Evansville is the largest city in Southern Indiana and the third-largest city in the state. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County and the regional hub for the Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois tri-state area. In 2010, the city had a population of 117,000. In 2008 the Evansville metropolitan area was home to 350,000 people.
Unlike most of Indiana, Evansville is in the Central Time Zone (same as Chicago.)
The River City is known for its southern-style hospitality, economic vitality, and proud German heritage. Evansville's culture is a combination of Midwestern charms and Southern family values, and fairly distinct from the culture of Indiana's other major cities (South Bend, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne) likely as a result of being isolated from them geographically without a major highway to connect them. The strong economic base provided by giant Toyota and AK Steel plants has allowed the city to thrive in the face of the nationwide recession. Additionally, the vibrant growth of the University of Southern Indiana (established in 1965) has resulted in a strong youth presence and an active and enjoyable nightlife.
The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. In 2004 Evansville was named an "All-America City" by the National Civic League. In 2008 it was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.
Paleo Indians left the Angel Mounds in the area as evidence of their distant civilization, and French explorers performed obeisance in calling the area La Belle Rivière.
Settled in 1812, the city sits on a gentle horseshoe bend on the Ohio River and is often referred to as "River City." One of the most popular attractions in the region is Bally's Evansville (formerly Tropicana and Casino Aztar, the first riverboat casino in the state of Indiana). Evansville is also home to the University of Evansville and to the University of Southern Indiana.
- 1 Evansville Regional Airport (EVV IATA) (on the north side of the city). Offers over 50 flights daily. Destinations include Chicago and Dallas on American Eagle, and Cincinnati, Atlanta, Memphis, and Detroit on Delta Connection. There are many rental car options, hotel shuttles, and public transportation.
There is no passenger train service to this city.
US Highway 41 bisects Evansville. Interstate 69 (formerly I-164) connects Evansville with Interstate 64, 20 miles to the north. Interstate 69 will eventually provide a direct link to Bloomington and Indianapolis.
Downtown Evansville can be reached via bus lines transiting the classic 1938-era Greyhound bus terminal.
Highway 41 and Interstate 69 (formerly I-164) are the primary North-South routes, while Diamond Avenue and the Lloyd Expressway are the primary east-west routes through the city. Only the Lloyd Expressway takes you completely from one side of town to the other and despite its name, has numerous intersections and stoplights.
- Evansville Riverwalk. Sometimes called the "front door to the city", the riverwalk follows the Ohio River and connects the Casino Aztar entertainment district to the downtown area and Sunset park.
- The Pagoda Visitor Center. Located off of the Riverwalk with an easily recognizable and memorable design, the Pagoda offers a wealth of information about Southern Indiana.
- 1 West Franklin Street. Historic Franklin Street is home to many great events including Mardi Gras Franklin Crawl and the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, one of the largest street festivals in North America. Restaurants include Gerst Bavarian Haus, Lamasco Bar and Grill, Maidens Brewery and Pub, PG Cafe, Smitty's Italian Steakhouse, Hagedorn's Pub, Thyme in the Kitchen
- 2 Haynie’s Corner Art's District. Adjacent to the Ohio River in downtown Evansville Indiana, a creative community of 4 neighborhoods (Riverside, Culver, Goosetown, Blackford’s Grove) define the Arts District. The heart of the Art District is a unique “corner” defined by a shift in the cities grid, multiple arteries meet at a fountain. Haynie’s Corner is a symbol of community, advocacy, preservation, and regeneration its future sits with art, design, and architecture.
- 3 Angel Mounds State Historic Site. The Visitor's Center gives a glimpse of understanding of what life was like from 1100 to 1450, when Angel Mounds was the largest Indian community in what would become the state of Indiana. Walking through the site's 100 acres, visitors view the remains of several Indian mounds and a reconstructed stockade which surrounded the city.
- 4 Mesker Park Zoo. Located on over 50 acres, Mesker Park Zoo has over 600 animals including the oldest living hippopotamus in captivity in the United States. It also has giraffes, lions, zebras, a jaguar, and river otters.
- A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024 starts at 2:02PM local time and lasts 3 min. The chances of a clear sky are 40%. The track of totality is northeast from Mexico and Texas to Illinois, then across Indiana to Ohio and the Canada-New England border.
- 5 Koch Family Children's Museum of Evansville (Children's Museum of Evansville), 22 SE 5th St, ☏ +1 812-464-2663. In the former Downtown Central Library building with 18,000 square feet of exhibits, it hosts four main galleries, plus a multimedia theater entitled the ’Freedom Gallery.‘ ’Work Smart‘ focuses on engineering skill development and the freedom to build and create. ’Live Big‘ provides inquiry into our bodies and promotes the freedom to make choices. ’Speak Loud‘ is the arts area, encouraging the freedom of self-expression. ’Quack Factory‘ contains serious water play and large-muscle activities as it promotes the freedom to explore. Open Wednesday through Saturday 9AM to 4PM and Sunday noon to 4PM.
- 6 Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, 411 SE Riverside Dr, ☏ +1 812-425-2406. The Evansville Museum’s permanent art collection of American and European painting, graphic works, and sculpture dating from the 16th through the 20th centuries is exhibited in thematic galleries highlighting landscape, still life, genre works, and portraiture. Additionally, the museum features permanent and changing history exhibitions at the Museum provide a diverse educational opportunity for visitors of all ages. Such as Rivertown U.S.A. in which a sense of life in the Midwest is explored in the ten detailed shops such as the Doctor’s Office of William M. Elliott--a graduate of Evansville Medical College. Lastly the museum includes the historic Koch Planetarium. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. $4 suggested donation.
- Evansville Museum Transportation Center. The exhibitions of EMTRAC interpret transportation in Southern Indiana from the latter part of the 19th century through the mid-20th century. Divided into four areas, visitors first enter River/Rail/Aviation Hall. Highlights of this exhibit include an interactive riverboat pilothouse, an exhibition recalling Evansville’s first contact with aviation, and a turn-of-the-century waiting room that overlooks the museum’s historic railroad. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. $2 admission fee.
- 7 USS LST-325. Authentic World War II warship open for tours Tuesdays-Sundays. Docked on the Evansville riverfront, it is the last navigable ship of its kind in operation today. Call for hours and special group rates.
- 1 Bosse Field, 23 N Main St. Bosse Field is the third oldest baseball stadium behind only Chicago's Wrigley Field, and Boston's Fenway Park. The stadium once played host to the AAA Evansville Triplets, but now is home to the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. The stadium can be seen in the movie A League of Their Own.
- 2 Bally's Evansville (formerly Casino Aztar), 421 NW Riverside Drive, ☏ +1 812 433-4000, toll-free: +1 800 342-5386. A $200-million entertainment facility that includes a 2,700-passenger riverboat casino, a 250-room hotel, several restaurants, shops, and riverfront pavilion. is a must-do when visiting Evansville.
- Evansville Purple Aces. The athletic program of the University of Evansville, competing in 8 men's and 9 women's sports (but not football), mostly in the Missouri Valley Conference. While most venues are on campus, the men's basketball team plays downtown at the Ford Center.
- Fall Festival. The second largest street festival in the United States. Games, rides, bands, talent shows, and food booths line the street during the first full week of October. The festival is best known for offering unusual cuisine such as the signature Brain sandwich.
- 3 Ford Center. This arena seats 11,000 and hosts the University of Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball team (the women's team has returned to campus) and the Evansville Thunderbolts, hockey team. It has also hosted the men's and women's basketball tournaments of the Ohio Valley Conference, an NCAA Division I league.
- 4 Showplace Cinemas East & IMAX, 1801 Morgan Center Dr, ☏ +1 812-479-9732.
- 5 Sky Zone Evansville, 49 N Green River Rd, ☏ +1 812-730-4759.
- Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. The athletic program of the University of Southern Indiana, located in an unincorporated area west of the city. The Screaming Eagles compete in 9 men's and 10 women's sports (but not football) and are one of the newest members of NCAA Division I, having left Division II to join the Ohio Valley Conference in 2022. Most USI venues are on campus, and unlike its crosstown counterpart of UE, the men's basketball team plays on campus.
- 6 Wesselman Woods, 551 N Boeke Rd, ☏ +1 812-479-0771. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Urban hardwood river bottom nature center.
- 1 University of Southern Indiana. This publicly funded institution has been among the fastest growing comprehensive state universities in the Midwestern United States. Enrollment in 2021-22 was 9,800 students. The university has a modern 300-acre suburban campus situated within wooded rolling hills.
- University of Evansville - A small, private university with approximately 3,050 students. Founded in 1854 as Moores Hill College, it is near the interchange of the Lloyd Expressway and U.S. Route 41. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university features liberal arts and sciences degrees, most with strong cooperative learning opportunities on and off campus.
- Downtown Walkway.
- 1 Eastland Mall, 800 N. Green River Road, ☏ +1 812-477-4848.
- 2 Northpark Shopping Center, 4525 N First Ave. 8AM-8PM.
- 3 Washington Square Mall, 4800 S Green River Rd. Languishing mall.
- Local groceries: If you're lucky enough to be in for a celebration (or simply hanging out with friends), be sure and look for two unique party favorites: Grippo's barbecue flavored potato chips, Ski citrus soft drink. While neither of these is produced exclusively in Evansville, locals will invariably try to convince you they are. These delicious storebought staples simply aren't sold in most cities and can't really be compared to anything else. Caution: Grippo's are unnaturally spicy. Using sour cream as a dip is recommended.
- 1 Gerst Bavarian Haus, 2100 W Franklin St, ☏ +1 812-424-1420. German restaurant that reflects the town's heritage.
- Turoni's Pizzery & Brewery, 408 N Main St, ☏ +1 812-424-9871. 11AM-10PM. Local craft beer and thin-crust pizza.
- Bru Burger Bar, 222 Sycamore St. Burger bar in a historic former Greyhound Bus station.
- 2 Yen Ching, 406 S Green River Rd, ☏ +1 812-474-0181. Voted Best Chinese Restaurant by Evansville Living Magazine three times in a row.
- 3 Deerhead Cafe, 222 E Columbia St, ☏ +1 812-425-2515. Live music, famous for double decker pizzas. Live jazz in the evenings (home of saxophonist Monty Skelton).
- Carson's Brewery, 2404 Lynch Rd, ☏ +1 812-759-8229. Local craft brewery with tap room.
- Damsel Brewpub, 209 N Wabash Ave, ☏ +1 812-909-1956. Local craft brewery and pub.
- Myriad Brewing Company, 101 SE 1st St, ☏ +1 812-402-1515. Local craft brewery with tap room.
- Peep Hole Bar, 201 Main St, ☏ +1 812-423-5171. M 4PM-3AM, Tu-Su 11AM-3AM. A nice, chill bar that often draws a good crowd after-work and late night. Located downtown within walking distance of Casino Aztar and the new Ford Center Arena.
- KC's Time Out’s Lounge, 1121 Washington Sq, ☏ +1 812-437-9920. The best place to go on Sunday nights. Located and thriving in the nearly deserted Washington Square Mall.
- Sportsmen’s, 2315 W Franklin St, ☏ +1 812 422-0801. A pool hall that is also quite popular with the bar crowd.
- Someplace Else, 930 Main St, ☏ +1 812-424-3202. The most popular LGBT bar in the area.
- Comfort Inn East Evansville Hotel, 8331 E. Walnut Street, ☏ +1 812-476-3600. On the East Side of Evansville
- Quality Inn & Suites, 19622 Elpers Rd., ☏ +1 812-867-1600. 5 miles from the airport and 8 miles to riverboat gambling.
- Quality Inn East, 5006 E. Morgan Ave., ☏ +1 812-477-2211. Minutes from Evansville's main shopping area, Eastland Mall, and 10 miles to historic downtown, Evansville Zoo, Audubon Park and Ellis Park.
- Baymont by Wyndham Evansville North/Haubstadt, 12798 Access Road 1250 S, Haubstadt, ☏ +1 812-768-5878. Close to casino action, frog follies, Lyle Station and indoor BMX Racing.
- Drury Inn & Suites Evansville East, 100 Cross Pointe Blvd, ☏ +1 812-471-3400. Breakfast, fitness center, and indoor pool.
- 1 La Quinta Inn and Suites, 8015 E Division St. Very nice, clean mid-scale hotel for business or leisure.
- 2 Residence Inn Evansville East, 8283 East Walnut Street, ☏ +1 812-471-7191. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. On a peaceful lakeside setting, 78 spacious suites offer separate living and sleeping areas, and fully equipped kitchens.
- 3 Bally's Evansville (formerly Tropicana Evansville), 421 NW Riverside Drive, ☏ +1 812-433-4000, toll-free: +1 800 342-5386.
- 4 Hampton Inn Evansville, 8000 Eagle Crest Blvd., ☏ +1 812-473-5000. Offering free hot breakfast, free high speed internet and free parking.
- 5 Le Merigot Hotel, 615 NW Riverside Dr. Upscale boutique hotel opened by the casino on the riverfront downtown.
Most telephone numbers in Evansville consist of +1 812 plus a seven-digit number, but the entire 812 area is now served by an overlay complex of two area codes, with 930 being the second. A local or in-state telephone call now requires all 10 digits of the local number be dialed (omitting just the leading +1 from a local landline call). The same holds true on the other side of the Ohio River; the western third of Kentucky, including Henderson, is served by its own overlay complex (270 and 364).
Signage on many established businesses may still display the original seven-digit numbers; dial 812 before these if no area code is indicated (or, if on the Kentucky side, 270).
- Evansville is a safe town with very few areas that are unsafe even at night. The southern areas of the town are seen as the most rough but are just low-income residential.
- Holiday World & Splashin' Safari - Holiday World is a large theme park located to the northeast of Evansville in Santa Claus, Indiana. It has three of the best wooden roller coasters in the world, "The Raven", "The Legend", and "The Voyage". Included in the price of admission is the water park Splashin' Safari. Splashin' Safari has several world class water slides, two wave pools, two lazy rivers and two family-attraction water play areas.
- Historic New Harmony - One of two of America's great utopian communities. The town's unique history comes alive on guided tours offered to 15 historic sites. The Atheneum is a strikingly modern building designed by Richard Meier and provides an introduction to the community with an orientation film, communal history exhibits, and an observation deck. The New Harmony Inn offers a relaxing escape for tourists and the Red Geranium has been voted one of the best restaurants in the region. New Harmony Inn
|Routes through Evansville|
|Bloomington via ← Jct W E ←||N S||→ END|
|Terre Haute ← Vincennes ←||N S||→ Henderson → Hopkinsville via S and S|