• By Mary P
  • Travel Tips
  • 11.05.2016

Over-the top experiences await you in Owensboro. There are places to explore and plenty to do in this Bluegrass Kentucky city. With a Central Midwest location, it's in the seat of festivals, exploratory opportunities, outdoor fun, indoor delights, cultural excursions for the heart and soul, and more.

Things to see

Chalk Festival

If you venture to Owensboro during early September, you can partake of the East Bridge Arts & Musical Festival. At this celebratory event, where over 50 musicians share their skills while artists use the masterful stroke of the chalk to turn the streets into a work of visual art, everyone hopes the images will last. But then that's what cameras are for, because eventually it will rain and wash away all those colorful renderings.

During the event, many walk the bridge, a time-honored tradition that resumes this year. Studio Slant, an art gallery made and co-owned by art-educated sisters, serves as the sponsor of this event. It's worth checking out the sister's passion, as the gallery is also a boutique laden with gifts made by artists.

Gourmet food is served during the event.

International Bluegrass Music Museum

Nowhere else in the world will you find a placed more devoted to protecting and safekeeping the artifacts, collections, history and overall richness of Bluegrass music. At this music museum, music lovers of all genres will come to appreciate the tradition of this music, and the trailblazers who popularized this Kentucky-born style. This museum is a living repository, often offering its edifice for art projects that support better appreciation for art genres.

Misty Meadow Winery

Grapes are only one option for making wine. At Misty Meadow, they use fresh fruits and berries to create their sweet, taste bud-pleasing, colorful wines. They take care to balance each mixture when they hand-batch their wines. Drink some there, and/or grab bottles to go. You'll have to wait a while before getting your hands on grape-based wines though, because they are slated for later.

Things to do

Area Parish Picnics/Signature BBQ

Sink your teeth into some succulent BBQ in the BBQ Capital of America. They do something special to pit fare in this city, that its parishes have a rotating schedule of picnic locations, where they open up their doors so that people can have some finger-licking fun. Can anyone say “hickory smoked?”


There may be ghost in them there buildings. At least that's the legend behind the Haunts of Owensboro, where, in one and a half hour you can check out the buildings rumored to be haunted. Apparently these are weekend ghosts, for the tours only take place on Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning at the Cream Coffee House on 109 East 2nd Street. Be prepared for plenty of ghost stories and keep your eyes peeled for ghost sightings during the tour.

Unique Eateries

For food that you can't get anywhere else, two eateries stand out: The Big Dipper at 2820 West Parrish Avenue and Bee Bops at 122-A West 2nd Street. The Big Dipper was established in 1954 and features fries, shakes and old-timey drive-in hamburgers, along with ice cream goodies. Bee Bops has daily specials and serves 1950's style diner fare. Check out the erasable menu boards to see what's cooking.


Traditions run deep in Owensboro. It's rich in historical importance, and a mecca for music lovers of various genres. Owensboro also features a lot of claims to fame, including some old-time restaurants. Tourists are all the time finding out things they didn't know until they made the trip to Owenboro. After a visit there, you will never forget that this city is on the map.