Classic roadside attractions used to be commonplace for family road trips, when it seemed like everyone was piling in their station wagons to head out for a National Lampoon-style vacation. While many of these destinations are no longer around, there are still plenty of stops that are perfect for squirmy car riders, or that make great weekend visits on their own.
If you’re headed south this summer or are looking for a unique spot that’s about three hours from Cincinnati, check out Dinosaur World in Cave City, Kentucky.
We visited this Jurassic-sized attraction on our way home from Nashville and it exceeded all of my roadside expectations.
If you’ve ever driven on I-65 through Kentucky, then chances are you’ve noticed the gigantic T-Rex that sits on the side of the highway. Dinosaur World is difficult to miss and is very easy to get to, right off 65 in Cave City, Kentucky. This exit actually offers a lot for a family getaway — Mammoth Cave, Kentucky Down Under, Froggett’s Guntown Mountain, and more — but if you just want a quick stop to stretch your legs, then definitely head to Dinosaur World.
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We visited Dinosaur World on a very hot Friday afternoon and it wasn’t crowded at all. I can imagine that during vacation season it gets quite a bit more visitors, but it’s big enough that it would always be a fun stop. After we parked, we headed into the main building which (warning) is filled with dinosaur toys and gifts. You purchase your tickets inside (see prices here), and then can head out into the park. We arrived right before the Fossil Dig, which is included in every child’s admission. After some fossil hunting and choosing their three favorites to take home (free souvenirs!), it was time to check out the dinosaurs.
Dinosaur World is very accessible for all guests, as a paved path will take you through the woods, on a nice, shaded trail. There are hundreds of dinosaurs along the way, each of which is marked with a plaque that has its name and some information about it. We took our time, reading and exploring, and it took us about 45 minutes to walk through the entire collection. I personally loved how the dinosaurs were life-sized and placed in the woods so that you could imagine what the environment was really like back then.
After you finish the trail, there is a dinosaur-themed playground for little ones, a video playing inside a cave, and another area to excavate dinosaur bones. There is also a museum to explore, but we ran out of time for that. Overall, our stop at Dinosaur World was perfect for breaking up the drive back home to Cincinnati. The entire property was very well maintained and my 6-year-old and 4-year-old absolutely loved it. If you’ve ever wondered about this roadside attraction while passing through Cave City, I highly recommend giving it a try!