This is not the same Owensboro you visited before

Owensboro is not the same place you visited in the past. And for natives of Owensboro who’ve since relocated, this is a very different city than the one where you grew up.

While Owensboro remains a family-friendly place known for great parks, great food, and great people, a lot of aspects about our city have changed, and for the better! And we think that’s something to write home about. 

You can see the growth and evolution of our northwestern Kentucky city all around you in the form of new development and businesses, yes, but you can also see it in the sheer volume of visitors we see traveling to Owensboro. We meet, get to know, and share stories with tourists from all over the world (as well as all 50 states) on a regular basis, and there’s good reason for that!

You can see the changes in the form our beautiful downtown riverfront, and in the world-renown playground at Smothers Park. You can see it in the lighted bridge in downtown Owensboro that changes colors at night.

You can see the changes in the form of new hotels being built across our city, with the newest one – a Home2 Suites by Hilton – currently being developed across from the Owensboro Convention Center and expected to take shape by late 2023.

The evolution of Owensboro’s growing business sector includes tons of new coffee and tattoo shops, boutiques, restaurants and skin, hair and cosmetic companies. The number of locally owned businesses owned and operated by minority groups has also grown exponentially – a testament to the progress Owensboro’s made in embracing its diversity.

Ellis Entertainment has begun work on opening a new historical racing machine (HRM) entertainment venue in Towne Square Mall, with over 60,000 square-feet of space to include a wide selection of HRMs, a simulcast betting and viewing area, and a new race and sports themed restaurant.

Here in Owensboro, artwork on buildings in the new beige. New murals are constantly being painted, public art is being placed, and world-renown artist Aaron Kizer is opening Owensboro’s first art gallery dedicated to local artists at our very own visitor center.

You can now take your fur babies with you to Castlen Dog Park, newly opened in 2020, and you can enjoy the first completely inclusive playground in Daviess County at Horse Fork Creek Park, where children of all abilities are able to play together.

Downtown Owensboro is also home to tons of new breweries and bars that are located within walking distance to the Ohio River and a number of entertainment venues.

“The District” was developed in 2020, allowing patrons to carry alcoholic beverages within its boundaries through downtown Owensboro. This open container policy has seen enormous success in bringing more visitors and locals out to enjoy themselves (responsibly) while they explore all our downtown has to offer.

On Highway 54, Gateway Commons features a state-of-the-art movie theater – Malco Owensboro Cinema Grill & MXT – complete with reclining seats, a restaurant, and a bar for those who like a beer or glass of wine with their movie. There’s also a ton of shopping opportunities at Gateway Commons, with more to come. 

Newly opened selfie museums – Pose and 3DX Selfie Expressions – have given individuals, families and groups of friends the chance to take high-quality photographs in a fun, creative way thanks to some innovative business minds in Owensboro.

Escape rooms, axe throwing, and more than 50 arcade games can be enjoyed at Escape Today, while RiverPark Center’s brand new Downtown Live summer event series will coincide with Owensboro’s famous Friday After 5 outdoor concert series each Friday night.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy live music at new venues like Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville, Ten.O.Six., and Shiloh’s Lounge. You can catch year-round concerts from Grammy-winning artists at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and you can take in beautiful sounds, vibes and views at Live on the Banks each Saturday night on the riverfront.

Green River Distilling Co. has undergone a complete transformation to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state (with one of the best new bourbons, as well), and the Daviess County Gun Club’s recent reopening has seen unprecedented success at its shooting range.

While this might be a longer blog than usual, it’s only because there has been so much growth, change and development across Owensboro-Daviess County. And because of that, there’s never been a better time to visit.