Madison is a city along the Ohio River in Southern Indiana. It is the county seat of Jefferson County, Indiana. Madison is surrounded by scenic limestone bluffs. The hills are tree-covered and the farmlands are fertile. Many of the grand homes and historic commercial buildings are still in use. The past co-exists with the present in perfect harmony. Madison has been recognized as offering one of the highest qualities of life in the state. This is evident by the recent designation as one of 12 Distinctive Destinations of 2001 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Madison currently has a population of approximately 13,000 people with approximately 30,000 people residing within Jefferson County. The county has some of the finest schools in the state as well as Hanover College, a nationally ranked liberal arts school. There is also an active and thriving cultural movement in the community that includes art festivals, museums, theater, music, entertainment, and numerous local craftsmen and artisans.
Jefferson County is home to one of Indiana’s most beautiful state parks, Clifty Falls. This lush 1200 acre park offers scenic vista, four waterfalls and many hiking trails. Southern Indiana is also a nationally recognized wine region and three award-winning wineries are located within Jefferson County. Madison is also known as an antique mecca in the Midwest. Numerous specialty shops, unique restaurants and quaint B&B’s compliment the historic downtown.
The best route to Madison from the west is IN 56. It is a direct link to I-65. Travellers from Louisville can use IN 62 East from Jeffersonville. Louisville visitors can also use I-71 North and take US 421 North and cross the Madison-Milton Bridge. Indianapolis residents can go to Columbus and pick up IN 7 South. Travellers on I-71 from Cincinnati can exit at Carrollton, then take KY 36 West to the Madison-Milton Bridge. Visitors from Vevay and Belterra Casino can use IN 56 West into Madison.
Madison Railroad1121 W. JPG Woodfill Rd Bldg #216 (812) 273-4248. Madison Railroad operates a 25 mile mainline extending from Madison to North Vernon. The railroad is rich in history, operating the remaining segment of Indiana’s oldest rail line. 7:30am-4pm.
Lanthier Winery123 Mill St. (812)273-2409 or (800)41-WINES. Open Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ‘A far away feeling…close enough to taste’ French country gardens, art gallery, gift shop and handcrafted award-winning wines await guests at Madison’s oldest winery. Sample wine and pick up an event schedule!
Madison Vineyards1456 E. 400 North (812) 273-6500 or (888) 473-6500. Mon-Sun,10pm-5pm. International award winning wines. Free tastings. Beautiful setting. New Bed & Breakfast.
The Thomas Family Winery208 E. Second St. (812) 273-3755 or (800) 948-8466. Mon-Thu 11am-6pm, Fri-Sat 11am -9pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Offering traditional wines and ciders, old world breads and cheeses in a pub-style setting.
Driving & Riding Tours
Chief White Eye TrailCanaan, IN (812) 839-4101. This drive through the rolling hills, farmland and forests of the eastern portion of Jefferson County is magnificent during Spring and Fall. The Kremer House (1850) located in Canaan, is open by appointment and operated by The Canaan Restoration Council.
Heritage TrailP.O. Box 362 (812) 273-6740. The Heritage Trail is a paved pathway for biking, hiking and rollerblading. The trail connects downtown Madison with the hilltop and overlooks the Ohio River. Open dawn to dusk 2002.
John Hunt Morgan Heritage TrailP.O. Box 407; Versailles, IN 47402 (812) 686-6410 EX 5. The 185-mile trail follows the footsteps of Confederate Raider John Hunt Morgan's 2000 men and horses. Part of the route traverses Jefferson County and is highlighted with a campsight in Dupont. Indiana's most significant American Civil War event.
Madison Area Bicycle Club Whatever you want in a ride, it's all right here. Flat farmland. Challenging hills. Back roads and river views. Ridges and valleys. No wonder Outside Magazine said we have the best bike ride in Indiana. Rides, maps, special events. "Because riding should be fun!"
Ohio River Scenic Byway (800) 559-2956. Designated a National Scenic Byway, this portion of the scenic drive hugs the river's edge among picturesque hills and valleys surrounding the majestic Ohio River. The Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau can assist you with additional information.
Clifty Golf Range3323 West IN 56 (jct 56/62), Hanover (812) 273-9339. Driving range, 18-hole miniature golf. Fun for the whole family! Open daily, Mar-Oct, 9am-10pm.
Spring Hills Golf Course4766 W. Butler Falls Dr., Hanover (812) 866-4727. 18-hole golf course, beautiful country setting, some of the best greens in Southern Indiana. Open daily, 6am-6pm; off-season varies.
Sunrise Golf Course2136 Michigan Rd. (812)265-8334. 18-holes, par 72, 6245 yards. Full service pro shop, motorized rental carts, snack bar & grill. Hours: Open daily Feb 15 - Dec 31.
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1661 W. JPG Niblo Rd. (Jefferson Proving Ground), (812) 273-0783, . Big Oaks NWR has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area because of its value to migratory birds. Located on 50,000 acres five miles north of Madison on US 421 (on the closed Jefferson Proving Ground). Portions of the refuge are open for wildlife observation, photography, fishing, hunting, interpretation, and environmental education. Apr-Nov: Mon & Fri, 2nd & 4th Sats. Mandatory briefing and Access fee permit required ($3 daily, $15 annual); fee waived for holders of migratory bird stamps, golden age pass, golden access pass, and golden eagle pass.
Clifty Falls State Park, One mile west of town on IN 56 and 62, (812) 273-8885, . Whether you are an avid wildlife watcher, hiker, or simply enjoy the great outdoors, this magnificent state park has something for everyone. The park offers several picnic areas, a nature center offering seasonal programs, an Olympic Size swimming pool, RV and primitive campsites. Hikers can enjoy trails ranging from “easy” to “rugged” and behold deeply cut gorges, sheer rock walls and plunging waterfalls. Open all year; admission charged Mar-Sept.
Heritage Trail, (812) 273-6740. The Heritage Trail is a paved pathway for biking, hiking and rollerblading. The trail connects downtown Madison with the hilltop and overlooks the Ohio River. Open dawn to dusk 2002.
Madison City Park System, 101 West Main St., (812) 265-8308. 12 city owned parks comprise part of the 220 acres of developed park/recreation properties. City parks include 5 picnic areas, 10 shelter houses, picnic tables, 2 barbecue pits, 5 playgrounds, 4 basketball courts, 4 baseball/softball diamonds, 2 tennis courts, 2 walking paths, volleyball courts and a lake. An 18 hole golf course, a swimming pool, playgrounds, and the new Madison Sports Complex.
Riverfront Park, Vaughn Dr. A favorite spot for a relaxing stroll, boat watching or attending one of several yearly events. Public boat launching facilities. Rejuvenated brick walk with benches, gazebo, viewing sites, and dedicated bricks. Adjacent parks offer playground equipment, volleyball & basketball courts, shelter houses and picnic areas with tables.
Crystal Beach Pool100 S. Broadway St. (812) 273-6268. Built in 1938 by The Works Progress Administration. Historic bathhouse. Half-moon shaped pool slopes from ankle deep to 9 feet. 12pm-5pm daily - Memorial Day to start of school.
Madison Public Boat RampFoot of West St. and Vaughn Dr. Located on the riverfront at the foot of West Street. Open year round. No charge.
Cocoa Safari Chocolates, 404 Broadway St., (812) 273-8800. Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. Gourmet hand-dipped chocolates in a colorful travel-themed shop!
Mundt's Candies/JWI Confectionery, 7 W. Main St.,(812) 265-6171, (Fax: (812) 265-4462), . Seen on Food Network. National Geographic. Mundt’s candy factory, ice creams parlor. Chocolates. Seasonal hours.
The Sweet Kernel, 8 West Main St., (812) 265-4932, . W,Th 11AM-7PM, Fr,Sa 11AM-8PM, Sun 11AM-5PM. Madison’s original gourmet popcorn & nuts –caramel, cheddar, chocolate, marshmallow & more!
Bella Vista Italian Restaurant, 1251 W Main St., (812) 265-4224, . Historic home overlooking the Ohio River serving authentic Italian cuisine. Lunch: Tues-Friday 11am-2pm; Dinner: Tues-Sun 5pm-10pm.
Bistro One, 122 E Main St., (812) 273-9448. Wed-Sat, Dinner Only. Madison's own eatery featuring around the world cuisine.
Café Camille, 119 E. Main St., (812) 265-5626. Mon-Sat 6am-2:30pm; Sun 7am-2:30pm. Serving breakfast and lunch in a unique and comfortable atmosphere.
Hinkles Sandwich Shop, 204 W. Main St., (812) 265-3919 or (888) 514-3919. Mon & Tues 6am-10pm, Wed-Sat 24hrs. Famous hamburgers served with pickles and onions, homefries, milkshakes.
Historic Broadway Hotel & Restaurant, 313 Broadway St., (812) 265-2346. Open daily 11am-12am. Closed some holidays. Indiana’s oldest hotel & tavern. Opened in 1834 and still serving hearty meals & refreshing cocktails.
joeyg's Restaurant and Nightclub, 218 E. Main St., (812) 273-8862,. Sun 12pm-10pm, Tues-Thu 11am-midnight; Fri & Sat 11am -1am. Live music, cuisine, culture, eclectic atmosphere and late night food.
Key West Shrimp House, 117 Ferry St., (812) 265-2831, . Lunch: Tues-Sat 11am-2pm; Dinner: Tues-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat 5pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-8pm. Seafood, steak and chicken with river view tables. State hospitality award winner!
McQuiston's Malthouse, 605 W Main St. (812) 265-9963, . Tues - Thurs 4:30pm- 10pm; Fri 4:30pm-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm. Craft beer bar, great food, full kid’s menu, non-smoking.
Ovo Café, 209 W. Main St., (812) 273-8808. Tues-Sat, 11am-2pm & 5:30pm-9pm. Mon, 5:30-9pm. Voted "Best of Taste." Sandwiches, pasta, seafood, steak, chicken. Beer and wine. Homemade desserts.
Roger’s Diner and Soda Fountain, 101 E. Main St., (812) 265-3841, . Mon-Sat 10am-7: 30pm, Sun 12pm-5: 30pm Open late during special events. Old-fashioned diner & soda fountain. Famous potato salad, Jelly-Bellys, chocolates.
The Attic Coffee Mill /Cafe, 631 W Main St., (812) 265-5781, . Mon-Sat 7:30 am-5pm; Sun 12:30pm-5pm. Madison’s favorite coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches & desserts to-die-for!
The Downtowner, 104 E. Main St., (812) 265-4343. Mon-Wed 10:30am-2:30pm, Thurs-Sat 10:30am. Great soups, sandwiches, salads & desserts. Made fresh daily. Madison’s most recommended eatery.
The Red Pepper Deli and Café, 902 W. Main St., (812) 265-DELI (3354). Mon-Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm. Sandwiches, salads, homemade soups, desserts. Over 80 sandwiches to choose from!
Tugboats Eatery, Corner of Mulberry & Vaughn Dr., (812) 273-9700. Daily 11am. Riverfront dining at its finest! Full lunch, dinner, bar menu.
The Falls Restaurant at Clifty Inn, IN 56 WEST (inside Clifty Falls State Park), (812) 265-4135 or (877) LODGES-1(563-4371), . Open Daily 7am-2pm, 5pm-8pm- Hours may vary by season. Relax and enjoy home cooking overlooking the scenic Ohio River. We are waiting to serve you!
The Attic /Coffee Mill Cafe, 631 W Main St., (812) 265-5781, . M-Sa 7:30AMPMSun 12:30PM-5PM. Madison’s favorite coffee, largest selection of whole bean & tea.
Madison Coffee & Tea, 100 West Main St., (812) 265-9200, . The best coffees and teas in town.
The Front Porch, 229 E. Main St., (812) 265-9786. M-F 7AM-7PM; Sa 9AM-7PM; Su 12PM-5PM. Serving Seattle’s best coffee, espresso, pastries. Internet hotspot, unique gifts.
City of Madison Campgrounds, Riverfront on Vaughn Drive, (812) 265-8308 or (812) 265-8333. 32 Sites. Some have trees. Rates. Daily $15, Weekly $90. Hours April 1st-October 31st. Will take reservations after April 1st. Facilities: A shower house, electric and water hook-up, dump station, paved spaces with picnic table. Restrictions: Campers only, no tents. Check Out: 2pm Monday - Saturday, 5pm Sunday.
Clifty Falls State Park, North Entrance on IN 62, South Entrance on IN 56, (812) 265-1331, . Open year around. Olympic outdoor pool with slide available summer months. Rates: Camping; Daily with electric $22.00, Primitive $10.00. Winter: Daily (with electric) $8.00, Primitive $4.00. (Winter season, water faucets, showers and toilets are turned off until approximately April 5th.) Reservation first-come first-serve until May 1. 166 sites all with gravel spaces, picnic table, and fire ring. 106 have electric hook-ups. Facilities: dump station, electric hook-ups, water near by (not at site.) Shower houses & camp store available summer months. Check out 2PM, 5PM Sunday.
Hotels & Motels
Best Western Madison700 Clifty Dr (812) 273-5151 or (800) 497-8863. Newly remodeled, free hot breakfast, high speed internet, fitness/pool facility, on site restaurant & lounge.
Clifty Inn & The Falls RestaurantIN 56 (812) 265-4135 or (877) LODGES-1. Clifty Falls State Park. Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Restaurant, Whirlpool Suites. Reception and Conference Facilities. Open year round.
Country Hearth Inn308 Demaree Dr. (812) 273-0757 or (866) 503-5191. Best lodging value with inncredible breakfast, hot tub suites, cable TV with HBO, fresh cookies daily.
Hillside Inn831 E. Main St. (812) 265-3221. Private balconies. River views. Fireplace & whirlpools. Free breakfast.