Life in Southcentral Kentucky
Explore Southcentral kentucky
We live in a dynamic, growing region. From city life to urban charms, there is something for everyone, including:
- 64 parks
- 18 golf courses
- 400+ miles of caves
- 15+ lakes
- 10+ rivers
- Distilleries, breweries, vineyards and wineries
- Arts communities
Arts & entertainment
Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) – From Broadway productions to local and worldwide music acts, to comedy shows and kid-friendly performances, SKyPAC brings incredible entertainment to Bowling Green.
Capital Arts Center – Managed by SKyPAC, the Capital Arts Center is a renovated 1890s vaudeville house, which features two art galleries and an 840-seat theatre.
Local Theatres and Music Venues – Multiple theaters and musical venues that feature local and touring performers are present throughout the region. Check HearBG.com for a list of music venues and artists. Featuring year-long schedules of plays, shows and performances, the following theaters offer something for everyone:
Orchestra Kentucky – The resident, professional orchestra of SKyPAC, Orchestra Kentucky brings the best in both classical and popular music for all audiences.
The Symphony at WKU – Composed of Western Kentucky University students, faculty members and musicians from the region, the Symphony has been entertaining audiences for more than 100 years.
Art Studios, Galleries, and Guilds – Southcentral Kentucky has a rich heritage of fine art and homespun crafts. Multiple opportunities to explore art are located throughout the region, including VSA Kentucky, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing inclusive arts and education programs for children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Art guilds include the Scottsville Art Guild and Arts Guild of the Barrens.
The Club at Olde Stone – As one of the few private golf courses in the area, The Club at Olde Stone is located in Bowling Green and was designed by the legendary Arthur Hills. The Club offers superb recreational and entertainment facilities for the whole family. It’s one of many courses in Southcentral Kentucky.
Kenny Perry’s Country Creek – Located a short drive outside of Bowling Green in Franklin, Ky., Country Creek is a public course designed by PGA Tour veteran and Franklin resident Kenny Perry. The course is nestled in hills and woods, just minutes from downtown Franklin.
Russell Sims Aquatic Center – With a 50-meter zero depth entry pool, splash playground, two water slides and diving boards, the Russell Sims Aquatic center offers great fun for the entire family.
Barren River Lake State Resort Park – Located just minutes from Scottsville, Ky., Barren River Lake State Resort Park features a 10,000-acre lake with a sandy beach, 18-hole golf course, campground, lodge, cabins and houseboats.
Nolin Lake State Park – A popular destination for boaters and fishermen, Nolin Lake is located in Mammoth Cave, Ky., and also has camping and biking trails.
Dale Hollow Lake State Park – Located in Burkesville, Ky., Dale Hollow includes a 60-room lodge, boating, fishing, camping, golfing and many other recreational opportunities.
The National Corvette Museum – All Corvettes are produced at the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green. The museum is open daily for tours and displays more than 80 corvettes and prototypes that didn’t make it to production.
Lost River Cave and Valley – Lost River Cave is home to the only underground boat tour in Kentucky and was once listed by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not as the shortest, deepest river in the world. It’s actually not, but is still a fun place to visit. Lost River also includes a gift shop, interpretive nature tours and festivals.
Bowling Green Hot Rods – Bowling Green is home to a minor league baseball team, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The stadium is located downtown and accommodates up to 4,500 spectators.
Mammoth Cave National Park – The world’s longest and most well-known cave, Mammoth Cave is about a 40-minute drive north of Bowling Green. Other spectacular cave attractions in the area include Diamond Caverns, Mammoth Onyx Cave, Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum.
The Historic Railpark Train Museum – At L&N Depot in Bowling Green, you can explore a passenger train depot, climb aboard rail cars and learn from museum experts.
South Union Shaker Village – Located in Auburn, Ky., Shaker Village has original buildings that house a museum of Shaker folk life and material culture from 1807 to 1922. Tours and a gift shop are available at Shaker Village, and several events are held annually.
Visit the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on other local attractions.
University of Kentucky College of Medicine – Bowling Green Campus – Med Center Health has partnered with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Western Kentucky University. Together, we’re bringing the first 4-year, regional medical school to our area.
Western Kentucky University – Located in Bowling Green, WKU is part of the statewide university system. With over 21,000 students, the university offers many highly ranked and nationally recognized academic programs, including an excellent nursing and nurse practitioner program.
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science – The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science is Kentucky’s first two-year residential STEM school for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors. The 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition recognized a record 20 Gatton Academy seniors as semifinalists. In 2017, The Gatton Academy was named to The Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for the ninth consecutive year. In 2012 and 2013, the Gatton Academy was named Newsweek’s top high school in the United States.
Bowling Green High School – In 2017, The Washington Post listed Bowling Green High School as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools, placing it as one of the top 10 high schools in Kentucky.
See the list of Bowling Green area schools, both public and private.
Greenwood Mall – Located in Bowling Green, the Greenwood Mall has four department stores and more than 100 specialty shops.
National Chain Stores – In Bowling Green, we have Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Kroger, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sport Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Meijer and many more.
Nashville – Bowling Green is only an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tenn., which offers several major malls, including the Mall at Green Hills and Opry Mills, outdoor shopping malls and clothing boutiques.