Monday, May 18, 2009

Scenes from... Madison, Indiana

Broadway Fountain:

An old high school is now Rivertrace Senior Living Apartments- we love that!
Gorgeous exterior of Mundt's:

We loved the Hertz Shoes sign:

A double burger and tater tots at Hinkle's:

The Mercantile:

The Ohio Theatre:

Purchases from the Madison Mercantile:

Pretty cards from Whimsy:

Before this weekend, we had never been to the Main Street of Madison, Indiana which is pretty shameful because:
  1. we are native Hoosiers who've lived here pretty much our whole lives
  2. Ladies Home Journal declared it the "Prettiest Small Town in the Midwest"
  3. Mundt's Candies on Main Street (since 1917!) is featured in the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die.
For these reasons, we took a day trip there on Saturday and we weren't disappointed. We've been in other cute, small downtowns but we were amazed how long the commercial part of Main Street was. There were a few empty storefronts but most were filled on both sides of the street for several blocks. We found some parking the by the beautiful Broadway Fountain (which appeared to be getting a little restoration done to it). Our first stop was the Madison Mercantile store where we found some food that looked interesting (like a lobster bisque mix), a tea caddy, and some items that will be gifts at Christmas. They had a nice selection of cookware and wine too. Then, it was off to Hinkle's Hamburgers because you know Mr. WYA! had to try a burger from an establishment that has been there since 1933! We ate on the side with the counter but there is a separate door for the side with tables if you'd rather that. There was also outdoor seating. We sidled up to the counter and ordered a double cheeseburger and tater tots (we've had a big week for tater tots!). These are classic hamburgers so think of it as a bigger White Castle burger. The patties were grilled in front of us, pickle and onion are standard, the ketchup and mustard are on the counter if you want to add them. It was a tasty burger in a just right size that made us understand why they've been in business for 76 years. We enjoyed our tots but the regulars seemed to going for the home fries with cheese.

We continued to browse and were pleased with the variety of the shops. We always fear that the stores in small towns will slant toward the country side of home decor/living (you know the kind of places that we mean, where they spell words that start with a "C" with a "K" instead; e.g. Kountry Krafts). While there were shops with country/primitive decor items, that wasn't the overall vibe. We were happy to find some $1 boxes of incense at Gifts That Last (120 E. Main St. Tel 812.265.6717) and some beautiful greeting cards at Whimsy. Whimsy had many tempting beautiful things such as journals, clothing, and home decor. Make sure you browse there when you go to Madison. There was also a lovely book store, Village Lights, that had used and new books.

By the time we were done with all of that browsing, it was time for a sweet treat. There were a lot of options for treats; Hinkle's has milk shakes, there's Rogers Diner and Soda Fountain, a little further down Main Street is The Madison Fudge Factory but, we had to try something at Mundt's since it is such a legend. You can sample flavors of their ice cream, eat there, or take something to go. We love a good truffle and the dark chocolate ones were very good.

There were several antique stores, restaurants, and other shops too numerous to mention. There also happened to be a folk festival taking place by the river on the day we were there. Check out and for comprehensive lists of merchants and festivals.


Rebecca said...

I've been wanting to go to Clifty Falls but had no idea there was so much to do in Madison. Thanks for the tips!

WYA! said...

Yea, we could even see ourselves living in Madison and a Clifty Falls post is coming up later this week.

Kelly said...

make sure you take a side trip to the Hanover College campus; the view of the Ohio is amazing! It's the only place along the river where you can see three bends.


Rachael said...

I went to Hanover, so I've got tons of experience with Madison :) You were right - the home fries with cheese are a Hinkle's staple, as are their milkshakes. The Downtowner is also a great lunch place, along with the Red Pepper.