Looking to dine al fresco the next time you're in Bowling Green? We've previously shared some of our favorite Bowling Green patios, so now we want to tell you some of our favorite places to have a picnic. Many of these picnic spots are located just minutes from Interstate 65.
Once you get done with your picnic, there's plenty to explore in and around these parks, if you have time. Bowling Green is home to great restaurants with carryout options, if you don't want to pack your own basket. Did you know that Kentucky is within a day's drive for 2/3rds of the U.S.'s population? That makes Bowling Green a great place to stop if you're looking for a place to meet up with friends from other states.
Basil Griffin Park
If you enjoy stunning lake views while you picnic, then Basil Griffin Park is a great place to enjoy your meal. Conveniently located just a few miles off of I-65, if you're looking for a quick place to pull off, Basil Griffin Park is a gorgeous setting for a picnic. After you're done eating, spend a few minutes feeding the ducks and geese who congregate around the 33-acre lake — you can even make plans to go fishing yourself. Enjoy a stroll around the nature trail or take your kids to one of the largest playgrounds in town. Make sure to visit the adjacent Aviation Heritage Park, where you can see military aircraft whose pilots have ties to south central Kentucky.
Fountain Square Park
Enjoy a picnic in the heart of Downtown Bowling Green. This beautiful park was dedicated in 1872, and there are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore on the square before settling in for a picnic. Grab lunch to-go from Gerard's 1907 Tavern, then enjoy some sweet treats from Mary Jane's Chocolates or Little Fox Bakery — all three are walking distance from the park.
Hobson Grove Park
Spread your picnic blanket at this 200 acre park that is also home to Riverview at Hobson Grove, a historic mansion that showcases the Victorian era in southern Kentucky. Make plans to tour that gem after your lunch. Hobson Grove Park is just a few miles from downtown Bowling Green and a great place to meet up with friends. If you want to work up an appetite, take in nine holes at Hobson Grove Golf Course & Driving Range. There's also a great disc golf course at Hobson Grove Park.
Lost River Cave
Enjoy your lunch on a shaded picnic table overlooking the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at Lost River Cave, then walk off lunch with a stroll along this nature preserve's walking trail — make sure to stop at the Butterfly Habitat if you're visiting between June and late summer. A Lost River Cave boat tour is a must-do on any BGKY adventure, and its ziplines reopen Memorial Day weekend — just make sure to book your tours online in advance to guarantee a spot. Lost River Cave is just about one mile from I-I65 (formerly the Natcher Parkway), if you're looking for a great place to stop near that interstate.
Roland Bland Park
Traveling with your skateboard, scooter, rollerblades or BMX bike? If so, make plans to picnic at Roland Bland Park, which is home to the city's skate park and on the outskirts of downtown Bowling Green. A new playground opened at the park in April 2021 that is inclusive for all children, as highlighted by the Bowling Green Daily News. Roland Bland Park is across the street from another popular BGKY attraction — the Historic RailPark & Train Museum, a great place to visit after a morning of playing and picnicking at the park.
These are some great options for picnics, if you need a place for a quick bite to eat on your travels. There's plenty to explore when you visit Bowling Green — get more ideas on Things to Do. Don't forget to check out one of our great hotel options, if you have time to stay a night or two.
You can also Request a Visitors Guide to make planning your trip even easier, and you can subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to be in the know on all things Bowling Green.