Owensboro is Kentucky’s fourth largest city by population, nestled on the scenic bend of the Ohio River. The city and county population together are 114,752. Inside the city limits, the population is 60,131. Owensboro is the culinary and cultural hub offering a wide variety of delicious locally owned restaurants and a thriving arts community. Depending on the time of year, Owensboro hosts more than 20 annual festivals including the world-famous International Bar-B-Q Festival, ROMP bluegrass music festival, and the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden Daylily Festival. Along with the fun festival, there are unique attractions and special events in Owensboro nearly every week of the year.
As the Bluegrass capital of the world. Owensboro is home to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the world’s only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of the history of the genre that originated in western Kentucky. Music lovers can enjoy several free entertainment options throughout the summer. Most weeks from May through September, bring free live music to downtown on a variety of riverfront stages.
Owensboro was made for family-friendly travel. Named the top playground in the world by Landscape Architects Network, Smothers Park boasts not only its large playground but also a splash park that offers dancing water fountains and a soothing waterfall feature that cascades into the river. You can enjoy a waterfront stroll with picturesque views of the Owensboro Bridge connecting to Indiana across the river. If you and your family enjoy the outdoors, go for a walk through the meticulously maintained gardens at the Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens, or try apple, peach, or strawberry picking at Reid’s Orchard. Preservation Station, one of Owensboro’s top attractions, is a former elementary school turned marketplace, restaurant, and event center. Local retailers sell everything from Amish furniture to country antiques.
After checking out the attractions, you’re sure to work up an appetite. If there’s one type of food that Owensboro is known for, it’s their barbecue. Mutton barbecue was born in Owensboro, and the place to taste it is Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn. Voted the Best Barbecue in Kentucky, Moonlite’s lunch and dinner buffet of endless barbecued meats and traditional sides dishes brings in hungry dinner from all around the world. Other local barbecue favorites include Old Hickory Bar-B-Que and Old South Bar-B-Q. Of course, after you have the famous barbecue, you’ll want to wash it down with Kentucky bourbon. You can see how it’s made and try samples of rye, honey, and straight bourbon at Green River Distilling Co. This is the only distillery in Owensboro that is open to the public. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, The Miller House Restaurant is the go-to for fine dining and you can also make your own bourbon flights. This restaurant also offers western Kentucky’s largest bourbon bar, offering about 600 different bourbons adorn their Wall of Whiskey.
We invite you to visit Owensboro and explore everything it has to offer. For Airport Information, click here.