The Indiana Insider Blog

Madison – Beautiful River Town

Clifty Falls State Park - Madison, Indiana

Clifty Falls State Park - Madison, Indiana

Last fall, my wife and I got away to beautiful Madison, Indiana for a weekend. We did a little research on some of the things to do in Madison and talked to some friends who have spent time in Madison. After planning for a few weeks, we headed down in early October.

In an effort to avoid the interstate, we took State Route 7 from Columbus. It was a georgeous drive. As we got closer to Madison, we drove across rolling hills and through quaint, small towns and through lush patches of trees. This was an Indiana I had never seen before.

As we got closer to Madison, we decided to stop off at Clifty Falls State Park on our way into town for a morning hike. We took Hike #5 (a “rugged” hike), which starts at Lilly Memorial, leads you through the canyon, past – or through – the tunnel (a remnant from a failed attempt to bring a railroad through the park more than a century ago – view a video of the tunnel here) and finally, to Tunnel Falls. It was definitely more rugged than we expected, but it was a great way to start the day.

After our hike, we went to Madison and checked into our hotel, which had a beautiful view of the Ohio River. We then headed into town and visited Lanthier Winery. After a quick lunch at the Downtowner (a great sandwich shop in town) we walked around town, window shopping as we went. Our next stop was at Mundt’s Candies for a shake. A few hours before we headed to dinner we stopped at one of Madison’s other wineries – the Thomas Family Winery. Thomas Family’s wines reminded me of good California wines, so we picked up a bottle of their Young Zinfandel wine- a great purchase!

We finished up our evening with a short drive out to Hanover College, just down the road in Hanover, Indiana. If you ever make it down to Madison, you HAVE to go see a sunset on the campus of Hanover. Located on a bluff above the Ohio River, you get a magnificant view. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the camera :( Check out the view here. Dinner at Madison’s ‘international’ Bistro One capped off a wonderful day.

On our last day in Madison we visited the historic Lanier Mansion. Built in 1844, it was the home of the wealthy New York businessman, James Lanier. Now a designated Historic Landmark, a tour of this home is a must-see during any visit to Madison. In addition to the Lanier Mansion, you can take tours of many of the other historic homes in Madison.

We had a great time in Madison and couldn’t believe how much there was to do! In fact, we had just missed the annual Madison Chautauqua Festival (held September 27-28, this year).

Have you ever visited Madison? If you haven’t been, the next vacation you take should be to Madison.

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Written by : Jeremy formerly worked for the Indiana Tourism office and managed the digital and social media initiatives for the office while he was there. He currently helps develop digital and social strategies for clients and still enjoys traveling throughout Indiana with his family. You can follow Jeremy personally via Twitter (@JeremyAWilliams) and at his Social Mediarology blog.