Bowling Green, the third-largest city in Kentucky, is best known known for Corvettes, caves and cakes—after all, it is the birthplace of Duncan Hines, one of the original road warriors who wrote a column and numerous books about where to eat when traveling. All that is well and good, but Bowling Green is a worthy destination for other reasons as well.
Wait! We know what you’re thinking: “Summer in Kentucky? Are you crazy?” But as my friend Mallory Furry likes to say, “Don’t let a Southern summer be a bummer.”
And luckily Bowling Green offers many ways to beat the heat and that doesn’t mean staying indoors all the time with air conditioning set on Arctic High.
So slather on some sunscreen and grab your brimmed hat as here’s a roundup of favorite ways to keep it cool when the weather starts to heat up:
Exploring Down Under
Natural caves maintain a steady temperature, making them a great activity for a warm summer’s day. Mammoth Cave National Park is the world’s longest cave system and is half an hour outside of Bowling Green. Advanced tour reservations are strongly recommended in the summer months and you can enjoy a refreshing 54-degree stroll through the cave system while learning about the science and history of Mammoth Cave.
A more local option is Lost River Cave, which offers the only natural underground boat cave tours in Kentucky. After cooling off in the 57-degree cave during the tour, you can explore Lost River’s nature trails and butterfly habitat, or try your hand at geocaching.
Take Me Out to a Ballgame (Minor league-style that is)
Contrary to the name, a Hot Rods minor league game offers plenty of options for fans to stay cool! Things may heat up on the field, but the baseball-themed splash pad is always a home run for a kiddo cool-down. If you bring a furry friend for Turbo Tailwaggin’ Tuesdays, there will be plenty of refreshing water bowls around the stadium for Fido while you cheer on the Hot Rods.
Admission to Beech Bend Amusement Park also grants you access to their water park, Splash Lagoon. Whether you want to zip down a water slide, catch some waves in the wave pool or just float down the lazy river, Splash Lagoon is a great way to keep cool on a summer day.
Enjoying Ice Cream and a Moovie
The logical and ultimate cool-down solution on a warm day is ice cream, of course. Head over to Chaney’s Dairy Barn, where you can choose from dozens of creamy and delicious ice cream flavors. Unlike your standard ice cream, in which the butterfat content is 14%, Chaney’s ice cream uses 16% butterfat … making it ultra-creamy, rich, and (in our not-so-humble-opinion) better than the competition. On Friday and Saturdays starting in May, they host Ice Cream and a Moovie nights. Enjoy the cozy Kentucky night with a family-favorite movie on the big screen and a drippy, yet thoroughly enjoyable, ice cream cone in your hand. It’s the ultimate summer memory maker!
Made with award-winning angus beef, Bradshaw’s burgersare now available in more than 5,000 retail stores nationwide
Thackerville, Oklahoma: Just in time for National Burger Month in May, NFL legend and iconic entertainer, Terry Bradshaw, has announced that his Bradshaw Ranch Thick N Juicy™ burgers are now available in more than 5,000 retail store locations throughout the nation. The burgers debuted last year.
“These patties are the perfect addition to your cookout or barbeque,” Bradshaw said. “The angus beef patties are a mile thick and so juicy you’ll need extra napkins and a big appetite.”
Bradshaw Ranch Thick N Juicy burgers are made with award-winning angus beef, available in one-third and quarter-pound patties. They come in two flavors made for burger lovers: cheddar cheese and bacon; and cheddar cheese, garlic and butter.
The burger blends have been crafted by Bradshaw and his son-in-law, acclaimed chef, Noah Hester, who can be seen on the family’s hit E! show, “The Bradshaw Bunch.” The Bradshaw family gathers regularly for backyard barbecues and Bradshaw Ranch Thick N Juicy™ were inspired by the families love of great burgers.
The only NFL player with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Terry Bradshaw continues to entertain fans far and beyond his legendary professional football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, two-time Super Bowl MVP and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee joined “FOX NFL Sunday” as co-host and analyst with the show’s inception in 1994. In addition to his long-term role as a multi-Emmy and award-winning broadcaster, Bradshaw has starred in movie and television hits including the box office smash comedy romance, “Failure to Launch,” “Father Figures,” “Better Late than Never,” and “The Masked Singer.”
Bradshaw is also a gospel and country singer, motivational speaker, New York Times best-selling author and breeder of championship quarter horses. In addition to starring in his own stage production, “The Terry Bradshaw Show,” the iconic football star and entertainer also stars along with his family in E!’s new hit show, “The Bradshaw Bunch,” which follows the adventures of his family.
Don’t take it from us, read Bourbon Great Fred Minnick’s Review of Bradshaw Bourbon. Minnick, the Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Editor-In-Chief of Bourbon+, and former lead American whiskey reviewer for whiskey publication Whiskey Advocate, is not only accomplished author, he is the current Bourbon Authority for the Kentucky Derby Museum. Minnick’s resume also includes judging the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards. With all of these accolades, Minnick is considered the foremost authority on all things bourbon in today’s booming bourbon world.
And guess what. He like Bradshaw Bourbon. A whole lot. Bradshaw Bourbon is proud to announce the honor of being hand-selected by Fred Minnick for a blind taste test review. Bradshaw Bourbon finished 2nd in the review alongside the fierce competition of strong brands such as Eagle Rare, Old Forester, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Daviess County, and others.
The Terry Bradshaw
1-2 inch ice cube
Place ice cube into a rocks glass
Pour 1/3 cup Bradshaw Bourbon over ice
The following recipes are by Terry Bradshaw and Chef Noah Hester
2lb ground beef
½ lb. bacon
2 bell peppers
1 white onion
2 cans each black beans, red beans, navy beans
2 cups Bradshaw bourbon bbq sauce or your favorite bbq sauce
1 large foil pan
Pre heat oven or smoker to 350 degrees. Brown ground meat and drain off fat. Open rinse and drain half the beans and keep half with the juice. Mix all ingredients together in a large foil pan, cover with foil and bake or smoke for 40 minutes, uncover and cook for another 30 minutes.
Bradshaw Bourbon BBQ Sauce
1 gallon ketchup
2 cups rice vinegar
1 # brown sugar
2 cups Bradshaw bourbon
1 large onion chopped
1.5 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. Cayenne
1/2 tbsp. Ground clove
1 tbsp. Smoked paprika
3 bay leaves
Sweat onions until translucent, add bourbon and burn off alcohol. Add brown sugar with reaming spices and vinegar. Cook down by a 3rd about 7 minutes on medium-high heat. Add ketchup and salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool and blend.
Bradshaw Hot wings
1-2 pounds chicken wings
1 cup Chef Noah’s Hawaiian chili pepper water
½ cup Bradshaw Bourbon BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Season wings with salt and pepper and bake (400 degrees) or fry (375 degrees) your hot wings until 165 degree internal temperature.
Mix the BBQ sauce, chili water and melted butter together in a large bowl and toss wings in the sauce, serve with ranch and celery spears.
Bradshaw Bourbon Patty
1 thick and juicy patty per person. I recommend the bacon cheddar
Sliced smoked cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
Salt and pepper
Heat grill or pan to 350 degrees. Season frozen Bradshaw ranch thick and juicy patty with salt and pepper.
Place patty directly from freezer on to pan or gill. In a separate sauté pan cook bacon to desired crispiness, remove bacon when done, do not discard bacon fat, cook sliced white onion with salt and pepper in the same pan as the bacon using the fat as oil. Cook onions until translucent.
Flip burgers at 5 minutes, place onions directly on top of the patty and then add your sliced cheese to cover onions. Slather two pieces of sourdough bread with mayo (one side only). Place mayo side down on your sauté pan, this will create a nice golden crispy toast, now add another slice of cheese to one side of the bread as if you were making a grilled cheese sandwich.
Once cheese is melted and burger is cooked to 165 degrees, about 4 minutes after flipping. Place bacon on the side of bread with cheese on it, Place patty on top of the bacon, top with your other piece of bread. Cut in half and serve with dill pickles and a side of BBQ sauce for dipping.
Destinations in Three Neighboring States Team up to Create a Baseball-Centric Road Trip
Now that Major League Baseball has finally started, a trio of baseball-oriented destinations in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland have organized the ultimate road trip for travelers who are ready to get out of their dugouts this year for a long-overdue “away game,” whether their roster includes kids, a significant other, or fun friends.
COVID threw the travel industry a curveball over the past two years, but an idea that came out of left field during a conversation among a team of tourism officials eager to bring visitors back to their destinations has resulted in a collaboration that might just be a home run.
This Is Cooperstown, the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, and Visit Harford have teamed up to cross-promote baseball-themed tourism experiences in all three regions. Each has covered its bases by creating a list of baseball-centric attractions, sites and restaurants that visitors can find on all three organizations’ websites.
Travelers can move north or south, and there’s a strong argument for each end. The Susquehanna River begins in Cooperstown, which would also be a likely starting point for visitors coming from New England or New York. But it could be just as satisfying to begin in Maryland – where legendary players were born – and move northward, concluding where only a fraction of the best players in the game also end up … at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Here’s a sample lineup, following the route south along the Susquehanna River:
Step up to bat in Cooperstown, New York, nicknamed “America’s Most Perfect Village.” It’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, historic Doubleday Field, three bat companies (fun coincidence: the trees found near Cooperstown feature wood that’s considered perfect for bats), several memorabilia shops, baseball-themed breweries and distilleries, and a league of restaurants that serve incredible hot dogs.
On deck is Binghamton, New York, where travelers can catch a Rumble Ponies Minor League game before they choose to go one of two directions. The Rumble Ponies are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
Road trippers can then run for nearby Corning, New York, where a famous glass factory crafts fascinating glass bats. Or they can instead head to a different sort of factory — Factoryville, Pennsylvania – which is the hometown of Christy Mathewson, one of the first five baseball players ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. Then it’s on to Scranton for a RailRiders Minor League game. If they time it right, visitors can take a historic trolley out to the ballpark to see the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees play.
Whether they’re coming from Corning or Scranton, third base is Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home to both the Little League Hall of Fame, which honors the world’s largest organized youth sports program, and the Crosscutters, a collegiate summer baseball team that plays at the second oldest Minor League ballpark in the country.
Home plate on this direction of the trip is Harford County, a small destination with significant baseball history. It’s where both Ernest Burke, a record-holder in the Negro Leagues, and the members of the legendary Ripken family were all born. Burke is honored with a statue in his hometown of Havre de Grace, which is where the Susquehanna River ends as it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Twenty minutes away, you’ll arrive in the town of Aberdeen and find The Ripken Experience, where Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother Bill (both former Baltimore Orioles) teach young ballplayers to dream big as they play in mini stadiums that are replicas of the most iconic ballfields in America. You can end the adventure by watching the team Cal Jr. owns, the IronBirds, a High-A affiliate of the Orioles, take to the field.
There’s no home-field advantage on this tour; each destination is prepared to support its neighbors with the intention that everyone involved will score a hit. The regions are ready to welcome visitors, and those visitors – from rookies to the most seasoned sluggers – will find museums, memorials, restaurants, hotels and small businesses that offer historic insights into baseball while also celebrating the fun and nostalgia of America’s pastime.
Along the way, they can watch games being played by kids, college students and Minor Leaguers aspiring to make it to The Show. The routes outlined on the tourism websites indicate travel distances and the suggested amount of time for visiting each attraction, though the destinations welcome anyone who’d like to stay for extra innings and spend a little more time discovering what makes each place special.
For more information about the Round-Tripper, a baseball-themed road trip through three states, you can visit the websites of each of the collaborative destinations that assembled the tour. Here’s a link that takes you from Cooperstown south, and here’s the one that begins in Harford County, Maryland and heads north.