Well, I dont know how far "surrounding" you are willing to go, but I have some suggestions seeing I grew up there, and go there quite often:
42440 Mortons Gap ky, VERY small town, great people, aways have a smile. Have to go to Madisonville to get things...
42464 White Plains ky, probably a tad bigger than Mortons Gap, but its spread out more, VERY country, would be easy to find a great home with land. Same on shopping, have to go to Madisonville, or Hopkinsville to get things.
42330 Central City, GREAT town, not to big, not to small. Has Uncle Lee's, the best place to buy weapons and hunting gear on that side of the state! Mayberry feel down town, country feel on the edge. Spread out a bit, it does have a walmart!
42431 Madisonville ky, Larger town in the area, but when I say larger, I dont mean big by any means! Its out lying areas include Seebree, Hanson, Calhoun, and Providence
Other towns great to look at closer to BowlingGreen is: Morgantown, BeaverDam, Leitchfield, and Russellville. Out of those, I like Leitchfield, its bigger, has a walmart, and that big, small town feel. Has a good looking down town, and great places around to eat.
Its been a while since I've been to Russellville, but last time I was there, it was doing pretty good. It has the Bell Witch house there, really cool!
Just some idea's.