many updates! It was unrecognizable in the best way possible.

Lake Cumberland Marina is fixated in one of the best spots for boating and fishing in the Commonwealth. There’s also a nearby beach area, which is perfect for a day of relaxation. Apart from boat rentals, Lake Cumberland Marina has launched two new options: Floating Cabins and Harbor Cottages! This was my first time seeing either – and to say that I was impressed was an understatement. I left wanting one — an on-water office is sounding pretty good at the moment!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

While at Lake Cumberland Marina, don’t miss out on a delicious meal — and in my opinion, the Philly Cheesesteak was a perfect mid-day treat! They use the same meat in their quesadillas, too. Yum!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

The Cumberland Tap

I have so many childhood memories at Jamestown Marina (now known as Safe Harbor Jamestown Resort & Marina). Being a Jamestown boy, this is the part of the lake that I consider to be “mine” – however, I’m not alone in this sentiment. One of the busiest parts of Lake Cumberland, upon visiting the marina, you’ll be charmed, too.

The Cumberland Tap is the best-stocked bar on Lake Cumberland. This is not your typical drinking experience – they have everything from speciality cocktails to locally-sourced beers. I think that is what impressed me most — the devotion to our alcohol industry here in Kentucky behind the bar. From Jarfly in nearby Somerset to Country Boy & West Sixth in Lexington, one is sure to have a taste of the Commonwealth upon walking in at the Cumberland Tap.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

My favorite drink of the day was the Q-Cumberland Mojito, which featured Don Q Rum, fresh mint, fresh cucumber, simple syrup, and a splash of Sprite.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

I also enjoyed the Jam Marina Margarita, which featured Cuervo Traditional 1800 Silver Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime + lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of orange juice. Oh, and it’s served with a shot of Grand Marnier on the side. Yes, you read that correctly. It made all of the difference.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

Apart from drinks, the Cumberland Tap is also known for live music + their bar bites. Their oversized, salted, fluffy pretzel is what they are known for – and it’s what dreams are made of. That is if you have carbohydrate-filled dreams (am I alone in this?). The pretzel was served with homemade beer cheese, which featured Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Beer. A little extra touch of Kentucky goes a long way in my book.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

The Mariner’s Cafe

Located next-door to the Cumberland Tap is the Mariner’s Cafe, which is a staple on Lake Cumberland. It’s truly a one-stop shop!

As for the menu at the Mariner’s Cafe, there are classics – burgers and other sandwiches perfect for a boater’s appetite – and special dishes, such as salmon + delicious southern sides.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

There are also plenty of appetizers to share with your crew + delicious salads if you are trying to live on the lighter side of life.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

However, the highlight was an off-menu dessert concoction that I am so proud to say will be available to y’all upon request: Loaded Funnel Cake Fries. No, I’m not kidding. Funnel Cake Fries, topped with cherry pie filling and whipped cream. Sinful? Potentially. Plate scrapin’ good? Absolutely.

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

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Adventure awaits in beautiful Russell County, Kentucky – especially on Lake Cumberland. I do hope that you’ll come hungry, as there are many delicious eateries located on the banks of Kentucky’s shining gem!

Dining on Lake Cumberland - Russell County

As I am from the area, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you in planning a trip to God’s Country – my home!

Thank y’all for making this post possible. I’ll always remember this one.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post is sponsored by Lake Cumberland Tourist Commission (Russell County, KY); all opinions expressed, as always, are my own.

 

 

Shelbyville Horse Show Jubilee Breakfast - JCP Eats

A Kentucky Tradition: The 2019 Shelbyville Horse Show Jubilee Breakfast

Hey, y’all!

One of my favorite hobbies is the act of collecting experiences here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And my, oh my, have I had a new one!

Last week I was invited to attend the 2019 Shelbyville Horse Show Jubilee Kickoff Breakfast. Located at stunning Undulata Farm, this was a celebration — one with food, with music, with community, and with Saddlebreds! It doesn’t get much more Kentucky than that.

It was a first-class event, though I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Saddlebred Capital of the World.

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The breakfast was chock-full of southern specialities: sausage, biscuits, gravy, and quiche; they were served alongside sweets, fresh fruit, and typical breakfast beverages.

My favorite part, however, was that we dined inside of a horse barn and had Saddlebreds going around our tables! It was a beautiful setting and an even more beautiful experience.

Among the crowd were senators, mayors, commissioners, and other dignitaries; however, the most important attendees, in my opinion, were the Shelby County farmers + those in the horse industry.

Those individuals are my kind of people — the hardworking Kentuckians that ensure that we perpetuate our agricultural legacy here in Kentucky.

Whether it’s a horse farm, corn, tobacco, cows, or hemp — we, myself included, are Kentucky Proud. That’s something to celebrate and honor, y’all.

This was my first time attending this breakfast and it certainly won’t be my last. I will also be attending the Shelbyville Horse Show for the first time this weekend – and I’m so excited!

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The Shelbyville Horse Show – located at the Shelbyville Fairgrounds – is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year.

That, my friends, is a legacy – a staple in the community – which is clear upon chatting with any local or industry professional.

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I value tradition; and if you do as well, please join me! Occurring from July 31st – August 3rd at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, from 7-9 PM, the Shelbyville Horse Show is a summer event not to be missed!

Note: I will be attending on Friday, August 2nd!

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Shelby County is a Kentucky treasure. While in town, don’t miss out on the plethora of local shops, boutiques, businesses, and restaurants. There are many guides located here on my website – just search for them.

I just know that y’all will love Shelby County as much as I do!

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As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

Coffee in Simpsonville, KY: Brick + Mortar

Hey, y’all!

There’s nothing that I love more than exploring new-to-me places in the Commonwealth; and if you’re a regular around these parts – my nook and cranny of the Internet – you know that my favorite Kentucky road trip destination is nearby Shelby County, KY.

Shelby County is chock-full of activities. It’s hard to beat an afternoon (or the delicious corn!) from Gallrein Farms. Maybe you want to have a cocktail + tour the Jeptha Creed facility. Like antiques? Look no further than Wakefield-Scearce! Love wine? Talon Winery is delicious! If it’s time to shop, there’s no better place than the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass! Oh, and don’t get me started on the Saddlebred farms — there’s a reason Shelbyville is the Saddlebred Capital of the World!

The commonality between all of those activities? You’ll need an energy boost to get through it all and there’s no better place to get it than with a cup of coffee at Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse!

Brick + Mortar Boutique and Coffeehouse

6999 Shelbyville Rd.

Simpsonville, KY 40067

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

Located in picturesque Simpsonville, Brick + Mortar is everything that a small-town coffee shop should be: quaint, quiet, welcoming, and above all else, delicious.

I found the menu to be all-encompassing; there’s truly something for everyone! From hot teas, lattes, mochas, macchiatos, americanos, and espresso to chai tea lattes, cold brew, and frappes – I’m excited to go back and complete my quest of drinking my way through the menu.

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

I implore that you come to Brick + Mortar parched, ready for a drink; however, additionally, come hungry — you’ll love their food offerings!

Start your morning with toast + jam, granola + yogurt, or a power smoothie. Or, if you’re like me, the Elvis Presley — which is a grilled sandwich made with fresh bread, peanut butter, bananas, and local honey. The sandwich is a favorite flavor combination of mine — one that is simplistic, reminiscent of childhood, and one that will always be held near and dear to my heart.

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

In for lunch or later on during the day? Try one of their four signature paninis: ham + cheese, turkey + cheese, pizza, and grilled cheese. Apart from that, you can choose from a  range of sandwiches, such as chicken salad, tuna salad, pimento cheese, and a classic PB&J (with the option to upgrade to almond butter).

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

Oh, and did I mention the cookies, pound cakes, and other various pastries? I’ve never met a carbohydrate that I didn’t adore, y’all.

Brick + Mortar Coffeehouse in Simpsonville, Shelby County, KY

Each table was graced with a vase of fresh flowers, a fabulous touch by my standards. Additionally, the atmosphere of the shop was very conducive to working: it was bright, airy, and comfortable.

While there, I spent a couple of hours catching up on email, working on blog posts, and reading over contracts. After glancing at the clock, I realized that time had passed faster than I could’ve imagined; that, to me, was a sign that I was working in the right space.

Last but not least, Brick + Mortar has an attached boutique! Don’t miss out on their inventory, y’all — there were so many things that needed to come home with me!

Eat, work, shop — that’s the trifecta in my world.

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Adventure awaits in Shelby County, KY — and I know that you’ll be delighted by all there is to see, do, eat, and drink in this community.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

 

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