Elizabethtown, also known as Etown among locals, is a city in Kentucky and the birthplace of bourbon as well as home to the iconic Fort Knox. Travelers who come to Elizabethtown get to discover its history and museums, arts and entertainment, as well as the city’s nightlife, the downtown area, and the many shopping choices. Those who want to experience the city for a little longer can stay in one of the top Airbnb vacation rentals in Elizabethtown. Also, if you are planning to visit with your furry companion in tow, you can book rooms in one of the pet-friendly hotels. From horseback riding with the Wild Rose Equestrian Center and wandering the city’s many parks and green spaces to bourbon tasting and shopping in Towne Mall, you can have it all here. Scroll down to learn more about the best things to do in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
1. Visit the genealogical library at Brown-Pusey House
Brown-Pusey House is a stunning Georgian mansion that today hosts a history museum and a genealogy library. The house was built in 1825 by John Y. Hill, and it served many purposes throughout the years, until 1923, when doctors Robert Brown Pusey and William Allen gave it to Elizabethtown. Today, visitors can wander around the well-maintained garden and explore Pusey Room Museum, a genealogical library.
Address: 128 N Main, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Brown-Pusey House
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
2. Walk your dog in Etown Dog Park
The vast Freeman Lake Park that spreads all around Freeman Lake includes many attractions, from trails to water sports, but also a dog-friendly park – Etown Dog Park. Here, visitors can bring their furry babies, and let them run around without a worry. The park is perfect for dogs to get some exercise and enjoy time outdoors, and it comes equipped with benches and a water source.
Etown Dog Park
Address: Blue Heron Way, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
3. Cool off at the American Legion Water Park
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Situated within the picturesque American Legion Park, this water park offers an array of attractions to beat the summer heat. Visitors can make a splash on thrilling water slides, including the exhilarating Cyclone and the twisting Tornado, providing heart-pounding excitement for adventure enthusiasts. For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the lazy river and the large wave pool offer relaxing options to soak up the sun. The park also boasts a designated kiddie area with gentle water features, ensuring safe and enjoyable fun for the little ones.
With its well-maintained facilities, friendly staff, and an atmosphere of summer joy, American Legion Water Park in Elizabethtown stands as a top-tier destination to create cherished memories and cool off during hot Kentucky summers.
American Legion Water Park
Address: 801 N Miles St, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, United States
Website: American Legion Water Park
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4. Go fishing for Rainbow Trout at Freeman Lake Park
Open from early in the morning to sunset, Freeman Lake Park spreads along the shores of Freeman Lake, a 170-acre (69-hectare) lake. The dog-friendly park is sprinkled with walking trails and picnic areas, making it the perfect spot for evening relaxation. Sports enthusiasts can play sand volleyball, pickleball, and tennis in the park, as there are several courts available. With the lake right in the heart of the park, water activities opportunities are plentiful, from boating to paddleboarding and kayaking. The lake is great for fishing Large Mouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout, and Bluegill.
Freeman Lake Park
Address: 212 Freeman Lake Park Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Freeman Lake Park
Opening hours: 7am - sunset (daily)
5. Play like a pro athlete at Elizabethtown Sports Park
Thanks to Absolute Innovations, INC. the ABI Sports Turf Company that provided the park with a great aerial photo!Posted by Elizabethtown Sports Park on Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Whether you’re a pro athlete or a sports rookie looking to perfect your skills, Elizabethtown Sports Park is a great place to check out while in Etown. Home to three baseball and softball fields, one field with seating as well as 12 soccer and field hockey turf fields, there’s plenty of space for playing. You’ll see big leagues playing here, but there are also athletes looking to perfect their skills in a certain sport or just do some workout outdoors.
Elizabethtown Sports Park
Address: 1401 West Park Road #3082, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Elizabethtown Sports Park
Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri: 8am - 4:30pm
6. Visit the Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Wall in Elizabethtown Nature Park
Elizabethtown Nature Park is a beautiful natural preserve that spreads over 104 acres (42 hectares). The park is home to great walking trails and the Freeman Creek, but what sets it apart is the Hardin County Veterans Tribute, with a setting shaped in the form of a star, with bronze sculpture that honors the five branches of the civil and military service – the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The Veterans Memorial pays tribute to all those who fought to defend the country, and it’s a great way to get in touch with a piece of national history.
Elizabethtown Nature Park, however, goes beyond lush greenery and walking trails, as it also narrates a page of American history. In 2011, a project to bring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall from Washington to Elizabethtown was approved, and this is how The Wall project began. Today, the wall sits in Elizabethtown Nature Park and it is 80 percent to scale with the original one. It was built in 40 days and includes over 58,000 names of brave heroes.
Elizabethtown Nature Park
Address: 1900 Ring Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Opening hours: 7am - 6:30pm (daily)
Address: 1850 Ring Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Vietnam Wall
7. Check out vintage cars at Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum
This contemporary museum on Dixie Highway in Elizabethtown offers an interesting take on history through its collections of automobiles dating back to the early 1900s. The vintage and antique cars were built between 1900 and 1960. Some of the most iconic include a 1970 Cobra Torino SCJ, a 1921 Dodge Bradesh model, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 350 SS Hardtop, a 1956 Thunderbird, a 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer, and many, many more. Whether you’re a car aficionado or not, this car collection is worth seeing, as it is a historical gem.
Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum
Address: 1080 N Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
8. Discover local memorabilia at Hardin County History Museum
One of the places that tell Hardin County’s history best is the Hardin County History Museum. Home to expansive collections of artifacts, exhibits, and events, the museum features stories of the region dating back to the 1700s. Here, you’ll find both permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as events, tours, and speakers. The museum is free to visit, and there is also a disability parking lot with easy access behind the museum.
Hardin County History Museum
Address: 201 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Hardin County History Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
9. Take the kids for a splash at American Legion Park
American Legion Park is the place to go on hot summer days when you’re looking for a place to cool off and relax. The park features a community pool and a Funtopia playground where kids will have a blast, a nine-hole golf course and four tennis courts for adults to play too. The playground and pool area include two water slides, a lazy river, a pool house as well as a splash pad and a rock-climbing wall.
American Legion Park
Address: 899 N Miles St, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: American Legion Park
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 6pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm
Price: 6 USD
10. Trek the Buffalo Lake Walking Trail
The two-mile (three-kilometer) Buffalo Lake Walking Trail is one of the best walks you can take while in Elizabethtown. The trail that circles Buffalo Lake has been named a Wildlife Preserve, and for a good reason – the scenery you’ll get to see along the way is utterly magnificent. Enjoy your walk while listening to birds singing, and as you gaze at rock formations, hills, creek-side vegetation, and native wildflowers, trees, and shrubs.
Buffalo Lake Walking Trail
Address: Greenspace, Inc. PO Box 550 0550, Elizabethtown, KY 42702
Website: Buffalo Lake Walking Trail
11. Discover Etown's basketball legacy at Ky High School Basketball Hall of Fame
This is a rendering of the future home of the KHSBHF in Elizabethtown. The old church building is currently under construction.Posted by Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday, 4 January 2016
Located on Dixie Avenue, Ky High School Basketball Hall of Fame is where people go to explore the region’s basketball legacy. The Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring approximately 100 former players and coaches of Kentucky High School Basketball through a collection of memorabilia. The exhibition not only tells stories of success, but determination, hard work, and teamwork values. It’s an impressive visit, especially if you’re into the sport, or are looking to dig deeper into the local history.
Ky High School Basketball Hall of Fame
Address: 212 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Wed)
Price: 6 USD
12. Catch a movie at The Historic State Theater Complex
When walking through downtown Elizabethtown, Kentucky, one building will undoubtedly stand out – The Historic State Theater. Originally built in 1942 in the art-deco style, the building has been completely restored and modernized, while still keeping its original style. It reopened its doors to the public in 2009 and won the Historic Preservation award in 2011. Today, The State Theater hosts a variety of shows, events, and movies, and remains one of the few authentic examples of art deco architecture in the region.
The Historic State Theater Complex
Address: 209 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: The Historic State Theater Complex
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
13. Shop for antiques at Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall
Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall is an excellent choice if you’re into antiques and collectibles, or you are looking to buy some souvenirs to take home. The flea market on Dixie Highway features a variety of items, from furniture and dishware to fishing gear, holiday decorations, clothing, and lots of toys. The store in Etown is part of a family-owned chain of 18 retails stores spread throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. If you take your time to look through all the items carefully, you never know what you might find, whether it’s valuable vintage items or all kinds of oddities.
Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall
Address: 1111 N Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 8pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm
14. Have a craft brew at Flywheel Brewing
One of the ways to truly immerse yourself in the town’s history and live like a local is by trying different local products, and that includes a stop at the Flying Wheel Brewing for their craft brews. The team behind the brewery not only values good beer, but also the community, and they have created this place to offer locals and visitors alike a relaxing meeting space. All beer is locally brewed and includes porters, IPAs, blonde ales, and many more.
Address: 218 S Mulberry St Suite 103, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Flywheel Brewing
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4pm - 10pm; Fri: 4pm - 12am; Sat: 12pm - 12am
15. Go horseback riding at Wild Rose Equestrian Center
No matter whether you’re a rookie or a pro, when it comes to horseback riding, if you’ve been thinking of trying to ride for a while now, you’re looking to perfect your skills, or just love horses, check out Wild Rose Equestrian Center in Elizabethtown. They offer a variety of services including riding lessons, trail rides, boarding, and more. You’ll learn to feel confident around horses, perfect your skills, and master traits like discipline, respect, balance, and control. These are all key to a good foundation when it comes to immersing yourself in the equestrian universe. Riders of all ages and skill levels can join lessons of different lengths and complexity.
Wild Rose Equestrian Center
Address: 589 Franklin Ln, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Wild Rose Equestrian Center
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 8pm; Sat: 8am - 5pm; Sun: 9am - 5pm
16. Enjoy a shopping session at Towne Mall
If you’d like to add shopping in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to your travel itinerary, head over to Towne Mall, where you’ll find a variety of services like shopping, dining, and entertainment. Some of the department stores you’ll find here include JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, Belk, Sears, and Finish Line, but also children’s and men’s apparel, beauty and cosmetics, electronics, and general apparel stores.
Address: 1704 N Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Towne Mall
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 12:30pm - 5:30pm
17. Savor comfort food at Back Home Restaurant
Dine at a local restaurant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to discover the local cuisine. Back Home Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant that serves comfort food and is located in a 1870s house. Linda and Tommy Fulkerson started selling antiques and crafts 30 years ago and slowly expanded to having a restaurant too, and cooking and serving the best family recipes. Their menu includes appetizers like fried green tomatoes and fried pickle spears, fresh salads, soups, burgers, and sandwiches. They also serve homemade entrees and sides like Poppy’s Meatloaf, which is based on a family recipe, Honey Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and Country Fried Steak. Make sure to ask for the specials and try their homemade cobbler while there.
Back Home Restaurant
Address: 251 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Back Home Restaurant
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 9pm; Sun - Mon: 11am - 3pm
18. Taste fine bourbon at Bourbon Barrel Tavern
Elizabethtown is the birthplace of bourbon, so it wouldn’t be a complete trip without trying some of the local spirits. Check out the Bourbon Barrel Tavern downtown, and prepare to be impressed as they have over 400 bourbons and around 30 craft beers, not to mention a great selection of wines too. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is live music night, and Mondays are open mic nights. The bar has great music and knowledgeable bartenders who are ready to help you decide on what to drink.
Bourbon Barrel Tavern
Address: 110 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Bourbon Barrel Tavern
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 4pm - 11pm; Thu - Sat: 4pm - 12am
19. Have a fun night bowling at Dix-E-Town Lanes
Take the whole family out for a fun night bowling at Dix-E-Town Lanes. The family-owned venue has been recently renovated, and it now hosts a bowling pro shop, party and meeting rooms, as well as a video game area. They serve pizza and burgers, host bowling leagues, and are ideal for group outings, birthday parties, or just a fun evening with friends and family.
Address: 4547 N Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Dix-E-Town Lanes
Opening hours: Mon - Tue & Thu: 11am - 10pm; Wed: 1pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
20. Catch a movie at Crowne Pointe Theater
Head over to Crowne Pointe Theater and enjoy the newest releases and blockbusters, as well as some of the all-time classics. The cinema includes nine screens, two 3D screens, self-service ticketing, and comfortable, leather recliners, to make your movie-watching experience as pleasant as possible. Some of the classics that have played here include The Polar Express, Back to the Future, and Gone with the Wind.
Crowne Pointe Theater
Address: 2908 Dolphin Dr, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Website: Crowne Pointe Theater
Price: From 8 USD
21. Watch a performance at Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center
Another great place to check out for artistic performances and entertainment is Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center. Here, students get a chance to take part in spectacular shows, while the community, as well as people from all over the world, get to enjoy quality performing arts experiences. They promote local artists and host cultural and ethnic events, educational programs, and amazing shows like Hamlet, Sleeping Beauty, or seasonal spectacles.
Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center
Address: 384 W A Jenkins Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Nearby things to do
22. Visit Dinosaur World
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
We are blessed to be able to say qe will reopen tomorrow! We can't wait to see all the paleontologists who missed out...Posted by Dinosaur World, Kentucky on Friday, March 10, 2023
Dinosaur World is a playground that transports visitors back in time to the era of the dinosaurs. This captivating attraction features over 150 life-sized dinosaur replicas nestled in lush, natural surroundings. It’s a thrilling journey through the past, where you can marvel at the sheer size and lifelike appearance of these ancient creatures.
Beyond the awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibits, the park offers various interactive experiences, including a fossil dig, where young paleontologists can uncover ancient treasures. The Dino Gem Excavation lets you pan for gemstones and minerals, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit. With picnic areas and a vast outdoor space, Dinosaur World encourages families to make a day of it, enjoying a memorable adventure surrounded by these magnificent creatures.
Address: 711 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY 42127, United States
Website: Dinosaur World
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)
Make the most of your trip
If you are wondering what is Elizabethtown, Kentucky, known for, you will see by the end of this list that the place is all about bourbon, history, and nature, but it’s also a vibrant community with local talent, arts, and culture, and some of the best hotels for your accommodation needs. Make the most of your trip here with our comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, year-round.
Frequently asked questions about things to do in Elizabethtown
1. Which fun things to do at night can one try when in Elizabethtown?
If you would like to try some of the late-night activities for fun during your stay in Elizabethtown, you can taste fine bourbon at Bourbon Barrel Tavern or have a fun night bowling at Dix-E-Town Lanes.
2. Which shopping spots in Elizabethtown are popular for their merchandise?
If you would like to indulge in retail therapy during a holiday in Elizabethtown, you can shop for antiques at Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall or enjoy a shopping session at Towne Mall.
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