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Evansville IN weekend getaway: Entertainment and history along the Ohio River

Try your luck on slot machines or table games at the Tropicana Evansville Casino.
Try your luck on slot machines or table games at the Tropicana Evansville Casino.
Connie Reed

The morning sun sparkles on the Ohio River as you stroll down the paved walkway beside it. You can spend all day here, mesmerized by the water's current, the warm sun on your face cutting through the cool breeze. The Riverfront walk is a lovely start to your Evansville, Indiana, weekend getaway, a getaway filled with casino action, historic site tours, and dining and entertainment experiences.

Start at the Evansville Visitor’s Center, housed in the restored Pagoda, a 1912 Japanese architectural design building on the Riverfront, where you’ll gather brochures and a local area map. Several of Evansville’s attractions are right along the river, including the Evansville Museum, a combined science, history, art, and transportation museum; the USS LST 325, a World War II ship that carried troops and wheeled vehicles to battle sites; and the Tropicana Casino, where you can try your luck on slot machines or table games, enjoy live entertainment, and dine elegantly or casually in one of nine lounges and restaurants. Spend the night close to the action in the Tropicana Evansville Hotel or Le Merigot Hotel.

The Pagoda is just the beginning of architecturally pleasing Evansville. Tour the Reitz Home Museum, a restored Victorian mansion built by one of the city’s founders. Afterwards, take a self-guided tour of the surrounding historic neighborhood, where other mansions and homes have been restored or are undoing restoration. The Old Courthouse in Downtown Evansville, which today is home to several businesses, is another example of Evansville’s extraordinary architecture.

Families will enjoy the Mesker Park Zoo, open year-round and home to 700 animals, the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville, and Bosse Field, summer home to the Evansville Otters Frontier League baseball team. Historic Bosse Field, the third oldest sports facility in the United States, was the filming site for the movie “A League of our Own.”

Whether you enjoy history, sports, gaming, or family fun, Evansville has plenty to do to fill a weekend getaway. Evansville, in southern Indiana, is about a five hour drive from Chicago. For further information on attractions, dining and accommodations, go to the Visit Evansville Indiana web site.

Disclosure: The author’s visit to Evansville and stay at the Tropicana Evansville Hotel were hosted by the Tropicana Evansville Hotel and Visit Evansville Indiana, but any opinions expressed in this article are her own.

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Visit the author’s Midwest Wanderer blog to learn about attractions, restaurants, accommodations and events all over the Midwest.