Located on the banks of the Ohio River, Madison has a proud history as one of America’s finest riverboat towns. Visit this wonderful place to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.
Stroll through town and admire the fine historical houses and buildings. Madison is Indiana’s largest historic district, with more than 2,000 recognized historical structures. The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site and the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum are just two of the many attractions that give you a glimpse into the town’s past. Don’t miss the spectacular Broadway Fountain, which has stood in the town center since 1886. Buy local produce at the farmers market and enjoy a picnic at Riverfront Park where children will enjoy the playground equipment. Or, stop for a coffee and lunch in a café near the town square.
The town of Madison is small. You can easily walk between the major sites in a day. However, having your own transportation is recommended, so you can explore the superb surrounding countryside. Several driving routes, including the Chief White Eye Trail, are signposted and take you through a landscape of limestone bluffs and open countryside. If you prefer to walk or cycle, try the Heritage Trail. These trails are particularly spectacular in spring and fall.
Find plenty to enjoy in Madison’s natural setting, with superb bird watching and hiking in the nearby parks. Clifty Falls State Park has a number of hiking trails as well as sites for camping and an Olympic-sized pool, while Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge is a favorite with birdwatchers.
Summers are long and hot so be sure to spend time by the water if you visit then. The annual Madison Regatta, held in early July, provides a great opportunity to enjoy the river. Join locals watching hydroplanes racing and rubber ducks floating along the Ohio River. As the locals say, “You gotta regatta” in Madison, Indiana.