Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Hardin County, KY

  • Published 2022/11/15

Located in the central part of Kentucky, Hardin County is home to different places you can explore and enjoy with your friends and family.

Its county seat is Elizabethtown, also fondly called “Etown” by locals.

As the Army Post and Bullion Depository of Fort Knox are located in Hardin County, the county has become a popular destination with several military-related tributes and spots.

It is also the birthplace of former United States president Abraham Lincoln.

You can find several tributes here and embark on historical tours.

The county also offers other sights and activities for everyone.

Here are the best things to do in Hardin County, Kentucky:

Enjoy a Fun-Filled Day at Freeman Lake Park

The waters of Freeman Lake Park

Brian Koellish /

Located on Freeman Lake Park Road in Elizabethtown, Freeman Lake Park is the perfect place to stroll around and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

You can check out the vast 170-acre lake, where you can also do different activities.

Grab your lines to fish for bass, catfish, trout, and even shell crackers.

Beautiful view of Freeman Lake Park

Brian Koellish /

If fishing is not for you, try renting a boat, paddleboard, or kayak so you can row along the waters; make sure to call the Freeman Lake Park Office for availability and fees.

Families and friends can gather around rented pavilions for quality time and even have picnics while kids enjoy the playgrounds.

Tag along your pets and let them enjoy the outdoors in small and large dog parks too.

Turtle at Freeman Lake Park

Eric Estermyer /

If you are more into active activities, Freeman Lake Park also has a Tennis Complex with 10 courts under the Elizabethtown Tennis Commission.

Try your hand in an 18-hole Disc Golf Course and see if you can land a hole-in-one!

Sand volleyball and pickleball areas are also located in the park.

Trail along the Freeman Lake Park

Eric Estermyer /

For history fanatics, you can visit the Lincoln Heritage House and learn about the history of one of the most iconic individuals in the country.

This double cabin was restored by the community and the Hardin County Historical Society after it burned down early in 2009.

The two log houses were the homes of Thomas Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s father.

Pretty white flowers at Freeman Lake Park

Eric Estermyer /

Explore the Calm and Fun of Elizabethtown Nature Park

Elizabethtown Nature Park is located along Ring Road.

The park is 104 acres big and has pavilions, restrooms, and rest stops for everyone.

You can also check out the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the Elizabethtown Veterans Tribute and pay your respects to the brave heroes who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

Check out the five bronze sculptures at the Elizabethtown Veterans Tribute, each representing a branch of the military: the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard.

The trail at this park also connects to another gorgeous park you can check out, the Freeman Lake Park Trail System.

The Elizabethtown Nature Park is perfect if you want to stroll around or have a peaceful walk with your loved ones.

It is also a great spot to spend quality time with your family and have a meal at one of their pavilions.

Sample Craft Beers at Flywheel Brewing

Enjoy an exquisitely made craft beer at Flywheel Brewing in Elizabethtown.

It is the neighborhood’s first craft microbrewery that opened in early 2016, right on South Mulberry Street.

They are known to serve beverages that are crafted and sold on-site.

Flywheel Brewing has different crafting styles, including ales, porters, stouts, lagers, IPAs, and more.

With 16 draft options available on tap, you can drink whatever you’re in the mood for.

Some of their must-try drinks are the E=MC Hammered, a Hefeweizen Style Wheat with 6% ABV; the Decapitated Monk-y, a Belgian Cream Ale with 6% ABV; and the Irregardless, a Kentucky Common with a mild 4.4% ABV.

Beyond the craft beers, Flywheel Brewing also emphasizes its service by ensuring that customers feel welcome.

Everyone here has a space to enjoy bottles of good beer and an amazing community to share it all with.

Why Flywheel?

They say that the spinning wheel symbolizes “powering the progress of mankind.”

Bring your friends and catch up over excellent drinks at this establishment!

Have a Movie Marathon at Crowne Pointe Theater

Catch the latest movie releases with your friends and family or date at Crowne Pointe Theater in Elizabethtown.

This establishment at Dolphin Drive has nine screens and two RealD 3D screens where you can have an exceptional movie-watching experience.

Its state-of-the-art amenities and facilities are guaranteed to make your watching experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.

It has Christie 4K Laser Projector, TheaterEars, reserved seating, a self-serve ticketing system, concessions, and leather reclining seats.

You can watch classic films like Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter, Polar Express, and Back to the Future.

Classic movies are played to support charitable causes wherein exceeded ticket sales will be donated.

Get some much-needed entertainment after a long week at Crowne Pointe Theater!

Feel the Adrenaline Rush at Elizabethtown Sports Park

If you like playing or watching sports, the Elizabethtown Sports Park is the perfect place.

Located on West Park Road in Elizabethtown, it is considered one of the largest youth sports venues in the United States, at over 150 acres.

It boasts 12 soccer, lacrosse, and natural turf fields, three quads for baseball, softball, and fast pitch, two championship fields with synthetic turf, 12 multi-use fields, and three miles of multi-model path.

It also has three spacious pavilions for meetings, events, and ceremonies.

Elizabethtown Sports Park also has event officials meeting rooms and locker rooms.

Its state-of-the-art facilities make it a full destination for sporting events.

However, there are other amenities and facilities in the park that you can enjoy.

These include hotels, restaurants, and playgrounds with misters.

Another plus in the park is the Wi-Fi, enabling you to be up to date and share the fun and excitement.

Shop ‘Til You Drop at Towne Mall

If you want a chill but complete shopping session, go to Towne Mall in Elizabethtown, which is on Dixie Highway.

Here, you can find all the essentials you’re looking for, from clothes to personal care items and electronics.

Some stores you can find here include Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, JCPenney, and Belk.

You’ll also likely find sales, discounts, and special offers during the holiday seasons.

Several restaurants are also available in the mall, so you’re covered if you get hungry as you shop.

Prepare your credit cards and walking shoes as you roam around Towne Mall and purchase everything your heart desires!

Go for Bourbon at Bourbon Barrel Tavern

Drive a little downtown to Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown, and you’ll find Bourbon Barrel Tavern.

Elizabethtown is the birthplace of bourbon, so a stop here is the right call if you want to experience a myriad of bourbon flavors and other local spirits.

Here, you can take your pick among their 400 whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes.

Bourbon Barrel Tavern is also part of America’s Top 100 Bourbon Bar List.

You can also come down here to enjoy live music, which completes the vibe for a chill and fun night out.

If you’re in the mood for a beer, they also have over 25 craft beers you can choose from.

Bring your friends or coworkers and enjoy a strong drink after a hard day at work!

Learn Something New at the Hardin County History Museum

Located at West Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown, the Hardin County History Museum houses a collection of artifacts that showcase the rich history of Hardin County.

If you’re a history buff interested in diving deep into the history of the county, then this is the place to be!

This museum aims to share knowledge and appreciation for the heritage and people who made the neighborhood as it is.

Whether you are interested to learn more about the life and works of Abraham Lincoln or you want to discover more about how the Civil War looked like in Hardin County, this museum has all the information you want.

The museum offers free admission, making a piece of history more accessible to citizens and tourists.

The Hardin County Museum also offers guided tours, programs, and events you can join if you want more details about Hardin County’s past.

Prepare your mind for an information overload because you’ll surely learn a lot at this facility!

Catch Artistic Performances at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center

Based on Jenkins Road in Elizabethtown, Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center is an excellent place to watch exceptional performances by outstanding young performers.

Many of the performers are students, so watching their sensational shows is a great way to support them and encourage their skills.

This performing arts center is more than just a spot where you can catch live performances.

The organization behind this center also strives to promote local artists, culture, and ethnic events.

Past performances here include The Nutcracker, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, and The Wizard of Oz!

If you prefer to sing along and groove while sitting on your seat rather than watching a dramatic play, don’t worry; Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center also features dance and choir performances!

Experience a Speakeasy at Cavern Club

If you fancy a cocktail, a trip to Cavern Club in Elizabethtown will satisfy your thirst.

Located on Public Square, it is inspired by the speakeasies of the 1920s, giving off a chill but luxurious ambiance.

This is where you can go if you’ve always wanted to know what the nightlife was like back then, especially during Prohibition!

Quench your thirst with exquisite craft cocktails creatively made by their talented mixologists.

Cavern Club guarantees the use of only the freshest, best ingredients to ensure the taste impeccably pairs well with the conversations you’ll have throughout the night.

Whether you’re looking for a spot where you can have drinks with your friends or have an intimate conversation with your significant other, Cavern Club is a great place to visit!

Score Fresh Finds at Hardin County Farmers Market

Get fresh produce, crops, fruits, and vegetables at the local Hardin County Farmers Market in Elizabethtown.

Local members of the community sell baked goods, jams, and other homemade items here.

Hardin County Farmers Market is a popular go-to spot for families on Peterson Drive.

Roam around the market and check out all the unique homemade products.

Stop by this market before purchasing unique gifts or fresh produce for your loved ones back home!

Travel Back in Time at The Historic State Theater

Step back into the 1940s when you visit The Historic State Theater.

Located on Dixie Avenue, this place is an iconic site in downtown Elizabethtown that history buffs and architecture enthusiasts must see.

It is well-maintained to reflect its original and stunning 1942 Art Deco style.

This theater has been restored and refurbished multiple times to bring back its original state, including the carpets, paint colors, and seating.

It now stands as one of the remaining Art Deco architecture sites in Hardin County.

It won the Historic Preservation Award back in 2011.

Throughout the years, this theater has been home to movies, shows, comedies, concerts, and even lectures.

The Historic State Theater also allows rentals for events, meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.

Drive Down the Early 1900s at Swope Cars of Yesteryear

Take a trip down memory lane and check out all of the vintage cars on display in Swope Cars of Yesteryear in Elizabethtown.

This establishment is a museum that features automobiles that date back to the early 1900s.

Since its opening in May 1999, this family-owned museum has been home to original and restored timeless automobiles.

Free tours are available, and you can even have a DIY car video theater.

Whether you like vintage cars or are interested in the history of the automobile industry, Swope Cars of Yesteryear is a must-visit!

If you want to purchase a new vehicle, you can do so here!

Check out the stunning vintage cars available at this museum on Dixie Avenue.

Watch a Play at the Hardin County Playhouse

The Hardin County Playhouse has been home to theater performers and producers since 1970.

It is located in the Science Building at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College on College Street Road Science Auditorium.

The playhouse has staged numerous galas, comedies, musicals, dramas, and even original works.

Other than plays, Hardin County Playhouse has programs such as the HCP Little Theatre and HCP Youth Dramatics.

Both are designed to encourage the youth to pursue and improve their theater skills.

When you watch a production, it helps the organization raise more funds for its future projects.

Witness exceptional staging of iconic stories, such as The Haunting of Hill House, Heathers, and other memorable productions!

You’ll experience a rollercoaster of emotions when you watch one of the playhouse’s shows!

Find Unique Vintage Items at Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall

Local curators and creators take center stage at Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall.

Find one-of-a-kind trinkets, antiques, and other collectible items!

Located along Dixie Highway in Elizabethtown, this family-owned and operated flea market is a great stop for those hunting for unique finds.

This shopping center features 19 retail stores specializing in vintage items, repurposed knick-knacks, and other thrift treasures.

Discover small and big items like home decor, furniture, toys, and clothing.

Whether you love thrifting or shopping, you’ll have fun checking out and going through all the vintage products here at Elizabethtown Peddlers Mall!

Final Thoughts

Make the most of your trip by exploring the spots on this list.

With all these, you know that Hardin County, Kentucky is a treasure trove of fun and relaxing activities and places you can visit.

It is a sanctuary where you can immerse yourself in history, culture, art, and modern experiences.

Whatever your interests are, there’s something to do in Hardin County.

Its timeless charm and warm people will make you feel right at home.

So what are you waiting for?

Check out the destinations and activities included in this list of the best things to do in Hardin County, Kentucky!

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