Indianapolis is Home to Sports Legends, Destination Museums and an Amazing Brunch Spot
My Perfect Day
Wake up with window-shopping in the Fountain Fletcher neighborhood. At nearby Gallery Pastry Bar, the Brûlée Trillium Croissant comes with local cheese.
Prepare to be engrossed by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I love how the works of Indigenous art are contextualized in thought-provoking ways.
So many drink choices! Sip at a classic like Sun King Brewing or Hotel Tango Distillery. Or try Bar One Fourteen, a hot cocktail bar that reopened post-pandemic with Japanese flair and a vinyl soundtrack.
I like to end my day with chef Abbi Merriss (or at least her cooking). Head to Bluebeard for fine fare, or catch an art-house flick at Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie, where she designed the menu.
Worth the Splurge
Here's the deal: Milktooth isn't fancy, per se. But when you land a table for brunch, you will be so dazzled by the inventive, shareable dishes and cocktails, you will want one of everything. You've been warned.
The lush 152-acre campus of Newfields encompasses the Indianapolis Museum of Art (and the immersive multimedia experience of The Lume), a sculpture park, a beer garden and the Lilly House mansion.
White River State Park
This urban state park links the zoo, Victory Field, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. Take a gondola or bike ride or rent pedal boats.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Go on a pilgrimage to the 114-year-old home of the Indy 500, where a museum displays race vehicles and organizes tours. On nonrace days, zip down the track in a car reaching 180 mph.
Indie shops and restaurants line this thoroughfare (known as Mass Ave to locals), which stretches all the way into the revamped Bottleworks District and Windsor Park neighborhood.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail
In 2023, this 8-mile urban art-bike-walk trail celebrates its 10th anniversary with the completion of a 2-mile expansion. Grab wheels through a bike-share, and pedal to explore downtown districts.
Related: Top Things to Do in Indianapolis
It's a Date!
See some 150 artists at the Broad Ripple Art Fair, a half-century-old event held in a colorful neighborhood with good shopping and dining (May 20–21, 2023). Bonus: The team behind Indy Jazz Fest assembles the art fair's playlist of smooth live music.
Browse secondhand books and play board games over beer and literary-themed snacks at Books and Brews, a community-spirited hangout with two locations where kids eat free on Sundays.
All aboard Dinosaur Train:The Traveling Exhibit through July 30, 2023, at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis (the world's largest). Swim over to the Indianapolis Zoo to see dolphins.
Burn off energy—and challenge kids to count the steps—at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Climbing the 284-foot-tall memorial is free, or pay a nominal fee to ride an elevator.
Where to Stay
Spend the night in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant at Bottleworks Hotel. This newer boutique property anchors the Bottleworks District and puts you close to art galleries and The Garage Food Hall.
Escape the city to the wooded hills of Brown County State Park, an hour south of Indy. After hiking, check out shops and arts experiences in Nashville, plus Hard Truth Distilling Company, a sprawling distillery among trees.