Art Town, U.S.A.
Creative types from all over have settled in Paducah, Ky.—and they've made an art of welcoming visitors.
Dixie Leather Works
After learning his trade from Lakota Indians and harness makers, Phil Phillips opened a studio here, where he crafts and sells hats, belts, and a 66-piece collection of bags named after the books of the Bible. 306 N. 7th St., 800/888-5183, dlwleathers.com.
Jeweler Julie Shaw moved to town in 2004 and promptly opened a gallery and guest room in a classic Greek Revival house. Her collection includes aromatherapy perfumes, sculptures, and her own necklaces. Count Hillary Clinton as one of her fans. 503 N. 7th St., 270/444-6871.
The Mary Jane Inn
The leopard-print sofa and photographs of Africa may seem out of place in this 1873 Victorian house, but everything makes sense when you meet the owners, Monica and Paul Bilak. They spent three years working in East Africa and now spend their free time tending to guests at the inn and working on humanitarian projects. They only have one suite for guests, but it's grand, with 12-foot-high ceilings and a private porch. 502 N. 6th St., 270/443-5316, maryjaneinn.com, $95.
The Egg & I
Gallery owner and hotelier Carol Gabany uses an air pump to drain the yolk from eggs, and then makes a quiche and gets to work carving animals, geisha, and pop-culture celebrities into the shells. A likeness of Jackie O. was done on a chicken egg, but Gabany also works with duck, goose, and emu eggs. Above the gallery, she rents out two guest suites. 335 N. 6th St., 270/443-6323, eggandiarts.com, suites from $95.
Max's Brick Oven Café
Paducah was a meat-and-potatoes town when Max Bastani showed up in 1998. He set up shop in a warehouse with an oven imported from Italy and started turning out artisanal pizzas—perfect with bartender Jay Sullivan's vodka/pineapple specialty, Max's Relaxers. 112 Market House Sq., 270/575-3473, pizzas from $10.50.
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