Mammoth Cave National Park is a unique place in a beautiful area of Kentucky. Home to the longest cave system in the world, this seemingly endless American wonder makes jaws drop daily. But where to stay near Mammoth Cave for the best experience?
There’s a rustic place to stay inside Mammoth Cave National Park. In addition, you find several comfy hotels near Mammoth Cave in the neighboring towns of Park City, Cave City, Horse Cave and Brownsville.
For those who prefer bigger hubs, other options for where to stay when visiting Mammoth Cave are Glasgow and Bowling Green.
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Mammoth Cave National Park
A top option for where to stay near Mammoth Cave is to base yourself inside the national park itself. You can do so at the one and only place to stay within Mammoth Cave National Park.
At the Lodge at Mammoth Cave, you start and end your days in the heart of Mammoth Cave National Park. Book the early or late cave tour and effortlessly walk to the expedition in minutes.
And, if the park is your only priority, you don’t have to think about driving during your visit.
Sure, this is a rustic option for where to stay when visiting Mammoth Cave. Yet, peacefully sitting in the front row, the appeal of the cabins and rooms at the Lodge at Mammoth Cave is evident.
- Distance: 0 mi
- Driving time: 0 min
- Stay in Mammoth Cave NP for: Best cave access.
Park City, Cave City, Horse Cave & Brownsville
At Mammoth Cave’s eastern side, from north to south, the small rural cities of Horse Cave, Cave City and Park City line up. In addition, at the western side of Mammoth Cave, Brownsville makes another convenient gateway town.
Bed down in one of these to enjoy an appreciated combo of amenities, attractions and park access. Although you find yourself outside the national park, it’s only 9-15 miles (14-24 km) and under 25 minutes by car to the visitor center, and the cave entrance.
Cave City is centrally located, south of Horse Cave but north of Park City. Making kids thrilled, Cave City presents the family highlight Dinosaur World with dinosaur sculptures in authentic sizes.
Park City is the tiniest of the the gateway cities, but it’s also the outpost nearest the Mammoth Cave entrance.
Brownsville offers additional lodging opportunities at the western side of Mammoth Cave. Outside town, Serenity Hill Bed & Breakfast, in particular, makes it effortless to travel into Mammoth Cave National Park.
- Distance: ≈ 9-15 mi / 14-24 km
- Driving time: ≈ 15-25 min
- Pick Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City & Brownsville for: Town amenities.
Best hotels in Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City & Brownsville
- Holiday Inn Express – In Horse Cave, Holiday Inn Express is one of few hotels near Mammoth Cave with indoor pool and hot tub. When staying here, you can go from all the cave action to splashing water activities in just 20 minutes.
- Historic Wigwam Village No 2 – This unique option provides 15 wigwams in pure Americana style. Radiating nostalgia, these are equipped with private bathrooms, TV, wifi and, for those balmy summer days, air conditioning. Before you tuck yourself in, check out the friendly property featuring two fire pits — perfect to get to know fellow travelers.
- Hampton Inn – Families love that Dinosaur World sits just a stone’s throw down the street from Hampton Inn in Cave City. For quality time off Mammoth Cave National Park, the hotel also offers a swimming pool for its guests to use.
- Grand Victorian Inn – Embrace elegant and unique Victorian guest rooms — really something else than the big hotel chains. Additionally, Grand Victorian Inn has a beautiful garden that’s a nice bonus to enjoy for the time you’re not exploring the cave.
- Serenity Hill B&B – Aptly named, Serenity Hill B&B is a peaceful home away from home sitting on a hill. Only a 15-minute drive from Mammoth Cave, this is a place where cave trolls thrive.
Hotels in Mammoth Cave’s gateway towns tend to book up quickly. An alternative to the front-row cities is to stay in the larger but still small and charming Glasgow.
Even though Glasgow isn’t the location nearest Mammoth Cave, it’s still close. The 21 miles (34 km) from Glasgow to the cave is an easy 30-minute drive to make.
Glasgow’s location is especially convenient if you drive to Mammoth Cave from east to west. Then it’s right on the way to the cave adventure.
- Distance: 21 mi / 34 km
- Driving time: ≈ 30 min
- Pick Glasgow for: Eastern convenience.
Mammoth Cave is hidden in a rural area of Kentucky. But if you want the comforts of a bigger city, Bowling Green is your best option for where to stay near Mammoth Cave National Park.
From Bowling Green, it’s roughly 30 miles (48 km) up to Mammoth Cave — that’s an easy day trip.
A much larger city than the gateway towns, Bowling Green has more on its plate. Here you find all the additional hotel and dining options you might need.
Bowling Green is also home to the popular Corvette Museum. The Corvette Museum is a tribute to America’s sport car and a must for sports car enthusiasts to visit.
Or, if you have the cave bug, check out Lost River Cave in Bowling Green. Although not as huge as Mammoth Cave, it invites you to a unique underground boat tour.
- Distance: 30 mi / 48 km
- Driving time: ≈ 40 min
- Pick Bowling Green for: A bigger city.
Best hotels in Bowling Green
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott – If you want to stay at a Marriott near Mammoth Cave, don’t look further. Bowling Green’s Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is a delightful option for where to stay when visiting the Mammoth Cave area, with comfy rooms and appreciated facilities, including a swimming pool.
Tips for your Mammoth Cave stay
With rustic lodging inside the park and a wide range of hotels in the neighboring towns, there’s a place to stay near Mammoth Cave for every visitor. However, these tips can make your Mammoth Cave stay even better.
- Cave tours sell out – When visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, you of course want to enter the cave. But have in mind that cave tours often sell out, especially during summer and early fall. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you book your Mammoth Cave tour in advance.
- Hotels sell out too – Summer is the busiest time for Mammoth Cave National Park. In June, July and August, Mammoth Cave hotels constantly sell out. So secure your place to stay near Mammoth Cave sooner rather than later, especially if you plan a summer visit.
- Allow overground time – Don’t forget the national park above the surface. Fine trails showcasing the rolling hills of Kentucky, which you don’t need a tour guide to explore, complete your epic Mammoth Cave experience.
- Every month is good – Many first-timers don’t know it, but Mammoth Cave keeps a constant temperature of 54°F (12°C). This means that a Mammoth Cave visit is as good in freezing January as in balmy July.
- Consider other attractions – Although Mammoth Cave is located in a rural area of Kentucky, there are other attractions not too far away. A top experience for families is Dinosaur World in Cave City. Further away, but still within easy reach, the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is a dream for car lovers.
Final words about where to stay near Mammoth Cave
For its rural location, the lodging you find near Mammoth Cave is quite impressive. With so much to choose from, there’s a places to stay near Mammoth Cave for every visitor.
But to really get to know Mammoth Cave, stay either inside the park or in one of the neighboring towns. Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City and Brownsville are all great options for where to stay when visiting Mammoth Cave.
Where to stay near Mammoth Cave FAQ
The Lodge at Mammoth Cave is the only accommodation within the national park. But Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City and Brownsville are nearby towns and also popular options for where to stay when visiting Mammoth Cave. If you prefer a bigger selection of hotels, dining and things to do, you need to look towards Bowling Green.
The neighboring cities Horse Cave, Cave City and Park City are located closest to Mammoth Cave. They are situated only 9 to 15 miles (14-24 km) and 15 to 25 minutes away from the unique cave experience.
Hotels in Cave City put you close to both the cave and other family-friendly attractions, including Dinosaur World. With such convenience, Cave City and its comfy Hampton Inn is a favorite option for where to stay near Mammoth Cave with family.
The Lodge at Mammoth Cave offers cabins inside Mammoth Cave National Park. From these, you can walk to the seemingly endlessly deep Kentucky cave in minutes. In addition, you also find vacation homes and cabins in the surrounding towns and areas.
What’s more unique than a pointy wigwam village? Cave City’s Historic Wigwam Village No 2 is accommodation and experience in one. If a romantic inn suits the occasion better, consider the adorable Grand Victorian Inn in Park City.
One full day exploring Mammoth Cave allows for one or two cave tours as well as some hiking on the overground trails in the national park. Add more time for more tours and the area’s other attractions, such as Dinosaur World.
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