Shelbyville, Indiana, is a quiet, small town on the border of big-city vibrance.

Exterior image of Downtown Shelbyville

Located just southeast of Indianapolis, Shelbyville is one of the best kept secrets in the Indy region. If you like the comforts of rural living but also want close proximity to city life, congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon a community that is right up your alley.

Much like an early morning with hot coffee, Zoom calls without video, and cancelled meetings on a Friday afternoon, some things are just better together. Living in the countryside while being only 30 minutes away from Indianapolis is one of those things that just feels right—especially if you’re an introverted extrovert like myself. I like the buzz of socialization and interacting with people, but I need my space and room to breathe! 

Shelbyville’s small community makes you feel right at home.

Even though it isn’t a big city, Shelbyville provides plenty of opportunities for socialization. From the minute you drive into Shelbyville, you’ll enjoy the city’s small-town charm and sense of community.

As you cross over the Big Blue River and head into town, you’ll immediately be greeted by the Porter Visitor’s Center—home to the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. Shelbyville is a town that’s proud of its rich history, so the Porter Visitor’s Center is located in the historic building of the former Porter Pool Bathhouse. That’s the old community pool where both me and my dad took swim lessons back when we were kids!

Enjoy a day out in Shelbyville’s renovated downtown.

Alright, I don’t technically live in the Shelbyville town limits. My home is northwest of the city, in the more rural parts of Shelby County. But whenever I say, “I’m headed to town,” it means I’m going to Shelbyville. So, what exactly is even in the city? The answer is many hidden gems and fun things to do!

Shelbyville is a community with big determination, building on the past to create a vibrant future. A clear sign of our growth is construction. And right now, the whole downtown is booming with new projects. Although Shelbyville is a small town, we have big ambition and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Explore shopping boutiques and outdoor adventures in Shelbyville.

If you’re a brunch connoisseur like I am, Just Peachy Café is an endearing option with a satisfying menu. Located along downtown’s newly renovated Washington Street, you’ll find plenty of street parking and a convenient nearby parking lot. The café is also built in a historic building, featuring a patio area that’s enclosed with a heated tent during the winter. Then, after brunch, you can do a quick browse (or maybe not so quick!) through the Pink Poppy Boutique and pick out a new outfit—and maybe a cute bag with a sarcastic phrase on it.

If you’re more of an athletic or outdoorsy type, Shelbyville also has plenty of parks where you can pick up a game of tennis or hike down the local trails. The Blue River Trail offers beautiful scenery along the river, so it’s the perfect place for a run, walk, or bike ride. While you’re not too far from the trailhead, you might as well treat yourself to some ice cream at Shelbyville’s famous Cow Palace! (The blue moon ice cream flavor is my lifelong favorite.)


Fun Facts

Shelby County was the setting of Charles Major’s book The Bears of Blue River.

The Shelby County Basketball Tourney is the hottest event of the year, drawing record crowds to our high school gyms.

Shelby County is home to the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, as well as the Indiana Derby.

Historic homes in Shelbyville
Exterior of the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville

Shelbyville is a growing city with ample opportunities.

Don’t be fooled by our quiet small-town charm—Shelbyville is at the beginning of a Renaissance! Our downtown redevelopment plan is giving new life to the town, attracting new businesses, hosting more community events, and living up to our welcoming Hoosier roots. With government and business leaders working together, Shelbyville is becoming a destination of choice for artists, entrepreneurs, and young professionals.

Young professionals get involved in the local Shelbyville community.

No matter who you are, there are lots of opportunities waiting for you in Shelbyville. As a young professional, I’ve been invited to help make my mark on the town through the Leadership Shelby County program. The program is designed to teach future leaders about our county’s heritage and create impactful programs to lead the community forward. 

This program inspired ideas like creating Shelby County’s first dog park, transforming alleyways into livable spaces, and starting the Blue River Community Foundation—a local nonprofit to fund community projects and scholarships. Other organizations like Mainstreet Shelbyville and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce also offer entrepreneurial support and grants to establish new businesses and renovate spaces in the downtown area.

Enjoy local community events with your neighbors.

And in downtown Shelbyville, the city often hosts community events that feel like they’re right out of a Hallmark movie. My favorites are First Fridays, the Wine Walk, the Big Blue BBQ, and the Christmas Parade and Festival. These celebrations feature local and nearby vendors that each bring their own flavor to the event. It’s been fun to watch the community come together and look forward to holding these events in the new downtown space. And they’re a great way to discover the neighborhood you live in and make lasting memories with your friends and family!

Find a Shelbyville community that’s your perfect fit.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Home is where the heart is! When choosing an area to live, you need to consider what matters most to you!

If you want to live within a vibrant city and be close to downtown shopping, Shelbyville is a great option for you. With affordable housing both in and out of neighborhoods, a great school system with a new state-of-the-art preschool, and proximity to the award-winning Major Health Partners Hospital’s new campus, Shelbyville checks off all of the major real estate boxes.

If you’d prefer a more rural community, the Fairland area boasts a great school system in Northwestern Consolidated Schools. (Go, Tigers!) Shelby County also offers other small neighborhoods in more rural areas like Morristown, Waldron, and Marietta—all great areas anchored by Shelbyville. And these communities are all affordable spots to buy some property and build your dream house!

Overall, Shelby County would be a good fit for you if you’re looking for a home that’s rife with opportunity, allows you to participate in a tight-knit community, and is close (but not too close!) to the big city bustle.

Walk Score



  • Shelbyville Central Schools
  • Northwestern Consolidated Schools
  • Shelby Eastern Schools


  • Linne’s Bakery & Cafe
  • Pudder’s
  • Cagney’s Pizza King


  • Lemon Lane Boutique
  • Three Sisters Books & Gifts
  • Elegant L


  • Indiana Grand Racing and Casino
  • Blue River Trail
  • The Strand Theatre


  • 40 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
  • 45 Minute Drive 

Dog Parks

  • Blue River Memorial Park Dog Run

Why do I love living in Shelby County?

Living in Shelbyville, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I can easily go from peaceful country living to the big city where I make my living, which is the epitome of having my cake and eating it, too.

As an alumna of the Indy Chamber who now works for Cummins, I have always had to commute downtown, except for my work from home during the pandemic. I’m not kidding when I say I have an easy commute. The traffic is a lot lighter going northward into Indianapolis than the commute of my counterparts up north. I don’t sit in lines of traffic at stoplights, and I enjoy driving down the interstate at the legal speed limit. (I’ll take it to my grave!)

My husband and I bought a fixer-upper in a rural part of Shelby County a little over three years ago after selling our first home in Shelbyville. We love the space, especially because we can sit out by a bonfire and look up at the stars away from the city lights. It’s also nice having some distance from our neighbors while still being part of the community. (Shout-out to my neighbor Tom who saw us landscaping and walked over with his shovel to help!) The spot really is perfect for us and our growing family.

I also love being a part of a community that is fiercely loyal to its roots, while also recognizing that change is a vital part of growth. I am incredibly excited about the opportunities that Shelbyville’s downtown redevelopment will bring!

Exterior of the Grover Museum in Shelbyville