Best Places to Stop in Bowling Green


Best Places to Stop in Bowling Green

When planning your next road trip, look no further than Bowling Green, Kentucky where cave meets rail meets historic downtown square. Load up the car for the weekend with your girlfriends, family or sweetie and make a checklist for the best places to stop in Bowling Green.

Near the Kentucky/Tennessee border, Bowling Green offers more than enough to see and experience than a weekend can hold… so better make it a long one!




Have you ever immersed yourself in an historic moment and imagined actually being there? This can be your experience at the Historic Railpark. Yes, this is a trip back in time you won’t want to miss! Super interesting and informative, the museum is filled with vintage items and surprising tidbits of history. Enjoy a tour of the actual trains to marinate in the heyday of the passenger and postal cars.

On the tour you’ll learn the train never stopped while a hook swung out to snatch the mail bag. You’ll hear the story of Owney, the pup who adopted the trains as his home and became an international traveler. As the dog’s popularity grew, people added tags to his harness commemorating his travels. Owney even has an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute! 

Guests examine first, second and third class cars and cabins, along with the President’s Car (president of the railroad that is). Witness the ingenuity behind the morphing of a seated cabin into a sleeping den. Cars were fitted with tiny kitchens that produced such incredible meals that some rode the train just for the dining experience. For many years, locomotives were the best means of long distance travel for residents. You’ll want to add the Historic Railpark as one of the best places to stop in Bowling Green, located in the Historic Railpark at 401 Kentucky Street.

I’ve heard rave reviews about the Corvette Museum so make a point to drop by.  Absorb all there is to know about this classic American gem on 350 Corvette Dr. 



On the Western Kentucky campus at 1444 Kentucky Street, you’ll find the Kentucky Museum brimming with local history and unique artifacts of the state. Admission is free and a lot is provided for parking.


Spend time viewing the section on the caves of Kentucky. We do have over 3,000 and rank fourth in the nation! A spelunker’s paradise, the famous Mammoth Cave is close by. There was an exceptional display on Kentucky quilts, some of which illustrate fascinating stories of the time.

I totally enjoyed the Duncan Hines section. I had no idea Duncan Hines was a real person and lived in Bowling Green. We obviously know him for the boxed cake mixes but he launched his culinary empire with ice cream. Hines was quite an influencer of his times, writing easy-to-read pamphlets on grilling, travel, lodging and dining.


The downtown square is one of the best places to stop for a relaxing afternoon in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Take in the central fountain and park on a leisurely stroll. It is such a blast shopping downtown on the square, which offers a variety of inviting establishments to stop and shop.



Discover impressive gifts, locally made souvenirs and elegant tapers at Candles on the Square. Plan ahead and book a whimsical, candle-making class. 415 Park Row


Peruse the cutest clothes, hats, shoes and accessories at Back Down South. You’ll come across dress down or dress up apparel in the latest styles and colors. They also carry clean lotions, candles and other beauty products that will leave you and the environment happy. 433 Park Row


Pop into the Copper Bar for an icy cocktail or catch a rousing, live concert at the Capitol Arts Center. The Capitol also has a nice, gently used bookstore. They choose from the best volumes donated to the library and sell them at reasonable rates. If you are tired of paying high prices for reading material, you’ll love this marvelous little bookshop! 912 State Street & 416 East Main



Have a sweet tooth? Make your day by picking up scrumptious, hand-dipped chocolates from Mary Jane’s Candy Shop. A special box of chocolates makes a wonderful present and you can choose your recipient’s favorites! If house-made ice cream is your jam, stop by Meltdown Ice Cream. Choose from their creative, rotating list of delightful flavors, prepared fresh with local ingredients. 432 East Main Street & 900 State Street


Here are some of my choice recommendations for dining in Bowling Green, Kentucky:


Hit Spencer’s Coffee House in the morning for your java fix and order one of their appetizing breakfast offerings. My husband ordered the Standard made of a flaky, house-baked biscuit with thick-cut bacon, fried egg and white cheddar cheese. I went for the Avo Toast: Dave’s Killer Bread topped with Spencer’s avo mash, strawberries, sliced almonds, goat cheese and a balsamic glaze. Spencer’s Coffee is simply amazing!

Visit either Bowling Green location downtown at 915 College Street or 1265 US 31-W Bypass.


I’ve got to say that my new favorite is Cafe Kindness where patrons can eat out with pleasure. The interior is comfortable and bright with earth tone décor. Little messages of joy and kindness are sprinkled about like flowers in a field.

Their menu is packed with bowls, toasts and oats, all healthy options. Choose a Nourish Bowl and add whatever ingredients you desire such as quinoa, chicken, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, apples, roasted sweet potatoes, strawberries and the list goes on. Drizzle their house-made dressings for a tangy blend. I recommend the lemon tahini. They create sumptuous soups in the cooler months and whip up creamy smoothies and fresh, cold press juices daily.

937 College Street in downtown Bowling Green


I’m a food sharer straight up. I’m all about going out with friends who scan the menu with me to order a variety of tempting choices. And then we portion out. Y’all let me tell you, there’s no better way to share than tapas (aka small plates). With this in mind, hubby and I headed to Toro. We sampled the Meat Pie, a crispy pastry with yummy barbacoa and queso, as well as the buttery Garlic Shrimp, Piquillo Peppers stuffed with goat cheese and almonds and the Street Corn Fritters. What delectable treats! They serve lunch, brunch and dinner at 1760 Scottsville Rd

Novo Dolce is on my bucket list for the next visit! Their menu looks divine.



When traveling, my first choice to stay is a locally owned bed & breakfast, hotel or Airbnb. I found the ideal location in Bowling Green at East Main Airbnb. I award big bonus points for its historical significance and close proximity to the downtown square, an easy walk.

I was captivated by the original front door and vintage hardware before I entered! Inside, walls of exposed brick highlight this modernized 1885 home, impeccably decorated in neutral and natural colors. East Main has every amenity guests could want including a full kitchen, full bath, washer/dryer, free wifi, free parking, dry cleaning drop off/pick up options, awesome natural lighting, king bed and pullout couch, plus cozy front and side porches.

The home has been divided into a living space and an intimate venue perfect for small gatherings, photo sessions, classes and other activities that bring people together.

Bowling Green is a growing city and ranks in the top five for population in Kentucky. You can be assured there is an abundance of activities, food and drink to be appreciated by all! My suggestions just scratch the surface and I hope they top your bucket list for the best places to stop in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Check out Bowling Green’s Visitor page for upcoming events, planning guides and attractions.

Another Kentucky town nearby that you won’t want to miss is Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Read more in my blog to plan your trip to western Kentucky.

Did I leave anything out?  Email me your insights for my next trip to Bowling Green to [email protected]

Plan Your Stop To Bowling Green from:

Lexington- 160 miles

Covington- 217 miles

Louisville- 123 miles

Harrodsburg- 153 miles

Nashville- 65 miles


When planning your next road trip, look no further than Bowling Green, Kentucky where cave meets rail meets historic downtown square. Load up the car for the weekend with your girlfriends, family or sweetie and make a checklist for the best places to stop in Bowling Green.