Looking for a day trip from the Evansville area? Here are 5 destinations – Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE – Higher gas prices have people thinking those long, multiple-day road trips across several states.
Luckily, the Tri-State is located within just a couple hours from several unique destinations that make for perfect single-day trips.
Whether you like nature, history, food or a little bit of everything, there’s something for everyone less than two hours away.
Located just less than two hours from the Tri-State and right across the Ohio River from Louisville, New Albany is a small, historic city with distinctive architecture and a revitalized, creative downtown scene. It’s the perfect place for a day trip if you’re looking to skip the big city traffic.
After perusing downtown art galleries and gift shops, visitors can stop by Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site. Built in 1867, the historical behemoth of a house is over 20,000 square feet and has 25 rooms on three stories. It was built by William S. Culbertson, a business owner who was once considered the richest man in Indiana.
And for nature lovers, five miles away from the mansion in Clarksville, Ind., Falls of the Ohio State Park is a great place to get outside and learn something new. The park consists of 165 acres of 390-million-year-old fossil beds, includes an interpretive center with interactive exhibits, and has spots for hiking, fishing and picnics.
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Marengo is best known for its famous national landmark, Marengo Cave. With a drive time of about an hour and a half from Evansville, the cave is Indiana’s most visited natural attraction.
This is a family-friendly option that offers a variety of tours and opportunities to learn about the area. And there’s even fun to be had aboveground – like finding your way through a 5,000 square ft. maze, pedal carting or playing mini glow putt putt golf while dancing to 70’s party music.
After a busy day at the cave, enjoy a homestyle meal at Van’s Country Table, pizza at Papeno’s Pizza or sip on a cold beer at Marengo Tavern.
A quick one-hour road trip from Henderson will land you in Hopkinsville, where history buffs can learn more about the infamous Trail of Tears at the Cherokee Trail of Tears Commemorative Park.
The small Kentucky city is also home to Jeffers’ Bend Environmental Center and Botanical Gardens, with opportunities to fish, hike, canoe, experience a butterfly garden and more.
At the end of the day, visitors can head over to Casey Jones Distillery, which prides itself on its small-batch, handcrafted bourbons. Started during the prohibition, the distillery offers tours and tastings of its award-winning bourbons.
And on most Friday and Saturday nights, “Casey’s ‘til 8” invites bourbon connoisseurs to listen to live music and pair their liquor with a meal from featured food trucks.
Located just over an hour from the Tri-State, Harrisburg is home to Shawnee National Forest.
Shawnee provides enough fun for a whole day, or even a weekend. Take a hike and enjoy the views of Garden of the Gods, fish in one of the park’s dozens of lakes and ponds, go boating or head out on the Southern Illinois Wine Trail.
If you want to venture out of the forest, you can visit the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Art or have a craft beer while testing your axe throwing skills at Southern Illinois Axe & Ale.
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Situated between Evansville and Nashville, Clarksville is one of Tennessee’s oldest cities and often recognized for its proximity to the Fort Campbell U.S. Army post. It’s fifth-largest city in the state and is rich with history.
One of the city’s top-rated spots is the Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center, an interactive museum with Civil War exhibits. The park also includes a walking trail, picnic areas and a gift shop.
Also popular in Clarksville is the prehistoric Dunbar Cave State Park, a site of Mississippi Native American cave art dating back to the 14th century. The park sits on 144 acres of land and offers bird watching opportunities, cave tours, hiking and more.
And for a more relaxed experience, you can visit Beachaven Vineyards & Winery – a family-owned vineyard with over 25 wines, tours, tastings and live music with food trucks every weekend during warmer months.