It's a short drive to your next adventure!

Adventure Awaits: Day Trips Less Than 2 Hours Away

Who says adventures have to be far away? Not us! Check out these easy day trips near Evansville Region that are only a stone's throw away.

ICYMI: the best adventures are right in your backyard - literally. Yes, exploring your hometown can lead to finding some of those hidden gems (like the most perfect coffee shops), but sometimes you just need to explore. A change of scenery never hurt anyone, right? In under two hours, you can find everything from natural wonders to wineries and everything in between. So pack a (day) bag, grab some road-trippin' snacks, and plan your next day trip to a not-so-far-away destination.

An interior shot of cave formations at Marengo Caves in Marengo, IN

Crawl through the Caves in Marengo, IN

Novice and expert spelunkers alike can bask in the breathtaking beauty of the caves in Marengo, IN. While Marengo Cave is the most popular attraction, don’t be fooled into thinking that there’s nothing else to do while you’re there. You can test your sanity with the 5,000+ square foot Mega Maze 🤯 (don’t say we didn’t warn you!), adventure around on pedal carts, spend some time putting in the Mini Glow putt course, or even get your hands dirty with gemstone mining ⚒️. Click here to explore the entire list of adventures and activities that’ll have you wanting to stay for more than just a day.

Downtown New Albany-min

Explore the Historic Charm of New Albany, IN

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and trade it in for a good dose of history and a leisurely bout of exploration, then head on over to New Albany, IN. It takes less than two hours to get there and has all of that old-town charm that’ll have you wanting to linger just a little bit longer. Stop by the historic 20,000-square-foot Culbertson Mansion or pay a visit to the legendary Carnegie Center for Art & History 🖼️   Click here to learn more about everything New Albany has to offer.

An image from the bottom of the dam at the Falls of the Ohio River State Park

Immerse Yourself in Natural Wonder in the Falls of the Ohio State Park

While you’re in New Albany, head a little further East to discover one of the most interactive state parks East of the Mississippi. With both indoor AND outdoor exhibits and activities, a visit to the Falls of the Ohio State Park is perfect any time of the year. Stop by the interpretive center to learn more about how the Ohio River shaped the land we know today. You can also take your exploration outside with a hike on one of the “world’s most accessible Devonian-age fossil beds.” Pro tip: make sure to pack a 🧺 lunch to get the most out of your visit to this family-friendly state park.

Owensboro KY Smothers Park-min

Get the Best of Everything in Owensboro, KY

Take a shorter drive to Owensboro, KY for a delightful day-trip brimming with Southern charm and endless possibilities. Nestled along the Ohio River, this quaint city offers a perfect blend of rich history, delectable cuisine, and vibrant culture. Begin your adventure with a stroll through Smothers Park, where scenic riverfront views and playful water features await. Next, immerse yourself in an exhibit at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art. For a taste of Kentucky's bourbon heritage, embark on a tour of the O.Z. Tyler Distillery, where you can experience what KY is known for. Whether you're exploring historic sites, savoring some BBQ at Moonlite BBQ, or simply basking in the serene beauty of the riverfront, Owensboro promises an unforgettable day.

A night time image overlooking the downtown skyline and riverfront in Louisville, KY

Catch Big City Vibes in Louisville, KY

At the very edge of our 2-hour radius lies Louisville, KY. Home of the Kentucky Derby 🐎 and Muhammad Ali, there is no shortage of events, experiences, and activities in this all-American city. Pit stop by the Louisville Mega Cavern and zip around the 17+ miles of underground caverns sitting right beneath the city. After you’re plum-tuckered out, head over to the Louisville Bourbon District and stroll the “birthplace of Bourbonism.” You can find 10+ distilleries and sample all of their boozy goods. And if that’s not enough, you can click here to explore everything Louisville has to offer.

If all big cities are your vibe, check out more big city day trips near the Evansville Region.

An image of a tunnel in the Gothic Avenue cave system in Mammoth Cave, KY

Spend the Day Adventuring in Mammoth Cave, KY

If life’s been feeling just a bit too people-y, then a day trip to Mammoth Cave, KY may be just what the doctor ordered for you. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the only thing to do in Mammoth Cave is, well, cave things. In addition to some of the most ✨stunning✨caves you’ll ever see, you can also find outdoor adventure courses, Dinosaur World, and all the kayaking and horseback riding you could ever imagine. Crystal Onyx Cave, Green River kayaking/canoeing, and the Cedar Sink trail are some of the most highly recommended experiences in Mammoth Cave. Don’t forget to stop by the Mammoth Cave Visitor Center to get the most out of this unforgettable day trip from Evansville.

A view overlooking the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest

Get Your Hike on in Harrisburg, IL

Whether you have a day or a weekend, Harrisburg, IL, has all of the natural beauty you could hope for - and all within an hour-ish of driving. Pack your most comfy hiking shoes and explore the awe-inspiring Shawnee National Forest. But if getting your steps in doesn’t really sound like an ideal use of your day off, then you can get your 🍇vino 🍇 on the Southern Illinois Wine Trail. For you creative folks, you can also use your day trip to find fresh inspiration at the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Art.

A image of a resident elephant standing in a grassy habitat at Wilstem Wildlife Park

Get Wild at Wilstem Wildlife Park in Paoli, IN

Wilstem Wildlife Park isn’t your average zoo. This midwest "safari" offers encounter package options that give you the chance to get up close and personal with your favorite animals. Heck, why not pack a bag, book a cabin on-site, and make it a weekend trip? They also offer the kind of adventure packages that’ll have you smiling for days afterward. From ziplining to horseback riding to up-close encounters with wildlife, it’s easy to fall in love with Wilstem Wildlife Park. 

A group on a cave boat ride at Indiana Caverns

Take an Underground Boat Ride in Corydon, IN

Most cave tours require walking.. a lot of walking 😅. It’s time to switch up your cavern exploring experience with a unique and unforgettable excursion: a boat ride through the longest cave in Indiana. You’ll still get some steps in at the Indiana Caverns, but you can also float your way around or amp up the experience with their Deep Darkness tour that’ll have you spelunking through tight spaces like a pro. 

The tree house at Terre Haute Children's Museum

Get an Up-Close Look at Terre Haute, IN

From wineries to museums and everything in between, Terre Haute is one of the best day trips near Evansville. Though this is one of the longer day trips (~2-hour drive 🚗), it’s well worth it. Families can make lifelong memories at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. For history and architecture buffs, stop by the Candles Holocaust Museum and the breathtaking Indiana Theatre. After that, you can finish your day at the Terre Haute Brewing Company or WaterTower Estates Winery. Whatever you choose, there’s plenty to do and explore in Terre Haute.

The exterior of the French Lick Resort in West Baden, IN

Book an Adults-Only Day Trip to French Lick, IN

If indulgent spa treatments, a visit to the casino, and even a few rounds on the links sound like your cup of tea, then a day trip to French Lick is the perfect mini getaway for you. Book a massage or facial at the 27,000-square-foot luxury spa at French Lick Resort. Test your driving skills at the world-renowned Pete Dye Golf Course and play where the pros do ⛳. Once you’re done there, head over to the French Lick Casino and test your luck at blackjack, roulette, or any of the countless slot machines.

Don't Wait! Now's the Time to Plan Your Next Day-Tripping Adventure

You don't need a week's worth of vacation to have a getaway that'll create memories that you'll cherish forever. Whether you're an outdoorsy type who enjoys the company of waterways 🌊 and wildlife or you have a more refined palette that's always in search of the best bourbon or wine, there's a little something for everyone. And, if you're still on the hunt for something that's wallet-friendly, you could always explore the best free local activities.