Did you know Corydon was Indiana’s first capital? Yep, and it’s filled with some cool places to check out when you’re in the city. From beautiful architecture to old school soda fountains, here are 4 historic things to do in Corydon with kids.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the folks at This Is Indiana to give you the scoop on what to see when you’re in town. All opinions are my own!
American history has always been fascinating to me. Happily, I passed on my love to my daughter. So this summer, we hit the road for a week-long Indiana road trip to Richmond, Santa Claus, & French Lick to check out their history and cool spots. Our last stop was Corydon and it really was a beautiful visit. Indiana’s first capital, Corydon, is quaint and calm. It’s also perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Here are my top spots to see when you’re in town.
Please note: Due to today’s way of traveling, places mentioned in this post may have a shortened schedule or policy changes at any time. Please feel free to reach out to each for updated information.
See Indiana’s First Capitol Building
Right in the heart of Downtown Corydon sits its first capitol building, a gorgeous piece of architecture. Built in 1816, the first Indiana General Assembly met there to hash out state details. And until Indianapolis became the state capitol in 1825, this building was place where it happened.
If you don’t want to check out its interior, the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site has plenty of cool things around its exterior including an heirloom herb garden, pretty park, and some cool relics. Downtown is highly walkable and has a cute visitor’s center for more ideas on what to see and do, too.
Walk through a Cavern Connected to Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone is an American historical figure, no doubt. But did you know he had a brother that made his mark in the Corydon vicinity? Yep.
Squire Boone had many hats including frontiersman, judge, miller, and gunsmith. In the late 1700’s, Squire hid (along with his brother) in a cave to evade American Indians. He fell in love with the area and the cave, and vowed that’s where he wanted to be buried. His wish was granted in 1815 where he remains to this day.
Present day, Squire Boone Caverns is a cave tour, petting zoo, and small historic building site. A zipline course through the woods is there as well for folks that love gorgeous forest scenery and an exhilarating trek through the canopy. But the tour, by far, is the standout reason to visit. During our timed trip through the caverns, the water was very high and made for an exhilarating walking tour:
If you’d like to visit the caverns, masks are required and, of course physical distancing. Additionally, if the area gets rain, the caverns may be flooded and tours unavailable, so please check its Facebook page for daily announcements.
Get a Milkshake at a Cool Drugstore
Way back when (so technical!), drug stores offered medicine, supplies, and oftentimes a soda fountain. A block away from Corydon’s capitol building is Butt Drugs, an ideal spot to grab a milkshake or malt.
Yes, it does take some extra time as each is made to order, but the results are totally worth it. We sat outside and watched traffic, drank our milkshake, and thought about the thousands of people that have walked through its front doors. Now, I’m kicking myself for not buying a Butt Drugs shirt. Sigh.
Walk through a Nature Respite
Driving back and froth from Downtown Corydon to Squire Boone Cavern, we saw the sign for Hayswood Nature Reserve. On our final morning in the area, we made it a point to visit and I’m so thankful we did.
How does it tie in with Indiana history? Once owned by Henry L. Fabrique, he constructed a mill in 1820. That mill was on Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s hit list during his famous raid in the area. So, while it’s not above the main radar for historic things to do in Corydon, it definitely is a low key way to teach the kiddos some Indiana history.
The reserve offers hiking and walking trails, a super adorable fishing pier with even more adorable ducks, and some outdoor playgrounds for the kiddos. My suggestion is to take some breakfast or pack a lunch and just be.