14 Best Places and Things To Do in Madison, Indiana

Madison, Indiana, located on the banks of the Ohio River, is a charming city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and scenic beauty. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Madison:

1. Clifty Falls State Park

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Just a few miles outside of Madison, you’ll find Clifty Falls State Park. This scenic park is known for its rugged terrain, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Enjoy a hike along the trails that wind through the forested hills, or take in the panoramic views from the overlooks. Don’t miss the impressive Clifty Falls, a series of cascades that are particularly stunning after heavy rainfall.

2. Madison Railroad Station Museum

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Madison Railroad Station Museum, housed in a beautifully restored 1895 train depot. This museum showcases the history of rail travel in Madison and features exhibits on the impact of the railroad on the city’s development.

3. Lanier Mansion State Historic Site

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The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site is one of the must-visit attractions in Madison, Indiana. This magnificent mansion, located on West First Street, stands as a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the mid-19th century. Built between 1842 and 1844, the Lanier Mansion is a prime example of Greek Revival architecture. It was the home of James F.D. Lanier, a successful banker, entrepreneur, and statesman.

4. Broadway Fountain

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The Broadway Fountain is a beloved landmark and iconic attraction in Madison, Indiana. Situated in the heart of the city’s downtown area, this stunning fountain has become a symbol of Madison’s charm and beauty. The Broadway Fountain was originally constructed in 1884 and served as a source of drinking water for the local community.

5. Judge Jeremiah Sullivan House

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The Judge Jeremiah Sullivan House is a historic site located in Madison, Indiana. Built in 1818, it is one of the city’s oldest and most significant landmarks. The house is named after Judge Jeremiah Sullivan, a prominent figure in Indiana’s early legal and political history. Judge Jeremiah Sullivan was a distinguished lawyer and jurist who played a pivotal role in shaping the legal system of Indiana Territory.

6. Dr. W.D. Hutchings’ Office & Museum

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Dr. W.D. Hutchings’ Office & Museum is a historical site located in Madison, Indiana. The museum preserves the former medical office of Dr. William D. Hutchings, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the world of early 20th-century medicine and the life of a country doctor.

7. Historic Eleutherian College

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The Historic Eleutherian College is indeed located in Madison, Indiana. It is a significant historical site that played a pivotal role in the abolitionist movement and the struggle for equality. The Eleutherian College was established in 1848 as a coeducational institution that welcomed students of all races.

8. Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum

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Explore the unique history of Madison’s saddle-making industry at the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum. Learn about the craftsmanship and techniques used in producing saddletrees, which were essential components of saddles during the 19th century. The museum showcases a fascinating collection of saddletrees, tools, and artifacts, offering insights into Madison’s industrial heritage.

9. Shrewsbury-Windle House

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Shrewsbury-Windle House, an exquisite example of Italianate architecture in Madison. This beautifully restored mansion is now a bed and breakfast, offering guests an opportunity to experience the elegance of a bygone era. Even if you’re not staying overnight, you can admire the exterior of the house and soak in its historic charm.

10. Jefferson County Historical Society Museum

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Delve deeper into Madison’s history at the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum. Located in a historic building, the museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that chronicle the town’s past. Gain a deeper understanding of Madison’s heritage, from its early settlement to its role in the Civil War and beyond.

11. Madison Riverfront Park

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Spend some time in Madison Riverfront Park, a picturesque green space along the Ohio River. Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the riverfront trail, have a picnic in the shaded areas, or simply relax on the benches while taking in the serene views. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, providing entertainment and a lively atmosphere.

12. Francis Costigan House

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The Francis Costigan House is a prominent historical attraction in Madison, Indiana, known for its architectural significance and association with the renowned architect Francis Costigan. Built in 1850, the house is a prime example of Greek Revival architecture.

13. Heritage Trail

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The Heritage Trail in Madison, Indiana, is a scenic and historically significant pathway that invites visitors to explore the town’s rich heritage. Spanning approximately 2.5 miles, the trail winds through the historic district, showcasing a remarkable collection of well-preserved buildings, informative plaques, and points of interest.

14. Thomas Family Winery

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The Thomas Family Winery is a delightful destination for wine enthusiasts and those seeking a unique experience in Madison, Indiana. Situated in a historic building that dates back to the mid-19th century, the winery combines the charm of the past with the pleasures of wine tasting and hospitality.

Madison, Indiana, offers a delightful mix of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring the historic downtown area, immersing yourself in nature at Clifty Falls State Park, or enjoying the town’s annual festivals, Madison is sure to captivate visitors with its small-town charm and warm hospitality.