Top 10 Things to Do for Active Travelers in Indianapolis | Midwest Living

Top 10 Things to Do for Active Travelers in Indianapolis

Can’t sit still, or just don’t want to? Between the newly completed Cultural Trail, Eagle Creek Park ziplines, the Pete Dye Golf Trail and Fastimes go-karts, Indianapolis offers plenty of ways to have fun during your Midwest weekend getaway.

1) Indianapolis Cultural Trail Getting around Indy has never been easier, or so much fun. This cool bike/pedestrian path connects five downtown cultural districts. Public art installations like Julian Opie’s Dancing Ann provide eye candy along the way, and you’ll even catch a potpourri-like whiff of flowers as you make your way through Chatham Passage. Walk or run the trail on your own, or rent a bike at the Indy Bike Hub in historic City Market. (317) 454-8525; (Photo courtesy of Lavengood Photography)

2) Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure On Indy’s west side, activities at woodsy Eagle Creek Park usually focus on the gorgeous reservoir that sets the scene for water recreation. Until now. This treetop adventure takes adrenaline levels to new heights. Literally. You’ll have to brave rope ladders, ziplines and a Tarzan swing to get through the challenging course, but the breathtaking views at the top and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the end make it all worthwhile. Once your heart stops racing, that is. (800) 971-8271; (Photo courtesy of Go Ape)

3) 500 Festival Mini Marathon 35,000 people pack the nation’s largest half-marathon on the first Saturday of each May to launch the month-long Indianapolis 500 Festival. Walkers and runners of all skill levels make their way through the 13-mile course (including a lap around the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway track) while local residents cheer them on. Slots fill up fast; if you want in, you’ll need to reserve your spot by mid-November. (317) 927-3378;

4) Wheel Fun Rentals The downtown Canal Walk that snakes through White River State Park is the place to go for some of the best Indianapolis skyline views and photo ops.  It’s also where to rent bike surreys, cruisers, tandems, pedal boats and kayaks. The pace is leisurely, and the scenery includes local landmarks like the White River, the modern Indiana State Museum building and the majestic USS Indianapolis Memorial. (317) 767-5072; (Photo courtesy of Lavengood Photography)

5) Monon Rail Trail This former railroad line is now one of Indy’s most popular exercise trails. Along the 10-mile greenway path between downtown and Carmel, you’ll see bikers and joggers of all ages, tattooed teens on skateboards and moms pushing strollers. Broad Ripple Village makes a convenient midway stop with rail-adjacent businesses like BRICS ice cream, Perk Up Café, the Monon Food Company and the Broad Ripple Brew Pub. (317) 327-7431;

6) Active Indy tours These two- to three-hour tours reveal the personalities of Indy neighborhoods through insider info and history, and offer a workout at the same time. Not in peak physical condition? Don’t worry. The terrain is fairly flat for walking, biking and running, and there are frequent stops for stories from enthusiastic guides who really know their way around Indianapolis. (317) 520-2914;

7) Pete Dye Golf Trail Legendary golf course architect and designer Pete Dye started his career in Indiana, making this a logical site for the stunning collection of golf courses that bears his name. Four of the trail’s seven courses are located right here in central Indiana, including the Brickyard Crossing on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (574) 933-1610;  

8) Action and Atomic Duckpin Bowling Never heard of duckpin bowling? You’re not alone; most people haven’t. This retro sport uses short, squat pins and small handheld balls about the size of a grapefruit. The Historic Fountain Square Theater holds two alleys for family-friendly fun; ask for a lane on the fourth floor to get great bonus views of the downtown Indy skyline. (317) 686-6006;

9) Fastimes Indoor Karting Indy Indianapolis is the racing capital of the world. What better place to get behind the wheel of a go-kart and put your pedal to the metal? Lapping around this 900-foot indoor course at speeds approaching 40 mph is a real rush. (317) 566-0066;

10) The Handlebar Pedal Pub If your idea of exercise is doing 12-ounce curls, the Handlebar is your kind of activity. Grab some friends and bring your own beer or wine for a laid-back two-hour cruise through downtown Indy on this mobile, open-air bike bar. A company driver called a bar handler steers the ship, but passengers pedal to supply the power.  (317) 620-1448; 

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