The first thoughts on anyone's mind when it comes to Kentucky are usually 1) fried chicken and 2) Louisville. While both of these things are pretty great, Kentucky's small towns are equally as wonderful as both delicious chicken and its most popular city. One small town, in particular, is a must-visit in Kentucky, and it's so beloved that it was even the star setting of a movie.

Some might recognize Elizabethtown from the movie Elizabethtown, which starred Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. While it seems as though a town this small and welcoming could only be the stuff of dreams, it exists - and this is why it's worth a visit.

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What To Know About Kentucky's Beloved Etown

One only needs to drive about 45 minutes of the famed Louisville to find Elizabethtown, affectionately known by the locals as 'Etown.' Whether one is visiting just for the day or for a longer trip, this small town is sure to delight and entertain anyone. If boutique shopping, small-town dining, yearly festivals, history, and community events sound appealing, then Elizabethtown is the perfect place to visit in Kentucky.

The community motto for this town consists of a variety of 'E' words; for example, everything is 'Easy' in Elizabethtown. It was founded in 1797, and when the Nashville and Louisville Railroads were built, getting to this town became far easier. Flash forward centuries later, and Elizabethtown was further put on the map thanks to the movie of the same name that was filmed and directed in town.

Real-Life Movie Destinations

Those who were avid fans of Elizabethtown can see the same sights that were seen in the movie, which is an exciting experience - because practically everything still looks the same to this day! The first place of interest is The Brown Hotel which is actually in Louisville, but doubles as the perfect place to stay when visiting Elizabethtown. This chic and sophisticated hotel was the setting of Chuck and Cindy's outrageous wedding, and visitors can expect the same vintage glam and elegance.

The iconic scene where Drew (Orlando Bloom) and Claire (Kirsten Dunst) watched the sunrise - or attempted to - was a real place, too. Fans can head to Otter Creek Park to see the same stone wall that they sat on while awaiting the sun's eventual rise. Head over before sunset to witness the same view that they had!

Last but certainly not least, many scenes were filmed in Elizabethtown's famed downtown area, known as Versailles. Downtown Elizabethtown is one of the most charming and alluring features in the whole town, thanks to its artistic-looking shops and vintage architectural details. Many of the buildings have kept their original facades, and it's a beautiful place to stroll around if shopping isn't in the cards.

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Additional Points Of Interest

Those visiting Elizabethtown simply for its small-town charm have a list of things they can see and do. There's no shortage of events held there, as well - especially during the summer and fall months.

  • 3 Decade Arcade - The biggest collection of retro and vintage arcade games in Kentucky, spanning back, as the name implies, three decades.
  • American Legion Park - Home to the American Legion Water Park, and 9-hole par golf course, four tennis courts, a large playground, and a picnic pavilion.
  • Axe Play - A safe place where visitors can learn the art of ax-throwing while enjoying a local brew.
  • Black Sheep General Store - A must-visit local store specializing in Kentucky favorites, gifts, and gourmet foods.
  • Brandi's Boutique Shop - A small, chic boutique shop offering trendy clothing at affordable prices.
  • The Cannonball - Literally, a cannonball! This historical artifact was lodged into the side of a building during the only Civil War battle that happened in Elizabethtown - it has been left there ever since.
  • The Charles W. Logsdon Historic Costumed Downtown Walking Tour - Happening every Thursday evening in the square from June through September.
  • Denizen - A local shop run by two sisters who procure and create unique and beautiful goods for the home; Denizen also hosts community events and classes.
  • Elizabethtown Nature Park - With 104 acres of beautiful rolling hills, this lakeside park is a must-visit for anyone seeking tranquility in Elizabethtown.

Food In Elizabethtown

According to the town's website, Etown is 'made for food,' and that couldn't echo the truth more. Not only will visitors find local bites at small eateries, but they'll have access to a world of flavors via bakeries, cafes, and casual dining restaurants.

The list of local ingredients in Kentucky is long, and Elizabethtown is a great example of how it can be transformed into a delicious meal. For a full list of dining options in Elizabethtown, its eateries can be found on the town website.

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