23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Owensboro (KY)

Looking for the best and fun things to do in Owensboro, KY?

Owensboro is a wonderful city located on the southern banks of the Ohio River. It is widely considered the industrial, medical, retail, and cultural hub of western Kentucky. According to the 2010 U.S Census, the city has a population of about 57,265.

Owensboro offers a wide range of recreational and cultural activities, including fishing on a nearby lake, live performances of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, one of the finest in the states. The city features a conventions Center, hotels, Smother Park, International Bluegrass Music Center, etc.

It is home to the only municipal ice arena in Kentucky and features municipal parks, which provides areas for picnicking, golf, tennis, softball, football, and relaxation. At the same time, its Ohio River features water sports activities.

There are quite a number of places to visit in Owensboro, let’s explore the top things to do in Owensboro.

Things to Do in Owensboro

1. Visit O.Z. Tyler Distillery

O.Z. Tyler Distillery
Credits: Svittlana / Shutterstock

Opened in 1885, O.Z. Tyler Distillery is a spectacular attraction that is worth adding to your list of things to do in Owensboro if you have an interest in whiskey.

On the present O.Z. site, there has been a distillery since 1885. The Tyler distillery is in Owensboro.

Despite the many setbacks and changes in ownership, the distillery has survived. You are invited to learn about Kentucky Bourbon’s history and see the actual process of making it.

The distillery offers a tour that will take you through every stage of the process, from grain to barrel.

You will be able to sample some of the finest Bourbon Whiskeys made on-site at the end of your tour.

Address: O.Z. Tyler Distillery, 10 Distillery Rd, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

2. Preservation Station Market & Event Center

Preservation Station Market and Event Center
Credits: Preservation Station Market and Event Center/ Facebook
Preservation Station Market and Event Center

Preservation Station Market, Restaurant and Event Center is a 39,000 square foot building and facility which was initially an elementary school before it was converted to an antique, unique, boutique and vintage country mall and restaurant. It features more than 60 permanent shops opened daily Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 to 5 pm.

The mall features a marketplace with a gym that can host community events or be rented to host events that can accommodate nearly 450 people. It also features different kinds of crafts made by the finest craftsmen. If you love shopping, you will benefit from the unique, quirky, and beautiful finds.

Its restaurant deals on southern delicacies and is open every Tuesday to Friday from 11 am to 2 pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm, and a Sunday Lunch Buffet from 9 am to 2 pm. The market also offers many different products ranging from books, video games, sports cards, and vinyl records to fit everyone in the family.

Address: 9661 State Route 56, the Old West Louisville Elementary School, Owensboro, KY 42301-9321.

3. Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
Credits: Steve Ryan [CC BY-SA 2.0], Wikimedia Commons
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

For individuals interested in art, add a visit to the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art to your list of things to do in Owensboro.

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art has brought a feast of fine art exhibitions to Owensboro for over 40 years.

The museum is divided into three wings. Two of these wings are located in historical buildings that are worth a visit.

The John Hampden Smith House, a beautiful pre-civil War mansion, houses the museum’s permanent collection.

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art also contains decorative art from around the globe.

The museum also manages RIVERARTS, an outdoor sculpture garden that features work by local Kentucky artists. You can book guided tours in advance.

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, 901 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

4. Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Credits: Bluegrasshall [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum
This museum is a top attraction in Owensboro. The museum focuses on bluegrass music’s history and includes interactive exhibits, costumes, and a 450-seat theatre.

There are also artworks, posters, vintage instruments, and films in the museum. Near the museum is Bill Monroe’s home, which was known as the ‘Father Of Bluegrass.’

The house can be toured, and you can learn fascinating facts. Throughout the year, there are many events held here, including jam sessions, music festivals and parties, as well as Christmas shows and concerts.

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is the only museum dedicated to bluegrass music history in the world.

This museum also offers music lessons and is open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

You can visit the museum to find out interesting facts about the music genre, look at the antique displays, and enjoy live musical performances.

Address: 311 W 2nd St, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

5. World’s Largest Sassafras Tree

World's Largest Sassafras Tree
Credits: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr
World’s Largest Sassafras Tree

Owensboro is home to the world’s largest living sassafras tree, measuring over 100 feet tall and 21 feet in circumference (the average sassafras tree measures just 30 to 50 feet tall). It has been in existence for approximately 300 years. You can find it on one of the main streets of Owensboro.

In 1957, the popular Sassafras tree was threatened to be pulled down by the expanding highway constructors. However, by the time the bulldozers arrived, the tree owner as at that time, Grace Rash, was already lying in wait with her shotgun.

She held them off at gunpoint until a call to the governor as of that time led to the building of a retaining wall to secure the tree. The short story tells you how sacred the tree is held till this day. You can take few hours of your trip to take a look at this popular tree you’ve heard of ever since.

Address: 2098 Frederica Street, Owensboro, KY 42301-4819

6. Owensboro Museum of Science and History

Owensboro Museum of Science and History
Credits: Owensboro Museum of Science and History/ Facebook
Owensboro Museum of Science and History

The Owensboro Museum of Science and History, located in downtown Owensboro is a wonderful place to spend some time with your family.

The museum has several themed areas, including the Rotary Playzeum for children aged ten and under.

This allows them to have hours of educational fun crawling on the exhibits. The ENCOUNTER exhibit will allow children to learn all about science through fun and interactive ways.

The Coal Mine Gallery offers a great learning experience for the whole family. It teaches about historical coal mining.

The Coal Mine Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday at 3 pm, and Saturdays at 11:30 and 3 pm.

If you are in the city with the entire family, add this museum to your checklist of things to do in Owensboro, Ky.

Address: 122 East 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

7. Panther Creek State Park

Panther Creek State Park
Credits: Panther Creek Park/ Facebook
Panther Creek State Park

Panther Creek State Park is a 1,444-acre park located on the Cherokee Reservoir in the historic Holston River Valley, six miles west of Morristown. Pioneers from North Carolina and the older Watauga Settlement in East Tennessee visited this place during the late 70s.

Meanwhile, before this period, the Cherokee Indians were the most standout Native American, ethnic group. The park features over 17 kinds of hiking trails that cover over 30 miles of terrain in every level of difficulty.

As a hiker, you can have fun with the astounding sights of Cherokee Lake and the Cumberland Mountains from Point Lookout Trail, reaching 1,460 feet above sea level. You will also see over 15 miles of mountain biking trails that have both easy and difficult modes.

The Cherokee Lake offers you a year-round fishing expedition of bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, rockfish and bream. The expedition makes it a lot easier for you to catch rockfish that weighs 20 pounds. It also presents nearby commercial marinas, boat launching and rental boats, and a bait shop that deals on fishing and picnicking requirements.

Panther Creek State Park also offers seven miles of horseback riding trails, as even more is under construction. Horse trailers must use the parking area off Panther Creek Road, just to the west of Boat Ramp Road.

Address: 5160 Wayne Bridge Road, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

8. Moonlight Bar B Q Inn Owensboro, Kentucky

Moonlight Bar B Q Inn Owensboro, Kentucky
Credits: Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn/ Facebook
Moonlight Bar B Q Inn Owensboro, Kentucky

After a long day of exploration, there’s nothing better than relaxing and enjoying a Kentucky barbecue.

Moonlight Bar-B-Q is the best place to go if you’re in Owensboro. This family-owned restaurant is known for its delicious slow-cooked prime meats with a hickory flavor.

It is known for its impressive buffet, which is available at lunchtime and dinner from Monday through Saturday.

You can also visit the restaurant on Sundays for a delicious brunch, which is served between 10am and 2.30pm.

If you prefer to eat at home, they also have a large Take-Out menu where you can choose dishes from.

Address: Moonlight BBQ, 2840 West Parrish Ave, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

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9. Town Square Mall

Town Square Mall
Credits: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Town Square Mall is a convenient shopping center that offers Owensboro residents and visitors an easy-to-use one-stop-shop.

The mall has two department stores, many places to eat and drink, and many specialty shops.

Shop till you drop at Macy’s and JC Penney, or get a manicure/Pedi at Top Nail. You can also shop for sports equipment at Hibbett Sports.

You can get some pampering at Bath and Body Works, or you can shop for everything you need at The Children’s Place.

You can stop by Applebee’s Grill & Bar, Ben’s Pretzels, or Great American Cookies if you feel like a snack.

Address: Town Square Mall, 4600 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

10. Legion Park Owensboro

Legion Park Owensboro
Credits: The Dye Clan [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Legion Park Owensboro
Initially called Hickman Park, the Legion Park of Owensboro is a 23.75-acre park founded in 1894, making it the second oldest park in the history of Owensboro. Traditionally, the park was formerly a family picnic area, providing several shaded areas where they could eat and space for playground equipment.

However, in 1983, the first renovation was carried out in the park that added two tennis courts, two screened-in dining halls, a light basketball court, playground equipment, restrooms, park-keeper house, and a walking trail.

If you are a sports fan, you will enjoy this Legion Park because it provides enough space for your family. So, while you are enjoying the sports, your wife and kids have an opportunity to watch you while picnicking in the wonderful shaded areas the place offers.

Address: 3047 Legion Park Drive, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

11. Smothers Park

Smothers Park
Credits: Don Barrett / Flickr
Smothers Park

Smothers Park is a popular park located in downtown Owensboro on the banks of the scenic Ohio River.

The park features a large playground, riverfront swinging benches and splash pad, a memorial to prisoners of war, MIAs, and a fountain with water shows every 15 min.

There are also beautiful fountains, a waterfall, picnic areas, and pavilions, as well as a concession stand and river overlook in the park.

The park is open 24 hours a day, and the playground is open every day from 7am-10pm.

Enjoy a picnic by the river, take in the breathtaking views of the bridge and river, play in the spray park, and enjoy quality time with friends and family while at the park.

You can also enjoy a relaxing evening walk by the river from this park. Smothers Park is a popular location for weddings due to its scenic views.

Address: 199 W Veterans Blvd, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

12. Owensboro Sports Center

Owensboro Sports center
Credits: Owensboro Sportscenter/ Facebook
Owensboro Sports center

One of the oldest buildings in Owensboro is the Owensboro Sports Center which was opened for the first time in 1949.

Today, it is home to two local basketball teams: the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers (left) and the Owensboro Catholic High School Aces (right).

The center is also home to the TBL team Owensboro Thoroughbreds. It is a popular place to meet Owensboro residents.

The 5,000-seat sports center hosts riveting basketball games and also hosts concerts, shows, and exhibitions.

You won’t feel hungry during a game or concert, thanks to the newly renovated concessions area. Sports lovers should add visiting this wonderful attraction to their list of things to do in Owensboro.

Address: Owensboro Sports Center, 1215 Hickman Ave, Owensboro, KY 42301, United

13. Owensboro Convention Center

Owensboro Convention Center
Credits: Farragutful [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Owensboro Convention Center
Are you looking to host an Expo, Trade Show, or Consumer Show? Look no further than the award-winning Owensboro Convention Center, which offers you the perfect and most reliable platform for small and large events.

The establishment features over 44,000 square feet exhibition hall, the 8,900+ square feet Kentucky Legend Pier outside over the scenic Ohio River, in addition to a ballroom, meeting, and pre-function space. It also offers two new adjacent hotel properties in the revitalized downtown.

The Owensboro Convention Center also offers full indoor services, including food and beverage, audiovisual, internet access, trade show, decorating services, and electricals to ensure ease and comfortability for any event. It is the newest and premier meeting space proudly managed by Spectra by Comcast Spectator.

Address: 501 W 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States.

14. The Miller House Restaurant

The Miller House Restaurant
Credits: The Miller House/ Facebook
The Miller House Restaurant

The Miller House restaurant can be found in downtown Owensboro. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day from Tuesday through Friday.

Dinner is only served on Saturday. Sunday brunch is also available. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the food is southern-inspired.

You can rest assured that the restaurant’s vegetable garden will produce a lot of fresh produce.

Their bar Spirits is located in the basement of Miller House. It has received numerous awards for its incredible collection of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskeys – there are at least 600 varieties at any given time.

Address: Miller House Restaurant, 301 East 5th Street, Owensboro, 42303, United States

15. Jack C. Fisher Park

Named after Honorable Mayor Jack C. Fisher, this park is a 33-acre community park. The land was secured in 1985, and the park was constructed and officially launched in 1987. Meanwhile, it was named after Jack C. Fisher because he was the Mayor when the property was acquired and opened.

The park features the Kentucky Legend Fields, a newly renovated tournament complex that offers synthetic infields on four ball diamonds. It features Paved Walking Trail (3 to 4 miles with access to Adkisson Greenbelt Park), an Open Picnic Shelter and Picnic Tables.

It provides a Batting Cage (Four Hitting Tunnels), a Practice Softball Diamond of 60feet base anchors, an open outfield fence, Kentucky Legend Fields with four synthetic ball diamonds, an athletic field house with employee offices, concessions, restrooms, and event hall.

Address: 3900 W 5th Street Road, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

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16. Riverpark Center Owensboro

Riverpark Center Owensboro
Credits: AARP KY / Facebook
Riverpark Center Owensboro

The Riverpark Center, Owensboro’s charming performing arts center, is located in a prominent location on the Downtown riverfront.

Three outstanding local groups are housed at the center, including the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and the Owensboro Dance Theatre. “Friday After 5” is also located in the center.

The center often serves as a launchpad for National Broadway Tours. These occasions are a great opportunity for Owensboro residents to be treated to spectacular tour launches at the center.

It would be wrong to visit Owensboro and not attend one of the 400 annual productions. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Address: Riverpark Center, 101 Daviess Street, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

17. Bill’s Restaurant

Bill's Restaurant
Credits: Bill’s Restaurant / Facebook
Bill’s Restaurant

For a memorable dining experience, add a visit to Bill’s restaurant to your list of things to do in Owensboro, KY.

Bill Hughes is the owner and operator of Bill’s Restaurant. He is a Kentucky native who learned to cook with his mother at their Kentucky home.

After many years of studying Culinary Arts, Bill finally achieved the dream of opening his own restaurant.

Modern and innovative, the menu changes almost every day depending on what seasonal produce is available.

Enjoy a variety of fresh seafood and meats, as well as favorites such as schnitzel or steak.

All are prepared to perfection and served with delicious accompaniments. The lunch menu includes lighter options such as sandwiches, salads, and poke bowls.

Address: Bill’s Restaurant, 420 Frederica Street, Owensboro, KY 4230, United States

18. Reid’s Orchard Owensboro Kentucky

Reid's Orchard Owensboro Kentucky
Credits: Serhii Hrebeniuk / Shutterstock

October is apple harvest season in Kentucky, and this is the best time to visit Reid’s Orchard.

On the third weekend in October, the orchard hosts an Apple Festival with many food and craft stalls as well as entertainment for children.

The Apple House is open all year except January and February. You can still visit the Apple House to purchase delicious farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers, throughout the year.

You can enjoy U-Pick strawberries from May to August if you visit the Apple House in the middle or late of May.

A children’s playground is available with pony rides and a petting area during October.

Address: Reid’s Orchard, 4818 HWY 144, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

19. Owensboro Antique Mall

The Owensboro Antique Mall was founded in 1983. It features many quality vendors with beautiful antiques, collectables, glassware, vintage jewelry, and more. You can experience a trip back in time to enable you to explore those rare qualities or scarce items/gifts that will look perfect for anyone on any occasion.

This super mall is specifically located in downtown Owensboro, Kentucky. You can also carry out great antique shopping on KentuckyAntiqueTrail.com, where you will have the opportunity to meet up with a friendly staff that will advise or guide you. Just let them know you saw them on AntiqueTrail.com.

Around the Owensboro arena, you will find Samuel Rafferty, an agent who offers appraisal and estate sale services. Therefore, you can visit the estatesales.org or link below for the new estate sales.

Address: 500 W 3rd Street, Owensboro, KY 42301

20. Yellow Creek Park

Yellow Creek Park
Credits: Yellow Creek Park / Facebook
Yellow Creek Park

For some fun time, add a visit to the Yellow Creek Park to your list of things to do in Owensboro, KY.

This beautiful park is located on the banks of Yellow Creek. It includes softball fields and baseball diamonds, picnic areas, as well as hiking trails, and lush foliage.

The park also features basketball courts, a splash pad, James Lambert Pioneer Village, a splash pad, train cars, 20th-century schoolhouses, disc golf courses, swinging bridges, and many other amenities.

Woodpeckers and muskrats can be found in the park, as well as turkeys, deer, and other wildlife.

The pioneer village is made up of the Rosenwald schoolhouse and barns as well as cabins and other structures that date back to the 19th and 20th centuries.

There are many outdoor recreation activities available in the park, including fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, disc golf, and picnicking.

Many photographers love the park’s scenic beauty. It is a popular location for weddings and other social events due to its tranquil setting and picturesque backdrops.

There are many events held here throughout the year, including concerts and the ROMP Bluegrass Festival.

From April through October, the park is open from 8am to 11pm and November through March from 8am to 5pm.

Address: 5710 KY-144, Owensboro, KY 42303, United States

21. Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
Credits: Steve Ryan [CC BY-SA 2.0], Wikimedia Commons
Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, located in Owensboro’s heart, is a must-see for nature lovers.

Downloading a map to guide you on a self-guided walk is a great way to enjoy your visit.

There are ten smaller gardens in the garden. These include a day-lily, rose, herb, vegetable, fruit, and vegetable garden, and the popular children’s garden.

Gardeners travel from far and wide to find inspiration and plants to take home from the nursery.

There are many beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces for celebrations and events at the gardens.

Add visiting Western Kentucky Botanical Garden to your list of things to do in Owensboro if you are a lover of nature.

Address: Western Kentucky Botanical Garden 25 Carter Rd Owensboro KY 42301, United States

22. Green River Distilling Company

Since the late 19th century, this historic site has been home to many distilleries. The site is open year-round to tourists for tastings and tours.

You can watch the process of Bourbon Whiskey being made and then try their various Bourbons.

Green River Distilling Company is well-known for its exceptional whiskies. On Mondays through Saturdays, distillery tours are available at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm.

Visitors can visit the gift shop, or cocktail lounge between 10am to 3pm. The tour includes three whiskies sampling and is priced at $15.

Address: 10 Distillery Rd, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

23. Misty Meadow Winery

Misty Meadow Winery
Credits: Ievgenii Meyer / Shutterstock
Misty Meadow Winery

You are welcome to the Misty Meadow Winery, a quiet, peaceful and comfortable place to spend your time, located in the flatlands of Western Kentucky, Davies County. It is situated in the family farm acquired by one of the occupants of that area in 1901.

The winery specializes mostly in country wines manufactured from fresh fruit, berries, and grapes, which were grown by the area’s dwellers or purchased locally. Their wines are handcrafted with perfection, in small batches and properly aged to provide the best pleasure possible.

It also offers quality wines with excellent taste, color, and aroma. A true experience of enjoyment for the senses, what initially served as a hobby for them, has developed into excellence and pleasure for everyone, especially wine lovers.

Each wine is a labor of love to craft and is effectively balanced and double-checked in its in-house lab for quality before bottling. It utilizes the combination of modern wine-manufacturing skills and old-world recipes to produce award-winning wines.

The winery also offers strawberries, blackberries, elderberries, peaches, pears, and Norton, Chambourcin, and Chardonel grapes, which the local dwellers grow, and sometimes buy from other growers of different parts within and without Kentucky to help produce the best flavors.

Misty Meadows Winery functions in an urban setting in downtown Lebanon and sources all of its fruit by working directly with Oregon fruit manufacturers.

Address: 2743 Keller Road, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

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Plan a Trip to Owensboro

Indeed, Owensboro, Kentucky, is a wonderful, friendly, charming, and exciting city that welcomes visitors. You will find so many inspiring, fun, exciting activities and fantastic historical things to discover in the city, like the things mentioned above and many more.

You have nothing to worry about, as you can commence with the plans on your tour to this amazing city in the United States. Owensboro aims at making its community a welcoming and pleasurable place for both its residents and visitors.