When you enjoy exploring new places for vintage treasures…and your husband enjoys good bourbon… and you BOTH enjoy a fun road trip, then the perfect place to go is Kentucky! This time around, we decided to explore Louisville…but I can definitely see future trips to KY in our future (I’m looking at you, Lexington).
We spent an extended Memorial Day weekend checking out shops around town, distilleries in the area, and a vintage market that coincided with our visit. There was an awful lot to see and discover, and I know I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the vintage & antiques shops in the area…but I discovered a few and wanted to share what I found!
So this place…I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams how amazing it would be. And, truth be told, visiting it was worth the trek from Greenville to Louisville alone. It is a mind-boggling labyrinth of rooms, hallways, stairwells, and yards…filled with salvaged treasures…all bewilderingly connected, almost encouraging you to get lost. Which I did…over and over again…even Jon with his innate sense of direction got turned around. But, neither of us minded one bit.
There is truth to the saying “Not all thrift stores are created equal”…and if that’s not even a saying, it really ought to be! Not only because it’s the absolute truth, but because shops like One for All really stand out. It’s a two-story gem filled with a really impressive clothing selection and a terrific selection of housewares and home décor pieces- I’d definitely go back again whenever I return to Louisville.
Before our trip, I always research endlessly for the best shops to hit- and this one popped up on my radar as a place Jon would love. I knew it wouldn’t be a shop that would yield anything for a potential blog project- and I was right- but in the end, I loved it, too! The nostalgia factor is worth the trip alone- Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, vintage Barbie dolls- but perhaps the most exciting find for me was a vintage aqua toy truck. Finding the perfect one has been on my pickin’ bucket list for a long time!
Mellwood came up in my research because of the flea market they host once a month from April through October. Of course, our weekend didn’t match up with their schedule- darn that Murphy and his annoying law!- but we visited this massive mall nonetheless! It would be a great place if we were in the market for furniture, but perhaps my favorite “piece” was an old spice jar display that had been repurposed to hold thousands of hardware bits.
Those in the know will tell you that Joe Ley Antiques is a Louisville experience that shouldn’t be missed- and they are absolutely right! Set in a turn-of-the-20th-century schoolhouse (so you KNOW it’s a little cool/creepy already), Joe Ley is a series of three creeky floors of antiques and architectural salvage. But here’s more enticement- when you enter, you are given a decoder because the prices are encrypted! It’s like being dropped into a Victorian spy thriller while you’re surrounded by fantastical relics of the past- AND you’re hunting for the perfect, unique treasure.
Surprise, surprise- of course I sought out a pet-charity thrift shop, they’re my favorite kind! Louisville’s Re-Tail did not disappoint, it was a welcoming shop that was brightly lit and filled with delightful merchandise. Plenty of vintage-y goodness, so you know I was a happy camper. I can’t help but spend money in animal-aid shops, so I left with a bagful for goodies. Another shop that I’d definitely re-visit next time we’re in town.
And when we weren’t pickin’ and shoppin’, we were seeing the sites and visiting some of the many distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We visited Heaven Hill in Bardstown…
And on our way home, we checked out the incomparably gorgeous Woodford Reserve.
So, what did we miss in Louisville?? I know, I know- we missed a LOT….so maybe we just need a Part II. But if you know the area, give me some recommendations…for Lexington, too!
Oh, and if you ever see a crazy lady on the side of a highway taking photos of poppies & wildflowers, it just might be me on one of our adventures!!
Here are a few fun affiliate links for YOUR next pickin’ road trip!