Make your next extended weekend in Southern Indiana, known for the Derby Dinner Playhouse, Falls of the Ohio, Carnegie Center for Art & History and the Howard Steamboat Museum.
First, make your lodging reservations at one of the many convenient brand-name chain hotels or plan a glorious getaway at the historic Pepin Mansion on Mansion Row in New Albany. Built in 1851 and Restored in 2013, the Bed and Breakfast is noted as “the Restored Crown Jewel of New Albany.” Luxury accommodations are offered to guests in any one of the four available suites. The Pepin Mansion is a short walk from the riverfront and the bustling downtown dining and entertainment district in New Albany and is just five minutes from downtown Louisville.
Only a few minutes away near Clarksville is the Falls of the Ohio State Park. The name originates from the Ohio River which flows nearby. The “Falls” was originally a series of rapids allowing the Ohio River to drop 26 feet over a distance of two and a half miles. This was the only navigational hazard over the 981-mile-length river formed by rock outcrops. Today much of the original falls have been flooded behind the McAlpine dam. Fishing, hiking and casual walking, fossil viewing, bird watching, and picnicking are among the most common activities at the park now.
A must-see are the hands-on exhibits that fill the Falls of the Ohio State Park renovated Interpretive Center exhibit gallery. After a $6-million investment, it re-opened in early 2016. the 16,000 sq. ft. facility has been improved from one end to the other. The exhibits feature four themes that connect the center and the park’s fossil beds to history and nature. They are: An Ancient Sea, A Changing Land, Converging Cultures and The Falls Today. Visitors enter a time tunnel showing the placement of continents throughout earth’s history and walk through a Devonian sea with a huge projection like you are scuba diving. Learn more about fossils and how the glaciers help create the Falls of the Ohio. The careers of an archaeologist and paleontologist are compared. Explore evidence of prehistoric people through dozens of artifacts. Listen to a rare conversation in the Shawnee language inside a bark-thatched wegiwa. An original 14- minute movie about the long and exciting history at the Falls of the Ohio is shown in the auditorium. The Gift shop operates from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday, 1- 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Enjoy dining out and a Broadway show at the Derby Dinner Playhouse. Derby Dinner Playhouse is the theatrical entertainment leader in both Indiana and neighboring state Kentucky, noted for their professional productions of Broadway musicals and lighthearted comedies. Each dinner theatre production comes alive with the magic of lights, costumes, a live orchestra, and a stage full of professional performers. Derby Dinner’s freshly-prepared, homestyle buffet features Classic American Cuisine. Selections include a full salad bar, a variety of vegetables, fish, beef or turkey, hot rolls, and beverage. Take your time as the “Footnotes”, Derby Dinner’s own talented vocal ensemble, entertain you just prior to the stage production. A full bar and delicious desserts are a specialty of the house. Tickets vary in price and range from $40-49. >MORE
Before checking out of New Albany, stop by the The Carnegie Center for Art and History. It is a local history museum and contemporary art gallery. The Center offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy art works in a variety of media and to learn more about the process of creative expression through a range of exhibitions and programs for all ages.
Hungry again? Several new restaurants have opened or are planning to debut in SoIN. The culinary scene continues to thrive with the addition of the Portage House, Pearl Street TapHouse, Parlour, and more to come. There are events and attractions to fill every waking hour, so make sure you plan to visit soon.