Bowling Green, about midway between Louisville and Nashville, Tennessee, is of special interest to sports-car buffs: This is Corvetteville. You can see the cars being made at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant. If you're lucky, at the end of the tour you may get to turn the key in a new 'Vette—one person from each tour group is chosen for the honor. (No, that does not mean that you get to keep it.) Next, visit the National Corvette Museum. It's filled with sensational models that range from 1953 (the first year) to a futuristic concept car. Complete your car-oriented visit to Bowling Green with a trip to Beech Bend Raceway Park, a complex consisting of a 1/3-mile paved oval and a 1/4-mile NHRA drag strip located in the Beech Bend Amusement Park.
Those interested in architecture can take a walking tour of the Upper East Main Street Historic District and visit St. Joseph's Catholic Church, inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. There's also a driving tour of the area's Civil War sites that includes the ruins of four forts.
Not far from town is the Lost River Cave, which has been used in many ways over the centuries: from a shelter during prehistoric times to a hideout for robber Jesse James to a formal nightclub (during the 1930s-60s). Today it is part of a park with a scenic nature trail. Approximately 35 mi/55 km northeast of Bowling Green are more caves, including Mammoth Cave National Park and surrounding attractions.
If you have time, take a side trip to Shakertown in South Union (13 mi/20 km west of Bowling Green), a restored Shaker village that has an 1869 tavern (now an excellent restaurant and bed-and-breakfast) and a restored 1835 smokehouse and milk house. Bowling Green is 110 mi/175 km southwest of Louisville.
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