Visit Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Kentucky is scattered with hundreds of small towns. In fact, over half the cities in the state have less than 1,000 residents! Hopefully you have the time to get off the highways and explore some of towns off the beaten path, but if your time is limited, just take a 15 minute drive north of Bowling Green to Warren County's second largest city of Smiths Grove. We like to refer to it as our little Mayberry!
For many, a visit to Smiths Grove is like a step back in time, full of revitalized historic buildings, small cemeteries, churches and a slower pace. For others, it seems a lot like visiting grandparents or other family living in rural America, full of honest, hard-working folks, a variety of agriculture and quirky finds.
And then for a certain sect of visitors, going to Smiths Grove is like visiting the epicenter of horror movie lore! Former Bowling Green resident and Master of Horror, John Carpenter, named the fictional sanitarium from which Michael Myers escapes in Halloween the "Smiths Grove Warren County Sanitarium." More about that and our "Reel Sites, Real Scary" Driving Tour can be found on our John Carpenter microsite here.
We suggest you stroll along Main Street until a storefront pulls you in or an architectural style piques your interest. Families can let the kids release some energy at Ed Spear Park, complete with a nice playground, picnic shelter, walking trail, and outdoor basketball and tennis courts, or stretch the imagination at the Warren County Public Library's Smiths Grove Branch featuring weekly programs and special events.
Expected to open in 2024, construction for a new Buc-ee's location is underway at the entrance to Smiths Grove.
Just off I-65 at exit #38, find antiques, fabrics, home & garden decor, vintage items and Kentucky-made goodies! Within walking distance and nestled among historic homes, churches, and a cemetery.
The Shops of Historic Smiths Grove
Find antiques, fabrics, home & garden decor, vintage items and Kentucky-made goodies all within a few blocks! And don't forget to grab an afternoon treat or snack from The Flavor Isle, a local favorite.
Participating shops include The Foxhole, Psycho Granny's Quit & Fabric Shop, Main Street Antiques & Collectables, The Garden Patch, and Marigold Vintage
Cycling and Outdoor Adventure
Aside from shopping and history, Smiths Grove is also a cyclists' haven as it is located along U.S. Bike Route 23, a 109-mile route from the Kentucky/Tennessee border that ends at Mammoth Cave National Park. This route also connects to U.S. Bike Route 76 that mostly follows the TransAmerica Trail. Find more information and maps of these routes from the Adventure Cycling Association at https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/us-bicycle-route-system/maps-and-route-resources/.