Related post: Looking for more fun Indiana day trips or weekend getaways? Be sure to check out my Explore Indiana project, where I’m sharing fun ideas for every county in the state!
Where is Daviess County, Indiana?
Daviess County is located in Southwest Indiana, about an hour south of Bloomington and a short drive to Vincennes. The county seat is Washington, IN
Fun Things to do in Daviess County Indiana
There are plenty of fun things to do in Daviess County Indiana – definitely enough to keep you busy for a day or even a weekend! A few favorites include …
Check out the museum
The Daviess County Historical County & Museum in Washington, IN is truly a hidden gem. While strolling downtown, we saw the sign and decided to check it out. What we thought would be a quick few minutes walking through ended up being over an hour exploring the exhibits and learning all about the history of the county.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well done the exhibits are, and they are super interesting. The exhibits cover everything from a one-room schoolhouse, a military gallery, and even a funeral exhibit.
What? Yep, an entire section of the top floor walks you through how funeral practices evolved and changed through the history of the United States. Very unique and quite fascinating.
Right now the museum is in the midst of a pretty significant expansion, so it’s only going to get better! Take time while you are there to talk to one of the volunteers – they know everything about the county and have some excellent stories to share.
Hear the story of the courthouse arsons
In fact, while we were at the museum, we met Bruce in the research room who shared with us the story of the courthouse. The Daviess County courthouse was set on fire (arson) three times.
Two of the fires were set by offenders who were supposed to appear in court the next day and they thought that if the courthouse had a fire, the trial wouldn’t happen. TWICE!
One of the fires completely destroyed the courthouse and it had to be rebuilt. The museum has a few pictures of the original courthouse which was in a completely different style from the current one.
If you don’t happen to get as lucky as we were and run into Bruce to hear his stories firsthand, you can still get the overview from an interactive display on the second floor. Take a few moments to check it out – it’s a crazy but intriguing story!
Related Posts: Want to extend your time in Southern Indiana? Combine your Daviess County Indiana day trip with an afternoon in Greene County!
Walk and shop downtown Washington
After you enjoy the museum, spend a few more minutes walking around downtown. There are several adorable shops well worth checking out. I picked up a darling IU sweatshirt in one of them. There is also a store that specializes in sewing, quilting, and the like. Ideal for crafters.
Luckily for Washington, Indiana most of the downtown buildings haven’t been torn down and many are in the process of being renovated and revitalized. Even the ones that are empty are still lovely to look at, so on a nice day, it’s fun to walk Main Street and imagine the town in its heyday.
Watch a movie at the Indiana Theater
Also downtown is the Indiana Theater. If you enjoy watching a movie in an old downtown theater, it would be a fun option.
The theater shows new releases, and the prices are amazingly inexpensive. There are typically only two movies shown a few times each day, so if the timing is right and you can squeeze it in, you should consider adding a movie to your list of fun things to do in Daviess County Indiana!
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The BEST restaurants in Daviess County
After spending the afternoon shopping and learning, it’s time to enjoy a bite to eat. Although there are many good places to choose from, here are a few that are unique to Daviess County.
Mason’s Root Beer Drive-In
If there is a root beer stand, it’s always a good choice! Mason’s Root Beer Drive-In is exactly what you’d expect in an old-fashioned root beer stand.
Mason’s has been open in Washington since 1951, and you can still enjoy root beer in a frosty mug, coney dogs, and of course all kinds of fast food goodness.
Park your car and have the car hop take your order or order at the counter and enjoy your food on a picnic table. Either way is a lot of fun.
Cherry Ghost Coffee House
A good coffee house is always an important stop on a day trip, and Washington, Indiana has a wonderful one in Cherry Ghost Coffee House.
Pick up a coffee or tea and relax at the coffee shop or get it to go and enjoy it while strolling Main Street. I thought the vanilla iced coffee was excellent!
Cherry Ghost Coffee House has a very chill and eclectic vibe, and although we visited in the middle of the day, I noticed they offer all kinds of organic food and even have live music some evenings.
Conclusion: Spend a day exploring the fun things to do in Daviess County Indiana
After checking out all these fun things to do in Daviess County Indiana, you’ll have barely touched the surface! If you want to spend a little more time in the region, consider spending time in one of the parks in the area. The West Boggs Park or Eastside Park would be excellent choices!
Although I didn’t have time to personally check it out, the Gasthof Amish Village looks like another interesting choice to extend your trip. With a restaurant & bakery and shops full of hand-crafted goods, I suspect it’d be easy to while away a few hours!
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