Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and also the state’s largest city. The population is roughly 888,000 (2020), making it the 16th largest city in the United States, and the metro area has about 2 million (#34). Efforts to beautify and modernize the city have brought Indianapolis into the 21st century as a world-class destination for everything from business meetings and trade conventions to backpackers making their way across the States.
Indianapolis is widely hailed as the "Racing Capital of the World" because of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and as the "Amateur Sports Capital of America" for hosting the NCAA. The city has several attractions outside of sports including museums, a large zoo, over 100 ethnic restaurants, several arts and historic districts, and a revitalized downtown. Although Indy has been mocked with the epithet "India-noplace", Indianapolis has several attractions for visitors, with a mix of a large metropolitan city and a simple Midwestern community. You will find beautiful architecture, monuments, and pristine cornfields in the Circle City.
When Indianapolis was founded, it was expected to be a "Great Inland Port", but the White River is non-navigable most of the year. The pay-off is that this desire for a port left the city with a gorgeous canal district, though the canal itself is only useful for recreational kayaks and paddleboats.
Today, Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" due to its centrality in America's Interstate Highway System. Indy is warm in the summer, with average highs around 85 °F (29 °C; 303 K) in June, July, and August. This is paired with a typical mid-western winter—January is the coldest month, with an average high of 34 °F (1 °C; 274 K). Every few years, the winter gets sharp with significant snowfall and once a generation or so there is an ice storm or otherwise impassible winter weather event. Indianapolis exists within a tornado region but has never been impacted by major twisters. Travelers really only need to beware the occasional nasty winter and sometimes overly hot summer. The city has had two droughts since 1980, neither of which was disastrous.
In general, travel in and through Indianapolis is safe, clean, and logical. Visitors can always find something to do without becoming overwhelmed at a sprawling metropolis. In a few minutes, you can go from a sleepy and peaceful cornfield to a vibrant downtown. City planning is intelligible to outsiders with a grid system broken up by a few major diagonal streets, a large beltway loop (I-465), and a general lack of gridlock and traffic.
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- 1 Indianapolis Visitor Center (Artsgarden), 1 N Illinois St (Downtown, off of the main east–west street), ☏ . M–Sa 9AM–9:30PM, Su noon–6:30PM. A visitor's center in the heart of the city, located alongside the Circle Centre shopping mall. The Artsgarden is open later than the visitor's center. You can still see musical performances, look at art, or eat food in the Artsgarden until 9:30PM Monday through Saturday and until 6:30PM Sunday. Free.
- 2 Indianapolis Visitor Center (White River State Park), 801 W Washington St (Just west of Downtown), ☏ . M–Sa 9AM–4PM, Su 11AM–5PM (hours are extended to 7PM in the summertime). A second visitor's center, just outside of Downtown next to a collection of museums and zoos. Check out the nice gift shop while you're there.
Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" for a good reason. Interstates 65, 69, 70, and 74 meet here. The city's outer belt is I-465. Travel directly through the city on I-70 (east and west) or I-65 (north and south). Direct travel using I-74 or I-69 is not possible; I-74 is routed around the center of the city on I-465, and I-69 ends at its intersection with I-465 to the city's north (though it resumes to the southwest near Martinsville, with a segment now open to Evansville).
Interstates 65 and 70 intersect at a region known as "the split" south of downtown. There is also a ramp onto Washington Street, which is the main east–west artery in the city. Traffic here can be extremely busy and construction is routine. It's possible that you'll have situations where you want to cut across five lanes of traffic going 70 mph (110 km/h) in a distance of less than 1 mi (1.6 km)!
Motorists wanting to experience a bit of history may wish to take a trip along Washington St. which forms part of the National Road (a.k.a. Cumberland Road). This route was the first federal highway in America and initially stretched from the Atlantic Ocean through most of Illinois. It has been extended into Interstates 40 and 80, so travelers can take a trip from Baltimore to San Francisco along it today. Small milestones mark all of the major cities along this All-American Road.
- 1 Indianapolis International Airport (IND IATA), 7800 W Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Drive, ☏ . Indianapolis International Airport (IND IATA) is in the southwest corner of the city, about 15 minutes from downtown without traffic. While the airport has existed in this location for decades, the current terminal was only constructed in 2008, at a different location within the airport grounds, and is accessed via different roads (from the SW, rather than NE). A number of hotels are nearby, some providing free shuttles to the terminal. The airport is served by public bus (route No. 8), Express Shuttle ($12 to downtown, as of 2018), as well as shuttle buses to a few other nearby cities.
The following are of interest to private pilots:
- 2 Eagle Creek Aviation Services 4101 N Dandy Trail. +1-800-487-3331. It's directly north of the International Airport in a small corner of the westside tucked inside of the beltway loop.
- 3 Greenwood Municipal Airport 749 E County Line Rd, Greenwood. +1 317-881-0887, south of the city
- 4 Metropolitan Airport 10401 Willow View Rd, Fishers. +1 317-849-0840, northeast of Indianapolis in a posh small city
- 5 Indianapolis Regional Airport (formerly Mt. Comfort Airport) 3867 N Aviation Way, Greenfield. +1 317-335-3371, east of the city
- 6 Greyhound, in the heart of the city. +1 317-636-6666. Greyhound services virtually the entirety of the U.S., so buses will come into the city over a dozen times a day from many locations.
- 7 Burlington Trailways, travels only throughout the Midwest. +1-800-992-4618. This also uses the same station as Greyound.
- 8 OurBus, After Amtrak canceled service between Chicago and Indianapolis, this New York-based cheap bus company stepped in in 2019 to fill the gap. Passenger pick up and drop off are across from the Transit Center downtown: there is no building here but this structure provides some coverage from the elements.
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
- 9 Indianapolis Union Station, 350 S Illinois St, toll-free: . A historic, and underused, grand station that has the distinction of being the first Union station. Most of the building has now been converted to other uses, including a hotel. Trains depart from southern end of the station, there is a small waiting room as well as ticket offices.
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains throughout the United States of America. Route stopping in Indianapolis:
- Cardinal operating three trips weekly between Chicago and New York City with stops in Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette, Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, Connersville, Cincinnati, Ashland, Huntington, Charleston, Hinton, White Sulphur Springs, Staunton, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Manassas, Alexandria, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, and Newark.
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains throughout the United States of America. Route stopping in Indianapolis:
Outside of the walkable Downtown and some Cultural Districts, you'll need a vehicle to navigate the urban sprawl. The public bus system is fairly clean and efficient but routes are sometimes complex, and substantial portions of the metro area are inaccessible. Outside of peak hours, waits can be prohibitively long. Bike lanes alongside major roads have been constructed in the early 2010s, so cyclists will be sharing the road.
On highways, the general speed limit is 55–70 mph (89–113 km/h). On city streets, if no speed limit is posted, assume that it is 35 mph (56 km/h). Indianapolis generally lacks the aggressive driving, bad roads, and congestion associated with major U.S. cities. The city planning is largely logical and follows a grid pattern with some exceptions. A handful of streets cut across the city north–south and only a few (10th, 38th, 82nd/86th, and 96th) go across east–west. Washington Street is the main east–west through street, which bends to the south on the westside and Meridian runs north–south far past the boundaries of the city. Due to the flat terrain of central Indiana, you can see downtown from most spots in the city. If you are desperately lost, you can at least get your bearings by looking for the handful of skyscrapers.
Starting in the 2000s, Indianapolis and the surrounding areas—especially Avon in the west and Carmel in the north—have added several roundabouts. American motorists may not be familiar with them but they are safe (and have reduced collisions in the areas where they have been installed). Local drivers are accustomed to them. In 2013, a Michigan left was installed at 96th and Allisonville, the extreme north of the city.
Parking meters are found downtown. The city sold control of these to a private company in 2011–2012 and parking tickets are handed out aggressively. Meters accept cards, coins, and small bills and parking is free in late hours and on weekends.
The public bus system is Indy Go. It travels through much of the city and into some suburbs. Single fares are $1.75, day passes are $4, and if you think you will be staying longer, you can get a week-long card for $20 or a 31 days for $60; purchase them at the station downtown or online. All buses are equipped with two bike racks in front. Although the city has slowly increased funding for transport, outside of rush hour routes, you may still find yourself with a half-hour wait or longer. Most routes travel from a locality in the outskirts of the city to the centrally-located bus stops downtown and back out; there are also a handful of smaller circulators and loops. Consequently, if you want to go across town, you will likely have to catch two buses.
One of the handiest routes for visitors is #11 East 16th Street, which runs many of the city's most popular dining and nightlife spots, including the Mass Ave strip.#18 Broad Ripple heads from Downtown up Broad Ripple Ave. Runs roughly M–F 5AM–9:30PM, Sa 6AM–9:30PM, Su 7PM–9PM.
#8 Washington is a helpful path to travel quickly west through Downtown to the Zoo and the Canal. It runs west through downtown on Ohio, then down West St by the Canal, and then on old US-40/Washington St past the Zoo, and then all the way out to the Airport, passing by a Latino district and along the old US-36 route. The #8 route also heads east from downtown and can be used to access the quaint neighborhood of Irvington. M–F 9AM–11PM, Sa 6AM–10PM, Su 7AM–7PM.
#18 Nora will take you north on Meridian St past the Children's Museum and near a large shopping district on the northside. M–F 6AM–9:15PM, Sa 8AM–9:15PM, Su limited.
The Purple Line also goes by the Children's Museum but then heads west on 38th past Newfields (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art) and Crown Hill Cemetery. M–F 7AM–9PM, Sa 8AM–9PM, Su 9:30AM–7:30PM.
Biking is easy due to the smooth topography. There are a variety of bike paths throughout the city, including the Monon Trail and the Central Canal. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail was built through several years in the early 21st century and takes riders through downtown providing signs with Indianapolis history; public art dots many stops and you will be guided past several restaurants and local businesses. This world-class bike and pedestrian path marks an interconnectivity that no other city of Indianapolis' size can achieve, connecting the city's seven Cultural Districts, neighborhoods, and entertainment amenities, and serving as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. Starting in 2008, Mayor Greg Ballard announced a plan to make Indianapolis a bike-friendly city for those venturing out on open, and often busy, roads. The plan includes constructing 200 miles (322 km) of additional bike lanes throughout the next 15 years, many of which are already constructed.
Motorists in Indianapolis are not known for being aggressive but it is still novel for many of them to share major roads with cyclists. Bike lanes are clearly marked but some drivers may encroach upon them. Also, while the Monon is a beautiful and well-traveled path, it is frequently unsafe at night—particularly north of Downtown. Solo biking along the trail at night is best avoided.
IndyGo buses include two bike racks in the front for storing your cycle but if they are full, then you'll be out of luck.
- . Bike sharing program with 25 stations located on or near the Cultural Trail in downtown Indianapolis. $8/24 hours.
Cabs such as Yellow Cab Indy and Indy Airport Taxi are readily available mainly downtown and in Broad Ripple Village. Outside of these regions, taxis generally cannot be flagged down. Taxi services will take you anywhere within the city and the surrounding area, 24/7.
The tallest building in Indianapolis is the Salesforce Tower, standing at 830 ft (250 m), followed by the OneAmerica Tower which is 533 ft (162 m) and the One Indiana Tower standing at a height of 504 ft (154 m). The fourth and fifth are the Market Tower 421 ft (128 m) and 300 North Meridian 408 ft (124 m). Other skyscrapers include the M&I Plaza 401 ft (122 m) and the JW Marriott Indianapolis 376 ft (115 m), which is the tallest hotel in the state and the largest JW Marriott in the world. All skyscrapers are in a relatively compact cluster downtown.
Outdoors and landmarks
- A total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024 starts at 3:06 PM local time and lasts four minutes. 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.
- 1 Indiana State Capitol, 200 W Washington St (Just west of Monument Circle), ☏ , [email protected]. M–F 9AM–3PM, Sa 10AM–1PM. Completed in 1888, this is the hub for Indiana's state government, housing the Governor's office, the state legislature (State Senate and Indiana General Assembly) and the State Supreme Court. The first state capital was in the Southern Indiana town of Corydon, and in 1825 it was moved to Indianapolis. Featuring Italian Renaissance, Greek, and Corinthian design, the building is made from primarily of Indiana limestone. Look up while in the Rotunda to see the amazing German stained glass window, take a guided or personal tour, or observe the government "at work". Free, $ parking.
- 2 Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument, 1 Monument Circle (The center of the city), ☏ . F–Su 10:30AM–5:30PM. This is the famous statue right in the heart of the city. Built in 1902, it stands only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty. The artwork built into the monument is moving—bloody Civil War battles and freed slaves. Miss Liberty on top faces South, protecting the North from the Confederacy. Housed in the basement is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War museum, and you can take a ride up to the top of the tower to look out over the city. The small grounds on the Monument are a perfect metaphor for the city itself: a mixture of the hustle and bustle of Downtown with the serenity of green grass and gently roaring water—good for people-watching. There is also a small gift shop. At the base, there is a statue of William Henry Harrison, who served as the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, and for one month as President of the USA. Free parking on the circle and the museum is free.
- 3 Indiana War Memorial, 400 N Meridian St (Slightly north, Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. W–Su 9AM–5PM. A seven-block district featuring the neoclassical memorial. The memorial features an amazing performance/lecture hall and a free war museum documenting all US wars. $ parking, free admission.
- 4 Scottish Rite Cathedral, 650 N Meridian St (Slightly north, Downtown), ☏ , toll-free: , [email protected]. M–Th 8:30AM–4:30PM, F 8:30AM–3:30PM. An architectural masterpiece, it is the world's biggest Scottish Rite cathedral. Take a tour and explore the huge pipe organ, floating dance floor, handcrafted art glass windows, learn about the mystery of Freemasonry and grab a bite to eat in the cafe. Free.
- 5 Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W Washington St (Just west of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. M-Th 9AM-5PM, F-Su 9AM-7PM. Home to the Dolphin Adventures Gallery and Dome. The underwater dolphin viewing dome is the first of its kind (and free with admission). The "Oceans" exhibit features a shark touch tank. Other areas include the Plains, the Forest, the Desert, botanical insects, and a petting zoo. Check out different animal talks throughout the day. There are opportunities to feed and ride some animals for an extra charge. Amusement rides such as the small roller coaster, carousel and train are extra, too. Zoo grounds are a non-smoking environment. Hours vary depending on the time of the year, please visit the website for details. The Zoo also incorporates White River State Park, with over 3 acres (1.2 ha) of gardens and pathways along the White River and the Hilbert Conservatory, which is the showplace for different flowers, plants, and special attractions (such as butterflies) throughout the year. $12.45 adults, $9.45 children 2–12, $11.45 seniors (65+).
- 6 Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 W 38th St (10 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ , toll-free: , [email protected]. 8AM–6PM, open until 8PM in the summertime. It's the third largest cemetery in the United States and is considered the "Best Walking Tour" in Indy by Indianapolis Monthly—the gruesome is mediated by the quiet and contemplative nature of the grounds. Tours explore the Gothic Chapel and Waiting Station from the late 1800s and famous grave sites. You can also pick up a map at the office for free and explore the cemetery by foot, car or bike. Hundreds of soldiers are buried in a beautiful war burial ground. Famous graves include John Dillinger, Frederick Dusenberg, Booth Tarkington, James Whitcomb Riley (at the highest point in Indianapolis), Colonel Eli Lilly, President Benjamin Harrison, and others. Free.
- 7 American Legion National Headquarters, 700 N Pennsylvania St (Northside of downtown), ☏ , toll-free: . M–F 8AM–4:30PM. Situated in the heart of downtown Indy with a beautiful mall that reminds one of D.C. Check out the museum that features hundreds of World War I & II posters and artifacts, a diorama of Jessica Lynch's rescue, explore the grounds and learn about the Legion's history. Free, $ parking.
- 8 Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden, 2505 Conservatory Dr (Southeast side of town, west of Beech Grove), ☏ . M–Sa 10AM–5PM, garden times vary, check website. Located inside of Garfield Park, the Conservatory houses 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of plants from all over the world. The Sunken Gardens, built in 1916, are 3 acres (1.2 ha) of European classical formal gardens. Gardens change based on the season. $1, with $1 per person guided tours. Shows are $3 per person or $8 per family.
- 9 Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, 650 W Washington St (Westside of Downtown). 24/7. Monument that is part of White River State Park that pays tribute to over 3,000 Medal of Honor recipients. Ranges from Civil War through modern day clashes. It is made up of 27 curved glass walls, each 7–10 ft (2.1–3.0 m) high, and etched with the names. It's quite breathtaking—especially at night! $ parking, free.
- 10 Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium, 4600 Sunset Ave (Butler University Campus, about 10 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. Check website or call for times. It's one of the largest public observatories in the world, and the 38 inches (97 cm) Cassegrain telescope is the largest in Indiana. Weekend tours are available only, since students use the observatory during the week. Private tours are also available. $3, $2 children, cash only.
- 11 Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens, 4000 Michigan Ave (10 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM–5PM, Su noon–5PM. An amazing home located on the grounds of Newfields art museum. This is the former estate of the Lillys. Located on 26 acres (11 ha) grounds with a 22-room mansion, gardens, and museum. Check out country estate living in the 1930s, and explore the beautiful home and antiques that the family acquired. The gardens are spectacular and feature many pathways and fountains. Be sure to also check out the garden shop where you can purchase plants grown on the grounds. Free, although special exhibitions may cost you.
- 12 Project 9/11 Indianapolis.
- 13 Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N Meridian St (10 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ . Tu–Su 10AM–5PM. This museum is the largest children's museum in the world. In March 2006, it unveiled artist Dale Chihuly's largest blown glass exhibit, Fireworks of Glass—a glass sculpture that rises 43 feet (13 meters) tall. Children (and adults alike) can dig for "dinosaur fossils", catch a planetarium show, view the miniature trains and ride the carousel. The museum has huge holdings that are constantly rotating, so be sure to check out the temporary exhibits as well. Even if you've been before, there will be something new the second time around. The Museum is fun for children of all ages. Grounds include restaurants and a wonderful gift shop. $18.50, $13.50 ages 2–17, $17.50 seniors 60+. Free on Martin Luther King Day (3rd Monday in January), Presidents' Day (3rd Monday in February), El Día de Los Niños (April 30), and Christmas Eve and from 4PM–8PM on the first Thursday of every month. Free garage parking.
- 14 Indiana State Museum, 650 W Washington St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ , fax: . M–Sa 10AM–5PM, Su 11AM–5PM. The state museum's new home is one of the most beautiful in the country. Learn about the beginnings of Indy—from dinosaurs and fossil finds to the Civil War, World War II, and today. Explore a hall dedicated to famous Hoosiers, enjoy the IMAX theater, special events, and walk the grounds of White River State Park exploring the sculpture garden dedicated to the counties of Indiana. A must see. The small gift shop sells Indiana-related trinkets as well as gourmet sodas, novelty candies, and plush toys. The Farmers Market Café features a menu reflective of Indiana’s heritage as a source of fresh, local produce with seasonal menus and fresh soups, salads and sandwiches. The historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room features its signature famous chicken velvet soup. $13, $8.50 ages 3–12, $12 seniors 60+. IMAX admission extra, discount combo passes are available. First Tuesday of the month, admission half off. Parking with validation $3.
- 15 Museum of Miniature Houses, 111 E Main St (Extreme north of the city, in Carmel, about 20 minutes from Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. W–Sa 11AM–4PM Su 1PM–4PM. This is a rare find, a museum that caters specifically to miniature homes, room boxes and vignettes. They also have a gift shop and a children's play area. $5, $3 children under 10.
- 16 Indianapolis Firefighters Museum & Historical Society, 748 Mass Ave (Mass Ave. District), ☏ , fax: . M–F 9AM–4PM, summer has limited weekend hours. Learn about the founding and history of Indy's firefighters, check out the antique hand pumper, horse drawn fire cart, horse drawn steam pumper and more. Also be sure to visit the Indy Firefighters Memorial too. Free, donations accepted.
- 17 Crispus Attucks Museum, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. M–F 9AM–5PM, weekends by appointment. Located inside of Crispus Attucks school, this museum celebrates Indy's African American heritage with art galleries, school history, and student achievement. Although not as famous as the communities in Chicago or Detroit, Indianapolis has a rich black heritage from the Great Migration of the late 19th century with a quarter of the population African American. $8, $5 students under the age of 17 and seniors, $3 group rate.
- 18 Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 W Vermont St (Less than 10 minutes west of Downtown), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Feb–Nov: Th–Sa 10AM–3PM with tours on the hour. Dec–Jan: Sa only. Located in the old pathology building on the grounds of the now closed Central State Hospital—an ex-mental hospital that serviced Hoosiers for years. It's the oldest pathology building in the country and is in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum offers a tour that shows off old medical equipment, preserved medical specimens, and so forth. $7, $5 university students with i.d., $3 children.
- 19 James Whitcomb Riley Home & Museum, 528 Lockerbie St (Eastside of Downtown), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Tu–Sa 10AM–3:30PM. Visit the home where this legendary poet and author lived out the last half of his life. Riley is known as "The Children's Poet". The home has been featured in Architectural Digest and is considered one of the finest preserved Victorian homes in the country. Nothing in the home has been renovated—all furnishings from the carpet up are original since 1916. Take a tour and see his belongings, antiques collection and history. $4, $1 ages 7–17. Limited free parking, parking passes handed out.
- 20 Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, 500 W Washington St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ . M–Sa 10AM–5PM, Su noon–5PM. The museum is the only one of its kind in the Midwest. Featuring western art by T. C. Cannon, N. C. Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe, Allan Houser, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and Kay Walkingstick. The museum also focuses on Native American history featuring artifacts, art, and history about this nation's first people. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant, too. The museum also hosts occasional lectures, plays, and music. Located within White River State Park, check into a park pass for admission to all seven of the park's attractions. $10, $6 children 5–17 and students with id, $9 seniors 65+, children under four free. Free parking with validation.
- 21 President Benjamin Harrison Home, 1230 N Delaware St (Northside of Downtown), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. M–Sa 10AM–3:30PM, June and July Su noon–3:30PM. So far, Indy's only president, serving one term (1889–1893). Take a tour of this Civil War hero's home—a beautiful 1875 house built in the Italianate Victorian school. It's three stories and filled with antiques, art, political memorabilia and personal artifacts. The carriage house in the back features a First Ladies exhibit. Throughout the year they have fun events, that often include amazing reenactments featuring Indiana historical figures. They also host Victorian murder mystery tours, a naturalization ceremony and the always fun croquet tournament $10, $5 children 5–17 and students with i.d., $8 seniors 65+. AAA discount available..
- 22 Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art), 4000 Michigan Rd (10 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. Tu W F Sa 11AM–5PM, Th 11AM–9PM, Su noon–5PM. Reopened following a multi-million dollar renovation it's one of the most beautiful buildings in the country for fine art. Founded in 1883, this is one of the oldest art museums in the country, boasting over 50,000 pieces of art and an amazing public art library. Exhibits include Contemporary Art, European Art, Asian Art, African Art, Textile Art, and more. Rotating and traveling exhibits are abundant. Experience hands-on exhibits where you can create your own art, walk the amazing grounds exploring the sculptures, gardens, and homes, shop at the museum store and eat and drink at the IMA Cafe and Wolfgang Puck's namesake restaurant—this is the city he got his start in. On Thursdays and Fridays from 5–9 PM, the museum has a special "happy hour" for hip and artsy socialites at Puck's featuring cocktails and hor'dourves. Adults $18, children 5 & under free, youth 6-17 $10, Access Pass $2 (certain areas of the IMA campus are free, including the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, the IMA Café, Museum Store, and Five Brushstrokes.).
- 23 Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Conner Prairie Living History Museum), 13400 Allisonvile Rd (Located in Fishers at the city's extreme northeast.), ☏ , toll-free: . Nov-Mar: Tu–Su 10AM–3PM, Mar–Oct: Tu–Su 10AM–5PM. Settled in the 1880s, Conner Prairie is an Indiana tradition for those interested in learning about Indiana living "back in the day." With volunteers dressed in period-costume year round you are able to experience every aspect of the way of life—from blacksmithing to cooking, games and schooling, farming and church. Start at the modern museum learning about the science and anthropological history, then head to the living history museum featuring authentic buildings from the 1880s. Take a flight on 1859 Balloon Voyage, visit Dupont, IN circa 1863 and experience Morgan's Raid, or visit the brand new (for 2017) Treetop Outpost. Special exhibits come and go, such as Native American regional language sponsored by History Channel. In the summer the grounds feature Symphony on the Prairie where one can picnic in the evening and enjoy live classical and pops performances. Halloween features haunted hay rides featuring the Headless Horseman and the holiday season includes dinners, candlelight tours and other celebrations. Restaurants on hand and a gift shop too. Adults $17, seniors (65+) $16, youth (2–12) $12, members & children under age 2 free; balloon prices: members $12, non-members $15; free parking.
- 24 Indiana Historical Society, 450 W Ohio St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. Tu–Sa 10AM–5PM. An amazing place to visit for those interested in the people and places that make up every bit of the state. Featuring a state-of-the-art research library, music room, film viewing room, souvenir shop and cafe. The Indiana Experience collection rotates every eight to twelve months, so you will always find something new and interesting about Hoosier heritage, such as "A Century of Black Film", "Hoosiers in Hollywood", and "The Faces of Lincoln". Located snugly on the White River Canal. $9 adult, $8 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 5-17, 4 and under free.
- 25 Museum of Psychphonics, 1043 Virginia Avenue Suite 208 (southeast of downtown), ☏ . M–F 11AM–6PM. Located in the historic Murphy Building alongside live music, artists spaces, and bric-a-brac is a sign warning "don't look inside". Filled with obscure instruments, a rotating collection of cultural relics, and mind-bending videos playing on vintage 1940s screens, this Museum offers a look at weird America in a cozy space.
- 26 Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 543 Indiana Avenue, ☏ , [email protected]. 10AM to 5PM. New museum dedicated to literary and cultural contributions of author and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. $12.
Sports (other than events)
- 27 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, 4790 W 16th St (Speedway, Westside), ☏ , [email protected]. Mar–Oct: 9AM–5PM daily; Nov–Feb: 10AM–4PM daily. The IMA is the home of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. On the IMS grounds you will find the Museum which houses the world's largest collection of racing, classic, and antique cars. Check out 30 of the Indy 500 winner's cars, a 20-minute film about the history of the race, a souvenir shop and cafe. If you would like to see more of the track facilities, you also can pay a few bucks to ride in a bus around the actual race track (at about 40 miles or 65 km an hour, ha!). Or, for the more adventurous souls, you can try the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program where you can ride in a 2-seater Indy Car and experience speeds around the track up to 180 miles or 300 km an hour! $10 adults, $5 children, 5 and under free.
- 28 NCAA Hall of Champions, 700 W Washington St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ . Tu–Sa 10AM–5PM, Su noon–5PM. This is the headquarters of the NCAA, located in White River State Park. Explore the history of college athletics—from hockey to basketball, cross-country skiing to football. Check out a film about NCAA sports, and be sure to check out the spirit section. Gift shop, too! $5, $3 youth and seniors 60+, free for kids under 5.
- 29 Indiana University Natatorium (The Nat), 901 W New York St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ . M–Th 5:30AM–8PM, F 5:30AM–7PM, closures and restricted hours contingent on the school schedule. Located on the campus of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, the IU Natatorium is one of the marquee swimming and diving venues in the world. The Nat has hosted countless nationally recognized events and is also home to the annual IHSAA boys and girls swimming championships, along with housing various swimming clubs from across the Midwest. $6 for one-time.
- 30 Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E 67th St (15 minutes north of Downtown), ☏ . M–F 9AM–10PM Sa 9AM–6PM Su noon–6PM. Formed in 1934, it continues to be one of the Midwest's premier community art centers. Check out one of the many local art exhibits, take an affordable art class, relax and read a book in the beautiful library, shop at the art gallery gift shop and don't pass up the amazing ARTSPARK located around the White River and the natural grounds. ARTSPARK has interactive sculptures laid out through the 12 acres (5 ha) designed by Michael Graves, a Hoosier native known throughout the world for his architecture and design work. Each summer you can check out the fun Broad Ripple Arts Fair, which features arts and crafts, food and booze, and live music galore on the grounds. Free.
- 31 Madame Walker Theatre, 617 Indiana Ave (Westside of Downtown), ☏ , [email protected]. M–F 9AM–5PM. Visit the headquarters for the first self-made female millionaire, Madam C. J. Walker (she spelled her 'Madam' without the "e"), built in the early 1900s, Walker came from cotton field beginnings to start her own line of beauty products for African American women. Visit the original salon where people still get their hair done, see a concert or play at the theatre, and take a tour of the grounds. Learn more about the African-American heritage of Indianapolis south of the historic Ransom Place District. Tours are $8, $5 for students and seniors, children under 5 free. Events vary based on ticket price.
- 32 Domont Studio Gallery, 545 S East St (Southeast of Downtown, west of Fountain Square), ☏ , [email protected]. Local gallery and studio for artist John J. Domont. A beautiful space located in the historical Fletcher Place area. Check out the artist at work and buy a piece—he specializes in modern Indiana landscapes.
- 33 The Stutz Artists Association (Stutz Gallery), 212 W 10th St (Northside of Downtown), ☏ . Built in 1918 as the home of the Stutz automobile, it houses numerous local artists, businesses and meeting spaces. Check out the "show room" featuring a collection of Stutz cars (Elvis drove a Stutz, ya know) and have a bite to eat at Bearcats.
- 34 Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N Delaware St (Northside of Downtown), ☏ , fax: . M–F 9AM–5PM, open on first Fridays until 9PM. Gallery, art center, and conservatory. Check out four art galleries, 36 personal studios, VSA Arts, and the beautiful Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Punk and ska bands play in the basement on weekends and on First Fridays they open their doors to good sized crowds of local art lovers who wander the halls drinking, eating, and checking out art and music. Great place to check out local art and local people in a family-friendly environment. Free.
- 35 Herron School of Art & Design Galleries, 735 W New York St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ . M–Tu, Th–F 10AM–5PM, W 10AM–8PM. On the campus of IUPUI this is the home to Indy's biggest art school. Check out students' studios, three galleries with regional and national art, and an outdoor sculpture gallery. Student art adorns the walls and lawn. You may see an early piece by the voice of the next generation! Free, parking at the garage is validated at some shows.
- 36 Noel Studio/The Sanctuary, 75 N Main St (Zionsville, extreme Northwest of the city), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , [email protected]. Tu–Sa 10AM–5PM, restaurant open from 11AM–3PM. Studio of world-renowned artist N. A. Noel who is famous for her images of angels, children, Amish, and more. Gallery is the only place to view her original work. Cafe and souvenir shop. Free.
Festivals and events
- May, The Indianapolis 500. One of the largest sporting events in the world. The westside of the city and Speedway gets swamped and if you like big crowds, loud cars, and tailgating, this is for you. One of several events leading up to it is the largest mini-marathon in the world, so if you're extra ambitious, come early and run for 13.1 mi (21.1 km) (or a more modest but still impressive 5 km (3.1 mi)).
- Early June, Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Fest, Military Park, 601 W New York St, toll-free: . Over a dozen Indiana wineries come together in downtown Indy, offering samples of their finest. Restaurants from the city participate as well, serving up samples too. Cooking classes show you how to cook with wine, and Indy's finest live music acts perform. There is a kid's activity area too for the under 21ers! Though it's rather not that exciting for the little ones.
- Late June, Eiteljorg Indian Market, Eiteljorg Museum, ☏ . The Midwest's largest festival celebrating Native American culture and history. Craft and art fair, performances, food and more.
- Late June, Old Settlers Day and Classic Car Show, E Southeastern Ave, Wanamaker. Since 1987, the small town of Wanamaker has celebrated its founding pioneers with a street fair of over 100 booths with art, craftsmen, antiques, crafts, food, entertainment, and games. A great classic car show features over 150 classic cars. The festivities also include a free community fireworks display at 10PM.
- Mid-July, Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, Downtown, ☏ . African Americans from all over head to Indy ever summer to celebrate life and culture. Lectures, community fairs, special events and don't forget the music—some of music's biggest starts come to town to celebrate. Everyone from Mary J. Blige to Public Enemy, Cameo to Barry White have made appearances. Traffic can be crazy and expect higher cover charges at nightclubs. Fun for the entire family.
- Mid-July, Indianapolis International Film Festival, TBA Location, ☏ . Indie films are hosted in non-pretentious environments. Meetings, parties, lectures, and of course films! The group also hosts films throughout the city, throughout the year.
- Early-Mid August, Indiana State Fair, State Fairgrounds. The biggest summer event in the state. A trip to Indiana isn't complete without a trip to the fair. Animals, crafts, art, rides, dancing, education, environmentalism, Hoosier Pride and FOOD!! They also have live music and concerts. Prairie Home Companion comes every other year. Although many locals usually complain about the food being largely overpriced.
- Early August, Gen-Con, Convention Center. The "best four days of gaming," in the world comes to Indianapolis every year. Thousands congregate from all over the world to play games of all types, meet sci-fi and fantasy film stars, purchase gamer goods and hang with others. The freakiest time of the year in downtown Indy.
- Late August-Early September, Indy Fringe Festival, On Mass Ave, ☏ . A 10-day festival of local, national and international theater groups, performance art, visual artists and dance groups—uncensored and unique. Fun, entertaining, and unlike anything else. Events are held at venues in short walking distance from each other on Mass Ave. Great for all ages.
- Late August-Early September, Oktoberfest, State Fairgrounds. Held annually since 1974, Oktoberfest is a celebration of German culture organized by the German-American Klub. The festival features German food and beer, along with other food vendors, live music (on at least two stages), shopping, and German dance exhibitions.
- Early-Mid September, International Violin Competition, ☏ . Is an internationally acclaimed and attended contest.
- Mid-September, Indy Jazz Fest, 2011 Military Park, 601 W New York St, ☏ . September 12-17th. A very popular event featuring jazz, blues, bluegrass, roots, r&b, zydeco, and fusion bands. Vendors also sell food and drinks. Past performers include Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Wynton Marsalis, BB King, Chris Isaak, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ray Charles, and James Brown.
- Mid-September, Indy Irish Fest, Military Park, 601 W New York St, ☏ . One of the most fun festivals of the year. Celebrate your Irish (or lack of) heritage with dancing, musical acts, food, booze, sheep herding, Civil War re-enactments, Celtic Mass, a toast contest, rugby, soccer/football, and a kilted mile! The festival has been featured on Food TV. Past performers include Gaelic Storm, The Prodigals, and more.
- Early October, Circle City Classic, Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S Capitol Ave., ☏ . Black college football's best teams come together to play great football and celebrate African-American culture and influence in America. Music performances, special events, a parade... hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to enjoy the weekend in Indy. Benefits African-American scholarships.
- Late October, Irvington Halloween Festival
- Mid-November, Bands of America Grand Nationals, Lucas Oil Stadium. Once a year the best marching bands from all over the country come to compete in Indianapolis. Buy a ticket for the finals performance to see the best of the best; you are guaranteed to be excited, moved, and maybe even shed a few tears while observing this quintessentially American activity.
Indy Parks features information and links regarding all Indianapolis public parks. Below is an example of some of the cities finest—that attract visitors and locals alike.
- 1 Broad Ripple Park, 1550 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . Broad Ripple park was established in 1946 as an amusement park on the White River. The park features a family center, swimming pool, playground, fitness trail, baseball diamond, tennis courts and boating. They have a great dog park, which does require a pass and proof of recent dog vaccinations. Everyday tons of dogs and their owners play in a well kept, fenced area. It can get very muddy when rainy or snowy. It's within walking distance of Broad Ripple Village. Activities are free, dog pass rates vary.
- 2 Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St (Accessible from I-465), ☏ . On the west side of Indy, this huge park boasts many amenities, including a nature center, fitness course, fishing areas, and bird sanctuary. Fill your day with sailing, bird watching, fishing, rowing, hiking, swimming, ziplining. Only 10 minutes from downtown. Admission: $5/car.
- 3 Garfield Park, 2345 Pagoda Dr, ☏ . (Free parking) Oldest park in Indianapolis, established in 1881. Features include the Conservatory and Sunken Gardens, an arts center, MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts, swimming pool and aquatic center, picnic shelters, pagoda, tennis courts, softball diamond, numerous trails, horse shoe courts, playgrounds, sledding hill and countless other park activities. Free for most activities.
- 4 Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd, ☏ . One of the oldest and coolest parks in town. Planted right on the White River with swamps, ponds, wildflower gardens, birdwatching sanctuaries, a renovated nature center, sculpture garden, and countless wildlife and plant life. In the warm months parents take their kids to play on the best playground in the city, and locals picnic, lay out, read and host family gatherings at the extensive parkland. A great place to wade and rock collect too! 95 acres of trails and woodland, a must see.
- 5 Riverside Park, 2420 E Riverside Dr, ☏ . (Free parking) Founded in 1898, houses many athletic leagues, community activities and special events. It is situated on the White River. Amenities include a large family center, swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball & softball diamonds, boating, football fields and other sports fields and picnic areas. Free.
- 6 Southeastway Park, 5624 S Carroll Rd, ☏ . A 188-acre park with 80 acres of forest, a pond and wetland, open fields and meadows, a prairie preserve and Buck Creek. The park has a playground, multiple shelters, and picnic tables.
- 7 White River State Park, 801 W Washington St, ☏ . Home to the Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens, Victory Field, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, IMAX Theater, and NCAA Hall of Champions. It also has The Lawn near the river, which is host to concerts during each summer. Central Canal is also located within the park. Park passes are available for purchase, entrance to all 7 of the main attractions is included in the pass. Free and $ parking.
Rides and tours
- 8 Rent a paddle boat on the canal, 801 W Washington St, ☏ . Rent a paddle boat and roam the lengthy water of the White River canal system. Explore tunnels and fountains, see fine outdoor art and people watch as you paddle around at your whimsy. Be sure to enjoy a popsicle at the ice cream stand after your trek.
- 9 Walk the streets of Lockerbie. Located between North and Miami St in downtown Indianapolis. Dating back to 1847 it's the oldest surviving neighborhood in Indy. Featuring an amazing array of Victorian homes still maintained in their original beauty, mixed with some modern homes as well. Italianate, Federal and Queen Anne architecture line the streets. Visit the website for a walking tour map.
- 10 Ride on a gondola, Ohio Street Basin at White River Canal (West side of Downtown), ☏ . Available only during warm months, you can experience a bit of Venice in Indy. All ages are invited—for a public or private ride (private are more pricey). Each ride includes lovely Italian songs sun and a tour of the Canal. And yes, they wear the striped shirts, hats and red sashes.
- 11 Segway Tour of White River State Park, 801 W Washington St (Westside of Downtown), ☏ . Tour the White River gardens, the canal and other Indianapolis museums and notable locations from your segue. Each tour lasts about two hours and highlights many of the city's attractions. It may serve as an informative and adventurous preview for your stay in Indianapolis.
Historic locations and activities
- 12 Play croquet at President Benjamin Harrison's home, 1230 N Delaware St, ☏ . A charity event hosted in June. Compete against amateurs and pros, celebrating Victorian heritage and enjoy lunch as well.
- Picnic at James Whitcomb Riley's grave. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy a sunset at one of Indy's highest points with one of Indy's most beloved authors, located on the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery.
- 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W 16th St, ☏ . Is Indy's pride and joy sporting landmark. Several motor races take place here, most notably the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Indycar Grand Prix. Check out the museum, or a race depending on your visit. Ticket prices aren't cheap to the main affairs, but just attending one of the many practices or qualifications during the racing season (May–Sept) is well worth the experience. A must see when visiting Indy, for race lovers or not.
- 14 Indiana Pacers, 125 S Penn Ave (Gainbridge Fieldhouse), ☏ . NBA member, the Pacers can be seen live at their home court November–April.
- Indiana Fever, 510 W 49th St (Gainbridge Fieldhouse), ☏ . A member of the WNBA, the Fever plays from June–September and tickets are quite a bit cheaper than their NBA counterparts. The team, which shares ownership with the Pacers, also plays in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
- Indiana Mad Ants, 510 W 49th St (Gainbridge Fieldhouse). The G League affiliate of the Pacers, playing November–March, with tickets quite a bit cheaper than those for the Pacers (or even the Fever). The Mad Ants moved from Fort Wayne after the 2022–23 season, and are playing the 2023–24 season in Gainbridge Fieldhouse before moving to the new Noblesville Event Center.
- 15 Indianapolis Colts, 500 S Capitol Ave, ☏ . The NFL's Indianapolis Colts football season is from August–January. The Colts play home games at Lucas Oil Stadium, a retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2008, which hosts many other sporting events, competitions, and concert events throughout the year.
- Naptown Roller Derby (formerly Naptown Roller Girls). Games take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Blue Ribbon Pavilion. Watch cute girls take and give a beatin' on rollerskates with Indiana's first Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Association team. Thousands of people crowd into the pavilion each month to watch the Tornado Sirens battle it out against the nation's best teams. This is a serious game—major injuries take place. And yes, nothing like watching cute girls get into it on skates. A great friendly event for all types of sports or not-so-sports people alike. $10–15.
- 16 Ride the slick track at Post Road Recreation Center, 4700 N Post Rd, ☏ . With three go-kart tracks be sure to pick the indoor oval. You chose you race car, and during the race they throw baby powder down on the track to make it more slick—causing you to slide, spin and experience true 'wet spots' on the track. They also have mini-cars you can race on the outdoor tracks. They have an unlimited $20 indoor track ticket you can buy. Also putt-putt, bumper cars, arcade basketball and a cafe full of junk food.
- 17 Check out a basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, ☏ , [email protected]. Butler University. Butler's Bulldogs are one of the top teams in the NCAA, and this arena is full of history. The facility is heavily connected with the 1986 movie Hoosiers—the real-life high school team whose story provided the basis for the movie won the 1954 Indiana state championship at this very site, and major parts of the movie were filmed here. Even without the Hoosiers connection, Hinkle is one of college sports' most legendary venues. $5–20.
- 18 See a baseball game at Victory Field, 501 W Maryland St, ☏ . Home of the Indianapolis Indians, the AAA minor league affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's been deemed the best minor league baseball stadium in the country. Pack a picnic and sit in the outfield next to the famous teepee during the game (and catch a few balls if you're lucky) or get a seat in the stands. $11–30.
- 19 Play disc golf at Brookside Park, 3500 Brookside Pkwy S, ☏ . Dr. Disc golf is a fun and challenging outdoor sport unlike any other.
- 20 Drag race your car at Lucas Oil Raceway, 10267 US Hwy 136, ☏ . Yes, that's right. You can drag race your car (whether it's a Dodge Charger from the 60s or a Dodge Neon, even a Yugo!) for a nominal fee and signing a waiver; don't forget your helmet. Drag race against fellow Hoosiers and get a time-card after each drag. This world-famous quarter-mile drag strip is home to the NHRA US Nationals, and the oval hosts the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Public dragging happens once a week during the Spring-Fall. It's cheap/free to watch. All ages, but 18+ to drag.
- 21 Indianapolis Tennis Center, 150 University Blvd, ☏ . IUPUI Campus. Play tennis on one of 24 indoor and outdoor courts. Private lessons available. This is where they host the RCA Championships every year.
- 22 Beech Grove Bowl, 95 N 2nd Ave, Beech Grove, ☏ . Go bowling anytime at the 24 hour bowling alley. Located about 10 minutes south of downtown Indy. Pick up a plate of cheese-sticks and a couple of beers and bowl your brains out anytime. It's also located in a small burb south of downtown Indy that has a very "small town" feel. Very local. Games are cheap!
- 23 Ride your bike at the Major Taylor Velodrome, 3648 Cold Spring Rd, ☏ . One of 18 velodrome tracks in the country, named after Indy's own African American bike superstar Major Taylor. Bring your road or track bike (no BMX) and your helmet and throw down $4 and you can race on the inverted track that Olympic superstars have tried out on. Perhaps you'll catch a race or one of many remote control car races they host too. There is a BMX park next door. Ages 10+. Major Taylor Velodrome will be converted into a snow park during the winter months. Hit the slopes 15 Nov-1 Mar.
- See a soap box derby at Wilbur Shaw Soap Box Derby Hill. Starting in April check out hundreds of kids from Indy's soap box derby clubs battle it out for awards and placings. This is the longest soap box derby track in the country and was built in 1953.
- 24 Go duckpin bowling, 1105 Prospect St, ☏ . At Action & Atomic Bowl. Experience a rare treat! Duckpin bowling is basically bowling with small balls and small wooden pins. A lot of fun for all ages and located in this entirely retro building is an extra perk. Neon lights, milkshakes, jukeboxes, beer and wine, sodas and pizza, poodle skirts and all, this is the real deal. The interior hasn't changed since the 1930s.
- Golfing anyone? here is a list of fine golf courses located throughout Indianapolis, many award-winning!
- 25 Brickyard Crossing, 4400 W 16th St, ☏ . Shares space with the Indy Motor Speedway; four holes are inside the oval!
- 26 Buffer Park Golf Course, 3825 S Foltz St, ☏ . IndyGolf.com users rated this as their favorite nine hole course in 2001. A well-maintained 3,411 yards from the Championship Tees.
- 27 Coffin Golf Course, 2401 Cold Springs Rd, ☏ .
- 28 Crooked Stick Golf Club, 1964 Burning Tree Ln, Carmel, ☏ . Has hosted the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, 2005 Solheim Cup, 1993 US Women's Open and 1991 PGA Championship. Designed by Pete Dye.
- 29 Dakota Landing Golf Course, 6636 S Franklin Rd, ☏ .
- 30 Douglass, 2801 Dr. Andrew J. Brown Ave, ☏ . Built in 1926, few hazards and good for all levels.
- 31 Eagle Creek, 8802 W 56th St, ☏ . Built in 1975 by Pete Dye.
- 32 Heartland Crossing, 6701 S Heartland Blvd, Camby (15 min SW of Indy), ☏ . Designed by Nick Price & Steve Smyers.
- 33 Pleasant Run, 601 N. Arlington, ☏ . Built in 1922.
- 34 Riverside Golf Academy, 3702 N White River Pkwy, ☏ . Lighted 9-hole course and lighted & heated driving range for year round golfing.
- 35 Sahm, 6801 E 91st St, ☏ . Pete Dye designed.
- 36 Sarah Shank, 2901 S Keystone Ave, ☏ .
- 37 Smock, 3810 E County Line Rd, ☏ .
- 38 Whispering Hills, 10751 Brookville Rd, ☏ . Built in 1995. Closed for winter.
- 39 Indy Fuel, 1202 E. 38th Street (Indiana Farmers Coliseum), ☏ . The Indy Fuel are a minor league ice hockey team in the Midwest Division of the ECHL's Western Conference. They are affiliated with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. The Farmers Coliseum also hosts men's basketball games for Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, better known as IUPUI.
- 40 Indy Eleven, 1001 W New York St. (Michael Carroll Stadium), ☏ , [email protected]. Indy's professional representative in the world's game plays in the second-level USL Championship. The Eleven have now returned to Michael Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus after a couple of years at Lucas Oil Stadium. The team sought to build a new stadium in Greenwood, but has now set its sights on the downtown area.
Includes art galleries, opera, classical and traditional music, dance, performance art.
- 41 Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W Washington St, ☏ . Some of the nation's finest actors perform in this architectural masterpiece of a theater! Two theaters provide different types of performances, and their famous version of A Christmas Carol is a classic. Be sure to check out their Shakespeare performances. Dress up in your Sunday best and see a matinee to save some bucks! Cocktails are served! All ages.
- 42 The Phoenix Theatre, 705 N Illinois St, ☏ . Founded in the early 1980s, Phoenix has always been a theater to experience unique, thought provoking, open-minded shows. From classics to world-premiers. Controversy is frequent! Rocky Horror, HAIR, Three Guys Naked From The Waist Down, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Six Degrees of Separation, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Vagina Monologues, The Laramie Project, Bat Boy: The Musical are only some of the classic and fascinating titles of past performances! $15–29. All ages.
- 43 Kuaba Gallery, 404 W Main Street, Carmel, ☏ . Kuaba promotes modern African art. A portion of every sale goes to a non-for-profit that helps African orphans.
- 44 See a puppet show at Peewinkle's, 25 E Henry St, toll-free: . Indy's only puppet studio! 50-seat theater in downtown Indy provides entertaining puppet shows for all ages. Puppet are made in house. Call ahead to schedule a puppet workshop—learn about the art and history, make your own too! $8 and an extra post-show workshop is $3. Shows happen in the afternoons and early evening.
- 45 Murphy Art Center, 1043 Virginia Ave, ☏ . 23 artists have galleries at this Fountain Square studio building. First Friday includes an open house. Some of Indy's most bright shining stars have galleries here, and it's a great place to buy affordable great art.
- 46 Wheeler Arts Community, 1035 Sanders St, ☏ . A collaboration of the city and the University of Indianapolis to provide affordable studio and housing space for students and artists. 36 loft/studios are housed here as well as a theater.
- 47 Civic Theatre, 3 Carter Green, Carmel, ☏ . This is Indy's largest professionally managed theater, which started in 1914. From comedies to drama, they host it all. Their performance of The Crucible deeply moved viewers. $24–32. All ages.
- 48 The Cabaret, 924 N Pennsylvania St, Suite B, ☏ , [email protected]. ACT is a cabaret-style theater that serves food and cocktails during the performances. Many of the shows feature song/dance/acting routines with upbeat and fun-filled performances, featuring classics and new works. $20–25. All ages.
- Get involved with improv theater Comedy Sportz, 3808 Shelby St, ☏ . A hilarious way to spend an evening! Comedy Sportz takes ideas thrown up from the audience and throws them into wacky and weird skits. They have all ages and 17+ performances. Drinks and snacks are served. $14 adults, $12 students & seniors, $6 kids 5–11, under 4 free..
- 49 Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 Michigan Rd, ☏ . For over 30 years B&B has been providing equity Broadway performances. Buffet dinner with cocktails is served during performances. Seasons range from classic Rodgers and Hammerstein shows to modern hits. All ages. $32.50–$52.50.
- 50 The District Theatre, 627 Massachussets Ave, ☏ . This theater's move from Fountain Square to Mass Ave prompted the revitalization of this arts district. Great community theater with a varied selection of plays. A theater for the more culturally aware and open minded! $15–25.
- Dance Kaleidoscope, 1125 E Brookside Ave, ☏ . Performances take place inside the Indiana Repertory Theatre. Indy's contemporary dance troupe. Performances feature Martha Graham classics to director David Hochoy's own creations such as "Magical Mystery Tour" which features the music of the Beatles. $15–34.
- 51 Indianapolis Opera, 4011 N Pennsylvania St, ☏ , [email protected]. Performances held at Clowes Hall - 4600 Sunset Ave and at the Basile Opera Center (formerly a Greek Orthodox church)- 4011 North Pennsylvania Street. Indy's only opera troupe. Featuring the finest singers from the region and international fame.
- 52 Circle City Sound, 5905 E Southport Rd, ☏ , [email protected]. Performances held every Monday evening at 7PM at Scottish Rite Cath. (650 N Meridian St) and throughout the city. Indy's only barbershop performance group.
- 53 Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Hilbert Theater on the Circle (Downtown), ☏ . Indy's internationally acclaimed symphony has a regular season plus a great holiday extravaganza during the Christmas season, and special guests are frequent.
- 54 Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (Butler University). Performs at Clowes Hall Sunday and Mondays Sep-May. They are orchestra in residence at Clowes Hall which garnishes them plenty of experience and status. Four centuries of music are covered.
- 55 Mind Tripping Show: A Comedy with a Psychological Twist, 120 W Market St, ☏ . An intimate theatrical performance of illusion, psychology, surprises, and mysteries starring Christian & Katalina the #1 Husband and Wife Comedy Mind Reading Act. The show is a roller coaster ride for your mind, a fun psychological thriller that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Friday & Saturday nights.
Includes rock, punk, hip hop, top 40, soul, blues, jazz and all that goodness. A lot of great shows also take place in non-traditional venues (i.e. VFW's) so check out local papers for information.
- 56 Chatterbox, 435 Mass Ave, ☏ . A local favorite and one of the oldest bars in town. It's a Mass Ave. staple that has walls graffitied by visitors and the bathrooms as well. Bring a marker. Drinks are really strong and they have a small wine menu with good choices and beers too. Live jazz is the thing here. The teeny tiny bar features a teeny tiny stage that caters to Indy's finest real jazz. This is the place to hear good simple old school jazz at its finest. Smoke free early in the evening, and outdoor seating which is the best in town. Check the website for wine tastings and special events. Great place to mix with the locals—artists, journalists, musicians all call it home. Grab some Jamaican Patties while you're there. 21+.
- 57 Emerson Theater, 4634 E 10th St, ☏ . Indy's largest and oldest all-ages venue that caters to young punks and metal heads on the weekends. Many "older" punk rockers in town got their start here, seeing bands such as the Misfits, Sloppy Seconds, Cannibal Corpse, Babes In Toyland and many others play.
- 58 The Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N College Ave, ☏ . Voted one of the top 100 jazz bars in the world by DownBeat magazine, serving up jazz, salsa and American fusion food. Music six days a week. Wednesday features live jazz and soul/neo-soul/neo-jazz DJs, Thursday is Indy's biggest salsa night too. Cover ranges. 21+.
- 59 Melody Inn, 3826 N Illinois St, ☏ . One of the oldest bars in town has become the haven for punk rock and underground music in the city. Built in 1933, the bar features local relics in the decor, a back VIP lounge, the best jukebox in town and a friendly staff and group of regulars. Punk, indie, acid jazz, folk, rockabilly, techno, goth is the main beat here. They also have retro video games and pool. Drinks are cheap and hard, and the beer selection is unique and good sized. The house specialty is Pabst Blue Ribbon, and specials are usually $1.25 for a can. It is a great dive bar. $2–6. 21+.
- 60 Radio Radio, 1119 E Prospect St, ☏ . Owned and operated by Tufty of the Zero Boys and located in the heart of Fountain Square, Radio Radio is one of the nicest and cleanest venues for music in town. The cool bar, leopard carpeting and bathroom doors came from the once downtown Indy Planet Hollywood. Good beers on tap. Past performers include: Ben Lee, Big Sandy, Cat Power, The Cruxshadows, Deke Dickerson, The Frogs, Silkworm, Wesley Willis, Jets To Brazil, Los Lonely Boys, Neko Case, Pansy Division, VHS or Beta and countless others. They also have monthly film nights and hosts Rockabilly Rebel Weekend every year. Smoke-free 21+ venue.
- 61 Slippery Noodle Inn, 372 S Meridian St, ☏ . The oldest bar in Indiana since 1850. It used to be a brothel, and it's now the best blues bar in the city. Steaks, homemade soup, baked potatoes, sandwiches and subs are the starts of the menu with a classic bar menu to boot. Beer, champagne, wine, and of course—hard liquor is poured with pride and the blues is local and national/international acts. There are still bullet holes in the wall from brawls in the 1800s. Dis is it. 21+
- 62 Ruoff Music Center, 12880 E 146th St, Noblesville, ☏ . Indy's biggest outdoor amphitheater. Concerts run May–September and in October they feature a crazy Halloween themed festival. This is where the famous Grateful Dead riots happened in 1995. Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett got married here in 1993. A 30-min to hour-long trip from downtown Indy. All ages
- 63 Pig out at Trader's Point Creamery, 9101 Moore Rd, ☏ . Indy's only grass-fed USDA organic dairy. They are always open with their self-serve dairy-shop (with a bucket you pay and take your change from—honesty basis!), and at 4PM you can watch the cows get milked au naturel. Creamy milk, amazing yogurt (voted #1 by the American Cheese Society in 2005), ice cream, eggs and cheeses are all for sale. On the weekends they feature a farmers market and organic cafe. You can walk the grounds petting cows and chasing chickens. Fun for the family and eco-friendly folk.
- 64 Grab some popcorn at Just Pop In, 6406 Cornell Ave, ☏ . Indy's only popcorn shop is owned by two identical twin sisters. It has moved to a new larger location in Broad Ripple that boasts a cafe with not just popcorn, but also small plates, beer, wine, and cocktails. Just Pop In offers up all types of popcorn flavors: classics like original buttered popcorn, caramel, and cheese, as well as more exciting and "out-there" flavors like hot wing and bloody mary! They also sell gift tins and sampler packs.
- 65 Have dessert at the Eagle's Nest, 1 S Capitol Ave, ☏ . The Eagle's Nest is the highest dining room in the city, sitting atop the Hyatt downtown. The restaurant is revolving, slowly moving to show the best view of the city. The food is high priced and just okay but, get a table and enjoy a nightcap or dessert. Make reservations to see the sunset.
- 3 Butler University, 4600 Sunset Ave., ☏ . Located on the near northside this historic campus was founded in 1855 focusing on liberal arts education. Home to the Butler Bulldogs and Clowes Hall.
- 4 Herron School of Art and Design, 735 W New York St, ☏ . One of the top art schools in the country, Herron is attached to IUPUI. 800 students attend full and part-time in the new building on IUPUI campus and other areas of town. From art history to painting, photography to sculpture it's all covered here.
- 5 IUPUI, 425 University Blvd, ☏ . The city's largest college campus is the home for Indiana University and Purdue University in the city. Mainly a commuter college, the school features technical and liberal arts schools. The new campus center has added a stronger form of community, and this campus welcomes all levels of learners.
- In 2024, the IU and Purdue systems will dissolve IUPUI, replacing it with separate IU- and Purdue-affiliated institutions. The current IUPUI programs in engineering, computer science, and technology will become part of the Purdue system, while all other programs will be taken over by the new IU Indianapolis. IUI will also take over the current IUPUI athletic program.
- 6 University of Indianapolis, 1400 E Hanna St, ☏ .
Indianapolis is made up of various areas that feature unique and typical shopping alike. From Broad Ripple Village and Fountain Square—two unique areas, to typical suburban shopping malls and chains like Castleton. Every area has different options and chances to experience all levels of shopping. Below are some local, regional and national shops and districts that are frequented by avid shoppers.
Broad Ripple Village
About 20 minutes north of downtown. Broad Ripple is Indy's closest thing to "Greenwich." A big variety of vintage, hippie, trendy, and punk shops. Gift shops galore too. It's a great place for unique local fare.
- 1 Broad Ripple Vintage, 824 E 64th St, ☏ . One of Indy's best known vintage shops, they offer a wide variety of retro clothes—mainly 1960s, 70s and 80s. Large array of t-shirts and accessories and drag queen sized gowns. They always are playing The Doors, and the decor is out of an old school head shop. Quite pricey, and we swear that prices go up around Halloween.
- 2 The Bungalow, 924 E Westfield Blvd, ☏ . Artsy gift shop featuring artsy kitchen, textiles, art and housewares. Local and international art pieces. Very cool store.
- 3 French Pharmacie, 823 1/2 E Westfield Blvd, ☏ . A very cool award-winning shop that features fashion, furniture and accessories. Carrying clothing by names such as Balenciaga, Acne, Stella McCartney and more. 18th century and modern creations in furniture, and accessories for your home and self—candles, shoes, bags, and more.
- 4 Good Earth, 6350 Guilford Ave, ☏ . Indy's oldest natural living store in town. Organic and natural food, health and accessories. Great place to stop by for a snack or for much needed groceries. Upstairs is a huge selection of vitamins and supplements, shoes and clothing too.
- 5 Haus Love, 5901 N College Ave, ☏ . Great clothing, housewares and furniture shop for women and children. Very cool clothes from all over the world. Great place for shabby chic fans.
- 6 Indy CD & Vinyl, 806 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . One of Indy's most popular record shops specializing in independent musics and obscure finds. A wide selection of new and used CD's and vinyl, from indie rock to hip hop. Great selection of box sets and music-related DVDs: buy a pack 20 of loose mystery .45s for $5 and see if you get lucky. They also host in-store performances, and is a great place to pick up fliers about upcoming shows and events.
- 7 Luna Music, 5202 N College Ave, ☏ . Indy's finest local record shop. Featuring CDs, vinyl and collectibles—posters, t-shirts, etc. Great place to find rare imports and out of print gems. All genres of music with friendly staff, clean and hip environment.
- 8 Pitaya, 842 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . Women love Pitaya's homegrown jeans—trendy and stylish shopping since 1990 that provides women with an affordable place to get lovely trendy clothes. Voted best jeans in town numerous times!
- 9 Rusted Moon Outfitters, 6410 Cornell Ave, ☏ . Indy's finest outdoor shop for hiking, canoeing, kayaking and camping. They offer a great selection of hiking boots, clothing, rope climbing accessories, and offer canoe & kayak rentals. Located within a 5 minute walking distance of the White River for easy access, and right on the Monon Trail!
Castleton Square Mall
86th St. is very complicated in this area because it alternates between 86th St. and 82nd St. There are two Vietnamese restaurants called Viet Bistro and Pho Tasty at the mall. There are also several international grocery stores including Viet Hua, China Mart, and One World Market. There is also a Trader Joe's on the south side of 86th St. near Allisonville Road.
Irvington is a historic district located east of downtown.
- 11 Homespun, 869 Massachussetts Ave, ☏ .
- 12 Indy Cycle Specialist, 5804 E Washington St, ☏ .
- 13 Blacksheep Gifts, 5626 E Washington St, ☏ .
- 15 Arthur's Music Store, 931 Shelby St, ☏ . Arthur's is Indy's finest music instrument shop, focusing mainly on fretted instruments. From its retro housing, it's been a staple on the Indy music scene since 1952. From guitars to banjos, dulcimers to luthier's—you can find it all. A great place for on-site repairs and supplies too. A must see for any stringed instrument lover!
- 16 Claus' German Sausage & Meats, 1845 Shelby St, ☏ . Indy's finest place for homemade sausage, lunch meat, smoked, and well, meat. It opened as Klemm's in 1913, and is now owned by Claus Muth, who is a master sausage maker from Frankfurt, Germany. They also have great German beers and other goods.
Keystone at the Crossing & West
Is easily findable as "86th and Keystone." West includes shopping West of Keystone—Nora, 86th & Ditch, etc. Indy's high scale shopping district with fancy chains and boutique shops and restaurants.
- 17 The Fashion Mall, 8702 Keystone Crossing, ☏ . This is the mall to see and be seen. The ritz and the wanna-be's shop at this classic Indy mall. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue are the anchor stores. Other shops include Crate & Barrel, Tiffany & Co, MAC (Cosmetics), Sephora, Coach, Sony, Apple, William & Sonoma, a Tesla Motors gallery and more. They also have a huge variety of locally owned boutique shops too. Locals often declare this mall has the worst food court in the city, so grab a bite before/after you leave.
A hop skip and a jump from the Circle, Mass Ave has gone through an amazing rebirth to become one of the coolest shopping areas in town full of local shops.
- 18 Silver in the City, 434 Massachussetts Ave, ☏ . Voted Indy's favorite gift shop by Nuvo readers. Great selection of unique gifts and jewelry.
- 19 Global Gifts, 446 Massachussetts Ave, ☏ . Indy's only all fair-trade boutique. Meaning that artisans from all over the world receive a fair price for their work. Buy clothing, decor, beauty products, food, and unique gifts from Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond. A unique non-profit shop that supports third-world-countries artisans and talents.
- 20 City Market, 222 E Market St, ☏ . Halfway between Mass Ave. and the Wholesale District this is a historical landmark in downtown Indy full of shops and restaurants. From chocolates to crafts, fresh meats to veggies, they also feature an awesome farmer market in the warm months.
Is basically downtown Indy. The heart of the city. The main shopping attraction here is the mall.
- 21 Circle Centre Mall, 49 W Maryland St, ☏ . This is the mall that caused the big revitalization of downtown Indy. Shopping and restaurants fill up this mall. The mall has had no department stores since the last anchor, Carson's, went under in 2018. It had lost Nordstrom in 2011; some of the space vacated by that retailer now houses the offices of the city's main newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. Other stores include Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Hot Topic, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, Go! Retail Group, H&M and more. The fourth floor has a movie theater and video game arcade.
- 22 Downtown Comics, 11 E Market St, ☏ . Indy's finest locally owned comic chain features new and collectible comics, games, and toys. They have three other locations.
- 23 Clay Terrace, 14300 Clay Terrace Blvd, Carmel, ☏ . The first new outdoor mall in ages is in the burb of Carmel. A well kept environment this mall has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Shops include DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Dick's Sporting Goods, Wild Oats, Sur La Table, Z Gallerie, Indigo Nation and White House/Black Market. When the weather is nice, it is a lovely place to stroll.
- 24 Brown's Antiques (Brown's on 5th), 315 N 5th St, Zionsville, ☏ . Gift shop that specializes in Vera Bradley bags. You can get new and old bags, in this collectors paradise. It's like Vera Bradley threw up and out popped this store.
- 25 Hamilton Town Center, 13901 Towne Center Blvd, Noblesville, ☏ . An outdoor mall that opened in May 2008. Located on the southwest corner of Interstate 69 and State Road 238 (Exit 10), it has some great options for dining and shopping. There you will find discount-type stores such as SteinMart and Payless; a large JCPenney anchor; and a good variety of shops including Ann Taylor Loft, Borders, Chico's, Dicks' Sporting Goods, Old Navy, etc. If shopping makes you hungry, you can find both casual and fine dining at places like Stone Creek Dining Co., McAlister's Deli, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Paradise Bakery & Cafe.
Includes Speedway & Lafayette (parts of Indy incorporated) and Plainfield.
- 26 Lafayette Square Mall, 3919 Lafayette Rd, ☏ . Beginning in the mid-1990s, this mall, like the area around it, fell into disrepair. The area around Lafayette Square has been rebranded "International Marketplace" as part of a revitalization effort to capitalize on the surge of ethnic stores and restaurants that have entered the neighborhood. The mall is big, with few stores however, and lots of fascinating retro architecture. Shops include Bath & Body Works, Champs and Old Navy. There are also a number of local speciality and boutique shops. Many cater to hip hop culture and living.
- 27 The Shops at Perry Crossing (Metropolis), 2499 Perry Crossing Way, Plainfield, ☏ . A bizarre innovation in outdoor shopping, this 'future mall' with modern architecture and unique events is the latest mall in the region. Anchored by JC Penney and Dick's Sporting Goods, it also has Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes & Noble, Coldwater Creek and more. The Carmike (formerly the Rave) is an 18-screen theater.
- 1 Chocolate Cafe, 30 Monument Circle, ☏ . South Bend Chocolate Company chocolate, sweets, coffees and sweet drinks. Check out the wall of celebrities who've indulged, and get educated on chocolate by the helpful and friendly staff. Watch fudge get made, sample the goods and enjoy the best hot chocolate in town. Vegetarian friendly.
- 2 Heidelberg Haus, 7625 Pendleton Pike, ☏ . Enjoy this German bakery's treats and sweets. German-born owners who have served great German eats since the 60s here in Indy. Real Black Forest Cake, sausages, potato salad, and more. Check out the gift shop with great German beer-lover gifts. The decor is filled with antiques and German decor. Authentic as hell and a great destination for simple basic German eats. Vegetarian friendly.
- Long's Bakery (Two locations, see below). Grab a doughnut from this Indy institution. Visit the location just off 16th Street, not far from the track or the second location in Southport on the southside.
- 5 Rene's Bakery, 6524 Cornell Ave, ☏ . Small house in North Broad Ripple owned by pastry chef A. Rene Trevino. Freshly baked, menu changes daily. Scones, croissants, muffins, cookies, truffles, eclairs, tortes, tarts and breads. Weekly bread selection includes Walnut Rye, Multi-Grain, Raisin, White, Brioche and Challah. Great place for a quick snack or to pick up a lovely breakfast. It's just a bakery—no seating—but when the weather is nice you can sit outside or relax on one of the many benches on the Monon Trail.
- 6 Ripple Bagel & Deli, 850 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . Broad Ripple's only locally owned deli—with the only steamed bagel sandwich in town. Hippies work the counter and the bagels are fresh. Look for the giant bagel clock over the door! Vegan friendly.
- 7 The Flying Cupcake, 423 Massachusetts Ave, ☏ . Regular, filled and jumbo cupcakes with a menu that changes daily, or sometimes hourly! Alternative locations at 5617 N. Illinois Street, E. 82nd Street, and Carmel. Vegan and gluten-free options available.
Sandwiches and such
- 8 Mug-N-Bun Drive-In, 5211 W 10th St, ☏ . Serving up an award winning pork tenderloin and a world famous "bacon cheeseburger on toast" this is a destination for all greasy food loving Hoosiers. Employees arrive at 7AM to start preparing the root beer that lures people from all over the state. Famous racecar drivers are known for making an appearance here during race season. A must visit! Cash only.
- 9 The Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe, 935 S East St, ☏ . Turkish restaurant located in a cute building adjacent to a hookah bar. The Turkish delight lives up to the name and the baklava is rich.
- 10 Shalimar, 1043 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . One of Indy's finest Indian restaurants featuring a great affordable buffet. Chock full of yuppies and Broad Ripple hipsters. Vegan friendly.
- 11 Side Wok Cafe, 1087 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . Good, affordable Chinese located in Broad Ripple. Clean, friendly and basic good food. Vegan friendly.
- 12 Thai Town Cuisine, 1237 S. High School Rd. (Westside, near Washington St. and I-465), ☏ . Su–Th 11AM–9PM, F Sa 11AM–10PM. A hidden gem with some delicious variety: spicy, savory, and sweet—often in the same dish! The shop is filled with appealing aromas and traditional Thai folk music. You will always get a smile and friendly สวัสดีค่ะ (sa-wat-dii, khâ) welcoming you. Vegetarian friendly
- Bazbeaux Pizza (Three locations, see below). Indy's finest gourmet pizza! Established in 1986, Bazbeaux is a local favorite. Downtown is perfect for that pre-theater or concert eat, and Broad Ripple is located snugly along the White River. Both locations offer indoor/outdoor dining. Art students and hip kids serve your eats—don't be surprised to see a mohawk or two in the kitchen. I haven't been to the Carmel location! Their chicken BBQ pizza is amazing—BBQ sauce instead of tomato, and their Greek pizza is to die for. Vegan friendly.
- 16 Greek Islands, 906 S Meridian St, ☏ . Opened in the late 1980s by the Stergiopoulos (is that Greek enough for you?) family, Greek Islands offers great Greek dining in a small, cozy atmosphere featuring art, pictures and a feeling of being right at home with the family. Everything is freshly prepared by the family everyday and they have belly dancers! Vegetarian friendly.
- 17 Iaria's, 317 S College Ave, ☏ . An Indiana tradition, Iaria's is where you go when you're craving mom's homemade Italian. Since 1933 the Iaria's have owned this Italian gem. With its amazing building—neon lights greet you in and out, mirrored walls and teeny bathrooms—have been a staple in the city. This is the place joints like Buca Di Beppo base their restaurant on. Family style portions, the biggest "wall of celeb photos" in the city, and the biggest and best meatballs available outside of mom's kitchen. Vegetarian friendly.
- 18 Indianapolis City Market, 222 E Market St, ☏ . Indy's favorite historical landmark to dine! Open only for breakfast and lunch stop by here for a great cheap meal. From Cajun to Greek, gourmet potatoes and roast beef sandwiches. Tons of restaurants and merchants make this a multi-level historical edible experience. Dine outside to enjoy the historical area and watch the locals buzz around on their lunch breaks.
- 19 Major, 1150 S Mickley (Just inside of I-465, east of High School Rd and Washington St), ☏ , [email protected]. M–Th 11AM–9PM, F–Sa 11AM–10PM, Su 1PM–9PM. Try a taste of authentic East African food with the music, decor, and hospitality to match. Pick the Eritrean–Ethiopian cuisine off of the injera bread with your bare hands or use a fork if you're slightly less adventurous. Make sure you also have some of the spiced tea. Elaborate coffee ceremonies are held as well. Vegan friendly. $12.
- 20 New Bethel Ordinary, 8838 Southeastern Ave, ☏ . A popular dining destination located in the small-town of Wanamaker (formerly New Bethel) famous for its "true fork & knife pizza". The Ordinary strives to maintain a small-town appeal and provides a casual family friendly atmosphere. The Ordinary is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, but opens early on Saturday and Sunday to offer a full cooked-to-order breakfast featuring made-from-scratch sausage gravy and biscuits. Pizza delivery is available to the Franklin Township area.
- 21 Seasons 52, 8650 Keystone Crossing, ☏ . Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that invites guests to discover the sensational flavors of a seasonally-inspired menu and award-winning international wine list in a casually-sophisticated ambiance.
- 22 Wheatley's, 8902 Southeastern Ave, Wanamaker, ☏ . Home of the famous Fish Fry Fridays, Indy's largest fish fry. Indoor and outdoor seating is provided with live entertainment every Friday evening April through October. Biscuits and sausage gravy breakfast is served Saturday and Sunday mornings while fried chicken and pork tenderloin sandwiches are served on Sunday evenings.
- Yats (Four locations, see below). Indy's top restaurant for Cajun food. Sharing four locations, owned by a New Orleans native transplant, you'll feel like you're in the Crescent City. Large quantities of limited meals are offered up each day—and each is so tasty you'll be content. Pig out on great Cajun eats in a fun artsy environment. Vegan food available too! Hipsters and punks serve up your meals and sodas are refillable and mere $1. A great deal for a lot of enjoyable food. The chili cheese crawfish etouffe is their signature dish, but the jambalaya is also outstanding. Vegan friendly.
- 27 A2Z Cafe, 4705 E 96th St, ☏ . Named after the owners and their child (Asraf, Antonio and Zulma) A2Z offers up tasty breakfast and lunch dishes. From oatmeal to crepes, omelettes and "build your own" breakfast, to babba ganouche and Divine Salmon Cake salad. Warm, friendly environment for families and friends alike.
- 28 Ambrosia, 5903 North College Avenue, ☏ . Located in Broad Ripple, a family establishment for just that, and for romantic night outs, gatherings, and so forth. Owned by a tiny Italian lady who has kept it in the family since she moved here so long ago. Great Italian food and a bar next door. Great outdoor dining. Dress cute, jeans are very lame to wear here, and enjoy a nice, relaxing, homemade Italian meal. Elegant and light decor, Ambrosia is also a staple place to visit for visiting racecar drivers.
- 29 Andrus O'Reilly's, 36 S Pennsylvania St, ☏ . Irish owned! Traditional Irish and American food in a dark, nice, clean environment. Plenty of televisions for your sports viewing pleasure, lots of beers and plenty of room to wander. Nice outdoor dining, and a good place to grab a bite for lunch or early evening.
- 30 Capri, 2602 Ruth Dr, ☏ . Locally owned Italian restaurant that is one of the stars of the city. The family is from Naples, and the food is fresh and delectable. Dine in the bar—a dark wooden collection of comfy couches and a few televisions. Live music all week and a nice wine list!
- 31 Edelweiss Restaurant, 8602 S Meridian St, ☏ . Located inside German Park on the far south side of Indianapolis, this restaurant is run by a private club (the German-American Klub) but is open to the public. Serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Food is mostly Bavarian in style, with some American specialties on the menu with daily specials. Friday evenings often have live entertainment in the quaint Gasthaus-style dining room. There is also a Biergarten for dining on pleasant evenings. A ballroom on the upper floor is available for rental.
- India Garden (Two locations). Locally owned Indian restaurant that is considered the best in town. They have a lunch and dinner buffet that is legendary in Indianapolis. The downtown location just reopened for lunch & dinner, and the Broad Ripple location is chock full of hungry college students and Broad Ripple hipsters and vegetarians. Bring on the buffet! Vegan friendly.
- Le Peep (Three locations, see below). One of Indy's favorite places to have breakfast. Classics like oatmeal and biscuits & gravy. Breakfast served in skillets with names like "Hobo" "Gypsy" and "Desperado" these meals are hearty for any wandering traveler. Their omelettes are the number one in town, and their pancakes will leave you speechless (cause you'll be eating them so quickly). Have a sweet tooth? Try the King Cakes, a sweet tempting pancake. They also offer lunch fare too. Be prepared to wait, no reservations accepted. Only open for breakfast and lunch. Vegetarian friendly.
- 37 Milktooth, 534 E. Virginia Ave (Park Fletcher, just southeast of Downtown), ☏ . List in Condé Nast Traveler's The Best Restaurants in the World this foodie haven features "Classic Stock" dishes alongside "Of the Moment" offerings which will make it worth your while to return. Each dish is unique from sourdough pearl sugar waffles made with local nectarines to potato and celeriac latke sides. (Modifications will be politely declined but the restaurant accommodates allergies if possible.) $13.
- 38 The Oceanaire Seafood Room, 30 S Meridian St, Suite 100, ☏ . Fine dining seafood restaurant with oyster bar. Menu changes daily based on market availability and offers a good steak selection for non-seafood lovers. The interior is slick and inviting with a more private area for large groups upstairs. Open nightly for dinner and for lunch M-F. A happy hour bar menu is also available M-F 4PM-7PM
- 39 Shapiros Delicatessen, 808 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225, ☏ . An Indianapolis institution, Shapiro's is a Jewish bakery/delicatessen with a cafeteria line. Their fried chicken is to die for (available principally in the evenings), and their pastrami is arguably some of the best anywhere. The food is not cheap, but it is typically heavenly, and the portions very generous.
- 40 Thai Cafe, 1041 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . One of the finest Thai restaurants in the city. Dine in and watch Thai-themed films on hi-res televisions in a teeny tiny restaurant or order to go. Arrive with plenty of time, there can be a wait. Not good for large tables, but if you have a party of 6 or less you should be okay. Great for couples. With 10 levels of spice, a good start level is 2. Amazing Thai ice tea and the greatest pad thai in town.
- 41 Inkas (Machu Picchu), 5356 W 38th St (Far Westside, 15 minutes from Downtown), ☏ . Su-W 11:00AM-9:00PM, Th-Sa 11:00AM-10:00PM. The food is so fresh you will think it was flown directly from the Amazon to your plate. The portions are extremely generous and everyone gets some complimentary bread and aji sauce. Make sure to try the Yucca a la Huancaina. $12.
- 42 Rathskeller, 401 E Michigan St, ☏ . Indianapolis' best joint for traditional German food. One of Indiana's oldest buildings, the building was actually built by writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s grandfather. It used to house the German Klub of Indianapolis, it's now a true German dining experience. It's on Mass Ave. within walking distance of bars and theaters. Make reservations to enjoy potato pancakes, Jaegerschnitzel, and wurst. Tons of beer and wine available too including beers that are hard to find locally. Lunch time offers outdoor dining in the beer garden.
- 43 St. Elmo Steak House, 127 S Illinois St, ☏ . Downtown in Indy since 1902, the restaurant has gone through some changes, but the biggest asset is the main room. Make reservations to dine in the main room/entry room/bar. This is the original restaurant, the walls are covered with celebrity photos including more car racing stars than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's museum, artwork and memorabilia from the opening to present. Their shrimp cocktail features giant prawns and is the best in the city. The wooden bar is beautiful and the prep-chef sits in the window, serving up shrimp cocktails and preparing seafood and steaks for your viewing.
- 44 Sullivan's, 3316 E 86th St, ☏ . Inspired by the famous boxer, 1940s decor offers up amazing steaks and seafood. Now smoke free, their bar is a great place to hear live jazz and watch a sports game. Bar menu is a tad different then the dining room. The bar menu features "The City's Best Hamburger" and it is—thick, juicy and cooked perfectly. Also order a chocolate souffle when you order dinner, your taste buds will thank you. Vegetarian friendly.
- Hubbard & Cravens Coffee Co.. Two locations, H&C has their own warehouse where they custom-roast all their own beans and import over 20 types of coffees. Considered the finest coffee in town by some.
- 3 Monon Coffee Company, 920 E Westfield Blvd, ☏ . Independent coffee shop, free wireless access.
Booze and cocktails
To drink and get into bars you must be at least 21. Bars close at 3AM; 12:30AM on Sundays. Alcohol can be bought in stores on Sundays from Noon to 8 PM. Age requirements vary and are listed below.
- 4 Alley Cat, 6267 Carrollton Ave, ☏ . This is the #1 dive bar in the city, according to every poll, award and every heavy drinker in town. Located in Broad Ripple, down an alley. No windows, smoke-ridden, and open at 7AM for breakfast till 3AM for dinner. A great jukebox, legendary bar staff, numerous pool tables, and the hardest drinks in town. Sometimes bands play too. A place you know will never change. Vegetarian friendly. 21+
- 5 Blu, 240 S Meridian St, ☏ . Another night club to jump on the whole "Miami inspired ultra lounge" wave. Theme rooms and leather couches, oh and don't forget beds for lounging on. DJs pump top 40, appetizers are served and you can call ahead to reserve space and "VIP" treatment. Martinis are the house speciality. 21+
- 6 Broad Ripple Brew Pub, 842 E 65th St, ☏ . British-style pub in Northern Broad Ripple. It was the first brewpub in town, and is the oldest microbrewery in the state. If E.S.B., India Pale Ale, Lager, Porter and Bitter falls into your vocabulary then this is a place for you. Good food—Scotch eggs, bangers and mash, and a good vegetarian menu. Friendly and familiar bar staff. Indoor and outdoor dining makes this one of the busiest lunch and dinner spots in the area. They also have real darts (not plastic). All ages.
- 7 Chatham Tap, 719 Massachussetts Ave, ☏ . English-style pub that features hi-def TV's playing soccer (err."football") all day and night. A nice selection of high end beers and a mix of bar style food with more gourmet takes on classics. They serve some of the best fish and chips in town to a mix of hipsters, post-work yuppies, gays and jocks.
- 8 Coaches Tavern, 28 S Pennsylvania St, ☏ . Popular for lunch and after-work meet ups, Coaches celebrates just that—sports and coaches. A nice wooden pub located right downtown with high tables, video games and jukebox, and of course sports on the TV. Live music and DJs offer entertainment on the small stage and outdoor seating is nice during the warm months. Thursdays is $2 pint night, and the beer choices are good and plentiful. They also serve food—and lots of it. Great place for lunch and a brew in the afternoon. Vegetarian-friendly. 21+
- 9 English Ivy's, 944 N Alabama St, ☏ . An Old Northside institution. The downtown queer community regulars it, but everyone can find themselves at home here. Not much natural light, but plenty of Christmas lights decorate this bar and pub. Enjoy drinks and good food. Vegan friendly. 21+
- 10 Kellerbar at the Rathskeller, 401 E Michigan St, ☏ . Located inside the Rathskeller German restaurant, this is a place to drink beers from around the world and sop it all up with German food. During the warm months, this is one of the busiest bars in town. Get there early to enjoy a quieter beer or two; the bar opens up in the afternoon and you can enjoy their in-house brew (the Dunkel is particularly good) outside in the Biergarten or inside in the cozy oak bar that emulates a German castle. Later in the evening on the weekends, cover bands rock out in the garden and drunk college students go wild.
- 11 Living Room Lounge, 934 N Pennsylvania St, ☏ . A downtown semi-dive bar that offers the type of karaoke that you plug your ears, cover your eyes and ask yourself "Why, God, why?", then you get on the microphone yourself. Jaegerbombs are $2 on Thursdays. Cheap specials, too.
- 12 Metro, 707 Massachussetts Ave, ☏ . A laid back, casual environment with a pub downstairs and a modern pool hall upstairs. Their karaoke is legendary—featuring people who really can sing. Upstairs they also feature a sex/bdsm shop for kinky goods. Speaking of kink, food is served too! 21+
- 13 Nicky Blaine's, 20 N Meridian St, ☏ . Martinis and cigars are the main attraction here. With a 1930-40s feel from the dark plush interior. A lot of businessmen and businessmen-loving-women attend here, as do early-night partiers, and the night-cap types. Once a month they have a meeting called "Meet The Mistress" which features local Dominatrix's having cocktails with interested folks. Fascinating mix and serious cocktails. 21+
- 14 Plump's Last Shot, 6416 Cornell Ave, ☏ . This pub is owned by Bobby Plump, who threw the winning Hail Mary shot in the Milan 1954 game that is immortalized in the film "Hoosiers." It's been described as a "boho sports bar" which is a good, yet cheesy, name for it. The type of sports bar that hippies, artists, and jocks can come together without a problem. And only one TV. Yes, one TV. A huge outdoor deck in this small house, that has indoor dining too. A good jukebox that is pumped outdoors and the best hush puppies this side of the Mississippi. Friendly staff, friendly locals. We'll hang out here for hours during the summer on the patio. Very dog friendly. 21+
- 15 Red Key, 5170 N College Ave, ☏ . An Indianapolis legend, this is where Ben Affleck filmed his first motion picture. You'll walk in to this joint and think you're back in WW II. It's been owned by the same folks since then. Model planes hang from the ceiling, awesome vintage art, and pennies on the ceiling that get tossed up and pulled down for donation each year (and thousands of them, seriously). A beer is served with a small glass and unique cheap eats are on the bar menu. There are rules here—don't put your feet on the chairs or booth seats, hang your coat up on one of the hooks, and don't get too obnoxious or you're out. They'll ask you politely of course the first time. A must see for lovers of classic bars. By the time you leave you'll be a regular.
- 16 Union Jack Pub, 921 Broad Ripple Ave, ☏ . English pub, that may expand with a second location in Hamilton County. This location offers family and bar dining. Both rooms are littered with well placed English and local antiques and artifacts. Busts of great English minds greet you in the bar and televisions show sports. They have the best "Chicago Style" pizza in the city. Thick, hot and amazing. Great beer selection and weekly specials. They also have a great selection of whiskey and scotch! Friendly bar staff. The Speedway location is drenched in racing memorabilia, a huge bar with good music and lots of televisions!
- (Broad Ripple).
- 17 The Vogue, 6259 N College Ave, ☏ . A movie theater built in the 1930s, in the 1970s it opened up as a music venue and nightclub. Now, it's the place for college kids to get wasted on the weekends and dance to top 40 and retro tunes. You'll also find great live music and past acts include Cheap Trick, Johnny Cash, David Byrne, The White Stripes, Common, Sean Paul, The Faint, VHS Or Beta, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams III, The Black Keys and more. Cover varies. 21+
- 18 Whistle Stop, 375 S Illinois St. This bar is right across from the bus station and is fairly popular with passengers who have a layover. While there is no craft beer, the prices are reasonable.
- 19 Buck Creek Winery, 11747 S Indian Creek Rd, ☏ . This family-run farm winery has 4 acres of vineyard on over 12 acres of farm land in the southeast corner of Indianapolis. There are 13 grape varieties are grown on the property. The winery offers free wine tasting and tours of the processing room and vineyard.
- 20 Easley Winery, 205 N College Ave, ☏ . The oldest winery in downtown Indy. Free guided tours, wine tasting, and events. In warm months they feature after-work cocktails and live music. Check out the wine-shop featuring tons of wine and beer making goods.
There are many national/international hotel/motel chains in town; listed below are some more unique and/or regionally owned operations.
- 1 SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Indianapolis Northeast, 8325 Bash St, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. This hotel is a pet-friendly hotel near the Indianapolis Zoo, that offers guests free local calls, and high-speed Internet access in every room. Has an outdoor heated pool.
- 2 Brick Street Inn, 175 S Main St, Zionsville, ☏ . A bed & breakfast home built in 1865. Placed right in the heart of Zionsville, a quaint arts and food district north of Indianapolis, it's family operated with has a restaurant and gift shop as well. 8 bedrooms offer different regional design styles common to Indianapolis' past. Zionsville is quite cute, filled with antique shops and art galleries.
- 3 Comfort Suites, 4125 Kildeer Dr, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. The newly built Comfort Suites hotel includes free continental breakfast, free coffee, free local calls, and an indoor heated pool.
- 4 FantaSuite, 1117 E Main St, Greenwood, ☏ . The main reason this place is listed because it's surreal and stuck in a time warp. It's been in Greenwood since probably the late 70s as a "themed room" hotel. Stay in "Arabian Nights," "Le Cave," "Geisha Garden" or perhaps the "Jungle Safari" is your pick. The decor is tacky and retro, and most of the bedrooms are equipped with a mere AM/FM tape player. Celebrate kitsch and strange retro love making with a FantaSuite.
- 5 Looking Glass Inn B&B, 1319 N New Jersey St, ☏ . A beautiful home built in 1905 located downtown in a historic district. A mission style home filled with Victorian antiques. They also own the Villa. Movie collection available, multi-lingual innkeepers and on-call massage therapists available. Breakfast is provided.
- 6 Nestle Inn B&B, 637 N East St, ☏ . One of the most delightful B&Bs in town. Victorian home built in 1896 located just off of Mass Ave. Five bedrooms and one suite, library, dining room and sitting rooms, they also serve great homemade breakfast (the scones are stellar!). The owners are sweet and remember all their past guests. Romantic, cute, and friendly.
- 7 Quality Inn Downtown South, 4502 S Harding St, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. The Quality Inn South hotel is located five miles from downtown and includes free continental breakfast, free coffee, free wireless internet access, a fitness center, and is a pet-friendly hotel (additional fees apply).
- 8 Residence Inn Indianapolis Airport, 5224 W Southern Ave, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Accommodations include fully-equipped kitchens in every suite. Guests also have access to complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. $150.
- 9 The Alexander Hotel (Dolce Hotel Alexander), 333 S Delaware St (Downtown Indianapolis), toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. US $153-189.
- 10 Le Meridien Indianapolis (Canterbury Hotel), 123 S Illinois St, ☏ . One of the city's oldest and most beautiful hotels, built in 1858 and renovated and renamed in 2014. With a beautiful lobby bar and restaurant, French/European decor overwhelms you. Turndown service doesn't have a mint—it offers truffles. This is for the creme de la creme of hotel experiences in Indy, where celebrities often stay.
- 11 Conrad Indianapolis, 50 W Washington St, ☏ . State of the art hotel that features plasma screens and Wi-Fi in every room. Restaurants, spa, and pet friendly.