Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary: Bluegrass, Blues, & BBQ

October 30, 2022
Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Homer's Barbecue, Henderson, KY

Hey, y’all! Are you looking for your next Kentucky adventure? Look no further than experiencing all there is to do, see, and eat in the Commonwealth’s Bluegrass, Blues, & BBQ Region. West of I65 is home to some of my favorite communities in the state, and I know that y’all will feel the same way after visiting. This is the ultimate Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary! 

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary: Bluegrass, Blues, & BBQ Region

Thank you to the Bluegrass, Blues, and BBQ Region for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you to my readers for supporting those that make Notable Kentucky possible.

There are many beautiful towns to experience in Western Kentucky. This itinerary provides suggestions for Henderson, Owensboro, Madisonville, Central City, Greenville, and Union County. These towns/counties are located very close to one another, making the trip especially convenient. 

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary: Dining

You might guess that a region called the Bluegrass, Blues, & BBQ Region boasts some seriously delicious bites. While you’ll find a lot of BBQ – and it’s fantastic – there’s also a lot of other food to experience in the region. I’d love to go back to check out even more restaurants! Please note: Western Kentucky BBQ is vinegar-based, as opposed to the sweet BBQ we are accustomed to in other regions of the state. You’ll find a lot of pulled or chopped pork made from whole pork shoulders or Boston butts in the region. That said, the region is most known for chopped mutton. If you’ve never had it, you must — it’s iconically Western Kentucky! 

Dining: BBQ

Homer’s Barbecue // Henderson // 128 2nd St, Henderson, KY 42420

*Homer’s was one of my favorite stops on this trip. Their meats + sides are fantastic!

Old Hickory // Owensboro // 338 Washington Ave, Owensboro, KY 42301

*Legendary BBQ served in Western KY since 1918. You’ll love the smoked bologna & mutton!

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Old Hickory BBQ Owensboro, KY

Peak Brothers BBQ // Waverly // 6353 US-60, Waverly, KY 42462

*If you’re visiting Union County, there’s no better place for a meal than Peak Brothers! They are known across the region for their BBQ, but they also have great fried fish. Read more about Peak Brothers BBQ here.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Peak Brothers BBQ Waverly, KY

Dining: Upscale

Farmer & Frenchman // Henderson County // 12522 US Hwy 41, Robards, KY 42452

*The Farmer and the Frenchman cuisine is said to be “vineyard-to-table.” Influenced by European wineries and wine-growing regions, the owners were inspired by the “locavore” mentality. Locavores focus on consuming food that is produced within the local region. Their food program (which stands victorious by its lonesome) directly complements the wine program, symbiotically elevating one another. Read more about Farmer & Frenchman here.

The Miller House // Owensboro // 301 E 5th St, Owensboro, KY 42303

*Located in Owensboro’s historic downtown district, the Miller House is a family-owned restaurant that serves traditional food with a southern influence. The restaurant is lodged in a historic home that was built in 1905, and guests have the opportunity to enjoy brunch, lunch, and/or dinner on the property. Read more about the Miller House here.

Dining: Casual

Order a pizza at Stellian’s// Central City // 116 E Broad St, Central City, KY 42330

*If you order one thing at Stellian’s, please make sure that it’s the Stellian’s Special Pizza. The Stellian’s Special weighs eight pounds and not an ounce less. Yes, you read that correctly. This brick oven, Chicago-style pizza is next-level delicious. It features a buttery, delicious crust with a legendary amount of toppings, cheese, and sauce. Please note that the pizza takes longer to bake than a traditional pizza due to size, so keep that in mind. Read more about Stellian’s here.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Stellian's of Central City

The Crowded House // Madisonville // 26 W Center St, Madisonville, KY 42431

*You should expect a traditional gastropub environment when visiting the Crowded House, though the food is anything but ordinary. Be sure to order the fish and chips! Read more about the Crowded House here.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Crowded House, Madisonville, KY

Metzger’s Tavern // Henderson // 1000 Powell St, Henderson, KY 42420

*Metzger’s Tavern is a historic bar, restaurant, and package liquor store in the east side of Henderson, Kentucky. It is the oldest continuously operating tavern in the state of Kentucky. In 2010, Metzger’s Tavern was named one of Huffington Post’s top 25 dive bars in the United States.

Coffee & Sweets at Sip & Spin // Greenville // 115 Main St, Greenville, KY 42345

*Sip and Spin offers their guests a variety of coffee drinks and pastries; additionally, they feature new and used vinyl records, record players, live music, and record-sharing events. Read more about Sip & Spin here.

Farm Girl Gifts & Bake Shop // Corydon // 270 2nd St, Corydon, KY 42406

*Need a coffee or a sweet treat while venturing around the region? Look no further than Farm Girl Gifts & Bake Shop!

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Farm Girl Gifts and Bake Shop

Drink

Brew Bridge // Owensboro // 800 W 2nd St, Owensboro, KY 42301

*Owensboro Brew Bridge began in 2019 with a simple goal: to craft fantastic local beer, involve the community, and give Owensboro a one-of-a-kind destination. With a full bar, restaurant, brewery, live music, events, and the best patio in town — Owensboro Brew Bridge has something for everyone.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Brew Bridge, Owensboro, KY

Metzger’s Tavern // Henderson // 1000 Powell St, Henderson, KY 42420

*Metzger’s Tavern is a historic bar, restaurant, and package liquor store in the east side of Henderson, Kentucky. It is the oldest continuously operating tavern in the state of Kentucky. In 2010, Metzger’s Tavern was named one of Huffington Post’s top 25 dive bars in the United States.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Metzger's Tavern, Henderson, KY

Experiences: What To Do

Tour Green River Distillery // Owensboro // 10 Distillery Rd, Owensboro, KY 42301

*The Green River Distillery, now restored to its former glory, is flowing with Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a glowing, amber example of Kentucky craftsmanship. It’s a rounder, smoother, higher rye bourbon whiskey blend made with corn grown in the same Kentucky countryside and limestone-filtered water that J.W. McCulloch used in his secret recipe, aged at least four years under the same warm Kentucky sun.

Make Candles at MadCity Wicks & Wine // Madisonville // 37 S Main St, Madisonville, KY 42431

*Have you ever wanted to craft the perfect candle — all while sipping a glass of wine? Enjoy an evening at MadCity Wicks & Wine. This was such a fun experience and would be perfect for a small group, a girls’ night out, or an evening with friends! 

Tour the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum // Owensboro // 311 W 2nd St, Owensboro, KY 42301

*Located on the riverfront in downtown Owensboro, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is a state-of-the-art institution that shines a light on the cultural music of Kentucky: bluegrass. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a genre built on the foundations of gospel, jazz, and blues by the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe. Monroe, a Kentucky native from neighboring Ohio County, cultivated bluegrass music as a sound built on rhythm and harmonies. The Hall of Fame tells the story of the greats who played the music, including Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and more and continues the story to present-day leaders in the genre.

Catch a Show at the Glema Mahr Center // Madisonville // 2010 College Dr, Madisonville, KY 42431

*Madisonville Community College’s Glema Mahr Center for the Arts has established a reputation for presenting a wide array of artistic genres on their main stage. Check out their schedule + catch a show!

Visit John James Audubon State Park // Henderson // 3100 US Hwy 41, Henderson, KY 42420

*John James Audubon State Park is located on U. S. Route 41 in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of the Ohio River. Its inspiration is John James Audubon, the ornithologist and naturalist who resided in Henderson from 1810 to 1819 when Henderson was a frontier village

Tour the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum // Central City // 200 N 1st St, Central City, KY 42330

*The Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame is committed to providing the opportunity to view pictures of the past, present, and future of Oval Racing, Drag Racing, Truck/Tractor Pulling, Monster Trucks, Hydroplane/Boat Racing, and Car Show/Hot Rodder participants. In front of the museum is a wonderful gallery with music memorabilia from the region, featuring stars such as the Everly Brothers & John Prime.

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame

Accommodations: Where to Stay

Farmer & Frenchman // Henderson County // 12522 US Hwy 41, Robards, KY 42452

*I mentioned the delicious food at Farmer & the Frenchman above — you can also stay on-site! Read more about the experience here. 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites // Madisonville // 234 Midtown Blvd., Madisonville, KY 42431

Hampton Inn & Suites // Owensboro // 401 W 2nd St, Owensboro, KY 42301

Have any questions while completing your own Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary? Let me know and I am happy to help!

Western Kentucky Roadtrip Itinerary, JC Phelps Kentucky Blogger of Notable KY

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