Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, is a hip urban center with a refurbished waterfront, international dining, and a cool vibe. During a recent visit, we stayed in the heart of the city at the JW Marriott, and were walking distance to everything. From dining at the Hyatt Regency’s Eagle’s Nest revolving rooftop restaurant to touring the many museums and sights along the Canal and White River State Park District, we found plenty to keep us busy during our stay in Indianapolis. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite experiences from the trip.
There’s more to Indianapolis than fast cars, although that’s a major draw. Besides the famous Indianapolis 500, there is the Brickyard 400, the US Nationals Drag Racing event, and now the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Indianapolis is proud of its NASCAR history and you can visit the Hall of Fame Museum located right at the Indianapolis Speedway. It houses one of the world’s largest collection of race cars. Motorsport buffs will love being able to see the Borg-Warner Trophy and find information on every Indy 500 winner since 1936. You can even take a tour of the grounds and get a behind-the-scenes look at the famous Indy Oval.
When we visited, we had the opportunity to take a lap on the Indy Speedway. You can take this thrill-ride, too; the Speedway offers many different options for tourists to experience what its like to race around the track. After our first drive, we instantly understood why celebrities like Paul Newman took up car racing. It’s a blast!
Once you’ve had your fill of thrills and speed, a night out for a drink with friends is in store, and nothing brings friends together like a good old pint of American Pale Ale.
Microbreweries have become so popular in this town that there are outfitters and limousine companies ready and waiting to drive you around town to sample Indianapolis’ finest. The beer itself is exceptional: Indiana won more awards at the Great American Beer Festival than any other state in the United States. This alone is a reason to visit.
The award-winning Sun King Brewing Company, located downtown, offers brewery tours and beer sampling in their tasting room. Flat 12 Bierwerks also offers tours on which you can meet and talk with the brewer and sample their fine ales. The Bier Brewery and the Broad Ripple Brew Pub are two another breweries that offer tours and tastings.
Viewfinder Tip: If you’re a fan of college sports, the NCAA Hall of Champions, a hall-of-fame of sorts, is well worth the price of admission.
But the best way to enjoy Indiana craft beer is to go out for a night in the Meridian Street bar district and order one of the many beers on tap. Indiana Craft breweries make wheat, blonde, cream, amber, pale, and even brown ales. It would take years to sample them all, but, if you like beer, it’s fun to try and see how far you can get in just a few days worth of visiting.
With less than a week in Indianapolis, we felt that we barely scratched the surface of this great American city. The city has a thriving nightlife, lots of green space, interesting museums, and friendly people. We can’t wait to go back.
For what diversions do you look when you travel?