Places to Visit After Mammoth Cave National Park

A small tour group gathers at the Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave on a summer day, preparing to enter. The cool cave air, meeting the warm, humid outer air, creates a sudden zone of mist that both delights the skin and fogs spectacles, and gives a sense that one is on the threshold of another world.

Established in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park protects the world’s oldest cave system and lies in southern Kentucky. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park welcomes nearly two million visitors every year. Once you’ve had your fill of Mammoth Cave National Park, head to any of the following destinations to continue your trip!

Nashville, Tennessee – An hour and a half outside of Mammoth Cave National Park lies Nashville, Tennessee, home of Vanderbilt University and a world renowned country music scene. Head here for delicious food, great music, and an overall good time.

Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and home to the Kentucky Derby, a world-renowned horse race. Louisville is only an hour and a half away from Mammoth Cave National Park, making it the natural next stop along your way. 

Bowling Green, Kentucky – A charming city half an hour outside of Mammoth Cave National Park, Bowling Green is home to the National Corvette Museum and the Corvette manufacturing factory. Here you’ll also find the Kentucky Museum, which delves into the history of the region and the Civil War. 

Lexington, Kentucky – Renowned as the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington, Kentucky boasts a large number of thoroughbred horse farms and race tracks. Around two hours outside of Mammoth Cave National Park, Lexington makes for a lovely stop either before or after your visit to the park.

Barren River Reservoir State Resort Park – A scenic man-made reservoir half an hour from Mammoth Cave National Park, there are plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing at Barren River Reservoir State Resort Park. This area also contains a lodge and campground for overnight accommodation.