Southern Indiana is just a mile north of Louisville
Southern Indiana, just one mile north of Louisville, is a quick hop over the bridge from downtown and has charming riverfront communities with revitalized, walkable downtowns, historical attractions and up-and-coming restaurants.
Head to MESA, A Live Dining Show where you can converse with some of the area’s hottest chefs as they create right before your eyes. Try Dragon King’s Daughter for an Asian-fusion experience. For small plates and big steaks, there’s Brooklyn and the Butcher, a mishmash of an old-school New York interior with a Brooklyn exterior. Be sure and check out the speakeasy. Try rustic-chic gastropub at The Exchange Pub + Kitchen. For dessert, head over to the colorful Sweet Stuff Bakery for a cookie or pastry. The area also has several breweries, including Floyd County Brewing, New Albanian Brewing Co. Pizzeria & Public House and Donum Dei, New Albany’s only “brewstillery.”
For stylish clothing and accessories, shop the racks at local favorites Dress & Dwell, Him & Her Boutique or House of K. For gifts, there’s Regalo and for home décor, there’s Madhouse. For art and history lovers, there’s the Carnegie Center for Art & History, a museum and contemporary art gallery. Take a tour of the historic Culbertson Mansion, which tells the story of an influential dry goods merchant, one of Indiana’s wealthiest men. Have an excellent family-friendly time at River Run Family Waterpark (open seasonally).
For those searching for mystery and magic, visit J&B Magic Shop and Theater or the New Albany Wicked Walk. For skateboarders, the New Albany Flow Park is a one-of-a-kind skate-able work of art. For games, grains and grub, head over to RecBar 812, touted as one of the largest arcade bars and restaurant settings in the country. Want to learn how to paint like Bob Ross? Fostered Up Art specializes in painting classes highlighting the famous artist’s trademark style. Just remember: “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents!”
A short walk across the Big Four Bridge will land you in Jeffersonville and at the Big Four Station, featuring green space, fountains, a pavilion and a playground. Grab a bite at Town, an Italian- American pub with eclectic menu items. For craft beer and pub fare, there’s Red Yeti and Pearl Street Taphouse. Pizza and craft beer go hand in hand at Parlour. Take in the view while enjoying a brew at Upland Brewing Co., located on the Ohio River waterfront. Choose from more than 20 taps, and four-legged friends are welcome, too.
The NoCo Arts & Cultural District (“No” stands for North and “Co” stands for Court and is a reference to its location – North of Court Avenue in Jeffersonville) is an intimate, whimsical, colorful and walkable area that is home to murals, a Story Trail, makerspaces and a public garden. The latest additions on the scene are The Depot, an entertainment venue that features repurposed shipping containers decked out in colorful murals, serves as a space for concerts and art markets. An outdoor digital art gallery featuring six large digital screens on the NoCo Building is open year-round and offers a rotating art collection. Near NoCo is the Vintage Fire Museum – a nationally-known museum that features beautifully restored fire engines and other equipment dating back to 1756. Children can sit on a fire engine and crank the siren to get the full experience.
Stop by Schimpff’s – one of the oldest, continuously operated, family-owned candy businesses in the United States. For more sugary treats, you can find delicious cakes and other bakery goodies at Adrienne & Co. Take a step back in time to the Great Steamboat Era with a tour of the Howard Steamboat Museum, a treasure trove of models, photographs, paintings, half-hull models and other artifacts. RiverStage – a barge converted into a floating stage – is a great place to catch a movie or concert. Unwind at Match Cigar Bar where you can sit on a leather chair, listen to jazz on vinyl and sip on a fine Bourbon or handcrafted cocktail.
Clarksville is home to the Falls of the Ohio State Park, where the 390 million-year-old exposed fossil beds steal the show (the Falls was the site where famous explorers Lewis & Clark met up for the Lewis & Clark Expedition). The Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center features exhibits with state-of-the-art audio, video and interactive elements. Looking for some fresh air and exercise? The Ohio River Greenway is a seven–mile stretch of pathway along the edge of Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany that can be explored by bike or foot. The Widow’s Walk Ice Creamery, located in a charming bright yellow Victorian-style home, is a great place to enjoy a sweet treat and take in the riverfront views. For indoor activities, try Xtremenasium, a 20,000-square-foot trampoline and ninja challenge park. Be entertained at Derby Dinner Playhouse, one of the oldest and largest continually operating professional dinner theaters in the country.
Other Southern Indiana Points of interest
Feeling lucky? Just 20 minutes west of Louisville is Caesars Southern Indiana Hotel & Casino, which hosts concerts and is home to a hotel, restaurants, golf course and nightclub. In the mood for fried chicken and all the fixings? Starlight, Indiana, is the site of Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant, about a 20-mile drive from downtown Louisville. You could spend the entire day here, which is also home to the Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards. Indiana’s largest estate bottled winery is also home to Starlight Distillery. Experiences include wine and spirits tastings, an ice cream shop, café, farm market, family fun park and u-pick offerings. Charlestown State Park, located near Charlestown, is a 5,100-acre park with interpretive programs, hiking, camping and a boat launch on the Ohio River. Enjoy the scenic outdoors with miles of trails and views along the Ohio River and Fourteen Mile Creek. Charlestown State Park is also home to the historical Rose Island Abandoned Theme Park.
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