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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Set Your Own Pace in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Whether you crave the fast lane or a stroll, adventure awaits.

Bowling Green, Kentucky  |  108 Miles

Expect the unexpected. That’s the point that a visit to Bowling Green, Kentucky, proves.

This western Kentucky city of nearly 75,000 sits southeast of Evansville near the state line with Tennessee and swells in size when school is in session at Western Kentucky University. While many Evansville residents visit Bowling Green for college-related reasons, the 226-year-old city offers much to see outside of campus — and has some surprises up its sleeve.

Begin by exploring Downtown Bowling Green. Here, students, visitors, and residents move in a relaxed rhythm around Fountain Square Park, a picturesque green space dating back to the late 1800s. Start with freshly squeezed juices, gourmet toasts, smoothie bowls, and more at Cafe Kindness before strolling the picturesque small-town scene with quaint boutiques and unique eateries.

Photo of GypsyMoon Marketplace by Jodi Keen

Meander the area’s rolling hills to Highland Stables, a 168-acre private farm and events venue 10 minutes outside town. Twice a year, the farm welcomes GypsyMoon Marketplace, an 80-plus vendor fair of food entrepreneurs and artisans that has drawn thousands of shoppers since 2015.

Stop at Montana Grille for a slice of big-sky territory. Patrons tuck into jalapeño-flecked cornbread, signature wood-fired beef filets, pan-fried fish, and slow-roasted rotisserie chicken. Afterward, retire at TRU by Hilton, a modernly appointed landing place near Scottsville Road with direct connections to Downtown, major highways, and surrounding attractions.

Before heading into the National Corvette Museum, fuel up at its 1950s diner. The Stingray Grill serves reinventions of classic American fare, like grilled cheese stuffed with bacon, blackberry jam, and jalapeños. Walk off your meal exploring more than 70 years of Corvette history, including nostalgic mid-century models, unprecedented feats of auto engineering, and futuristic designs. Between the interactive displays and jaw-dropping vehicles, you’ll want to savor every moment. That’s what museum tour guide Ciara Freeman does.

Photo from National Corvette Museum by Jodi Keen

“My parents worked at the Corvette plant, so I grew up running around the plant and taking the trolley with them,” says the fourth-generation Bowling Green resident. “You can’t do that anymore.”

Recharge at Blue Holler Brew Supplies, Chris Karraker’s brewery offering patrons a pint of custom suds as well as equipment and ingredients to create their own. Raise a glass of Twice Sour — a pour with an immediate bite and a smooth aftertaste — while celebrating Blue Holler’s return to the 31 W Bypass; it and neighboring businesses were leveled by an EF3 tornado on Dec. 11, 2021.

Named for the snow-colored squirrels spotted around Bowling Green, White Squirrel Brewery built off the success of Gasper Brewing Company. Since 2022, its 10,000-square-foot headquarters in Downtown Bowling Green has welcomed guests with frosty glasses of its signature jalapeño Kolsch German-style beer and more craft concoctions.

Spanish- and Latin-influenced Toro steps in when downing drinks works up a hunger. Balance street corn fritters rolled in a tangy lime aioli and cotija cheese with pollo a la brasa, Peruvian chicken in an aji verde sauce. The restaurant stocks its bar with a large selection of rums, tequilas, and mescals.

Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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