Elizabethtown (aka E’town to the locals) is a charming and historic Kentucky city which was established back in 1793. The city is centrally located off I-65, just outside Louisville, where it is home to many attractions for day trippers. To learn about the history of Elizabethtown and Hardin County you can visit the Hardin County History Museum and the gracious Brown-Pusey House Museum. History buffs will enjoy a walking tour of the historic downtown where you can admire the State Theatre Complex and drop by the Wicked Eyed Woman Public House for lunch or dinner. At the Elizabethtown Nature Park you can visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall to pay your respects to the men and women of the armed forces who bravely marched to war to protect your liberty.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Historic State Theatre Complex

Historic State Theatre Complex
© Historic State Theatre Complex

Affectionately known to the locals as The State, the historic State Theatre Complex originally opened its doors to the public in 1942 in downtown Elizabethtown. Almost exactly 40 years later The State closed down, much to the disappointment of the Elizabethtown community. In the 1990’s the community started a fundraising project which would see the historic old theatre re-open in 2009, fully restored to its original 1940’s Art-Deco splendor. Today you can visit The State to take a walk down memory lane as you watch a classic movie, thrill to a live theatre production or enjoy a concert or comedy show.

Historic State Theatre Complex, 209 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Phone: 270-234-8258

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2.Hardin County History Museum, Elizabethtown, KY

Hardin County History Museum, Elizabethtown, KY
© Hardin County History Museum

Visitors are invited to come and tour the Hardin County History Museum to learn about the pioneer days in Hardin County. The museum was established in 2003 to collect, preserve and showcase a wealth of documents, memorabilia and artifacts which are displayed in several permanent and rotating exhibitions. Today visitors can step back in time to see how the original settlers lived their day to day live in remote wilderness areas of the Kentucky frontier, more than 200 years ago. You can learn about the James Hunt Morgan Raid in 1862, Abraham Lincoln’s ties to the county and the Civil War in Hardin County. Hardin County History Museum is free to visit and accessible to everyone.

Hardin County History Museum, 201 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Phone: 270-763-8339

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3.Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
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Located in the Elizabethtown Nature Park, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is an 80% scale replica of the famous Veterans Wall in Washington DC. The wall was erected in 2018, close to the Hardin County Veterans Tribute monument. Visiting the Veterans Tribute monument and the Veterans Memorial Wall leaves one with a poignant reminder of the devastation of war. The Nature Park is a calm and serene place to visit and is an ideal location for visitors to reflect and pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who served in the armed forces and those who paid the ultimate price to safeguard their country.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, 1850 Rind Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701

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4.Brown-Pusey House, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Brown-Pusey House, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
© Brown-Pusey House

Built in 1825, the Brown-Pusey House is a stately Georgian home which now houses a small museum and a genealogy library. For many years the house was used as a boarding establishment called Hill House and hosted many illustrious visitors including General Custer and his wife, the Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind and General John Hunt Morgan of the Confederate Army. The house has been beautifully restored in 1923 and donated to the community. The house museum welcomes visitors from Tuesdays through Saturday for free guided tours of the house and its beautiful formal gardens. The public is also welcome to use the Genealogy Library to research their ancestry.

Brown-Pusey House, 128 N Main St, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Phone: 270-765-2515

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5.Fly Wheel Brewing, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Fly Wheel Brewing, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
© Fly Wheel Brewing

Determined to bring first class artisanal brewing to Elizabethtown, Fly Wheel Brewing is owned and operated by a dedicated band of beer lovers. The idea behind the brewery is to offer Elizabethtown locals and visitors a relaxing atmosphere where they can relax and enjoy a great brew and even better company. The industrial-style taproom has a view of the brewing tanks and there is a small outdoor seating area. On tap you will find a selection of 16 house and guest brews including Belgian Ale, Porter, Hefeweizen, Ales, Stout and several IPA’s. Check their website to see which local food truck will be serving dinner.

Fly Wheel Brewing, 218 South Mulberry Street, Elizabethtown, KY 42701

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6.Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, Elizabethtown, KY

Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, Elizabethtown, KY
© Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame

Established in 2009 to recognize and protect the heritage of high school basketball in the Bluegrass State. Since then 112 former players and coaches have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. In Kentucky basketball is more than just a game – it is a way of life and visitors are encouraged to visit the KHSBHS to learn more about how high school basketball encourages a culture of hard work, team play and personal responsibility among the youth and their coaches. Famous Kentucky basketball inductees include “King” Kelly Coleman (1952-1956), Al Prewitt and Alfred Butch Beard.

Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, 212 W. Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Phone: 270-234-8354

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7.The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
© The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House

Located in an historic old building which is rumored to have been a house of ill repute back in the day, the Wicked Eyed Woman Public House welcomes visitors to come and enjoy a relaxed lunch or dinner in an historic setting. The interior of the restaurant has been lovingly restored to reveal the best of the old skeleton of the building without removing all traces of its antiquity, resulting in plenty of atmosphere. The menu brings traditional British Pub Fare, with a Southern twist, to Elizabethtown, using the finest seasonal produce, locally sourced wherever possible. Think classic fish and chips, delicious salads and burgers and plenty of mouth-watering surprises.

The Wicked Eyed Women, 133 W. Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Phone: 270-506-3210

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8.Swope’s Cars of Yesterday Museum

Swope’s Cars of Yesterday Museum
© Swope’s Cars of Yesterday Museum

You can take a nostalgic walk down memory lane when you pay a visit to Swope’s Cars of Yesterday Museum in Elizabethtown. The museum is privately owned by the Swope family of Automobile dealerships and is free to visit for anyone who is interested. Here you can see how automobiles have changed and advanced over time – perhaps you will recognize a model that your family used to own when you were a child. The comprehensive collection includes all makes and models from around 1900 to the 1960’s and some of these old treasures are available for sale, in order to make space for newer museum additions. There is always a guide available to give you a tour.

Swope’s Cars of Yesterday Museum, 1100 N. Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 765 2181

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9.Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek

Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek
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Forming part of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, the Boyhood Home at Knob Creek is where President Abraham Lincoln spent several happy boyhood years. Lincoln and his family lived in this simple, single storey home from 1811 to 1816, and the President held fond memories of his boyhood on the family farm. When you visit the park today you can see the simple, one-room log cabin where the president was born – it is located just 10 miles from his boyhood home at Knob Creek. The Historical Park has a Visitor’s Center and a small theatre where you can watch a short orientation video about Lincoln’s life and times.

Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, 7120 Bardtown Rd, Hodgenville, KY 42748 207 358 3137

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10.The Cannonball

The Cannonball
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If you happen to be exploring downtown Elizabethtown on foot you should make a detour to visit the Public Square on the corner of West Dixie where you will find an infamous cannonball lodged in a wall. This particular cannonball has an interesting history; it dates back to 1862 when Elizabethtown experienced it’s one and only Civil War battle. The story goes that the Confederate Army attacked the Union-occupied town in order to destroy the railway which ran through Elizabethtown. In the ensuing battle, a cannonball became lodged in the Depp building. After the building was destroyed by fire in 1887, the cannonball was “recued” and replaced in its original position many years later, where it remains as a familiar landmark.

The Cannonball, 40 Public Square, West Dixie, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 765 2175

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11.Sarah Bush Johnson Lincoln Memorial Cabin

Sarah Bush Johnson Lincoln Memorial Cabin
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The Sarah Bush Johnson Lincoln Memorial Cabin was built in 1992, in an effort to preserve the history and memories of the early days of the Lincoln family. The memorial cabin is constructed using hand-hewn timber logs which were 122 year old. The dimensions and style of this simple log cabin are very similar to the actual cabin in which the widow Sarah Bush Johnson was living with her 3 children before she married Thomas Lincoln in 1819, becoming stepmother to Abe Lincoln and his sister Sarah. The cabin is very authentic, offering visitors a glimpse into the past – furnishings, house wares and décor has been carefully chosen to reflect life during the Johnson-Lincoln era.

Sarah Bush Johnson Lincoln Memorial Cabin, 1030 N. Mulberry St, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 765 2175

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12.American Legion Park

American Legion Park
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The American Legion Park is a great place to spend a few recreational hours on a pleasant day. The park honors all Hardin County soldiers who have died in any war. Amenities include the ever-popular American Legion Water Park which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. For a small admission fee everyone can have hours of fun enjoying the splash pad, 2 water slides, the lazy river and a play station for children. Other attractions in the park include a 9-hole par 3 golf course, a mini-nature trail for children and Funtopia, an outdoor children’s playground. There is also a large picnic shelter which is ideal for children’s birthday parties

American Legion Park, 801 N. Miles Street, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 765 5551

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13.Freeman Lake Park

Freeman Lake Park
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Freeman Lake Park is a true asset for the residents of Elizabethtown. The enormous park is home to the 140-acre Freeman Lake, which offers all kinds of recreational activities including boating, fishing and paddling (rentals are available on site). Those who prefer to keep their feet dry can enjoy tennis (10 courts), pickle ball, volleyball and disc golf. There are numerous attractive walking/hiking trails to explore and several picnic areas. You are welcome to bring your (leashed) dog along to have fun in the dog park. You can combine your day in the park with a visit to the Lincoln Heritage House, the One-Room Schoolhouse and the Sarah Bush Johnson Log Cabin.

Freeman Lake Park, Blue Heron Way, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 769 3916

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14.Greenspace Trails

Greenspace Trails
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Elizabethtown is fortunate to have many green spaces where locals and visitors can get out and about without having to leave town. Preserved and managed by Greenspace Inc., the scenic trails meander along between small parks, creeks and wooded areas within the town. Ideal for walking and running, the trails are also very popular for bird-watching and fishing. The trails are suitable for all ages, ranging from the ¼-mile Cave Spring Trail to the 4.9-mile Freeman Lake Trail which follows the perimeter of Freeman Lake. You can find out all about the various trails and download a map from the Greenspace Inc. website.

Greenspace Inc., Elizabethtown, KY 42702

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15.Sky’s the Limit

Sky’s the Limit
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Sky’s the Limit is an action- packed indoor family entertainment center that will keep children (and adults) having the time of their lives all year round. The center offers all kinds of fun jumping activities – the enormous Main Court offers a series of connected trampolines covering both the floors and walls, for endless safe jumping. Then there are a series of trampolines leading to the Foam Pit – ideal for jumpers of all ages to hone their skills. Other fun activities include Extreme Dodge ball (on trampolines), the Wipe-Out platform and the Balance Beams. Sky’s the Limit is ideal for children’s birthday parties – the jumpers are always supervised while parents can relax.

Sky’s the Limit, 3024 Ring Road, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 506 2494

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16.Hardin County Playhouse

Hardin County Playhouse
© Andrey Lapshin/stock.adobe.com

Interestingly, the Hardin County Playhouse is not a building you can visit. In fact, the Hardin County Playhouse is the name used by a merry band of thespians who have been delighting Elizabethtown’s residents and visitors for almost 50 years. The Playhouse members have been staging live performances all over the town and have had to change their venues regularly over the years as their audiences grew larger. Most recently the Hardin County Playhouse is located in the Science Auditorium of the Elizabeth Country Technical College. Your visit to Elizabethtown would be incomplete without attending one of their excellent stage productions – check their website to see what’s on during your visit.

Hardin County Playhouse, ECTC Science Auditorium, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 371 0577

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17.Xtreme Cornhole

Xtreme Cornhole
© Xtreme Cornhole

Providing loads of fun for the whole family, Xtreme Cornhole is a band new game that is a combination of traditional cornhole and mini-golf. The Xtreme Cornhole course is laid out the same way as a mini-golf course and consists of 14 stations, (or cornholes). Each of these has a different theme and individual obstacles which you have to clear in order to sink your bag in the hole. You can play the game similarly to mini-golf, using a score-card to add up your throws – the lowest score wins the game. Alternatively, you can play head-to-head using normal cornhole rules. On weekend nights the whole course gets lit up for Cosmic Cornhole fun.

Xtreme Cornhole, Town Mall, 1704 N. Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 763 7278

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18.Dixe Town Lanes

Dixe Town Lanes
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Dixe Town Lanes immediately springs to mind when you consider fun family/friends activities. The bowling alley is family owned and the facility has been recently renovated to offer bowlers the latest in bowling technology. There are 24 lanes, which means that it is usually easy to book a lane for your group (up to 6 players per lane). Everything you need for a fun night of bowling is available on site including shoe rental and a Pro Shop. The facility also has a spacious video game area. You will find all your favorite snacks and foods at the Tin Pin Grill. The Dixe Town Lanes will be happy to host your birthday party or group event.

Dixe Town Lanes, 4547 N. Dixie Highway, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 207 737 7171

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19.Hardin County Clothesline of Quilts Trail

Hardin County Clothesline of Quilts Trail
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Created in an effort to encourage visitors to Hardin County to explore the “roads less travelled” (rather than sticking to interstate highways), the Clothesline of Quilts will lead visitors through the beautiful and historic countryside. Here you will get the chance to visit smaller, off the radar towns and villages and learn about the history and culture of Hardin County. Participating residents are encouraged to place highly visible painted quilt squares on prominent buildings. Quilting is an age-old tradition in Kentucky and is still a popular hobby in the state. Each of the quilts squares you will see along the trail has been designed by a local quilter and it is hoped the trail will enhance your journey through Hardin County.

Hardin County Clothesline of Quilts Trail, Elizabethtown, KT 42701

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20.The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House

The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House
© The Wicked Eyed Woman Public House

Located in a carefully renovated historic building in the heart of downtown Elizabethtown, the Wicked Eyed Woman is a popular pub and restaurant. The restaurant serves traditional English-style pub grub (with a distinct Southern twist) which is all freshly made from scratch. The restaurant strives to use the best and freshest locally-produced ingredients wherever possible to ensure great tasting food. The burgers are made from 100% fresh Angus beef, cooked to perfection. Other popular dishes include a variety of delicious sandwiches and hearty entrees like Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, Bourbon Pork Shoulder and, of course, Wicked Chips. Wash it all down with a craft beer, cocktail or Bourbon.

The Wicked Eyed Woman, 133 W Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270 506 3210

20 Best Things to Do in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

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