Back in 1967, rock crooners the Everly Brothers scored a minor hit with the song "Bowling Green." Call the lyrics prophetic. "In Bowling Green you walk your own line," wrote Don and Phil.
Now nearly 50 years later, visitors can walk more lines than ever with Bowling Green, Kentucky's, array of touristy options. Its rolling emerald hills serving as a backdrop, Bowling Green lures travelers with a mix of natural wonders, family-friendly attractions, adults-only indulgences and motor-rumbling action.
How to get there
When trekking from Atlanta to Bowling Green, expect approximately five hours on the road. The journey begins along I-75 North, then onto I-24 through Tennessee. Once you reach Nashville, you're just about an hour from your final destination. Take I-65 North toward Kentucky. Lastly, hop on Route 234 to Bowling Green.
Where to stay
Don't let the no-frills exterior fool you. The Hotel Sync (518 Corvette Drive, 270-745-0123, thehotelsync.com), about a mile from the National Corvette Museum, offers suite accommodations. Each features a kitchen and living room area, bedroom and work space. Guests often rack up games of billiards in the lobby. Those looking to stay downtown might consider The Candle Loft (415 Park Row, 270-843-3001, thecandleloft.net). The bed and breakfast offers a two-bedroom suite perched above the Candle Makers on the Square shop and comes with vistas of the bustling Main Street and Fountain Square. Experience an old-style, 14-acre Kentucky estate by bunking at Spongie Acres Bed and Breakfast (610 Matlock Road, 270-535-3368, spongieacresbedandbreakfast.com). Choose from one of its four private plush rooms, including Spongie's Pride, complete with hardwoods and a balcony overlooking a fountain. For larger parties, a pair of additional rooms can be rented in conjunction with the suites.
At the National Corvette Museum (350 Corvette Drive, 270-781-7973, corvettemuseum.org), visitors get to look under the proverbial hood of what's arguably Bowling Green's most iconic export. More than 80 Vettes — think prototypes, special editions and more — can be seen on display. An exhibit dedicated to the museum's 2014 sinkhole incident that gobbled up eight Corvettes explains the science behind it and how the cars were recovered. Wannabe drivers get interactive in the KidZone and everyone can fill their tanks in the Corvette Cafe.
Things to do
Bowling Green activities aren't strictly of the four-wheel variety. Lost River Cave (2818 Nashville Road, 270-393-0077, lostrivercave.org) takes visitors on an underground boat tour. For about an hour, guests explore the 57-degree cave beneath its limestone canopy. Hops and barley lovers can soak up the suds found at White Squirrel Brewery (871 Broadway Ave., 270-904-1573, whitesquirrelbrewery.com). This brewpub creates its own libations, including nut brown ale, blueberry ale and more. They brew small batches, which allows White Squirrel to showcase other beers from throughout the region. Those who appreciate harder, handcrafted stuff can tour the original location of discerning booze creators, Corsair Distillery (400 East Main St., Suite 110, 270-904-2021, corsairdistillery.com). Take a look behind the bottle to see how this independent micro distillery fashions its gins, rum, vodka and absinthe. Finish it off with a tasting.
The Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals
General Motors has its famed Bowling Green Assembly Plant. So the city seems like the logical host for an event honoring the 1956 Chevrolet. The Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals (798 Beech Bend Road, 270-781-7634, thetrifivenationals.com) held Aug. 12-13 celebrates the '56 Chevy with a swap meet, drag racing, a car show, an autocross and more. As gear heads rev their engines at Beech Bend Park and Raceway, others find their fun at the adjacent Beech Bend Amusement Park and Splash Lagoon. Cool off on the water slides and in the wave pool, or brave the Kentucky Rumbler, the park's acclaimed wooden roller coaster.