20 Best Things To Do In Bowling Green KY You Shouldn’t Miss

Located in southern Kentucky, Bowling Green is a city that gives the essence of the state of Kentucky which is also commonly known as the Bluegrass State.

Known as the Home of the Corvette, Bowling Green is the third largest city in Kentucky and it offers a great many attractions to its visitors, including scenic surroundings, beautiful sites, historic buildings, caves, museums, and recreational spots.

It is a great place to visit with friends and family and have lots of fun. It is also the perfect place to enjoy live music, delicious food, car festivals, and lots of outdoor activities as well as get a taste of the general southern hospitality. 

List of Things To Do in Bowling Green KY

1. Lost River Cave

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Lost River Cave is a natural wonder that is a must-visit when in Bowling Green. Over seven-mile long, the cave offers a great adventure.

Here you can go on the historic underground cave boat tour in a short and deep river and explore the cave with its stunning formations and underground pools while learning about the local stories of Native Americans, Civil War troops, and the notorious Jesse James, an American outlaw, from the guides.

There is also a seasonal Butterfly Habitat and several hiking trails. 

What to do: You can go on an adventure in the caves and explore them on the boat tour and see the spectacular formations as well as try zip lining at the Flying Squirrel Zip-line that takes you over the beautiful surroundings of the valley or go hiking on the outdoor trails.

Timings: it remains open all year round from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm

Parking: available

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2. Shanty Hollow Lake Hiking Trail

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The Shanty Hollow lake is a reservoir that spreads over 135 acres and is a great place for adventure lovers. Besides fishing and boating in the lake, it also offers hiking and mountain biking opportunities while surrounded by nature.

While hiking through the trail that takes you through some scenic cliffs and beautiful landscapes, you will also get to see dozens of stunning waterfalls. 

What to do: Go hiking or biking on the trail and through the natural terrain and enjoy the stunning sights on the way.

Waterfalls can be seen along the way in late winter and early spring.

You can also go boating, paddling, or fishing in the lake depending on the season. 

Timings: the lake remains open throughout the year.

Parking: available 

3. Fountain Square Park

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A historical landmark, the park was built in the 19th century and was at one time the site for parades, protests, pageants, etc. Now, it is a popular and picturesque place that makes for a great place to enjoy some relaxing time outdoors with family and friends. 

What to do: Take a break and spend some time outdoors and enjoy the sun. Stroll through the park and get a look at the beautiful statues from mythology and click pictures at the fountain. 

Timings: Open throughout the week from 8 am to 9 pm.

Parking: available

4. National Corvette Museum

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For all the corvette lovers, this place in Bowling Green is a must-visit. Opened in 1994 with the aim to celebrate the invention of the Chevrolet Corvette, an American sports car, as well as preserve its past, present, and future, the museum spreads over 55 acres and brings together automotive enthusiasts.

Here, you can see an immense collection of Corvettes with over 80 different models along with the released models, prototypes, etc, and also get to know their history. You also get a chance to test drive one of the cars from the museum yourself.  

What to do: take a self-guided tour through the museum and travel to the past and see the collection of corvettes displayed, learn about their history, and even get to test drive one of the museum’s cars yourself on the fast track. 

Timings: open throughout the week from 9 am to 5 pm.

Parking: available

5. Mammoth Cave National Park

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, the national park is a natural wonder and home to the world’s longest cave system with more than 400 miles of cave routes mapped.

The park is also filled with hills, lush trees, river valleys, and plenty of animal and plant species. It is a popular spot for activities like hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, horseback riding, and even stargazing. 

What to do: you can take a tour of the caves, and go hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, camping, or other such recreational activities in the park. 

Timings: the park remains open 24 hours throughout the year. Seasonal exceptions can be checked on the website.

Parking: available 

6. Chaney’s Dairy Barn

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This barn is also a restaurant where you can get homemade ice cream made from the fresh milk and cream of the jersey cows from the barn.

Besides the delicious ice cream, they also have homemade sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads. They also offer farm tours where you can learn about dairy farming. One of the fascinating things at the barn is seeing a robot milking the cows. 

What to do: stop at the barn, and enjoy some delicious homemade food and dessert. You can also take a self-guided tour around the farm, see the cows, and the robots working them. 

Timings: Opens from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 9 pm, on Saturday from 10 am to 0 pm, and on Sunday from 12 to 8 pm. 

Parking: available 

7. Riverview at Hobson Grove

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 Also known as Hobson House, Riverview is a historic Victorian house that played an important role during the Civil War. While its construction began in the 1850s, it had to be stopped due to the civil war.

Inspired by Italian architecture, the house stands as a symbol of the vibrant culture of the city during the 1800s and is surrounded by mind-blowing scenery including the Barren River. It also has an 18-hole disc golf course. 

What to do: take a tour of the house, learn about its history and role in the Civil War, admire the stunning architecture, take a look at the furniture and ornaments in the house and enjoy the surroundings. 

Timings: open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. 

Parking: available

8. Baker Arboretum & Downing Museum

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It is a great place for nature and art lovers where both of these things come together beautifully. Founded in 1992, the Baker Arboretum is filled with a vast variety of plants that include more than 600 species such as Japanese maple trees, conifers, flowering trees, and shrubs.

There are sculptures and works of art placed throughout the area among the plants. 

The Downing Museum was opened in 2008 and celebrates the art and life of the artist Joseph Dudley Downing, as well as exhibits, and works by local, regional, national, and international artists. 

What to do: enjoy the stunning display of flowers during the spring and summer seasons, fall foliage in autumn, and the beautiful picture painted by the majestic trees during the winter. You can also visit the museum and see the artworks by artists from all over the world. 

Timings: Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, from April through October; from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, from November to March.

Parking: available 

9. Barren River Lake State Park Resort

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The resort park overlooks the Barren River and is surrounded by hills and a lake that spreads over 10000 acres.

Lodges and cottages line around the lake and the park also has an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, tennis courts, a beach, a pool, camping and hiking, and biking trails.

It is a great place to stay with full amenities and in the lap of nature. It has a restaurant, a basketball court, and playgrounds. 

What to do: you can go boating or fishing for catfish, bluegill, bass, and crappie on Barren River Lake, have a picnic and watch the sunset over the lake, play golf, go hiking, or bike on one of the trails.  

Timings: the timings for restaurants, pubs, and pools inside the resort park can be checked on their website. 

Parking: available 

10. Kentucky Museum

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Located within the campus of Western Kentucky University, the museum showcases quite a collection of historical artifacts mostly from the 18th century and the civil war.

It also exhibits Duncan Hines displays, decorative arts, quilts, and other items that belonged to various American leaders. The extensive collection takes you back in time and provides a lot of information about the history of the state. 

What to do: look at the stunning displays of historical artifacts and learn about the history of Kentucky. After visiting the museum, you can also take a look around the university campus. 

Timings: remains open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 AM to 4 PM

Parking: available 

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11. Aviation Heritage Park

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The aviation park takes you back in time to the time the first airplane was flown. Not only does it exhibit old airplanes and artifacts, but also tells the stories of regional heroes and the historic events they were a part of.

You can see aircraft such as the Phantom II from the Vietnam War, NASA T-38 Talon flown by every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronaut, and many more. 

What to do: Visit the aircraft museum and see the various military and supersonic planes and learn about the role of Kentucky aviators in American history. You can also touch the aircraft. 

Timings: open to the public from 8 am until dusk every day.

Parking: available 

12. Beech Bend Amusement Park & Splash Lagoon

things to do in bowling green ky

Description: Established in 1898, the amusement park is a great place to spend a fun time with friends and family.

Spread over 379 acres, the park is located on the hills and has plenty of rides and roller coasters including the Sea Dragon, a ride that once belonged to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

The Splash Lagoon is a water park and the perfect place to beat the heat during the summer. The park also has a campground. 

What to do: spend a fun time with friends and family and enjoy the rides. You can visit the water park and chill time in the water in the hot summer months. 

Timings: open from Memorial Day to Labor Day

Parking: available 

13. Beech Bend Raceway

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The state of Kentucky has been famous among racers for one of the oldest drag strips in the country. Even today, it is a popular place to visit among race car lovers.

The Beech Bend raceway, located 480 feet above sea level, among the rolling hills was once popular for stock car racing. Now, it is a place where drifting competitions, vendor showcases, and other automotive events take place. 

What to do: Enjoy watching drag racing and Fun & Grudge racing on scheduled days of the week

Timings: Beech Bend Raceway opens for the season each March and runs through November. Hours and prices vary by event

Parking: available

14. Basil Griffin Park

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 Covering an area of 111 acres with a lake that spreads over 33 acres, the park is a popular spot to spend a relaxing day as well as enjoy some recreational activities.

The park has basketball courts, tennis courts, a hockey rink, a soccer field, a football field, a picnic area, playgrounds, hiking trails, and many other amenities. It is also a great place for fishing. 

What to do: enjoy a relaxing day having a picnic near the lake or doing outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, or playing golf, soccer or tennis. 

Timings: Open throughout the week from 7 am to 8 pm. 

Parking: available

15. Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave

things to do in bowling green ky

This yoga studio provides a unique experience to its visitors. A great place for relaxing the mind and soul, the salt cave is a man-made cave built with salt rocks from the Himalayan mountains and known for its healing properties as well as for reducing the symptoms of asthma, allergies, anxiety, depression, etc.

They also have the healing properties of Himalayan salt to help the mind to relax and yoga to ease the body. 

What to do: Visit the yoga studio and get ready to leave with a relaxed mind and body. You can take massages, spa, or guided therapy sessions. 

Timings: open from Monday to Tuesday between 10 am to 6.30 pm; on Saturday 10 am to 5.30 pm and on Sunday from 1 to 4.30 pm.

Parking: available 

16. Capitol Arts Center — SKyPAC

things to do in bowling green ky

 A performing arts center that takes you back to the time of classic opera, it has an 1800-seat state-of-the-art auditorium, a theater, two galleries, and several rehearsal halls.

The center was founded in 1890 as a vaudeville house and currently hosts live performances from artists all over the country including musicals, orchestra, and music concerts and stage plays. 

What to do: visit the historic entertainment center and admire the stunning architecture. You can also see a live performance and learn more about the history and culture of the city. 

Timings: the schedule and timings for different shows are available on the website. The gallery stays open Monday to Friday, from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Parking: available

17. Bluegrass Vineyard

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The vineyard is spread over 30 acres and is located adjacent to the vineyard that has over 2000 grape vines. It is a great place to visit for some wine tasting and purchasing.

They offer their visitors more than 25 premium, handcrafted wines and have both indoor and outdoor tasting areas. They are also a business that supports local farmers. The Bluegrass Vineyard is also an Airbnb. 

What to do: sit outside and enjoy tasting delicious handcrafted wines. You can also take a winemaking tour with the owners. 

Timings: from Monday to Thursday between 0 am to 6 pm, from Friday to Saturday between 10 am and 7 pm, and on Sunday between 12 and 6 pm.

Parking: available 

18. Drake Vintage Music & Curios

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This long-running record and curio shop is a veritable museum for 20th-century country music history.

Operated by a man named Kitchens since the 1940s, the shop is filled with country music records and artifacts collected by the owner who is a country music enthusiast.

It is a great place to visit for country music fans that will also get to know more about the history of country music. 

What to do: take a tour of the shop and look at the remarkable music collection of the owner Freeman Kitchens, purchase a musical souvenir and get to know the story behind each musical artifact in the collection of the owner. 

Timings: from Monday to Saturday between 8 am to 3 pm. 

Parking: available

19. Historic RailPark and Train Museum

things to do in bowling green ky

A historic national landmark situated in the historic railroad station, the museum is an important place to visit to know and understand the regional heritage of the railroad by seeing, touching, hearing, and exploring the displayed railroad artifacts. 

What to do: take a guided or self-guided tour of the museum

Timings: open all week between 10 am and 4 pm

Parking: available 

20. Travelers Cellar Winery

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A great place for an adult outing, this boutique winery is a cozy little place where you can enjoy wines that are locally produced as well as those not commonly found in the area.

They also have an outdoor area for events, parties, and live music.

What to do: enjoy delicious wines that are not easily found in the region and enjoy the outdoors. You can also take a tour of the winery.

Timings: The tasting room opens from Tuesday to Thursday between 11 am and 7 pm, from Friday to Saturday between 11 am and 8 pm, and on Sunday between 1 pm and 5 pm. On Monday, it can be booked by appointment. 

Parking: available 

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