Before the world turned upside down, Leigh and I were footloose and fancy-free, traveling our beautiful state, eating great food, seeing the sights. Those were the good ol’ days. Seems like forever ago, but that was only mid-March. Luckily for us, we had just visited Bowling Green and we had such a great time! While we may not be able to now, things will return to normal and with that our chance to travel, and here are the reasons why you need to put Bowling Green on your list of places to visit.
The Corvette Museum – Perhaps you have seen the yellow funnel with the bright red spire that sits just off I-65 as you enter Kentucky’s second largest city, but have you taken the exit and visited the Corvette Museum? This was our first visit to this unique edutaining (that’s education and entertaining combined) tourist spot. We weren’t sure what to expect. I mean, how exciting can you make a place dedicated to one type of car? As it turns out, very!
The museum encompasses 115,000 square feet and a lot of effort has been put into each of the exhibits which take you through the history of Corvette including photos, memorabilia, as well as over 80 Corvette models. They have also created a semi-permanent exhibit that tells the story of February 12, 2014, when the infamous cave-in occurred in the Skydome. Eight Corvettes were swallowed when the floor opened up and now you can see not only the remnants of some of those cars, but the hatch in the floor that goes down all the way to the bottom of the sinkhole. To stand where that damage had occurred was exciting…or in Leigh’s case, terrifying. (She was sure the ground was going to swallow the Buds.) Perhaps our favorite part was a special Ratfink exhibit that is going on until December of 2020. If you don’t know what Ratfink is (and trust us, we didn’t have any idea), it’s a mascot of sorts that came from Roth Studios and its founder, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Ed Roth was a cartoonist and t-shirt designer whose work was seen throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. The Museum has brought in cars from builders who were inspired by his art, and the result is a visually stimulating experience that will thrill anyone who loves bright colors and custom cars. As a part of that exhibit you can see two of the cars that were in the movie “Transformers”. So cool!
Walking around the museum, you might work up an appetite and the Corvette Museum has just the trick for putting a stop to your hunger. The Corvette Café is a throwback to the 50’s diner and has the best cheeseburgers and shakes around! Once your tank is full, head over to the gift shop and stock up on all the merchandise you can handle to make you look like a true Corvette enthusiast. Perhaps as you cross Main Street, you will see a new ‘Vette owner picking up their baby and cruising down the avenue and out the door while bystanders clap and congratulate them on their new acquisition. It’s quite the spectacle!
There is truly something for everyone at the Corvette Museum. They have a great kid zone with hands-on activities for children that will keep them entertained. History lovers, fans of racing, engineers, designers, and of course, car lovers will find something of interest. We recommend you take a guided tour so you get the full experience.
NCM Motorsports – If you are an adrenaline junkie, a visit to the NCM Motorsports complex just up the road is a must. Whether you want to ride along with a professional driver in a new ’20 Vette for laps around the 3.5-mile Grand Full Course at racing speeds or drive one yourself (hopefully they have good insurance), the staff at NCM Motorsports is there to make your racing dreams come true. If you are like us and not that daring, the high-speed go-karts are just the ticket. These gas-powered machines look tame, but put the pedal to the metal and you can get your heart racing for sure. I lapped Leigh about six times, and let me tell you, it was fun, fun, fun. NCM Motorsports is a perfect place to host your next birthday party, bachelor/bachelorette party or corporate event. You will leave there feeling rejuvenated…and maybe a little queasy.
When planning your trip to Bowling Green, be sure to book a room at the gorgeous Kentucky Grand Hotel. This boutique hotel came highly recommended when we asked for suggestions for places to stay, and we now know why. The hotel has been named one of the 20 most romantic hotels in the world by Elle Décor Magazine. Each of the eight suites are uniquely decorated with comfortable furnishings, exquisite linens, and they have an on-site spa. On the main level, you will find The Bluegrass Restaurant serving up delicious Southern cuisine. The food was outstanding; the service was prompt and attentive. After dinner, be sure to take a stroll across the marble-tiled lobby and visit The Derby Piano and Dessert Bar for some lively music emanating from a piano precariously perched on a ledge above the bar. You will be singing along and becoming best friends with those around you in no time. To make your experience at the Kentucky Grand Hotel even more pleasant, a basket of breakfast goodies is delivered to your room each day. Talk about Southern hospitality! We loved this hotel so much, we really didn’t want to leave! Need another reason to patronize this business? During the Covid pandemic, they have been collecting donations for the elderly through The Stay Strong Care Package Program. They have such a huge heart for their community! Let’s reward them for their efforts by booking a stay in the future.
As you can see, Bowling Green has a lot to offer! Right now, we are staying “Healthy at Home”, and it’s hard. Like many of you, we love to travel. We are so thankful that we had the chance to take a quick trip to Bowling Green, and we are anxious to get back on the road! Once it is safe to travel again, we want to encourage all Kentuckians to keep our tourism dollars in the state. When planning your next getaway, pick Kentucky destinations so we can get our economy back to where we want it to be. Most importantly, by patronizing these destinations, we are helping our fellow Kentuckians who depend on the tourism industry get back a little of what was taken away when our world was turned upside down. Take care and we wish all a speedy recovery!