Scottsville Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Scottsville, Kentucky? This comprehensive tour guide covers everything from the top attractions to the best places to eat and stay.

Introduction to Scottsville

Scottsville is a charming town located in the Caves and Lakes region of Kentucky in the Southern part of the United States of America. This beautiful town is surrounded by rolling hills and forests, and it is known for its abundant outdoor activities and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or an exciting adventure, Scottsville has something for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Scottsville

If you’re planning a visit to Scottsville, make sure to check out these top attractions:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Allen County Historical Society Museum: Located in a beautifully restored Victorian-era house, this museum displays artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Scottsville’s history.
  • Mulberry Hill Heritage Association Museum: This museum showcases local history through exhibits and artifacts, including a 1920’s soda fountain and vintage displays.
  • Marker’s Mark Distillery: Just a short drive from Scottsville, this famous distillery offers tours and tastings of its award-winning bourbon.

Natural Attractions of Scottsville: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Barren River Lake State Resort Park: This park features a lake, beach, and golf course, and it offers many outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.
  • Red River Gorge Geological Area: Located just over an hour from Scottsville, this stunning geological area is known for its scenic beauty, hiking trails, rock climbing, and camping.
  • Mammoth Cave National Park: About 45 minutes north of Scottsville, this park is home to the world’s longest known cave system, and offers tours and hiking trails for visitors.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Scottsville

If you’re looking for some great hiking or biking routes in Scottsville, check out these options:

  • The Park Loop Trail: Located in Barren River Lake State Resort Park, this 9-mile trail offers scenic views of the lake and forest.
  • North Overlook Trail: This 3-mile trail in Mammoth Cave National Park offers stunning views of the Green River Valley.
  • Cromwell Trail: Located about 30 minutes from Scottsville, this 4-mile hiking and biking trail follows an old railroad bed through the forest.

Best Things to Do in Scottsville: Activities and Tours

Here are some of the best things to do in Scottsville:

  • Kentucky Downs: This horse racing track and casino offers live horse racing events and gaming options.
  • Scottsville Antique Mall: If you’re a collector or just enjoy browsing antiques, this mall has a wide selection of items to explore.
  • Kayaking on the Barren River: Rent a kayak and experience the beautiful Barren River up close.

Week-Long Itinerary for Scottsville

Day 1: Visit the Allen County Historical Society Museum and take a tour of the local bourbon distillery.

Day 2: Explore Barren River Lake State Resort Park, and take a hike on the Park Loop Trail.

Day 3: Go kayaking on the Barren River, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the park’s many scenic spots.

Day 4: Visit Mammoth Cave National Park and take a tour of the caves.

Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely day in Scottsville by browsing the antique mall, visiting a local farmer’s market, or exploring the town’s local shops and restaurants.

Day 6: Take a day trip to Red River Gorge for hiking and rock climbing.

Day 7: On your last day, enjoy a round of golf at the Barren River Lake State Resort Park golf course, followed by a relaxing afternoon on the beach.

Food and Drink Scene of Scottsville

Scottsville has a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Here are a few must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Burgoo: This hearty stew is made with a combination of meats and vegetables and is a Kentucky classic.
  • Hot Brown: A signature dish of the state, the Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich smothered in Mornay sauce.
  • Fried Chicken: Kentucky is known for its fried chicken, and Scottsville has several restaurants that serve up this Southern favorite.

Local Beverages

  • Bourbon: Kentucky is known for its bourbon, and several distilleries offer tours and tastings in and around Scottsville.
  • Ale-8-One: This iconic Kentucky soft drink is a ginger and citrus-flavored soda that’s been produced since the 1920s.

Where to Stay in Scottsville: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Scottsville has several options for accommodations, whether you’re looking for luxury or budget-friendly options:

  • Barren River Lake State Resort Park Lodge: This lodge offers lakefront rooms, a restaurant, and access to the park’s many amenities.
  • Scottsville Guesthouse: This charming guesthouse is located in the heart of downtown Scottsville and offers comfortable accommodations and friendly service.
  • Budget Inn: This budget-friendly motel offers basic amenities and an affordable place to stay in Scottsville.

What to Buy in Scottsville: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs or local products to bring home, check out these options:

  • Kentucky Bourbon: Take home a bottle of Kentucky’s famous bourbon.
  • Hot Brown Mix: This mix allows you to recreate the iconic dish at home.
  • Ale-8-One Memorabilia: Pick up a t-shirt or other souvenir featuring the iconic Kentucky soft drink.

Local Culture and Customs of Scottsville

Kentucky has a rich cultural heritage, and Scottsville is no exception. The town is known for its Southern hospitality, and visitors can expect to be greeted with warmth and friendliness.

Best Time to Visit Scottsville

The best time to visit Scottsville is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor activities. Summer can be hot and humid, while winter can be chilly and snowy.

Do’s and Don’ts of Scottsville

Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Scottsville:


  • Sample Kentucky bourbon and local cuisine.
  • Take advantage of the many outdoor activities the region has to offer.
  • Be friendly and respectful to locals.


  • Forget to bring sunscreen and insect repellent for outdoor activities.
  • Leave valuables visible in your car.

Safety and Health

Safety in Scottsville

For the most part, Scottsville is a safe place to visit, and violent crime is rare. However, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution and keep your valuables with you at all times.

Health in Scottsville

Scottsville has a hospital and several medical clinics for any medical needs that may arise during your visit.

Getting to Scottsville: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Scottsville

  • Nashville International Airport: Located about 90 minutes from Scottsville, this airport offers a wide selection of flights and rental car options.

Bus Stations Near Scottsville

  • Greyhound Bus Lines: This bus station is located in nearby Bowling Green, about 30 minutes from Scottsville.

Other Options

If you prefer to drive, Scottsville can be easily reached from several major highways, including I-65 and I-24.

How to Get Around in Scottsville

The best way to get around Scottsville is by car. Rental cars are available at Nashville International Airport and in nearby Bowling Green. Taxis and ride-sharing apps are also available in the area.

Where to Go Next from Scottsville: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re interested in exploring more of Kentucky and the surrounding region, here are some nearby destinations to consider:

  • Mammoth Cave National Park: Just a short drive from Scottsville, this park is home to the world’s longest known cave system.
  • Bowling Green: This nearby city is home to the National Corvette Museum, a craft brewery, and a vibrant downtown area.
  • Nashville: Known as the Music City, Nashville offers a wide variety of music venues, museums, and cultural attractions, all just a short drive from Scottsville.


Scottsville, Kentucky is a charming town with a rich history and beautiful surroundings. From outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone in Scottsville. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, this town is the perfect destination.