If you travel east a little way along US150, not far from the Ohio River, you’ll discover Indiana’s first capital, Corydon. This area has been important to Hoosier history for over 200 years. It is where Indiana became the 19th state in the Union. Before the capital of Indiana was ever Indianapolis, it was located in Harrison County in Southern Indiana. Corydon is where Hoosiers first came together to establish and organize this great state. The historic town square has been beautifully preserved and is home to many historic sites.
Decades after the state was created, the only Civil War battle fought on Indiana soil was fought in Corydon. The Battle of Corydon Memorial Park and Harrison County Discovery Center pays homage to this significant piece of Hoosier history.
Today, people travel from all corners of the Midwest to take in its historic charm. Many of the buildings and structures date back to 1816, the year of Indiana’s statehood. Spend the day exploring family businesses, such as Zimmerman Art Glass and the infamously named Butt Drugs, that have been in the community for generations and generations. Downtown also boasts a variety of modern boutiques, antique shops, and an artisan center. Travel outside the town and you’ll find caves, wineries, hiking, and other great adventures.
What to Eat
When it comes to breakfast, you can’t beat the classics. Frederick’s Café serves up the best pancakes, of course, served with a sizzling side of bacon. Cozy up in a booth or hop up to the lunch counter, and take in the nostalgic décor and family photos.
This antique bar is full of history and character. The atmosphere has a one-of-a-kind warm and cozy pub feel thanks to the brick oven. When you’re at Beaver Street Tap Room, you have got to try the brick oven baked pizzas and fried pickles.
Not only does Overlook Restaurant in nearby Leavenworth have one of the best views of the Ohio River, it’s got some of the best food. Chow down on fried chicken, pork chops, and blackberry cobbler while taking in the 20-mile vista.
Where to Go
Best of the Best:
Corydon Capitol State Historic Sites tell the history of the Indiana’s government. The courthouse, offices, and residences were constructed between 1814-1819. The limestone courthouse served as the state capitol from 1816-1825 and is the centerpiece of the historic downtown square. Many sites are available for tour throughout the year.
Uniquely Southern Indiana:
Harrison County is home to a few caves: Squire Boone Caverns, Wyandotte Cave at O’Bannon Woods State Park, Indiana Caverns, and Marengo Cave. Explore the caves by boat or foot. Many of the caves are accessible to all adventurers.
Zimmerman Art Glass carries on a family tradition that’s continued through four generations. The local artisans create many different pieces of handmade glassware, such as paperweights and ornaments. You can even watch a demonstration and see how it’s made for yourself.
Where to Sleep
Comfort Inn, conveniently located just off the highway, offers an outdoor pool, free WiFi, and fitness center. Guests also enjoy a free hot breakfast with two flavors of waffles, yogurts, fruits, hot eggs, sausage, and more.
Steps away from the historic downtown square, the Kintner House Inn neighbors local attractions, dining, and shopping. The 15-room bed and breakfast was constructed in 1873 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Not only is Horseshoe Southern Indiana a casino, it’s also a luxury hotel. Enjoy great meals at one of the four restaurants, relax at the spa, see a concert or show, or dance the night away in the lounge. Visit during the week for incredible overnight packages.
The quaint, historic community, flavored with nostalgia, offers a uniquely Southern Indiana experience. Bring your loved one, or even your grandkids, for an unforgettable Americana experience.