Bowling Green: Kentucky’s Best Kept Secret

Bowling Green: Kentucky’s Best Kept Secret

From cars to culinary to culture, Bowling Green has it all

 Words by Paige Townley

Just about 60 miles north of Nashville on I-65 is the city of Bowling Green, one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Kentucky. The city is brimming with all sorts of activities and adventure. It’s the site of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, where Corvette calls home. The charming Kentucky town even serves as home to Western Kentucky University. From cars to outdoor adventure, culinary hotspots to arts and entertainment, there’s a reason Bowling Green continues to be named one of the South’s best cities, and it’s one that the whole family can enjoy. Start planning your visit now!

Visit Corvette City

Bowling Green is known as one of the top destinations for car lovers, and for good reason. Not only has America’s favorite sports car, the Corvette, been assembled exclusively in the city since 1981, but Bowling Green is also home to the National Corvette Museum Campus. Visitors to the city have an opportunity to check out both. Tours are allowed at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, and guests can also check out the 70-plus Corvettes on display at the 115,000-square-foot museum. Bonus: Across the campus at the NCM Motorsports Park, visitors can take a spin around  the track in a new Z06 Corvette! Rounding out a day at the museum is a stop for a delicious brunch or lunch at Stingray Grill, which is located inside the museum. Its menu features a variety of salads, sandwiches, and burgers, along with house-made soups delicious desserts.

Endless Culinary Options

Bowling Green has a long history with culinary delights. The grand master of cake mixes, Duncan Hines, was born in the city—the city boasts a Duncan Hines Exhibit and Scenic Byway and even hosts Duncan Hines Days each June—and the city in general houses dozens of locally-owned restaurants to make every meal time a true masterpiece. No visit to Bowling Green is complete without a stop at Hickory & Oak for dinner. The eatery’s menu perfectly meshes modern-day Kentucky fare with classic Southern cuisine, featuring items like Sea Bass Risotto, Chicken Spaghetti, Australian Wagyu Filet Mignon, and the Coal Miner Pork Tenderloin, which is rubbed down with coffee before being wrapped in bacon. In addition to the mouthwatering menu, Hickory & Oak offers the city’s largest bourbon list, featuring more than 125 bourbons along with classic cocktails and premium wines, which guests can enjoy either in the upscale dining room, a casual seat at the bar, or on the charming patio overlooking Circus Square Park. 

A Most Unique Chocolate Shop

There’s perhaps nowhere as sweet or as unique in Bowling Green as Mary Jane’s Chocolates. The vintage chocolate shop is locally owned and operated, and it serves a variety of chocolates made from 100% sustainably grown cocoa beans. Shoppers have a range of options from which to choose, from hand-made truffles, brittles, barks, and mints, to caramels, marshmallows, liquor and liqueur creations, and hand-dipped treats. One visit and you’re sure to be hooked!

Shop Through Downtown

A stroll through downtown Bowling Green will certainly lead to a most enjoyable shopping trip thanks to the many locally-owned shops and boutiques lining the city streets. An ever-popular shopping destination in downtown Bowling Green is Candle Makers on the Square. The shop features a well-rounded mix of locally-made gifts, jewelry, clothing, artwork, décor, and of course, candles. All of the candles are poured by hand, on site, and there are more than 70 fragrances from which to choose.


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