This post was most recently updated on May 17th, 2023
The National Corvette Museum is a must-see for any Corvette enthusiast. Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the museum is home to over 80 Corvettes, including some of the most iconic models ever made. If you drool over Corvettes, this will be your Corvette lovers’ heaven! With its unique yellow Skydome and sprawling campus, you can’t miss it if you’re driving along I-65. If you’re like we were, our curiosity, more than anything, lured us in. We recently visited while we were in Bowling Green, KY to see Mammoth Caves National Park. We decided this would be a great side trip for our family.
So, what’s at the National Corvette Museum? Here is a look at some of the exhibits you can see at this Corvette lovers’ heaven…
The Corvette Timeline
This exhibit traces the history of the Corvette from its humble beginnings in 1953 to the modern-day C8. You’ll see everything from the first Corvette, the 1953 “Solid Gold Chevy,” to the latest models, like the 2023 Corvette Z06.
The timeline includes a Nostalgia Gallery, with a strollable Main Street and true-to-life exhibits of businesses as they would look when the first Corvettes rolled off the production line. Personally, this was my favorite exhibit at the National Corvette Museum. I love all things vintage, so even though I’m not necessarily a “car buff”, I was very interested in this area.
The Corvette Gallery
This exhibit features a rotating selection of Corvettes, from rare prototypes to one-of-a-kind show cars. You’ll also find a number of Corvette-related artifacts, like racing trophies and promotional materials.
Our grandchildren really enjoyed seeing the Batmobile Corvette , as well as several very stylish and colorful Corvette models.
The Corvette Motorsports Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame exhibit in the Skydome honors the men and women who have made significant contributions to Corvette racing. You’ll see cars, trophies, and other memorabilia from some of the most famous Corvette races in history. The Hall of Fame also confers official recognition of the most influential individuals in the history of the Corvette and honors their achievements.
Also in the Skydome, is a viewing window in the floor — where you can see what’s left of the massive sinkhole that “devoured” 8 valuable Corvettes in 2014.
The Virtual Cave Tour and Sinkhole Exhibit
The Virtual Cave Tour includes a 360-degree interactive tour of the 30-ft deep sinkhole that opened up below the Skydome floor on February 12, 2014. Here you’ll learn what happened on that fateful day. (Don’t worry! No people were injured!) Exhibits outline the restoration process that took place for three of the Corvettes that were “swallowed”, as well as how the Hall of Fame Skydome floor was shored up and reinforced. There’s a bunch of karst geological facts presented as well.
Corvette lovers will probably cringe when they think of any of the exhibit cars falling to their demise. The restoration process was truly amazing for the three Corvettes that were able to be restored. Even if you’re not impressed with this Corvette lovers’ heaven, the cave exhibit is fascinating. Who isn’t interested in the shock of learning your floor has just been swallowed up? My granddaughters (ages 7 and 10) said this was their favorite exhibit at the National Corvette Museum. And I was happy to hear that if there were a sudden earthquake, I was probably in the safest place in Bowling Green!
The Corvette Driving Experience
This is your chance to experience the thrill of driving a Corvette for yourself. You can take a spin around the museum’s 3.2-mile track in a variety of Corvette models, from the classic Stingray to the latest Z06. High-speed go-carts are also available. The track is NCM Motorsports Park, located one mile from the Museum. Fee and reservations required.
Your Corvette driving experience includes classroom instruction, helmet fitting, time driving on the track, a box lunch and a certificate. Admission to the museum is also included. Here’s a review of one visitor’s driving experience.
The Corvette Plant Tour
The Corvette Plant is located just across the street from the National Corvette Museum at 600 Corvette Drive. You must purchase your plant tour tickets in advance and schedule your plant tour time. Individuals must be at least 13 years old to participate in a plant tour. No bags, cameras, or open-toe shoes are permitted inside the building. For $50, you can take the tour of the plant and enjoy the museum as well. Definitely Corvette lovers’ heaven!
If you’re in love with Corvettes, you’ll be happy to learn about all the special events that are organized here at the National Corvette Museum. For example, every five years, there is a national Corvette Caravan. The next one will be held Labor Day weekend in 2024. Local groups will organize caravans of Corvettes that will all converge on Bowling Green, KY for four days of festivities.
Is there more?
In addition to these exhibits, the National Corvette Museum also has a number of other features, including a gift shop, a restaurant (the Stingray Grill), and a library. There are also a variety of educational programs and events offered throughout the year.
Design exhibits show you how designers chose shapes and colors — and display the tools they used. There were exhibits that presented designers, drivers, and company leaders that influenced the development of the Corvette. There’s also a Corvette simulator, where you can virtually drive on a racetrack for an additional $10.
If you are planning to purchase a Corvette, you might want to consider requesting the Museum Delivery experience. Your friends can watch you getting your Corvette via the webcams!
Whether you’re a lifelong Corvette fan or you’re just curious about these iconic sports cars, the National Corvette Museum is a great place to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette and its history. Why not visit Corvette lovers’ heaven while you’re in Bowling Green?
Tips for visiting this Corvette lovers’ heaven
- You can view different parts of the museum via several live web cams here.
- Admission prices are $18 Adults (13-61),$16 Seniors (62 +), $13 Youth (5-12), 4 and under free
- You can buy tickets onsite or online.
- Plan on at least 2 hours at the museum — probably much longer if you LOVE Corvettes!
- While we were in Kentucky, our family stayed in a very comfortable two-room suite at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Bowling Green, only 8 miles (or 18 mins) away from the museum. (If you use this link to book a room, I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you). It made a great hub for exploring Mammoth Caves National Park, the National Corvette Museum, and a nearby Shaker Village.