Jeffersonville, Indiana, sits on the banks of the Ohio River, straight across from Louisville, Kentucky.
The famous revolutionary John Paul Jones founded the city in 1797.
Jones was an Admiral in the US Navy who helped capture British ships during the Revolutionary War.
In 1801, the city received the name Jeffersonville.
That year, Thomas Jefferson assumed the presidency of the United States.
The first shipbuilding took place in Jeffersonville in 1819.
Steamboats would soon become a pillar of the local economy.
Jeffersonville flourished in the 19th century as a steamboat building center.
The city’s location on the Ohio River made it a Union Army hotspot during the Civil War.
During the 1930s and 1940s, gambling became a crucial factor in Jeffersonville’s recovery from the Great Depression.
The casinos, betting clubs, and parlors earned the city its moniker ‘Little Las Vegas.’
The city also experienced a significant economic boost in the early 2000s.
They converted acres of the Army Ammunition Plant into the River Ridge, a hub for local and worldwide business.
Today, Jeffersonville thrums vibrantly with rich history and modern local flair.
Here you can enjoy gorgeous views and riverside excitement, including dining, walking, biking, and listening to live music.
Here are the best things to do in Jeffersonville, IN:
Take Beautiful Pictures at the Big Four Bridge
The Big Four Bridge is one of the must-see attractions in Jeffersonville.
This bridge connects Jeffersonville, Indiana, to the Louisville Waterfront Park, Kentucky, over the Ohio River.
In 1895, they constructed the Big Four Bridge as a railroad bridge for Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis Railway or the Big Four Railroad.
The railroad bridge got decommissioned in 1968 when they removed bridge ramps on both sides of the river.
However, they gave it another chance with its conversion to a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in 2014.
These days, it is a beautiful destination for a round trip from Jeffersonville to Louisville, Kentucky, covering around two miles.
See incredible river and skyline views, enjoy a romantic stroll, and catch the sunset.
You can also enjoy the gorgeous sight of the city illuminated by the bridge’s color-changing lights.
Taste Fun New Flavors at Poppin’ Flavors Gourmet Popcorn
Poppin’ Flavors Gourmet Popcorn can be a tasty part of any celebration or occasion.
Established in 2020, the popcorn shop is a family-owned and operated business that makes handcrafted popcorn.
Their products rise above the average and will undoubtedly please many taste buds.
They craft their popcorn not only as a movie snack but as a gourmet treasure, which you can savor to the last sweet, lip-smacking bite.
The family researched and experimented with different flavors before opening the business.
They use premium local ingredients for small to large batch productions and hand drizzle many innovative flavors.
They offer 30 customized flavors that are sure to please people with adventurous palates, such as Rainbow Candy Corn, Caramel Bourbon Peanut, Dill Pickle, and Garlic Parmesan.
In late 2021, they added gourmet cookies to their tasty treats and began selling their best-selling Kentucky brown butter chocolate chip cookies on Amazon.
Bring Your Kids to Perrin Family Park
Perrin Family Park comes with an exciting history.
When the Ohio River overflowed 100,000 years ago, its rushing waters deposited gravel from a melting glacier into a large area in Jeffersonville.
This area became the Perrin Family Park.
The Shawnee people inhabited the land until the War of 1812, and you can still unearth Indian arrowheads from the ground.
In 1943, H.L. and Catherine Perrin bought the land and maintained a dairy on the property for 31 years.
They decided to give something back to their community, establishing a foundation and charging it to develop all 90 acres of land.
Today, Perrin Family Park features a 1.25-mile walking trail passing around the lake and a waterfowl feeding station.
You can also find a path meandering its way through trees and open areas, a picnic area with shaded tables and grills, and two shelter houses.
The kids will adore the playground, sandboxes, and Catherine’s Teddy Bear Place, featuring Catherine Perrin’s collection of over 650 teddy bears.
Bring Your Friends to Big4Escape and Smash
Big4Escape and Smash is excellent for any occasion, combining the many elements of a puzzle game and a scavenger hunt.
The escape rooms or breakout rooms will test your abilities to find clues and solve puzzles.
At the Bunker, threats escalate by the hour, and the world depends on you to prevent a nuclear attack.
At the Witches Cabin, enter a haunted cabin, collect a possessed artifact, repel the witch’s spirit, and escape.
At the Big 4 Heist, outlaw Ronnie McCoy has hired you to help rob a train and get the gold.
The smash room and the splash-and-splatter room are more exciting features.
In the smash room, blow off steam as you suit up in protective gear and smash various items.
At the splash-and-splatter room, dress up, choose vivid colors, fling paint on a canvas, and bring home a messy masterpiece.
Relax and Unwind at Harmony Park
Like hundreds of other cities, Jeffersonville is well-known for its serene green areas.
Harmony Park is a beautiful place to kick back while forgetting your worries.
Admire the lush greenery, have fun with your friends, go out on a date, and celebrate a special occasion.
Otherwise, read a book, admire the flowers, or bring your dogs.
Harmony Park is also a lovely pocket park with a musical motif.
You can find sculptural outdoor instruments, flowers spilling from the grand piano, and colorfully rendered umbrellas.
Major features of the park are amazing murals called Reverberations in Color, which Louisville artists Wilfred Sieg III and Braylin Resco Stewart painted.
The murals depict musical instruments aplenty: guitars, drums, keyboards, and musical notes.
You can also see the Louisiana skyline and Jeffersonville’s River Stage.
Likewise, you can find creative sculptural benches and interactive giant musical instruments.
Explore the Past at Clark County Museum
This superb museum showcases the history of Jeffersonville and Clark County.
It is dedicated to collecting, displaying, preserving, and interpreting artifacts of its past.
They have everything under the sun, from Native American artifacts to present-day memorabilia.
Browse their collection of family papers, photographs, clothing, early maps, vehicles, artworks, Edwardian toys, and Clark County archeological artifacts.
A group of collectors founded the museum in 2008, appreciating the county’s role in Indiana and United States history.
Know Clark County’s ‘Indiana firsts’ such as the first state forest, first state prison, and one of the first settlements west of the Appalachian mountains.
Discover the history of Clark County as a major route in the Underground Railroad.
Learn about abolitionists and enslaved folks who sought freedom.
Learn how Clark County had a major fort in the civil war, with many residents serving in American wars in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Learn about Firefighting at the Vintage Fire Museum
This stellar museum has a nationally known collection of firefighting equipment.
Brush up on the history of firefighting since the 1700s.
Its stated mission is to preserve, display, and collect firefighting equipment in a nationally significant museum to educate schoolchildren and adults.
Travel back in time to explore the history of fire engines and firefighting.
Check out an incredible collection of pictures and artifacts telling the story of the stalwart men and women who dedicated their professions to saving others.
Find a variety of steamers and pumpers, including a rare hand pumper dating back to 1756.
You can also see an array of fire trucks from the 20th century, including a 1927 Ahrens-Fox, a 1937 Flood, a 1937 Model, and a 1953 Seagrave.
Rounding up the collection are other memorabilia, like uniforms, helmets, lamps, historical alarms, fire marks, and axes.
Admire the Landmarks at Warder Park
Warder Park is a gorgeous focal point in downtown Jeffersonville.
It is the venue for the annual Concerts in the Park, held at the gazebo in its center.
The parks date back to the mid-19th century.
It was once a bakery that made hardtack for Union Soldiers.
Mayor Luther F. Warder wanted the park site for a new city hall, but the city council chose a different spot.
They then named the park after Warder as a gesture of goodwill.
The park opened to the public in 1881, and the city renovated it in the early 2000s.
As part of the renovations, they added a ten-foot cast bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson.
The sculptor Guy Tedesco created the statue for Jeffersonville’s bicentennial.
Another eye-catching monument at Warder Park is the domed Carnegie Library, a neo-classical architecture built in 1903.
It is another central focal point in Warder Park and contains the Remnant Trust of Rare Books and Documents.
Enjoy a Sweet Treat at Schimpff’s Confectionery
Schimpff’s Confectionery is one of the country’s longest-operated, family-owned confectionery stores and candy businesses.
Gustav Schimpff Sr. and Jr. preside over the confectionery operations.
While it opened over 130 years ago, the family has made candy in Louisville since the 1850s.
The lunch room at the shop touts an authentic 1950s soda fountain and tin ceiling.
The shop constantly bustles with people treating themselves to ice cream and old-fashioned sweets.
Cinnamon Red Hots are Schimpff’s signature candy; Gus Schimpff Jr. included directions for making them in his recipe book.
They are typically hard candy made throughout Kentuckiana and the deeper South.
Modjeskas are caramel-colored marshmallows named after Polish actress Madam Helen Modjeska.
Schimpff’s has also supplied endless residents with colorful Hard Fish Candy, symbolizing the area’s river heritage.
Spend a Luxurious Evening at Match Cigar Bar
If you’re looking for a cozy joint to enjoy a nice beer, Match Cigar Bar is the place for you.
It is famous for its draft beer, delicious bourbon, and liquor.
Its cozy atmosphere allows visitors to unwind after a long day.
Here, they increase their products’ local and artisanal facets while creating a comfortable lounge environment.
Match Cigar Bar’s point of pride is their liquor cabinet stocked with a selection of scotch, bourbon, whiskey, and rye.
You can listen to jazz, sip on your handcrafted drink, and unwind from the buzz of daily life.
Settle into a soft leather chair and enjoy the tasteful ranch aesthetic, from table lamps to wood finishes to a lovely fireplace.
Try their house specialty, an Old Fashioned in a cigar box with wood chips from barrels that used to contain Angel’s Envy bourbon.
Let Your Special Occasion Bloom at Lavender Hill
Lavender Hill is a full-service floral shop in Jeffersonville with a flourishing green thumb and artful arrangements.
Their signature look is natural, favoring the flowers in the design.
Check out their visual impact, lush blooms, attention to detail, and everything that leaves an impression.
They pay close attention to the best features of a foliage or blossom: textures, shapes, rich colors, and soft petals.
They have a wide variety of corporate clients and create a floral brand for each one, from legal firms and hospitals to indie businesses.
They aim to design something unique for anyone sending flowers to say ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘I love you.’
They also serve people who just want to let you know they are ‘thinking of you.’
Lavender Hill pays attention to color, beautiful scents, and exciting textures.
They gently listen and suggest gifts for sympathy tributes, whether a floral, a plant, or a keepsake.
They also love unique gifts and carry beautiful blooming green plants, Bourbon Barrel Brand items, dish gardens, cheeky and artsy greeting cards, and more.
See the Sights at the Ohio River Greenway
The Ohio River Greenway, a beautiful trailhead leading to a multi-use path, showcases the beauty of Jeffersonville at its finest.
It all started in 1994 when the cities of Clarksville, New Albany, and Jeffersonville had a dream of linking their communities through the Ohio River’s waterfront properties.
Over 20 years, they completed 90% of the project, and now a 7.5-mile-long trail goes through these areas.
The Greenway is a peaceful and serene place for joggers, walkers, and bicyclists.
In Jeffersonville, the Greenway passes many family-owned restaurants and attractive historic homes.
In 2015, they added a marina with a path along the river’s mouth and upgraded boat docks.
The marina connects Spring Street Overlook and the Terraced Lawn, an amphitheater including the River Stage.
The River Stage is a floating stage that hosts over 30 free concerts and public events yearly.
Discover Steamboat History at the Howard Steamboat Museum
For many decades, the steamboat industry was Jeffersonville’s life and soul.
To gain knowledge of this vital piece of history, visit the Howard Steamboat Museum.
It is a beautiful 22-room mansion crafted in the Richardsonian-Romanesque style.
Likewise, it was the home of the famous steamboat-building Howards of Jeffersonville.
Many highlights of the mansion include original furnishings acquired at the 1893 Exposition.
These items include brass gasoliers, elaborate carvings, and stained glass windows.
You can even see a black walnut grand staircase replicated from a famous steamboat.
Loretta Howard, the wife of late Captain Jim Howard, founded the museum in 1958.
The museum held tours and trained docents on the history of Howard Shipyard.
The family’s master artisans created many of the mansion’s incredible features.
Howard steamboats include the record-holding City of Louisville, the lavish JM White, and the well-known Indiana.
In the museum, you can see paintings, photographs, half-hull models, tools, and other incredible artifacts.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Admire Natural Wonders at Falls of the Ohio State Park
The Falls of the Ohio State Park is in Clarksville, Indiana, just five minutes away from Jeffersonville.
It is along the Ohio River, serving as a unique crossroads between history and prehistory.
The state park is home to the world’s largest exposed Devonian fossil beds.
These fossilized creatures thrived 390 million years ago when the area was a tropical seafloor.
The state park is also home to George Roger Clark’s cabin.
His younger brother, William Clark, met Meriwether Lewis for their famous expedition on this same site.
The park features a magnificent interpretive center overlooking the fossil beds and containing excellent immersive exhibits.
The Ancient Sea exhibit tells the story of the 390 million-year-old tropical sea and its ancient creatures.
The A Changing Land exhibit talks of Earth’s last significant ice age and how it formed the Falls.
Converging Cultures tells of the conflict and commingling between Native Americans and European settlers.
Other things to do at the state park are hiking, fishing, picnicking, and birdwatching.
Have Tee Time at Hidden Creek Golf Club
Avid golfers will be happy to find this well-regarded facility just 14 minutes north of Jeffersonville.
You can find this course in Sellersburg, Indiana.
Take a break from life’s daily grind and play a round of golf at Hidden Creek Golf Club.
It is a special place with 27 holes of golf paradise on gorgeously manicured land that holds wildlife such as turkeys and bald eagles.
Hidden Creek 18 is an excellent course with teeing rounds for every player level.
Meanwhile, Turning Point 9 is a welcome break for those who want a more casual golfing session.
Founder Barry Bonifield proudly presents a complex with a short game practice area, full driving range, and its putting green.
The staff are some of the friendliest around and will happily serve any fun-loving golfer looking for a great time.
Here at Hidden Creek Golf Club, practice, improvement, and love for the game come first and foremost.
Jeffersonville is full of historical sights, incredible attractions, and artistic feats that should thrill any visitor.
This vibrant city, with its rich roots and contemporary appeal, has something for everyone.
See the beautiful traditions, cuisines, and cultures at Jeffersonville and go on a trip worth remembering.
Book your trip today!