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Kentucky’s Year of Food: Fresh Cobbler and Fine Cheese

True to its name, the Caves, Lakes and Corvettes region of south-central Kentucky is riddled with winding cave systems and tranquil lakeside retreats. Travelers can trek into seven public cave attractions that each feature their own spectacular qualities. Barren River Lake State Resort Park is one of the most popular boating and fishing destinations in the area, accommodating guests with spacious cabins, a 51-room lodge and a 146-seat restaurant, all overlooking the stunning 10,000-acre lake. In Bowling Green, Kentucky’s third-largest city, groups can take advantage of several unique attractions, such as the National Corvette Museum and the state’s only underground riverboat tour.

Signature Flavors: Surrounded by sweeping farmland, the Caves, Lakes and Corvettes region is known for homegrown produce and products, from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheeses to peach or blackberry cobblers prepared with fresh fruit from Jackson’s Orchard. Chaney’s Dairy Farm, just outside Bowling Green, invites visitors to tour the scenic property and sample over two dozen flavors of creamy homemade ice cream. Another trademark of the region is Monroe County-style barbecue, in which thin slices of pork shoulder are cooked over hickory coals and doused in a Worcestershire-based sauce called mutton dip.

Great Group Restaurants: Housed in one of Bowling Green’s most historic buildings, Steamers Restaurant is a chic, multilevel seafood restaurant that emphasizes fresh hook-to-plate cuisine. 440 Main provides an elegant dining venue in downtown’s picturesque Fountain Square, and Home Café and Marketplace offers a more casual setting with savory hot sandwiches like corned beef Reuben and grilled pimento cheese.

Must-See Attractions: Near Cave City, Mammoth Cave National Park contains the longest known cave system in the world, with more than 400 miles of tunnels. At Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, groups can take a subterranean boat ride through a seven-mile-long cave that once served as a Civil War hideout and, later, a 1940s nightclub. Bowling Green is also home to the National Corvette Museum, which showcases over 80 models of Corvettes ranging from 1950s classics to sleek, modern designs. In Horse Cave, outdoor enthusiasts can visit sites like Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo as well as the Hidden River Cave and the American Cave Museum.