18 Best Things to Do in Southern Indiana

One of our favorite family road trips was to Southern Indiana for a weekend called Thunder Over Louisville. While we were visiting, the Indiana side of the Ohio River, we found so many things to do with our kids.

When I found out there was a summer fun trail in Southern Indiana, that’s when I knew we needed to make a return trip to go on new adventures.

Things to Do in Southern Indiana

This summer, everyone should make a quick road trip to southern Indiana and participate in the SoIN Fun Trail! This free digital passport allows you to earn points for visiting restaurants, attractions, stores, and more. Check-in on your phone and earn points. Trade in those points for cool swag!

These are some of our favorite things to do in Southern Indiana. Additionally, you’ll find most of these on the SoIN Fun Trail. The Southern Indiana Fun Trail includes cities in Clark County, Indiana, and Floyd County, Indiana.

The Woods ATV Adventures

9699 Saint John’s Road, Borden, IN

If you crave adventure in the outdoors, The Woods ATV Adventures is the perfect centerpiece for your weekend in Southern Indiana. This full-service ATV company provides the vehicle, a guide, safety equipment, training and orientation, and even casual photography services. With tours starting at $48 per person, guests ages eight years and older can enjoy a fun family ride or a trip with a trail boss.

Everyone in our family loved this excursion — we ran through giant mud puddles, crossed small creeks, climbed hills, saw an airplane wreck, heard tales about the woods, and took in breathtaking landscapes from the most scenic points in the entire state. 10/10 would recommend this adventure to everyone!

Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards

19816 Huber Rd, Borden, IN

This fall hot spot is popular year-round because of its offerings at the Winery, distillery, and u-pick produce fields. In addition to being known as Indiana’s #1 pumpkin patch, at Huber’s, you can pick apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, and more.

While you visit, you can shop in the farm market for fresh foods, eat in the cafe, enjoy music and wine in the courtyard, or let the kids run free at the family farm park. There’s a lot to do at Huber’s Orchard and Winery, if we had time, we could have easily stayed the whole day.

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River Run Family Water Park

224 W Daisy Ln, New Albany, IN

River Run Family Water Park is the coolest place to be during the hot months in Southern Indiana. Operated by the New Albany Parks and Recreation Department, River Run has a great selection of water-based attractions for all age groups. Children of most ages and adults will all love spending hot summer days at the waterpark.

You’ll find a lazy river with tubes for floating throughout the park, four different water slides, including a bowl slide, a zero-depth entry pool with a steamboat-themed activity area, and a shallow toddler play area and splash pad. There’s a concession area and lots of seating and deck chairs. River Run provides a refreshing escape from the summer heat and hours of fun.

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NoCo Arts & Cultural District

628 Michigan Ave, Jeffersonville, IN

The NoCo Arts & Culture District is one of the most beautiful and colorful neighborhoods you’ll ever see. Community art creations, shared maker spaces, and creative opportunities abound in this area. You can take a competitive walk through an artsy labyrinth, stroll through the mural garden areas, check out the outdoor art galleries, and pop into the maker spaces.

The Depot is the newest addition to the NoCo District, it’s a unique family-friendly space that uses shipping containers for food service, entertainment areas, and retail. A train car is home to food and beverage establishments and so many local events take place in this space — an ice skating rink in the winter, concerts, markets, and other events.

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Howard Steamboat Museum

1101 E Market St, Jeffersonville, IN

The Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville is right along the river. This gorgeous mansion was once the residence of the Howard family, one of the most notable steamboat builders and a prominent family in Jeffersonville. While at the museum, we learned about the Howard family and their importance in the steamboat industry.

Guests can “poke around” and check out the Victorian architecture of the home and learn about the ornate details and how they reflect and were influenced by steamboats. There are items from World’s Fairs and expositions, stained glass windows, and elaborately detailed woodwork. Kids will love the miniature replicas or models of steamboats and learning about how the family lived in this community. My kids were most impressed by the deafening sound of the steamboat bell in the yard. Be sure to give it a ring during your visit.

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Falls of the Ohio State Park

201 W. Riverside Dr. Clarksville, IN

The Falls of the Ohio State Park in Indiana is one of our family’s favorite Indiana State Parks. My children love it because every time we visit, it feels new and there are different treasures to see. I love visiting because it’s a beautiful place to watch the river and imagine what life was like decades ago, centuries ago, and even millions of years ago.

If you like fossils or hiking, this state park is a great stop for your family. You’ll have access to a seemingly endless expanse of fossil beds, fossil-rich limestone that preserved creatures over time. You’ll see the fossils of corals, brachiopods, trilobites, snails, clams, and others. Often, there are programs at the park that allow guests to dig through collecting piles that are brought in from the area. In these piles, you’ll be able to find fossils and take them with you.

The Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center is a great place to visit with kids, before AND after your visit to the fossil beds. It’s currently closed for renovations, but we’ve walked through during previous visits and learned so much about the Falls of the Ohio.

Other nearby Indiana State Parks and DNR properties include Charlestown State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, O’Bannon Woods State Park, Clark State Forest, Deam Lake State Recreation Area, Indian, and Celina Lakes Recreation Area, Tipsaw Lake Recreational Area, Taylorsville Lake State Park, Hoosier National Forest.

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Southern Indiana Visitor Center

305 Southern Indiana Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN

Every perfectly planned vacation starts at the local visitor center. You can find brochures, maps, discount offers, and guidebooks at most visitor centers and the Southern Indiana Visitor Center is no exception. Plus, during regular hours, there’s a helpful expert there to answer any questions and share recommendations.

We stopped into the Visitor Center partway through our trip and cashed in our points from participating in the free SoIN Fun Trail. We took home some fantastic souvenirs and prizes to commemorate our family vacation…for FREE!

SoIN Fun Trail

The SoIN Fun Trail is like the summer reading program of travel and adventure. You sign up for the free digital passport that connects you to Southern Indiana attractions, restaurants, and shops. You’ll use the passport from May 17 – July 31, 2023, and check in to participating places you visit in Southern Indiana. You’ll earn prizes as you explore SoIN and the best part? There are discounts and special offers at participating locations within the digital passport!

With each check-in, you’ll earn points, which you can use to shop for prizes. The digital passport keeps track of your points and shows you which prizes you are eligible for. Be sure to use your points before they expire on August 15, 2023. All prizes must be picked up from the Southern Indiana Visitor Center in Jeffersonville.

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Big 4 Bridge

A decommissioned railroad bridge that’s been repurposed for cyclists and pedestrians is an impressive structure in this area of Jeffersonville, Indiana. The bridge spans across the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, Kentucky, with Jeffersonville, Indiana. It’s a safe and spectacular way to cross without a motorized vehicle. Along the way, there are places to learn about the river and the bridge and enjoy the breathtaking river views.

At the entrance to the bridge on the Indiana side, you’ll find a vibrant area full of delicious places to eat and visit, plus a park and community gathering space. My kids love the climbing structures at the Big 4 Station Park.

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Rosie the Riveter Statue

430 Ohio River Scenic Byway, Clarksville, IN

Rose Will Monroe, one of four “official” Rosie the Riveters during World War II, settled in Clarksville, Indiana after the war. A tribute is located in Ashland Park, where kids can play after you pose with the Rosie the Riveter statue.

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New Albany National Cemetery

1943 Ekin Ave, New Albany, IN

The New Albany National Cemetery is one of the original 14 national cemeteries established during the Civil War. Visitors to the New Albany National Cemetery have the opportunity to honor and pay their respects to those who have served in the armed forces.

Whether you come to reflect on the sacrifices of the brave, learn about the rich history of the cemetery, or simply find a moment of tranquility, this sacred place offers a meaningful experience.

Veterans of the Indian Wars, the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam are buried in this cemetery as well.

Union Restaurant & Gameyard
115 W Chestnut St, Jeffersonville, IN

If you’re looking for a place to eat AND a place to play, the Gameyard at the Union Restaurant is the perfect landing place. Union Restaurant has an outdoor game yard area where everyone can enjoy outdoor games, activities, and even entertainment.

All ages can play cornhole, giant Jenga, giant beer pong, Connect Four, bocce ball, and more. There’s outdoor seating or you can just meander around while you enjoy a refreshing beverage. Free arcade games are located inside the restaurant.

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RecBar 812

336 Pearl St, New Albany, IN

RecBar 812 is an epic hangout for all ages. There are retro arcade games, pinball machines, food, and drinks. The nostalgia is strong at RecBar, from the collection of signs to the murals on the wall, to the collection of arcade games, you’ll step right into a real-life throwback.

The food at RecBar is really good too! Order from an eclectic menu with unique dishes, like the boomshakalaka shrimp tacos, Frosted Flake tenders (chicken tenders breaded in Frosted Flake cereal), and cowabunga totchos.

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Legacy Pizza & Bakery

1001 Vincennes St Suite 100, New Albany, IN

The front window of Legacy Pizza & Bakery brings to mind scenes from the movies where a quaint family restaurant is a focal point. You’ll love the food and bakery items. If you’re looking for gluten-free food options, Legacy Pizza has a few choices.

Fresh salads, yummy sandwiches, savory pizzas, and scrumptious cannolis are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the delicious choices at Legacy Pizza. Be sure to grab some freshly baked bread to take home!

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Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant

2421 Engle Rd, Starlight, IN

Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant is a popular destination for locals and visitors looking for a high-value, delicious dining experience, and escape to the farm. There’s a wide assortment of activities — from visiting and feeding animals to picking produce to the play area to shopping in the farm market.

Joe Huber’s is known for its delicious home-cooked meals including some classic comfort food; fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread, fried biscuits with apple butter, and homemade pies. It’s a great place for families of all sizes.

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Uncommon Cups & Cones

518 Vincennes St, New Albany, IN

This adorable ice cream shop has a shabby chic vintage feel. You’ll want to eat your ice cream in the shop because there are so many things to look at and fun table games to play. The ice cream flavors are plentiful, including lots of gluten-free options and even dairy free.

Sundaes, ice cream floats, banana splits, an ice cream flight, and ice cream nachos are all on the menu. We tried the ice cream flight which is eight mini scoops of ice cream in a dish. This was a wonderful way to try eight different flavors.

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Geraldine’s Kitchen

402 Wall St, Jeffersonville, IN

Geraldine’s Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch daily. There are affordable menu selections for kids and a robust menu offering for everyone. We loved the omelets, biscuits, and gravy, loaded hashbrowns, and French toast. There really is something for everyone on this menu.

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Belle of Louisville

401 W River Rd, Louisville, KY

The Belle of Louisville is a steamboat, one of the oldest operating steamboats in the United States. The Belle has regular sightseeing cruises on the Ohio River, just across the bridge on the Kentucky side. This steamboat was built in 1914 and the interior has been restored to look like it did when it operated a century ago.

There are entertainment cruises with live music, dining cruises with food, and other special events. You can take a nostalgic journey on the steamboat and hear the whistle and watch the paddle wheel. While on your cruise, you can visit the Engine Room and the Boiler Room where you are welcome to ask questions of the engineers and firemen. The steam-powered organ, the calliope on board the Belle of Louisville will play before the cruise. It can be heard up to five miles away!

There’s a lot to see aboard this National Historic Landmark.

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Southern Indiana Road Trip

As you can see, Southern Indiana offers a pleathora of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. From the natural beauty of Falls of the Ohio State Park and Deam Lake to the cultural experiences found in the NoCo Arts & Cultural District, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Adventure seekers can embark on thrilling ATV rides, while history enthusiasts can delve into the past at the Howard Steamboat Museum. Whether it’s savoring local flavors at Huber’s Orchard & Winery or enjoying family-friendly fun at River Run Family Water Park, Southern Indiana offers a diverse array of experiences to create lasting memories. With its charming towns, scenic landscapes, and welcoming communities, Southern Indiana is a destination that should not be overlooked.

So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey on the SoIN Fun Trail!

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