Family speaks with park ranger during cave tour

Caves, Lakes & Corvettes Region

Wonders abound in this part of south-central Kentucky, from marvelous underground passages to full-throttle adventures to outdoor attractions, delicious food, art and more. With this being the International Year of Caves and Karst it’s the perfect time to visit and join in the celebration!  Below we’ve highlighted a few of the towns and attractions in the area to help you plan your next road trip.

Must-See Attractions

Tour at Mammoth Cave National Park

Caves, Caves & More Caves!

It’s the International Year of Caves and Karst, what better time to explore Kentucky’s Cave Country! Since the temperature in caves stays fairly stable, they make great destinations no matter the weather or time of year. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world’s longest-known cave system with an underground world of complex labyrinths, along with trails and historic sites above-ground. In nearby Horse Cave, the Hidden River Cave and American Cave Museum offers cave tours, rappelling, zip lining and museum exhibits. Visit Lost River Cave in Bowling Green for Kentucky’s only underground boat tour and other area caves for more underground adventures.  

Beach and lake view at Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Barren River Lake State Resort Park in Lucas is surrounded by rolling, tree-covered hills. The 10,000-acre lake is stocked with catfish, bluegill, bass and crappie. Relax on the Sunset Beach Cove or play the par 4 championship 18-hole golf course, then explore the nature trails before enjoying an overnight stay at the Louie B. Nunn Lodge or private cabins.  

Boy explores exhibit at National Corvette Museum

National Corvette Museum

In Bowling Green, visit the sensory-friendly National Corvette Museum to see displays of mint condition and one-of-a-kind Corvettes along with a unique Skydome Sinkhole Experience, cataloging the 2014 sinkhole and its effects. Less than two miles away is NCM Motorsports Park, offering you the chance to make a lap in your car, ride in a Corvette, participate in a high-performance driving school or enjoy one of the events.

People visit the Alice Allison Dunnigan statue at the SEEK Museum

SEEK Museum

Russellville is home to the SEEK Museum (Struggles for Emancipation and Equality in Kentucky), a new spot on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail with a special statue honoring Alice Allison Dunnigan, a noted African American journalist, author and civil rights leader. She was also the first African American female to receive White House credentials and to become a member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. 

Bourbon being poured into glass at Dueling Grounds Distillery
Simpson County Tourism

Dueling Grounds Distillery

To taste Kentucky bourbon, stop by Dueling Grounds Distillery in Franklin, a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®. Specializing in premium, small batch bourbon aged in charred white oak, this distillery offers tastings and tours to learn more about the process and product. 

Frog bench at the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum

Downing Museum

Visit the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum to see works of art inside and outside including paintings, sculptures and more. The Downing Museum opened in 2009 and is home to a vast collection of artwork by the late Joe Downing and other artists from around the state, nation and world. Visitors can enjoy the arboretum featuring dogwoods, magnolias and other flowering trees along with conifers, Japanese maples and others. 

Horse race at Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs

Watch seasonal authentic, live horse racing at Kentucky Downs in Franklin on the only all-turf flat racing Thoroughbred track in North America. Annual meets are usually held in September, but dates are subject to change. In addition to live races, simulcast races are featured from various tracks around the country more than 300 days throughout the year.

Artifacts at the Shaker Museum at South Union Shaker Village

South Union Shaker Village

Located in Auburn, Southern Union Shaker Village is more than just a memory, it’s a place to visit and learn firsthand about the Shaker way of life with original restored buildings housing a fine museum of Shaker life and material culture, a unique gift shop and overnight lodgings.

Topsy ice cream sundae from Chaney's Dairy Barn
Chaney’s Dairy Barn

Culinary Delights

Visit Chaney’s Dairy Barn just south of Bowling Green for a fun culinary experience! See rolling farmlands and Jersey cows, take a self-guided farm tour and enjoy some of the best ice cream in the Bluegrass State. They’ve got more than just ice cream with an array of lunch and dinner favorites, a shop with Kentucky-made products and a kid’s playground, plus special events throughout the year. Not far is Boyce General Store open select hours and home to the Pie Queen of BG, who makes a delicious assortment of pies of all sizes to satisfy your sweet tooth! Polish up on your culinary knowledge by learning more about Duncan Hines, the man behind the famous cake mix, who was born in Bowling Green – there’s an exhibit at the Kentucky Museum, an annual festival and a scenic byway through Warren and Edmonson Counties.

View of stage during show at SKyPAC in Bowling Green
Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC)

Take in a show or concert at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, locally known as SKyPAC. Located in Bowling Green, this facility has an 1,800-seat state-of-the-art auditorium that hosts Broadway musicals, concerts, comedians, family entertainment and more, plus it’s the home of Orchestra Kentucky. 

View of cave

More information about the region