Last weekend I took a little mini road trip to Cave City, Kentucky ! It was totally spur of the moment. I ran across a Dinosaur World article online, Google Mapped it and it was only 4 hours from us AND I found out it was next to Mammoth Cave National Park AND I had that weekend free so it was a done deal!
I LOVE roadside attractions! The world's biggest this and that and the quirky relics of tourist traps from the past really draw me in! I always wanted to do a huge road trip around the whole US where I would stop at all of them! Although, I haven't done that yet, I do plan in stops to see as many roadside attractions as I can on any road trip that I go on and have checked quite a bit off of my list. Roadside attractions were really spectacular in the past but once different modes of transportation came into play and bigger, greater attractions happened, sadly, a lot of roadside attractions are no longer with us or are in pretty bad shape. Most roadside attractions were placed on the major travel routes and were used as a way to draw people in to buy things in a town or a shop. They are also placed next to so big destinations to try to get tourists to stop at different shops while they are in an area too.
Cave City, Kentucky is a town that really calls to that. Mammoth Cave has been a huge tourist destination for hundreds of years and Cave City, has a lot of roadside attractions to share. However, since it's no longer a busy tourist town since most people stay at Mammoth Cave Hotel/Camp or stay in nearby Bowling Green and drive in, you can see the past roadside attractions that have been left to rot. It's kind of sad. The ones that are left are pretty run down but they're still fun!
Okay, so on to the vacation!
We left Lafayette, Indiana bright and early on Saturday morning and drove to Louisville, Kentucky.
After some coffee and conversation we continued on our way. We stopped by the Louisville Slugger factory to see the World's Largest Baseball Bat and the World's Largest Baseball.
Louisville also has a gold Statue of David so we, of course, had to stop by and see that too!
And then we walked a few more blocks to see the World's Largest Bat (the flying kind)!
After the bat, we stopped by Hard Rock Cafe so I could pick up some drumsticks. I started picking up drumsticks from Hard Rock back when I was a child so now it's a tradition to buy drumsticks at every Hard Rock Cafe I run across. If you are ever at our house, you can view the drumstick wall in our dining room! haha
Once we were done in Louisville we drove about an hour to Munfordsville to visit Kentucky's Stonehenge. If you are ever in that area, you need to check it out! It's easy to get to and right off I-65. It's at a person's house, but you are totally allowed to drive into their driveway and visit it! The lady that lived there was at her car and she just waved and smiled!
Fun fact, there are over 12 replica Stonehenges in America alone! I have decided that I will visit them all! I went to Foamhenge in Virginia a few years ago. It's a replica of Stonehenge that is made completely out of foam and then last year I went to the real Stonehenge while I was in London and Ireland. Next on my list is Carhenge which is made out of stacked cars! Maybe one day I will have a blog post filled with photos of all the Stonehenges in the world!
After Kentucky Stonehenge, we stopped for some gas and a snack and then continued on the rest of the way to Cave City, Kentucky. That's when we stopped at Dinosaur World! There are two Dinosaur World's, one in Kentucky and one in Florida. It's a pretty neat place but certainly dated and a bit run down but still fun! It's dog friendly and you can take food in so you can make a day of it if you wanted and have a picnic! It's not super big but they have a lot of things like a museum with some dinosaur teeth/fossils, a mine wash area where you can look for gems/rocks, and a fossil dig. The rest of the park is a trail that is landscaped with dinosaur statues. We had a lot of fun!
After Dinosaur World we went to check into our hotel and rest for a bit. On our way to the hotel we stopped by this old time general store which we were hoping would have snacks and drinks but it was literally just a huge antique store in an old time general store. Kind of disappointing but the owners were super nice! We stayed at Sleep Inn and Suites since it was the newest hotel there. There are several hotels and they are all a bit run down. There is also lots of camping and some cabin rentals in the area too. Sleep Inn was pretty standard and they have a pool, game room, and breakfast. After we rested a bit we went to dinner. There aren't a lot of options for food in Cave City anymore unless you want fast food. We went to El Matzatlan for dinner which is apparently a Mexican restaurant chain but we had never been. The food came fast and was cheap. The quesadillas were good and the salsa and margaritas weren't the best.
The next morning we woke up at 5am and grabbed some breakfast at our hotel and then headed to Mammoth Cave National Park. We had a cave tour booked for 10am but we wanted to explore the park beforehand. Sadly, it was raining that morning but did end up stopping. We got to explore a bit.
The graveyard that is pictured is home to some of the cave tour guides from back in the day.
We went on the Domes and Dripstones Cave Tour and it was fun! Mammoth Caves is a dry cave so there is only a few dripstones and Devin loves those so we took this tour to see them. Mammoth Caves is, well, mammoth and there are quite a few tours you can take. You will never be able to see the whole cave and if you took all the tours, you'd have to stay for 2 weeks! We certainly want to go back and do some of the other tours. There is even still a river in Mammoth Caves and they have a boating tour one! There are also a ton of private cave tours in Cave City too, so there is no shortage of cave stuff!
The Domes and Dripstones tour is 2 hours. They bus you out to the entrance and you get bused back. It's a pretty easy tour. There are disclaimers for this tour but it wasn't as bad as they make it seem. There are 500+ stairs with 300 of them being the single file descent into the cave. But it wasn't super steep, when we did a cave tour in Ireland, those stairs were more tricky! Although the stairs are manmade, the rest of the cave isn't. They didn't remove any parts of the cave and built the stairs to fit the cave so you do have the squeeze through, duck, and maneuver yourself around the cave on your way down but it's not horrible.
This photo s the original historic entrance into the cave. It's now just a place that you can go see.
On the way to lunch we drove past this abandoned haunted village. I pulled in past the roped off area so I could run around and explore for a few minutes. I can only imagine what this place was like in it's heyday because it's still in pretty good shape!
That's it for this mini road trip! Until next time!