Best things to do in Indianapolis

Whilst the Hoosier point out capital is most likely best acknowledged as the residence of the Indy 500, Indianapolis is much more than just a town for racing lovers. It is really a position exactly where general public artwork, professional sporting activities, bikeways, universities, museums and parks meld jointly in one particular dynamic city.

Approach to explore Indianapolis on wheels – biking or scootering are two common modes of transport – or by kayak by means of its central canal. You can even hop into a racecar and just take a 180mph spin all-around the oval-shaped Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the thrill of a lifetime.

In this article are our picks for the best points to see and do in Indianapolis. 

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Bicycle the Indianapolis Cultural Path

The most effective way to check out the backdrop of the 1979 strike motion picture Breaking Away (about a doing work-course teenager obsessed with the Italian biking workforce) is by bicycle. The Indianapolis Cultural Path, an 8.1-mile-extended bikeway, loops via downtown Indianapolis and functions spurs that take riders by means of three metropolis neighborhoods.

The northeastern spur runs alongside Massachusetts Ave ahead of connecting to a different popular trail, the Monon Path. The southeastern spur follows Virginia Ave into the Fountain Sq. community, a industrial historic district. The trail’s southern spur connects the Indiana Convention Heart and Lucas Oil Stadium.

The pleasurable bikeway is dotted with far more than 61 items of community artwork. Obtain the no cost trail map and hire a bicycle at a single of the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare stations along the trail.  

Discover the purely natural and cultural wonders of White River State Park

The 267-acre White River Condition Park is Indianapolis’ prized city eco-friendly space. Located along its namesake White River, the park has trails, trees and cultural gems. Capture a flick on Indiana’s largest film monitor (it truly is a lot more than six tales tall) at the IMAX Theater or enjoy a baseball match at Victory Discipline. Satisfy the mastodons of prehistoric Indiana, see the very best-documented Amish quilt selection in the entire world and find out far more about the Hoosiers who built their mark on the planet at the Indiana State Museum. The park’s Eiteljorg Museum shines a spotlight on the indigenous persons of Indiana through its intensive collection of operates of art by historic and present-day Indigenous artists.

Downtown Indianapolis skyline
Stroll alongside the Indiana Central Canal or lease a pedal boat and get pleasure from the city from the water © fllphoto / Getty Visuals

Paddle or walk the Indiana Central Canal

Dug out in the early 1800s to provide as a professional transport waterway, the Indiana Central Canal features a 3-mile waterside promenade for bikers, walkers and runners. The general public art-lined canal walk starts at 10th St and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St and travels south previous many landmarks, together with the USS Indianapolis Memorial, the Watanabe Yard and the Indiana State Museum, in advance of arriving at White River Condition Park. Lease a swan pedal boat or a kayak at Wheel Fun Rentals at Canal Walk to get out on the drinking water and soak in the landscapes. 

Kiss the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The Indy 500 is maybe the greatest spectacle in automobile racing. Thought of portion of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (along with the 24 Several hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix), the race is hosted on the 2.5-mile-long, oval-shaped observe of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, designed in 1909. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is property to one particular of the world’s biggest collections of classic racecars, which includes additional than 30 Indy 500 winners. Pictures and other classic memorabilia showcase the Speedway’s 100-furthermore-yr heritage.

Get a driving-the-scenes tour and expertise the Speedway’s wealthy history. Site visitors can also stand for a image op at the very same podium as the race’s celebrated winners and “kiss the bricks” at the start off/complete line. NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett commenced this custom: kneeling and kissing the pavement as a tribute to the winning drivers. 

Cars race around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Fly around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a experienced Indy driver © Grindstone Media Team / Shutterstock

Hop in a true Indy racecar or make slower loops on an indoor karting monitor

If you want to knowledge the thrill of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hop into a authentic Indy race car and just take a spin all over the legendary oval with the Indy Racing Practical experience. You can expect to come to feel the g-power as you sit in the passenger seat beside a qualified Indycar driver who will whip you all around the keep track of at 180mph. 

To experience the exhilaration of car or truck racing minus the bone-tingling, Speedway Indoor Karting delivers go-karting on its mini superspeedway, an oval-shaped slick track that promises an adrenaline hurry at a pace of up to 40mph. 

Stroll by the galleries, theaters, places to eat and boutiques on Mass Ave

Massachusetts Avenue, regarded as “Mass Ave” by locals, is a five-block, historic district, wherever the arts mingle with commerce. Choose a pair of kicks from Stout’s Footwear (the oldest shoe retail store in the region), handle oneself to a Flying Cupcake, sip a stein of German lager in the historic Rathskeller Biergarten or see a basic perform at The District Theater. 

Paint with an elephant, contact the skin of a rhino or feed a sloth at the Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is household to far more than 3800 animals, including pink pandas, Brazilian rainbow boas and warthogs. The zoo’s Simon Skjodt Intercontinental Orangutan Heart, a analysis hub dedicated to orangutan conservation, houses 10 of the apes. Impressive cable highways permit the orangutans to journey in the course of the zoo.

If you’ve at any time dreamed of painting with an elephant, touching the rough skin of a rhino or feeding a sloth, verify out the zoo’s menu of special animal adventures. 

Soak in artwork immersed in mother nature at Newfields

Surrounded by 34 acres of grounds, the historic Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens is the previous estate of pharmaceutical millionaire Eli Lilly. Tour the house and grounds built by the renowned landscape architecture agency Olmsted Brothers and then search the 54,000-operate selection of the onsite Indianapolis Museum of Artwork (IMA). The eighth-greatest encyclopedic art museum in the United States, the IMA functions rotating exhibits and a everlasting selection that includes an in depth selection of Neo-Impressionist and Japanese paintings of the Edo interval. Cap off your visit with a glass of glowing wine on the garden terrace of the onsite beer backyard garden.

Indianapolis Children's Museum exterior
See dinosaurs occur to daily life at the Kid’s Museum of Indianapolis © Russ Vance / Shutterstock

Explore the world’s premier children’s museum

A lifetime-dimension dinosaur peeks via a window of the significant Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where by young ones are invited to pay attention to, touch and climb the displays. Its 5 floors are packed with so lots of enjoyable displays that kids will not even understand they’re mastering as they participate in. Small children will want to take a swirl on the 1917 Broad Ripple Park Carousel, develop toy boats to float alongside the waterway at ScienceWorks and spend a day with the dinos at Dinosphere, a sound-and-gentle working experience that time travels to the late Cretaceous interval 65 million yrs back. Out of doors reveals contain the Avenue of Champions which options statues of 16 heroes of athletics heritage, a mini-speedway with pedal racecars and the climbable 25ft-superior Fantasy Tree Home of Sporting activities.

Scoot all over the Bottleworks District

The boutique Bottleworks Hotel, an Art Deco gem that as soon as housed Coca-Cola company government places of work, centers the walkable 12-acre Bottleworks District. The not long ago restored district was the biggest Coca-Cola bottling plant in Indiana before it closed in 1964. The Garage Meals Hall, the city’s initial meals corridor and group-targeted market with 20 independently owned local and regional distributors, occupies two former supply truck garages. Catch an indie flick at the Residing Area Theater or obstacle close friends to a spherical of foosball, pinball or duckpin at Pins Mechanical Enterprise. Decide up a Lime scooter-share so you can zip around the stylish dining and shopping hub on wheels.

Beer poured into a glass at a brewery in Indianapolis, Indiana
Get a beer with friends whilst checking out the Circle City Industrial Sophisticated © Paul Velgos / Shutterstock

Take a look at the studios and meet up with the artists of the Circle City Industrial Advanced

Indianapolis’ most significant and most likely most lively artist community occupies the 50 percent-million-sq-ft Circle City Industrial Elaborate (CCIC). When on a time, the Schwitzer Company, an early automotive parts manufacturer, churned out turbochargers right here nowadays, artists work and collaborate in the huge place. Every initially Friday, the CCIC hosts an open up studio occasion, inviting site visitors to connect with nearby artists by way of exclusive reveals, installations and reside art-producing gatherings. Delight in a “precision-engineered craft beer” at the pet-welcoming Centerpoint Brewing, where by a 30-barrel brewing process creates 3000 barrels a calendar year, or a cocktail from 8th Working day Distillery, makers of gin, rum, and even absinthe. Or, perform a round of the newfangled activity of fowling – a rollicking match that brings together football, bowling and cornhole – at Fowling Warehouse. The first person to knock down an opponent’s 10 pins (positioned in a common bowling format) with a soccer wins.