We were in Bowling Green, KY, for a few days in the middle of September and enjoyed our stay. Bowling Green is the third-largest city in Kentucky (after Louisville and Lexington) and is located in the south central part of the state about an hour north of Nashville, TN. The town was established in 1798 by pioneer settlers from Virginia and became a steamboat and railroad hub through the 1800’s and 1900’s. Today the city boasts a healthy economy with several industries calling Bowling Green home, including Fruit of the Loom, International Paper, and, of course, the General Motors Corvette assembly plant. There are several enjoyable attractions in Bowling Green that we explored and definitely recommend if you’re in the area.
First, Lost River Cave is a unique attraction, and the park includes activities like cave boat tours, zipline tours, junior naturalist programs, geocaching, and nature trails. We had a quick visit and only did the cave boat tour but would like to go back for a full day to enjoy all the park has to offer. The cave boat tour is a guided tour that starts with a stroll through the valley along the river and leads up to the cave entrance. You then board a small boat and the guide pilots the boat through the sink and into the cave. After ducking through the short entrance, the cave opens up into a large cavern and proceeds down a short stretch of underground river. The guide provides entertaining commentary along the way on local history and legend, and within 20 minutes you’re back to the mouth of the cave. After deboarding the boat, you’re on your own to enjoy the rest of the park’s activities. More information at: Lost River Cave
With both of us growing up as U.S. Air Force dependents, our interest was piqued by a display of aircraft near the campground, and we had to check it out. Aviation Heritage Park is a memorial to distinguished aviators from south central Kentucky with displays of restored aircraft relevant to each of the pilots. Currently their are 11 pilots featured at the park, and they have plans to expand the displays along with construction of an 11,000 square foot museum building to house interpretive exhibits, classrooms, a restoration facility, and more. The planes currently on exhibit are beautifully restored, and each is accompanied with a sign post that tells the story of the regional aviator associated with that plane with the intention of inspiring future generations to be motivated by the aviators’ achievements. The static displays are open during daylight hours, and the park hosts additional events like drone dashes and hanger parties. More info at: Aviation Heritage Park
Finally, one of the more well-known attractions around Bowling Green is the National Corvette Museum. Scott has admired Corvettes since he was a teenager, so we couldn’t miss going to this attraction. The museum is the result of a grassroots effort initiated in 1984 by the National Corvette Restorers Society with the intention of gathering technical documentation for a library and grew into today’s sprawling museum complex through a partnership with General Motors. Though several locations were considered, Bowling Green was the natural choice since the world’s only Corvette assembly plant is in Bowling Green. The museum is laid out in chronological order with exhibits that complement the time frame of the model years being displayed in each exhibit. There’s an impressive exhibit of the infamous sink hole event complete with the science behind sinkholes, the region’s geologic characteristics, and how the museum responded and recovered from the event. Touring the core exhibits can be completed within two hours, but there are numerous other activities including a Corvette simulator, go-karts, and Corvette rides, as well as an onsite restaurant if you’d like to extend your day celebrating America’s Sports Car. More info at: National Corvette Museum
More attractions in Bowling Green and things we’d like to do next time . . . Go back to Lost River Cave, catch a game of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (farm team for Tampa Bay Rays) if we’re there during baseball season, visit Chaney’s Dairy Barn, and tour the Corvette Assembly Plant. Let us know if you have any comments on the information here or additional recommendations.