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4 Car Museums in Kentucky

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Kentucky is famous for bourbon, horse racing, and bluegrass music. But Kentucky is also home to several unique car and automotive museums well worth a visit. The following four should definitely be at the top of your list.

National Corvette Museum

Photo: The News Wheel

Bowling Green is home to the only plant in the world to build the Chevy Corvette. This makes it the perfect location for the National Corvette Museum. The museum features more than 80 Corvettes from different eras, including rare concept models. With rotating exhibits, you’re sure to see something new even if you visit multiple times. We recommend hitting up the Corvette Museum first and then heading to the Bowling Green Assembly plant tour to see Corvettes being built. The National Corvette Museum is open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

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Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum

swope's cars of yesteryear 1957 chevrolet bel air
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air at Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear
Photo: Anthony

Located in Elizabethtown, Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum features a unique collection of classic cars ranging in date from the early 1900s to the swingin’ ’60s. The museum was founded by Bill Swope, a WWII veteran who opened a car dealership in Winchester, Kentucky, after the war, and expanded operations to Elizabethtown. He opened the museum in 1999 after realizing his vintage car collection was large enough to display in a museum setting. Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and offers free admission.

Carriage Museum of America

The Carriage Museum of America is a must-see for residents and visitors to Lexington. The museum is home to several vehicles, including the interestingly named “Pleasure Waggon,” which dates back to 1828. This carriage was used by John Adams Dix, whose resume includes Governor of New York and Ambassador to France. While the vehicles are not currently on display, you can still learn a lot about the history of transportation at the museum and attached research library. The Carriage Museum of America is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-5  p.m.

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Historic RailPark Train Museum

historic railpark train museum kentucky
Photo: David Ellis

While not technically a car museum, the Historic RailPark Train Museum in Bowling Green is still a must-see if you want to learn more about the history of transportation in America. The museum features several permanent exhibits, a traveling exhibit, and several railcars to explore. Visit the museum Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.