Home to the famous Motor Speedway as well as the largest Children’s Museum in the world, trust us when we say that Indianapolis has more to it than what meets the eye. Not only is it the capital of Indiana, but Indianapolis is also the 12th largest city and the only major city not located on a river! You may be surprised to find out how many cultural and outdoor activities Indy has to offer.
Indy Canal Walk and White River State Park
While a river does not flow through the city, there is a Central Canal and corresponding Canal Walk, a 3-mile loop that you can walk, jog, or bike on to your heart’s content. You could skip the exercise entirely, however, and hire a gondolier to take you along the canal. We won’t judge. The White River State Park is 250 acres of green space, full of trails and picnic spots. Along the canal also lives some of the city’s most popular museums and attractions, which leads us to our next suggestion.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
It may be hard to believe but this museum holds the title of the largest children’s museum in the world, making it a must-see even without kids! Boasting over 472,900 square feet of exhibits, the 11 major galleries explore everything from dinosaurs to Egyptian tombs to a pirate shipwreck and a 12,500-year-old skeleton.
St. Elmo’s is a well-known historic destination for steaks and cocktails located in the heart of downtown. Be prepared for a wait! For a trendier, but also historically relevant choice, we recommend Bluebeard, which is a New American-style restaurant in a renovated 1924 warehouse! You certainly won’t stay hungry with all that Indy has to offer.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Museum
With the Indianapolis 500 being the largest single day sporting event in the world, the Speedway is up to the challenge of hosting all the race fans. Spanning over 253 acres, it holds more than 250,000 permanent seats, making it the world’s largest spectator sporting facility. The accompanying Museum features about 75 cars and memorabilia from the more than 100 races that have taken place at the historic Speedway.
This path travels through 8 miles of downtown Indy and allows you to take a look at historic districts, entertainment amenities and beautifully landscaped gardens. You’ll get a true taste of the history of the city as you gander at the most well-known neighborhoods, including Lockbie Square Historic District. Lockbie Square is full of beautifully preserved architecture and is one of Indianapolis’ most famous historic regions. It’s worth the walk to see this one-of-a-kind neighborhood that includes homes dating back to 1855!
In the heart of the city sits Monument Circle, a place for people to gather for year-round events or to gain a killer view from the observation deck at the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument! The best part is it’s free to visit the top of the monument if you take the stairs. However, you will have to fork over $1 if you want to take the elevator. Either way, it’s a great way to see the city while taking in all the history and meaning behind the monument!
Between the natural beauty and countless attractions throughout the city, Indianapolis should definitely make your list of “Must-Visit” cities. If you become a true believer in Indy and decide to make a more permanent trip, we do know a company that has amazing rental homes there: https://www.rentprogress.com/houses-for-rent-indianapolis-in/search-results/
Have any suggestions for first-time visitors to Indy? Leave your suggestions in the comments!