8 Adventurous Things to Do Near Bowling Green, Kentucky

Located in southern Kentucky, Bowling Green probably isn't the first place that comes to mind when adventure travelers are planning the next destinations to add to their bucket list. But this charming city has plenty to offer anyone looking to soak up the local hospitality while also enjoying some adrenaline-inducing activities too. Visitors will find plenty to like here, with outstanding adventures found above, below, and on the ground.  

Where to Eat and Stay During Your Visit

Bowling Green has plenty of great places to stay while in town, ranging from boutique hotels like the Kentucky Grand Hotel to the equally comfortable and accommodating 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...MORE 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 08

    Take to the Skies in a Hot Air Ballon

    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 trails along at a slow, but steady pace, making virtually no noise as it floats across the sky. This makes for an tranquil experience that can be both exciting and memorable at the same time. 

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    Wander Through the World's Longest Cave

    Mammoth Cave National Park
    ••• An underground passage in Mammoth Cave National Park. Kraig Becker

    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 playground that stretches for more than 400 miles beneath the Earth's surface. Visitors aren't given free reign to his amazing place, but they can sign up for a cave tour if they're inclined to explore the subterranean world. Up top, they can hike, bike, camp, and enjoy the surrounding forest too. 

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    Drive a Corvette on a Twisty Race Track

    Chevy Corvette
    ••• The Corvette Experience is designed for those with the need for speed!. Kraig Becker

    Bowling Green is the only place in the world where the Chevy 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 travelers behind the wheel on a fun, fast, and twisty course that will test their skill and nerve at every turn. 

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    Explore an Underground River by Boat

    Lost River Cave, Kentucky
    ••• The Lost River is found in Bowling Green, KY. Kraig Becker

    Did we mention that Bowling Green has a lot of underground caves to explore? If you're looking for an entirely different experience than what you'll find at Mammoth Cave, you can always stay closer to town and take a boat ride through the Lost River Cave instead. Tours last about 45 minutes to an hour and include some interesting tales about the cave's unique history, at times serving 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 experience that will be fun for the entire family. 

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  • 05 of 08

    Take a Stroll Through Aviation History

    Bowling Green Aviation Heritage Park
    ••• Aircraft on display at the Aviation Heritage Park in Bowling Green. 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. Amongst 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. 

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    Ride a Zipline

    ziplining bowling green Kentucky
    ••• Soar through the trees in a zipline on your visit to Bowling Green. Noah Clayton/Getty Images

    Ziplines have become a popular adventure sport all over the world, 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 as well. 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. 

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    Take a Trip Down Under

    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. 

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    Go Kayaking on the Green River

    canoeing and kayaking kentucky
    ••• Canoeing on the Green River near Bowling Green. 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.