Where to stay near Mammoth Cave, KY

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Feel like a cave troll as you descend into the seemingly endless American wonder of Mammoth Cave. Then, recharge in style as you enjoy the finest accommodation in this rural Kentucky area.

In the very front row, the rustic in-park lodging puts you within walking distance of the cave adventure. For those who crave town amenities (and, in some cases, side attractions), the small neighboring towns of Park City, Cave City, Horse Cave and Brownsville appeal.

Just in case you don’t find something you like that close to the cave (our favorite picks frequently sell out during high season), we suggest opting for Glasgow or Bowling Green (biggest of the bunch).

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Mammoth Cave National Park

Want to base yourself right where the adventure begins? 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 allure 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.
Three lit-up dripstone columns known as the Bridal Alter formation in the darkness of Mammoth Cave
The Bridal Alter formation in Mammoth Cave.

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.

Horse Cave offers a surprising addition to the Mammoth Cave itinerary: The Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo, which brings the Australian outback to the USA.

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, they 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.

Lighted path in Mammoth Cave
Walk through the giant Mammoth Cave.


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.
Road among golden Kentucky corn fields
Discover the Mammoth Cave area.

Bowling Green

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, 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.

Rolling green fields in Bowling Green, KY
Rolling fields of Bowling Green.

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 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, we strongly recommend booking 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, the best hotels near Mammoth Cave frequently 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.

Where to stay near Mammoth Cave FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting Mammoth Cave?

The Lodge at Mammoth Cave is the only accommodation within the national park. Additionally, Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City and Brownsville are nearby towns and also popular towns with lodging. If you prefer a bigger selection of hotels, dining and things to do, you need to look towards Bowling Green.

What city is closest to Mammoth Cave?

The neighboring cities Horse Cave, Cave City, Park City and Brownsville are located closest to Mammoth Cave. They sit only 9 to 15 miles (14-24 km) and 15 to 25 minutes away from the unique cave experience.

Where to stay near Mammoth Cave with family?

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.

Are there cabins near Mammoth Cave?

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.

Which are the most unique places to stay near Mammoth Cave?

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.

Which are the best hotels near Mammoth Cave with indoor pool?

Hampton Inn in Cave City and Holiday Inn in Horse Cave are top hotels near Mammoth Cave with indoor pool. Both these put you less than a 25-minute drive from the cave action.

How many days do you need for Mammoth Cave?

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.

Keep planning your trip in the South

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lisa Thomas

    Much appreciated breakdown. Have booked a wigwam for our summer visit – the kiddos are thrilled.

    1. Avatar photo
      Olof Arnberg

      Glad you liked it. Have an awesome trip!

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