Indiana, what a great state. There are so many little gems to see and explore. Small town charm is really a thing, friendliness adds to the experience when exploring a new place, and thanks to the smallish size of our state, each new Indiana adventure isn’t too far away!
Over the course of a month, our family visited several places in Southeastern Indiana. Versailles, Madison, and Vevay, specifically, with a short day trip over to Kentucky tucked in. My husband ministers at different churches every week, and as a family we travel there by RV. We were in this area of the state for about a month overall. But, you could easily visit all the places mentioned in one week-long trip or a few of the stops in a weekend.
1 – Versailles
For our first stop, we camped at Versailles State Park and met some extended family at the Ark Enounter in Kentucky (about an hour or so away). Versailles is marked with great trails and a beautiful lake. Normally they have a water park but it was closed due to covid. We enjoyed “trail 3” which crosses a creek a few times and has a beautiful stretch of stone “pavement”. Hiking is such a great family activity. Even if the kids start out complaining, at some point they start to enjoy being in nature and exploring. Or maybe I am just pretending that they enjoy it because I am enjoying being in nature. But hey, I pack snacks and they like that.
We also drove over the iconic red covered bridge into the small town of Versailles, Indiana. We have been coming to minister in this area for over 4 years now, how have we never explored this cute town? I love architecture and this town had some very interesting buildings, in some ways the downtown reminded me a bit of New England. We stopped at “Pat’s Bulk Food” downtown and bought some goodies for later that evening. Yum!
2 – Clifty Falls State Park/Madison, Indiana
Just south of Versailles Indiana, about 45 minutes or so, is the lovely historic town of Madison Indiana and Clifty Falls State Park. What a great combo! History and shopping, camping and hiking, I bet you could please almost everyone if you payed this area a visit.
We spent a day hiking the trails at Clifty Falls, and only covered a portion of them. The trails are extensive! Of the state parks that I have visited in Indiana, Clifty Falls is my favorite. Beautiful and challenging, these trails are no joke. But, even if you are on the less than fit side (like me, sadly) you will find some trails that you can enjoy without passing out from exhaustion.
As you can see, we had way too much fun at the Nature Center…
Madison sits on the Ohio River and it carries the history of a booming river town in days gone by. I love the old houses in this town, they are beautiful, and some have the same architectural style as homes that we have seen in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans – interesting.
We spent an afternoon shopping in downtown Madison. Our first stop was the “Lumber Mill Antique Mall” and it was a hit with the whole family. The older girls and I enjoyed walking through most of the clothing shops. We all made a stop in at “G.H. Coffee Company” and my youngest was very impressed with the seating area and loved, in particular, the window seats. We also stopped in at “Scoops Ice Cream Shoppe” where our younger ones received a very generous helping of ice cream.
3 – Vevay, Indiana
Named after a quaint mountain village in Switzerland, Vevay Indiana is the county seat of Switzerland County. While not mountainous, the town is nestled between the lovely rolling hills of southern Indiana and the Ohio River. It has many of the same features that we love about Madison Indiana, similar architecture, history and cute shops, but it is a bit smaller, and I would argue that the small size only adds to its charm.
Over the past few years we have made the trip down to Vevay Indiana to hold revival services at Vevay Assembly. During these trips we have enjoyed exploring the town and staying at the campground right along the Ohio River.
Vevay is loaded with history and one of our most memorable historical site visits was to the old jail on the courthouse lawn. It was a bit creepy if I’m being completely honest. Thinking about being a prisoner or even the jailer in that place all those years ago led to some interesting conversations.
4 – The Ark Encounter (Williamstown, Kentucky)
We visited the Ark Encounter while camping at Versailles State Park, but you could make the trip from any of the campgrounds in this post. We met my parents and sister and her family and made it into a cool (homeschool) fieldtrip to start off the school year. Noah’s Ark did not disappoint and I highly recommend making the trip. I also recommend going through the week to beat the crowds.
There was so much information to learn and read about. I particularly loved the scale model inside the ark that showed how things may have been laid out to accomodate for practical things like food, water storage, and waste removal. There were plenty of things for the various age groups, and videos to sit and watch when we were tired of walking.
The kids really liked the petting zoo area outside and the amazing playground. They were also very impressed with the shuttle bus ride from the ticket counter to the Ark.
At the end of our exploring we shopped at the Answers in Genesis Resource Center. Science and History books from a Christian perspective? Yes, please. It was a great day.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Southeastern Indiana (and Kentucky). I also hope you are able to go and visit some of these places as well.
If you would like to find out more about our ministry, Kingdom Pursuit Ministries, go to www.kpministry.org