10 Best Things to Do in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Located in southern Kentucky, Bowling Green has plenty to offer anyone looking to soak up the local hospitality while also enjoying some adrenaline-inducing activities. There are outstanding adventures to be experienced above, below, and on the ground, museums to visit and great places to stay and dine. 

Bowling Green accommodations range from boutique hotels like the Kentucky Grand Hotel and Spa to the equally comfortable and accommodating chain hotel, Hyatt Place.

The city has an abundance of great places to eat too, including Steamer Seafood, which is an excellent choice for lunch and dinner, and Wild Eggs for getting your day off to a great start. If you're looking to sample the local craft beer scene, White Squirrel is an unbeatable choice, and the food is excellent there as well. For a more down-home experience, venture out of town for a short drive to reach Boyce General Store. The homemade pies, excellent breakfast fare, and yummy burgers will make you glad you did. 

01 of 10

Take to the Skies in a Hot Air Ballon

Hot air balloon

Courtesy of EHot Air 

Hot air ballooning is always an amazing experience no matter where you do it, and Bowling Green is no exception. Local company eHotAir offers private and group balloon rides and can schedule a flight on nearly any day, weather permitting, of course.

A balloon drifts along at a slow, but steady pace, making no noise as it floats across the sky except for the occasional burst of hot air to keep things going. This makes for a tranquil experience that can be both exciting and memorable at the same time. 

02 of 10

Wander Through the World's Longest Cave

Mammoth Cave National Park

Kraig Becker / Getty Images

One thing that any visitor to Bowling Green is likely to quickly notice is the abundance of caves found throughout the area. Of course, the largest and most prominent is none other than Mammoth Cave National Park, a sprawling underground attraction that stretches for more than 400 miles beneath the Earth's surface. Visitors aren't given free rein to his amazing place, but they can sign up for a cave tour to explore the subterranean world. Up top, they can hike, bike, camp, and enjoy the surrounding forest too. 

03 of 10

Drive a Corvette on a Twisty Race Track

Chevy Corvette

Kraig Becker / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Bowling Green is the only place in the world where the Chevrolet Corvette is manufactured, and naturally, the entire city is proud of the long heritage of that sports car. Even visitors who aren't particularly into cars will find a tour of the National Corvette Museum to be fun and interesting, but those who really want a thrill will want to take to the track in one of these vehicles themselves.

The nearby Motorsports Park offers the Corvette Experience, putting visitors behind the wheel of a Corvette Stingray on a fun, fast, and twisty course that will test their skill and nerve at every turn. 

04 of 10

Explore an Underground River by Boat

Lost River Cave, Kentucky

Kraig Becker / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cave aficionados looking for an entirely different experience than what they'll find at Mammoth Cave, can always stay closer to town and take a boat ride through the Lost River Cave. Tours last about 45 minutes to an hour and include some interesting tales about the cave's unique history. The cave has served as both a bandit hideout and undergoing night club. The river itself stretches for miles underneath the city and visitors can get a glimpse of the vast caverns that it flows through on this unique family-friendly experience.

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05 of 10

Take a Stroll Through Aviation History

Bowling Green Aviation Heritage Park
Bowling Green Tourism

For those who have an appreciation for the history of flight, Bowling Green's Aviation Heritage Park is sure to be of interest. Among the displays found there are a Vietnam-era F-4D Phantom II 550 flown by Bowling Green-native General Dan Cherry. ]

Other attractions include a Grumman F9F-5 Panther, a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, USAF F-111 Aardvark, and a T-38 Talon from NASA. The Aviation Park also features regular events for aircraft enthusiasts, including helicopter rides, hangar parties, and drone races too. 

06 of 10

Ride a Zipline

ziplining bowling green Kentucky
Noah Clayton/Getty Images

Ziplines have become a popular adventure sport all over the world and those looking to soar through the air will find several options available in Bowling Green, including the Flying Squirrel zip at Lost River Cave and the Zipline and Rappel adventure at the Hidden River Cave.

Both offer their own unique aspects with the former offering three lines to ride, while the latter sends visitors screaming through the trees at 30 mph while suspended 70 feet in the air. Then, as a follow-up, they'll go rappelling 75 feet down the mouth of the cave too. 

07 of 10

Take a Trip Down Under

Courtesy of Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo 

Who says you have to go all the way to Australia to pet a kangaroo? At Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo –– located at nearby Horse Cave –– visitors will get a chance to do just that, while also spotting numerous other exotic creatures like bison, alligators, wolves, dingoes, and more. Then afterward, they can take a stroll through Onyx Mammoth Cave (Yes, another cave!) to get a good look at the underground formations found there. The cavern offers some of the best examples of stalactites and stalagmites in the entire region. 

08 of 10

Go Kayaking on the Green River

canoeing and kayaking kentucky
Bowling Green Tourism 

If you prefer your adventures to take place on the water, Bowling Green can accommodate. The nearby Green River offers some amazing landscapes to paddle through, and Big Buffalo Canoe and Kayak –– found in neighboring Munfordville –– can help you explore them all.

The company offers water excursions that last anywhere from just a few hours up to a few days, with activities like fishing, camping, swimming, and caving all available. Big Buffalo's guides are experts at leading groups of all sizes and can plan outings for just a few or large numbers. They'll provide the canoes or kayaks, personal flotation devices, paddles, and everything else you'll need for a memorable experience, you just need to bring your sense of adventure. 

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09 of 10

Visit the Rail Museum

The 796 E-8 Locomotive

The Historic RailPark & Train Museum and L&N Depot

The Historic RailPark & Train Museum and L&N Depot are ideal for railroad fans. This historic national landmark allows you to see, touch, hear and explore regional railroad artifacts. Admission includes both a self-guided museum tour and the scheduled guided railcar tour of the museum's collection. Behind the museum lies 450 feet of track displaying an E8 Engine, a Railroad Post Office Car, the Duncan Hines Diner, a 1949 Pullman diner, the Towering Pine, a 1953 Pullman Sleeper, and a Chessie Class C-27 caboose. 

The museum offers an escape game experience and special events for the holidays.

10 of 10

Stroll Historic Fountain Square

Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky

DenisTangneyJr/ Getty Images

Recently restored, the iconic fountain in downtown Bowling Green is a beautiful centerpiece for Fountain Square Park, a favorite place for photographs. Fountain Square is surrounded by beautifully-restored historic buildings. If you want to explore the area and its history, a brochure is available at the Convention & Visitors Bureau or at Candle Makers on the Square for a self-guided tour of the buildings.

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