Midwest Living Review
Towering limestone bluffs and the Ohio River frame picturesque Madison, an old riverboat port of 12,400 so tied to the past that 133 downtown blocks are on the National Historic Register, with buildings dating to 1817. Antiques dealers fill the district, which has served as a model for preservation of other towns. A brick river walk leads visitors close to touring riverboats that regularly dock with loads of vacationers, and a stroll through Madison's hilly streets provides glimpses of lush gardens around grand old homes, some converted to inns. Drives out of town meander to several award-winning wineries, some of the area's best bike trails and Clifty Falls State Park, where seven waterfalls flow.Our most recent visit to Madison in spring 2010 was a bit of a mixed bag. We still love the drive along the scenic byway, the lovely architecture and the flowering touches everywhere we looked. But we wished the shopkeepers would have kept more regular hours, and that the downtown dining options reflected the "eat local" movement that has firmly taken root throughout much of the Midwest. Still, you'll find phenomenal fried chicken and live music at Joely G's and modern twists on comfort foods at ChickiePoo's, a cash-only, weekends-only restaurant run by a family with a daughter battling cancer.