Story Ideas

Madison, Indiana, 2008

Between imposing bluffs to the north and the Ohio River to the south, Madison Indiana flourishes as a destination for families, history buffs, couples, nature lovers, and recreation enthusiasts. Located in Southeast Indiana just a short drive from Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, and Indianapolis, Indiana, Madison is most noted for its picturesque setting and historic district. Overflowing with shops, restaurants, cozy B & B's, wineries, historic sites, and home to Clifty Falls State Park, Madison offers a fun, safe, get away appealing to a wide range of tastes. Madison is Midwest Living Magazine's # 4 choice for "100 Top Towns To Visit".

Charles Kuralt wrote, "For me the princess of the rivers (sorry, St Louis; forgive me, Memphis) is unquestionably Madison, Indiana. To walk through Madison's leafy streets is to vow faithfulness to this regal lady forever."

Turning the Big 2-0-0

Madison is preparing to celebrate its 200th birthday in 2009 and the Madison Main Street Program is spearheading the party planning. They have designated the week of June 6-14, 2009 for a 200-hour Madison reunion filled with special events. There will be sporting events, a film festival, music, a boat parade, arts, historic events, fireworks and more something for everyone. The idea is to bring people back home, or keep them at home, for a community celebration that spans an entire week. People are encouraged to take their vacations around this week–either to come home to Madison, or to make sure they don't leave for other places during that week in June.

Of course, there will be special events going on for the whole year. The Jefferson County Historic Society is in negotiation with the Madison Port Authority for an excursion train. As the first railroad in the Northwest Territory, the railroad played an important role in Madison's history and the trip would highlight that role. Passengers would begin their experience at the original Madison Railroad Station then take the trolley to the train. They would be treated to vintage cars with interactive programming, displays and oral history during this event.

Madison has a lot to celebrate. With 133 blocks (over 2,000 structures) of the country's most notable 19th century architecture all listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Madison is Indiana's largest historic district. Three sites, The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, the Shrewsbury-Windel House, and Eleutherian College are designated as National Historic Landmarks. Madison has been awarded National Historic Landmark District designation joining Savannah and Charleston as national treasures.

Included in Madison's historic district and open to the public are a 19th century horse and buggy doctor's office, a Greek Revival style townhouse, Madison's first mansion, an 1816 Federal style home believed to be Madison's first two-story tavern, the country's only restored 19th century saddletree factory, an 1865 railroad station and the Lanier Mansion & formal garden. Adding to the richness of the Madison experience is the historic downtown business district, home to over 100 specialty shops, artists, cafes, B&Bs and restaurants.

Girls Love Madison

Grab a couple of girl friends, pile into the car and feel the tension dissipate. Choose one of several great B&B's and take over the whole place. Let the innkeepers pamper YOU. Try one of our Super Packages like Windy Hill Women Unwound. Two days of intense fun at Windy Hill B&B with mega-pampering, belly dancing, and bonding. Have a quiet evening meal at one of our fine restaurants then head to one of our wineries for a tasting or night cap. If you feel the need, cut loose at one of our night spots. Want a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous of 1850? Visit the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. Envision yourself as the lady of the manor with a stroll through the formal gardens overlooking the river a great stress buster. Nothing is better than a little "shopping therapy" in Madison's historic downtown shopping district. Put down your shopping bags and choose one of our little cafes for your lunch. More shopping and you'll be ready to try the '37 Flood at Mundt's Candies. It's a colossal sundae topped with everything imaginable including chocolate fish. This is definitely quality sharing and bonding time with the girls. Try a wine tasting at one of our 3 award winning wineries (remember you'll need a designated driver, ladies).

Eight Indiana communities, Bloomington, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Grant County, Hamilton County, Lafayette West Lafayette, Madison and Terre Haute, teamed up to create an idea booklet just for girlfriends. This publication is packed with ideas for a perfect weekend getaway with your closest gal pals. This booklet will be distributed throughout the eight communities in an effort to increase awareness of Indiana's great weekend getaway options for girlfriends.

From taking a cooking class or catching the game with a girls-only Big Ten tailgate party, to indulging in locally crafted wines, fresh gourmet chocolates, exceptional dining experiences or some serious retail therapy, this guide has just what every type of gal pal get-together needs. You're sure to find the perfect getaway for the special women in your life.

The Indiana Wine Trail

Traveling along the Indiana Wine Trail, you're likely to be surprised by two things. First off, there's the geography. Far from the flatlands Indiana is famous for, this stretch of Southeast Indiana winds through gently rolling countryside interspersed with spectacular views of the Ohio River. Situated along a nationally-designated scenic byway and dotted with historic attractions and quaint small towns, it's an ideal road trip at any time of year.

The second surprise to be found along this four-county Wine Trail? The wineries themselves. Encompassing everything from secluded estate vineyards to historic pub-style bistros, the Indiana Wine Trail brings together the region's best, each offering a different take on one of the state's fastest-growing agricultural products: handcrafted Indiana wine. The Trail has been redesigned and reconfigured for 2008.

A Taste of History

The story of the Indiana Wine Trail begins nearly two hundred years ago, when Swiss settlers near Vevay, Indiana began cultivating vineyards to produce wine. Their efforts established Southeast Indiana as the nation's first winemaking region and led to the creation of the country's first commercial winery. As the birthplace of the American wine industry, it should come as no surprise that the Ohio River Valley is recognized as the largest designated wine area in the U.S. This hardy Midwestern grape-growing region encompasses approximately 16 million total acres and stretches across four states.

Today, the Indiana Wine Trail starts and ends in Southeast Indiana, a scenic corner of the state positioned along the river where Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky meet. Located within driving distance of major metropolitan areas like Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, it's still largely rural in nature, a picturesque blend of small towns and natural scenery perfect for exploring by car.

As you drive along the Wine Trail, you'll find many opportunities for sightseeing along the route. The trip can be extended with a stop at one of the region's historic inns or bed-and-breakfasts, many of which are located close to shopping, dining and attractions. Charming riverfront communities and area parks also offer a pleasant diversion if you need to get out and stretch your legs along the way.

You're Invited

We love to show people around Madison. If you'd like to arrange a press tour, just let us know. We'll be happy to show you around and introduce you to the people who can make your story come alive. If you have a particular interest or subject for your story, we will tailor the visit to meet your needs.