If you followed any of my social media updates earlier in the week, you probably picked up on the fact that my family wasn’t at home. Nope. We were busy exploring family friendly Bowling Green, Kentucky attractions- which happens to be about a tank of gas trip in my minivan. To me, that classifies as an easy weekend getaway for most Ohio residents.
This was not our first stop in Bowling Green. Remember when we lived in Alabama? We’d pass through on our way to Ohio and if we got a late start in the day we’d take a break and stop for the night at the La Quinta Inn & Suites, located just off the interstate.
When we set off in our motor home for the very first time, we stopped at the Walmart in Bowling Green to buy a metal clasp because our exhaust was falling off the camper. We took the opportunity to buy some microwave macaroni and cheese and lunch meat and prepared and ate our very first camper meal in the parking lot. Memories. Memories.
Well, this trip we were back to make more memories. With a son leaving for boot camp in less than a month, I couldn’t resist one more fun family road trip before my little boy heads off to become a guardsman.
Sunday night we arrived at the La Quinta Inn & Suites and it was wonderful, just as I remembered. The clean rooms are large and roomy for my family of five. With two queen size beds and a sleeper sofa, there’s plenty of room for everyone.
The only downside is that when we stay in a hotel, my husband always insists that we turn out the lights and go to bed so he can sleep. That’s not an easy feat since everyone else in the family are night owls and he goes to sleep right after dinner. I really need to invent some special ear plugs for that man.
Monday morning we awoke and excitedly got ready to tour the GM Assembly Plant to watch the Union workers assemble Corvette Stingrays. I really thought this would appeal to the men-folk in the house since they’re into hot rods and all.
The factory tour requires participants to walk about a mile but I’d add that unless you park in the handicap lot, it could be a pretty good walk from the parking lot to the entrance doors. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to figure out where you’re going and don’t arrive five minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin.
After the tour we drove to the National Corvette Museum. If you’d not heard of the museum that probably changed in February when a sinkhole swallowed eight of the museums’ prized cars, making international news. The cars are being retrieved one by one and set-up on display through the summer.
After a quick look through the museum, we drove to Vette City Antiques, a bargain hunter’s paradise. This antique store near the GM Assembly Plant has 250 booths full of knick-knacks, vintage pieces and antiques.
We drove downtown for lunch at Tea Bayou. If you’re near Bowling Green, there’s no need to travel all the way to New Orleans, you’ll get a taste of the Big Easy in this eclectic and artsy restaurant. From beignets, to Po Boys to the traditional Muffaletta, this popular spot can hook up your taste buds with traditional NOLA inspired cuisine.
Downtown Bowling Green is charming! We had a chance to explore it a bit after lunch before heading to Artistic Soul Studio where we were schooled by the owner on the fascinating history of movie posters. If you mistakenly think movie posters are boring, that’s because you haven’t spoken to Leon. An hour later we headed towards the Historic Railpark Train Museum, but not before my son purchased a couple pieces of art.
The Historic Railpark Train Museum and L & M Depot was incredible and not just for those who love trains. The museum has some wonderful displays but the real gem is the restored rail cars that are open to tours.
We’d had a pretty full day so we drove back to the hotel to change before quickly heading out to the Montana Grille so I could feed my starving family. I still can’t get over how delicious our food was. I may need to travel back to Bowling Green just to eat a slice of Firebread.
The next morning we started our day at Lost River Cave where we learned about caves, blue holes and tales from the Civil War. Our tour guide was wonderful and the boat tour through the cave on the underground lake was fun and relaxing.
After our cave tour I wanted to walk along the nature trails and explore the butterfly habitat but my teenagers were convinced that they were starving once again (I really think all they do is eat). We drove a minute down the road to Lost River Pizza Co. and tried fried pickles for the first time ever!
After lunch we drove to the Western Kentucky University Campus so we could learn about Kentucky’s history at the Kentucky Museum. This hidden gem has four floors of galleries plus a log cabin to peek into on the WKU campus just outside the doors.
I can’t wait to share more about my family’s trip to Bowling Green so look for more detailed posts in the days to come.
Have you been to Bowling Green? Which venue that I’ve mentioned do you think you’d most like to visit?
A special thanks to the Bowling Green Convention & Visitor’s Center for inviting my family to visit and explore the Bowling Green, Kentucky attractions.
© 2014 – 2016, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.