Sports are a big deal in the capital city—consider the Indy 500, the Colts, the Pacers, the Fever and the NCAA Hall of Champions. But explore cultural destinations, too, including art, history and children’s museums. Check out our guide for what to see, where to eat and where to stay in Indianapolis.

By The editors of MidwestLiving.com
Updated March 12, 2021
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Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.

Do

Broad Ripple Village This ethnically diverse area has an array of cafes, art galleries, brewpubs and indie shops. discoverbroadripplevillage.com

The Children's Museum of IndianapolisThe world's largest children's museum added a $38.5 million sports-theme expansion with 15 experiences, including a mini Colts football field and Indy 500 pedal cars. Inside, Mini Masterpieces just got a new home with better ways to examine miniature scenes. childrensmuseum.org

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center At the Indiana Experience, visitors investigate the state via interactive stage sets, a multimedia theater and touchscreens. The cabaret-style Cole Porter Room focuses on the Hoosier's life and his music. indianahistory.org

Indianapolis Cultural Trail The 8-mile bike/pedestrian path links six cultural districts, each with its own personality. Public art installations, such as the Glick Peace Walk, make the trail even better. Guided tours focus on topics such as the local food scene. indyculturetrail.org

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fans consider the 111-year-old home of the Indy 500 a pilgrimage site. On nonrace days, zip down the track in a car reaching up to 180 mph. The speedway's museum displays race vehicles and organizes tours. indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields THE LUME Indianapolis, an immersive digital art gallery, opens in June 2021. In its first year, the exhibit will feature some of Vincent van Gogh's most famous works. discovernewfields.org

Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens Set aside a few hours to explore the five biomes. Book ahead for an Animal Art Adventure if you'd like to work with an animal to create a painting. indianapoliszoo.com

Indiana State Museum Exhibits inspire appreciation for the state's natural and cultural history. Explore an ice age-era cave or try loading a Conestoga wagon. indianamuseum.org

Massachusetts Avenue Alfresco dining options, art galleries, and shops make this area popular with both residents and visitors. massavelydifferent.com

Massachusetts Avenue
Massachusetts Avenue

NCAA Hall of Champions Two levels of exhibits let you test your athletic abilities as well as your knowledge of NCAA sports. ncaahallofchampions.org

Soldiers and Sailors Monument In the heart of downtown, the limestone monument soars 284 feet into the air. Take the elevator (or climb 331 steps) to the observation deck. in.gov

Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Sun King Brewery Stop by the downtown location for tours and sips of brews like Orange Vanilla Sunlight Cream Ale. sunkingbrewing.com

The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park: 100 Acres Modern works—like Los Carpinteros' Free Basket—dot the former quarry's woodlands and meadows along the west side of the Newfields art campus. discovernewfields.org

White River State Park Follow the path along the canal as it flows past some of the city's top attractions, including the zoo, Victory Field, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. Rent bikes or pedal boats, or take a gondola ride. whiteriverstatepark.org

White River State Park
White River State Park. Photo: Courtesy of VisitIndy.com

Eat

Beholder Jonathan Brooks' sophomore restaurant in Indy, the chef's inventiveness shines in dishes like grilled cucumber salad tossed in vinaigrette of the cuke's charred skin. beholderindy.com

Bluebeard The farm-to-table menu changes daily but might feature salmon with broccoli rabe or chicken with cashew-and-caper berry relish served in a renovated 1924 factory warehouse. bluebeardindy.com

Bru Burger Bar Order one of more than a dozen chef-inspired burger variations, including the namesake with toppings like Taleggio cheese and onion. bruburgerbar.com

Cafe Patachou Local ingredients star in the lineup of omelets, waffles and Broken Yolk Sandwiches (fried eggs with add-ons). cafepatachou.com

The Cake Bake Shop Elegant sweet treats and a storybook atmosphere draw diners to the Broad Ripple shop and a new location in Carmel. thecakebakeshop.com

Harry and Izzy's The younger, less-expensive sister of St. Elmo Steak House has an upscale atmosphere with rich wood interiors and items like a prime rib sandwich. harryandizzys.com

Livery Order a taste of Latin America with foods like empanadas, paella and. plantains, paired with a margarita or Latin-inspired cocktail. The restored 1890s two-story building was once a horse stable. livery-restaurant.com

Public Greens The menu leans on locally grown produce, while profits help feed at-risk and food-insecure children. publicgreensurbankitchen.com

Public Greens
Public Greens

Shapiro's Delicatessen The 111-year-old family-owned spot continues to churn out fist-thick corned beef, pastrami and brisket sandwiches. Try the coconut cream pie for dessert. Shapiro's Delicatessen on Facebook

Vida A hydroponic wall of greens shows off the restaurant's commitment to fresh ingredients. The tasting menu lets you sample creations like lobster terrine. vida-restaurant.com

Stay

The Alexander Works curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art decorate the lobby of this 209-room boutique hotel. Get skyline views along with your sips at the updated Plat 99 Coffee + Cocktails. thealexander.com

Bottleworks Hotel The 139-room boutique lodging recently opened in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant. It's part of the first phase of the $300 million Bottleworks project, which will also include a food hall. bottleworkshotel.com

Conrad Indianapolis All rooms feature plush bedding and marble in the bathrooms, but if you want to splurge, book one of four suites with original art by Picasso, Dalí and Warhol. conradindianapolis.com

JW Marriott Indianapolis Guests at this 33-story blue-glass behemoth enjoy easy access to downtown. marriott.com

Le Méridien Indianapolis The 100-room 1928 hotel sports a modern palette of black, white and gray. Kick back with a cocktail in the Spoke and Steele restaurant. lemeridienindianapolis.com

For more information visitindy.com