Fun Things to Do and Great Places to Eat in Henderson, KY

Looking for adventure in Henderson, Kentucky?

I’m sharing more about the best things to do and the best places to eat great food during your visit.

downtown Henderson KY

This article is written in partnership with Stellar. All opinions are my own.

Where is Henderson, Kentucky Located?

Henderson, Kentucky is located in Western Kentucky, 10 miles south of Evansville, Indiana, and 30 miles west of Owensboro, KY.

The city of Henderson is the 15th largest city in Kentucky with a population of more than 27,000.

Museum at John James Audubon State Park

Explore Audubon State Park

Audubon State Park, 3100 US HWY 41 N, Henderson, KY 

Audubon State Park is a great destination for outdoor lovers offering plenty of opportunities to appreciate Henderson’s nature scenes both inside and out.

Museum at John James Audubon State Park

Visit the John James Audubon Museum

You can learn more about the life of John James Audubon, a nature enthusiast and painter who is most known for his “Birds of America” book compiled of 453 life-sized paintings of North American birds.

Visitors can view his complete set of The Birds of America in addition to many original artworks.

Museum at John James Audubon State Park

The museum contains three galleries with more than 200 objects and artifacts on display. There is also an Audubon family tie to the area with the family’s residency in Henderson from 1810-1819.

John’s impact and legacy continue today with Audubon Societies all over the country dedicated to protecting birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. You can find an Audubon Society near you here.

exhibit at Museum at John James Audubon State Park

Nature Center

The Nature Center is located in the same building as the museum. There is even an area where you can comfortably observe birds from inside during the colder months.

During the summer months be on the lookout for registration for the WILD Wednesday Kids Nature Series at the park.

The 1.5-hour program uses nature activities, animal encounters, games, science experiments, and more to help kids ages 6-12 learn and connect with nature in a fun way.

hiking trail at John James Audubon State Park

Outdoor Adventures at Audubon State Park

There are more than 6 miles of trails available for guests to hike during their visit.

Hiking Trails at Audubon State Park

  • Audubon Wetlands Trail / Island Loop Trail – 1.5 miles – (Easy hike)
  • Backcountry Trail – 1.6 miles (Moderate hike)
  • Deer Ridge Trail – .3 miles (Easy-moderate hike)
  • Eagle Glen Pet Trail – .9 miles (Moderate hike) *This is the only hike where pets are allowed on the trail.
  • Kentucky Coffeetree Trail – .4 miles (Easy-moderate hike)
  • King Benson Trail – .3 miles ( Easy hike)
  • Museum Trail – .25 miles (Easy hike)
  • Pawpaw Valley Trail – .23 miles (Easy-moderate hike)
  • Scenic Overlook Trail – .22 miles (Easy hike)
  • Warbler Road – .7 miles (Moderate hike)
  • Wilderness Lake Trail – 1 mile ( Moderate hike)
lake at John James Audubon State Park

Additional Family-Friendly Activities and Recreation at Audubon State Park


The park has a 28-acre lake filled with catfish, bluegill, and largemouth where park guests can fish from the banks.

Make sure that you check with recreation staff for where to check out free fishing gear.

Picnicking & Playgrounds

If you want to relax by the water there are shelters within eyesight of the lake which make a nice spot for a picnic lunch.

The Sycamore, Lakeview, Cardinal, and Campground shelters in the park also have a playground nearby.


The state park has a 9-hole golf course.

Lodging and Camping at Audubon State Park

There are several lodging options at Audubon State Park:

  • (5) one bedroom cottages
  • (1) ADA accessible 2 bedroom college
  • (69) – site campground
Henderson Brewing Company

Tasting at the Henderson Brewing Company

737 2nd Street, Henderson, KY 

Henderson Brewing Co. is Henderson’s first craft brewery and the first commercial brewery in Henderson in over 80 years.

beer flight at Henderson Brewing Company

The brewery was started by 5 local families that wanted to bring craft beer to Henderson.

Henderson Brewing Company

Their beers are currently available exclusively in the taproom in a variety of styles.

The design of the taproom is a nod to one of the building’s former businesses as the “Bright Spot Tavern” in the late 1800s.

beer flight at Henderson Brewing Company

There is plenty of seating inside the brewery taproom and outside there is a nice patio area with picnic tables and cornhole.

Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Find Out Why Hometown Roots Is a Local Favorite

136 2nd Street, Henderson, KY 

Enjoy southern comfort food in the heart of downtown Henderson at Hometown Roots.

After you experience a meal there, you’ll understand why this restaurant is a local favorite.

The limited-time specials in addition to the regular staples give you an excuse to come back again and again.

hydroponic lettuce at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Hometown Roots is a farm-to-table restaurant serving delicious food and fresh produce that is grown as locally as possible.

They don’t have to go far for the Bibb lettuce in their salads thanks to the hydroponic system displayed inside the restaurant.

cocktail at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Hometown Roots offers seasonal cocktails, an extensive bourbon list, craft beer on tap, and more.

cornbread in a skillet at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

You know you’re off to a great start when warm cornbread is delivered to your table with a generous portion of butter on top.

Pimento cheese fritters  at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Starter Recommendations at Hometown Roots

I’ve got a few recommendations for appetizers.

First, start with the Pimento cheese fritters made with house-made pimento cheese, deep fried & topped with red pepper, and bacon marmalade.

deviled egg duo at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Next, try the Deviled egg duo made with 6 deviled eggs.

3 of the deviled eggs have sweet sorghum topped with red pepper bacon marmalade and 3 of the eggs are spicy, deep-fried with a house rub.

smoked meatloaf at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Meatloaf You’ll Want to Try

If you’re looking for an entree recommendation you can’t go wrong with the Smoked meatloaf. It’s honestly not a dish that I would typically order but it’s their top seller and their very first recipe.

The smoked meatloaf is made using local peach wood smoked ground beef and pork, loaded with smoked gouda, and topped with caramelized tomato BBQ sauce.

The dish is seared which gives it the perfect texture of firm and tender.

sides at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Sides at Hometown Roots

Be forewarned that it’s going to be a challenge to narrow down all of the great options when it comes to sides.

  • Hashbrown casserole
  • Jalapeno creamed corn
  • Southern-style green beans
  • Pimento cheese grits
  • Low-country greens
  • Smashed potatoes
  • Fries
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Red beans & rice

I’m a big fan of sharing table style if you can find a few other willing participants.

strawberry chess bar at Hometown Roots Henderson KY

Save Room for Dessert

For dessert, we shared the seasonal strawberries and cream chess bar.

You can’t go wrong with any variation of their “chess bar” dessert ( a gooey butter cake with a cream cheese mixture on top) that is generous enough to share or the “Banana Puddin” topped with toasted meringue.

If you enjoyed your meal at Hometown Roots, you’ll also want to check out Homer’s Barbecue around the corner, and Roots Coffee Bar which are additional restaurants by Hometown Roots owner Casey Todd.

Sidewalk Cafe in Henderson KY

Breakfast at Sidewalk Café

228 2nd Street, Henderson, KY  

Sidewalk Cafe is another great spot in downtown Henderson for breakfast or lunch.

Sidewalk Cafe in Henderson KY

There is plenty of seating inside or you can take your order to go.

breakfast at Sidewalk Cafe in Henderson KY

We opted for the breakfast burrito and the French toast.

My friend and I decided to split two dishes for the best of both worlds with sweet and savory.

Roast Coffee Bar in Henderson KY

Coffee Stop at Roast Coffee Bar

136 2nd St Suite 100, Henderson, KY

Roast Coffee Bar is a popular spot for a morning coffee or afternoon pick-me-up featuring coffee, lattes, and teas.

pastries at Roast Coffee Bar in Henderson KY

It’s also hard to miss the tempting baked goods in the display case when you order so you might want to try one in the name of “research.” You’ll want to get there early for first dibs.

coffee at Roast Coffee Bar in Henderson KY

If you’re looking for a latte recommendation, try the Kentucky syrup.

The coffee at Roast Coffee Bar is sourced from Frothy Monkey Roasting Co. out of Nashville, TN.

riverfront in Henderson KY

Enjoy the Henderson Riverfront

N. Water St., Henderson KY

The Henderson Riverfront provides scenic views of the Henderson Bridge and the Ohio River between Audubon Mill Park and Sunset Park.

Audubon Mill Park in Henderson KY

Audubon Mill Park on 123 N. Water Street has several bronze sculptures in the park in honor of its namesake.

Audubon Mill Park in Henderson KY

One sculpture is of John Audubon and there are a few bird sculptures that are part of the Audubon Bird Walking Tour.

sculpture in Audubon Mill Park

15 of the 16 sculptures are in downtown Henderson and 13 of the 16 sculptures include hidden critters.

The parks have access to a boat ramp, dock, interactive water feature, playground, amphitheater, restrooms, and picnic tables.

L and N train in Henderson KY

This is one of the great spots to stop and enjoy the view on a summer night.

locks on railing in park in Henderson KY

You may even notice locks on one of the railings at the park where couples have pledged their love.

Central Park in Henderson KY

Walk Through the Oldest Park in Henderson

10 S. Main St. Henderson, KY

Henderson’s Central Park is centrally located and features a beautiful fountain, gazebo, toddler play structures, swings, and picnic tables.

plaque for Translyvania Park in Central Park in Henderson KY

Central Park was previously known as Transylvania Park dating back to 1797. In the park, you’ll see a plaque that states that it was “The first municipal park west of the Alleghenies.”

The park is lit by string lights providing a romantic setting, perfect for an evening stroll.

Farmer and the Frenchman Winery

Worth the Drive –Farmer and the Frenchman Winery & Cafe

12522 US Hwy 41, Robards, KY 

The Farmer and the Frenchman Winery & Cafe is a great spot for a gathering with friends or a date night.

the Farmer and the Frenchman Winery  and Cafe

The winery, cafe, and event venue are the fusion of passion projects of owners with very different upbringings.

living wall at the Farmer and the Frenchman Winery and Cafe

One of the owners is from Paris, France, and the other was born and raised in Henderson County.

bread at the Farmer and the Frenchman Winery and Cafe

Patrons will appreciate the stylish and approachable blendings of European-style recipes that are based on Kentucky ingredients. Popular menu items include bread, pasta, and artisan pizzas.

garden at the Farmer and the Frenchman Winery

Ingredients on the menu are sourced as locally as possible starting with produce on their farm along with products from other local Kentucky Proud farmers.

wine tasting at the Farmer and the Frenchman winery

Patrons can sample the local wines that include both reds and whites. There are also wines from California, Italy, Spain, and France on the menu available by the glass or bottle.

 wedding venue at the Farmer and the Frenchman winery

The venue has become a very popular destination for weddings, private parties, and special events.

the Farmer and the Frenchman Winery  and Cafe

Be on the lookout for upcoming special events on their website or Facebook page.

solar powered cabins at the Farmer and the Frenchman winery

If you want to extend your stay, there are three solar-powered cabins available for rent within steps of the restaurant/ tasting room.

map of downtown Henderson KY

Additional Things to Do in Henderson, KY

downtown Henderson KY

Annual Special Events in Henderson, KY

You’ll want to add these special local events to your calendar.

downtown Henderson KY

Learn More About Upcoming Events in Henderson, KY

You can find more upcoming events on Henderson County Tourist Commission website.

Downtown Henderson KY

Need a Place to Stay in Henderson, KY?

You can save on hotels and vacation rentals here.

The Nest Loft in Henderson KY

The Nest Loft

223 2nd Street, Henderson, KY   

During our visit, we stayed at The Nest Loft in downtown Henderson.

The Nest Loft is the perfect spot to stay if you enjoy being within walking distance of local restaurants, fun events, and local shops in downtown Henderson.

bedroom in The Nest Loft in Henderson KY

The loft sleeps 4 people and has a large bedroom with a king-size bed and a second bedroom with a queen-size bed.

kitchen at The Nest Loft in Henderson KY

There is a fully equipped kitchen with an island, utensils/cookware/dishware, refrigerator, stove, and microwave. For extended stays, guests will appreciate the washer and dryer next to the bathroom.

deck at The Nest Loft in Henderson KY

The kitchen connects to a private patio with stairs that connect to the back lot for parking. There is also a staircase to the loft at the front of the building.

*Please note that there isn’t an elevator to take you to the second floor where The Nest is located.

Additional parking options are in front of the building or the parking lot next door.

living room in The Nest Loft in Henderson KY

The large living room and open floor plan make it a nice spot for gathering or relaxing.

Looking for Additional Things to Do in Western Kentucky?

Check out these destinations within driving distance of Henderson.

The Best Things to Do in Owensboro, Kentucky

See the “Big Twigs” and Explore Lake Malone State Park in KY

Hidden Gems and Unique Things to Do in Madisonville, KYe

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