You can’t find a lot of places that have a single warship named after them, let alone four.
However, the city of Vincennes, Indiana, holds that coveted distinction.
Since its founding, the city has lent its name to four U.S Navy ships that served in three different wars.
Vincennes is the oldest European settlement in Indiana and one of the oldest in the United States.
Initially, the town was a trading post for French fur traders in the early 1700s.
Francois-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, founded the settlement in 1732, and he also lent his name to the place.
You can still see the city’s French heritage, for its unofficial flag features four fleur-de-lis symbols, like many of the surviving structures from the 1800s.
As the county seat of Knox County, Vincennes is a progressive Midwest city with a deep history, rich culture, and numerous attractions.
Here are the best things to do in Vincennes, Indiana:
Visit George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
George Rogers Clark was one of the key figures during the American Revolutionary War.
Clark was instrumental in leading the American forces in their successful campaign against the British in the Midwest.
Completed in 1933, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park commemorates the life and bravery of the American hero.
The park sits on the former Fort Sackville, which Clark captured from the British in 1779.
It is one of the most well-known historic landmarks in Vincennes.
The park’s centerpiece is the life-size bronze statue of George Rogers Clark inside a circular granite memorial building.
The bronze statue stands amid seven towering murals depicting the important moments in the American Revolution.
Other notable figures in the historical park include Francis Vigo and Father Pierre Gibault, both of whom also played important roles during the American Revolution.
You can also relax and stroll around the park’s sprawling 24-acre landscaped area lined with trees and flowers.
Beyond a simple leisurely activity, visiting the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park also honors those who helped shape American history.
Laugh Your Pants off at the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy
Comedian Richard “Red” Skelton is one of Vincennes’ favorite sons.
His long illustrious career in entertainment earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy celebrates the life and legacy of the entertainer.
One of the prominent features of the museum is Red’s Comedy Kit, which interacts with the audience using Red’s different comedic styles and characters.
The museum proudly displays memorabilia from Red’s long and colorful career in radio, television, and film, along with personal mementos.
Moreover, guests can also buy various Red Skelton-related merchandise as souvenirs.
The museum also takes pride in its inclusivity.
It can also accommodate persons with special needs, provided that you give the staff advanced notice before your visit.
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is not only a great homage to the comic genius but a glimpse into an important period in American entertainment.
Tour the Indiana Military Museum
The Indiana Military Museum looks like a military base from above due to dozens of military equipment, vehicles, and aircraft outside.
The museum boasts a massive collection of military artifacts dating from the American Revolution to the present times.
Yet the most impressive items in the museum are the actual vehicles and equipment used during wartime.
From artillery used in the 1800s, and well-preserved World War II tanks and aircraft to a relatively modern jet fighter, the museum displays all of them.
On top of those fascinating military pieces, the museum’s collection even includes the top part of a nuclear submarine.
Special events also take place throughout the year to commemorate those who fought during World War I to the Vietnam War.
With tons of fascinating items on display, you’d find yourself spending the entire day exploring the Indiana Military Museum.
Enjoy the Activities at the 1972 KCARC Family Fun Center
A non-profit organization founded the 1972 KCARC Family Center, whose mission is helping people with disabilities in Knox County.
True to its objectives, the center has provided employment opportunities for disabled persons in Vincennes.
Since its founding, the center has become a favorite spot in Vincennes for family entertainment.
The center boasts many fun amenities such as the unique glow-in-the-dark putt golf, Human Foot Darts, and Interactive Laser Beam.
You can jump and play around with the inflatables at your heart’s content, or team up with family and friends for laser tag matches.
If the 24-foot rock climbing wall seems too much of a challenge, then you can try to traverse the easier rock wall.
The center also allows you to experience and immerse in virtual reality with their Oculus Rift devices.
Of course, young ones will not be left out as the facility has a toddler playroom.
However, if you want to relax, then their therapeutic spa will take care of you.
Beyond a one-stop shop for family entertainment, the 1972 KCARC Family Center is also an invaluable part of Vincennes, thanks in part to its noble mission.
Look into the Past at Fort Knox II
Established in 1803, Fort Knox II was a military outpost until 1813.
During the War of 1812, Gen. William Henry Harrison mustered his forces there before joining the Battle of Tippecanoe.
Once a well-guarded fortification, Fort Knox II today only has wooden walls and a few log cabins.
It is one of the many historic landmarks located in Vincennes, which also belongs to the National Register of Historic Places.
The public can access the landmark for free.
History buffs and visitors will also appreciate the markings and descriptions that provide the history of the site.
Visiting Fort Knox II is a must whenever you are planning a trip to Vincennes.
Tour President William Henry Harrison’ Mansion, Grouseland
William Henry Harrison is the shortest-serving president in American history, holding office for 31 days before his death.
Unfortunately, his short tenure as president overshadows his reputation as a war hero.
Harrison served in both the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
Early in his political career, Harrison built the mansion, named Grouseland, as the center of the Territorial government.
Built between 1802 and 1804 near the Wabash River, the mansion took its name from the quail-like birds commonly found on the property.
Over 200 years later, restoration and preservation efforts have turned Grouseland into a popular historic attraction in Vincennes.
The mansion contains President Harrison’s personal belongings and art collection, and many of the mansion’s original furnishings and fixtures.
With an abundance of history and fascinating memorabilia, visiting Grouseland in Vincennes is an unforgettable experience.
Buy Fresh Produce at Halter’s Market
Founded in 1837, Halter’s Market is one of the oldest businesses in Vincennes still in operation.
Locals and tourists alike flock to the market for its fresh produce, vegetables, and flowers harvested straight from the farm.
Halter’s Market opens from April to October every year.
All of their farm products come from the 225-acre farm known as Halterville, located south of the city.
There are dozens of beautiful and colorful flowers to choose from, like Angelonia and Zinnia.
Halter’s Market also boasts more than 50 varieties of tomatoes and peppers.
They also have sweet and juicy winter and watermelons.
Since they pick these products every day, the market guarantees freshness and high quality.
Pick Fresh Flowers at Little Hill Flower Farm
If you want to experience flower-picking at your heart’s content, then Vincennes’ Little Hill Flower Farm is the place for you.
This relatively small, six-acre farm sits along Overhead Road on the western outskirts of the city.
This family-owned farm wants to spread the love for flowers throughout the community.
Between July and October, the farm holds You-Pick special events scheduled every Saturday and Sunday.
During You-Pick events, you can either bring your vase, or get one at the farm, and start picking any flowers you like.
On top of the wide selection of colorful flowers, Little Hill Flower Farm also offers boutique home decors as souvenirs.
You can’t find a lot of places that offer a pure flower-picking experience.
So, don’t miss Little Hill Flower Farm during the blooming season.
Cross the Lincoln Memorial Bridge
The Lincoln Memorial Bridge is one of Vincenne’s architectural landmarks, connecting Indiana and Illinois.
Spanning about a thousand feet, it is an example of a deck arch bridge.
People believe Abraham Lincoln crossed the Wabash River to Illinois in 1830 where the current bridge stands.
Two towering granite columns depicting Native American chiefs stand on the Vincennes end of the bridge.
The bridge also crosses beautiful landscapes along the Wabash River.
Its modest and classic design gives the Lincoln Memorial Bridge a timeless charm, the perfect place in Vincennes to wander along and relax.
Camp out at Ouabache Trails Park
Pronounced ‘Wabash’, the Ouabache Trails Park is a 254-acre park about two miles north of Vincennes’ commercial district.
The park is the city’s go-to place for outdoor recreation and camping.
Enjoy amenities like full shower rooms and laundry service facilities.
Even without camping gear, you can still stay overnight in any of the park’s four modern log cabins.
For outdoor activities, the park boasts over four miles of trails for biking, walking, and hiking.
Fishing along the Wabash River portion of the park is also a popular activity.
Other facilities that you can enjoy in the park include four playground areas, a baseball field, and a basketball court.
Of course, you can simply go picnicking and appreciate the beautiful nature around you.
Whether you want a quick escape from the bustling city environment or a few nights of camping, enjoy these and more at Ouabache Trails Park.
Enjoy the Activities at Gregg Park
Touted as the highlight of the Vincennes Parks network, Gregg Park features numerous fun and relaxing facilities and activities.
Even in the old days, Gregg Park has already played an important role as the venue for the Knox County Fair.
The National and State Register of Historic Places added this place to their records.
Located inside the park’s sprawling 40-acre area are the popular Rainbow Beach Family Aquatic Center and Splash Pads.
Besides the pools for adults and children, Rainbow Beach’s standout feature is its fun looping water slides.
If you feel like burning some calories, then go to the park’s two tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and playground area.
However, if you want to spend quiet time alone, you could simply lie under the tree and enjoy the peacefulness of the moment.
With plenty of features to enjoy and plenty more space to relax, Gregg Park is a must-visit in Vincennes.
Sip Delicious Wines at Windy Knoll Winery
Indiana might not be a household name when it comes to wines.
However, there’s a place in Vincennes that has attracted wine aficionados and tourists for its delicious wines.
The Windy Knoll Winery has become a local attraction due to its specialty labels and trademark sweet fruity wines.
The winery is also famous for its delicious wine slushies.
Of course, the best way to experience all of these is to go for a wine tasting and tour of the winery.
The winery produces wines in small batches, giving the Windy Knoll Winery its artisanal appeal.
Disabled people can also enjoy the winery because it’s also wheelchair-friendly.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur, or simply on the lookout for great-tasting wines, you can never go wrong with Windy Knoll Winery.
Flex your Putting Skills at Cypress Hills Golf Club
Ranked as one of the best golf courses in Indiana, you might imagine Cypress Hills Golf Club as somewhere far from civilization.
Yet you couldn’t be more wrong, for the renowned golf course is just a stone’s throw away from the heart of Vincennes.
Cypress Hills Golf Club’s picturesque location features the rolling southern Indiana hills and the surrounding lush forest trees.
From its longest tees, the 18-hole golf course covers a total distance of 6,230 yards for a par of 70.
Thanks to its postcard-worthy landscapes, the golf course has also gained popularity as a venue for special events like weddings.
You don’t have to go outside Vincennes to have a fun and memorable golfing experience at Cypress Hills Golf Club.
Take a Stroll along Riverwalk, Downtown Vincennes
Wabash River serves as the natural boundary between Indiana and Illinois.
It also serves as much of the northwest border of Vincennes to Westport.
The river’s natural beauty was the primary reason why the city of Vincennes established the Riverwalk.
Traversing Main Street to Hart Street, the Riverwalk is the ideal place to hang around and relax.
The observation deck allows you to appreciate the scenic views of the Wabash River.
You can ride bikes on the Riverwalk, as long as they are not motorized.
It is also great for night walking as the entire place is well-lit.
As one of the best places to go for a morning walk or a relaxing evening stroll, you shouldn’t miss out on the Riverwalk in Downtown Vincennes.
Relax and Meditate at Kimmell Park
There are numerous recreation parks located in Vincennes, and one of these is Kimmell Park.
The park gets its name from Joseph Kimmell, the former mayor of Vincennes.
In 2013, the National Register of Historic Places added the park to its record.
The park features an extensive river walk that offers amazing views of the Wabash River.
Thanks to its location, the park has also become the go-to place in Vincennes for rod fishing.
The park’s pristine surrounding makes it the perfect place for picnicking.
If you want to experience a relaxing and peaceful environment or try fun activities like fishing, then Kimmell Park has everything you need.
Vincennes is a one-stop shop for attractions and fun activities with plenty of beautiful and interesting places to explore.
Whether for learning or recreation, you can enjoy them all within the city.
Do yourself a favor and experience Vincennes as soon as you can.
Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Vincennes.