Indianapolis Travel Guide 2021

2021 Indianapolis Visitors Guide

The city of Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana. There are currently over 800,000 people living in the area making it the 12th largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in the Midwest. The official metropolitan area covers over 260 square miles of land. Indianapolis was once a manufacturing city that sat on a major east-west railroad line. Dramatic changes over the last several decades have resulted in an economy that is no longer reliant on manufacturing. The economy of Indianapolis is now based around several different successful industries including healthcare, technology, research and tourism.

Indianapolis Fun Guide

The downtown area of Indianapolis has been named one of the best downtowns in the country. There are hundreds of different restaurants and storefronts available to visitors. The city has a surprising number of live theaters as well allowing guests to watch professional performances of everything from musicals to independent and experimental plays. Visitors to Indianapolis can also choose to visit one of over 20 different museums spread across the six cultural districts in the city. These include museums that highlight classical artwork, the civil war and the rich traditions of sports in the city. There is even a memorial library dedicated to the writer Kurt Vonnegut.

Indianapolis has a large number of memorials constructed in several different areas of the city. Some are functional such as the Indiana State House that serves as the seat of government for the state. The Indiana World War Memorial is a 210-foot high stone memorial that covers five city blocks. It pays tribute to Indiana residents who died during the wars of the last century. Visitors might want to explore the city on foot by taking the Cultural Trail that winds through many of the cultural districts of the city passing by some of the major and minor monuments on display. A bike path lined with bike rental shops accompanies the trail for visitors who want to bike the city.

Many people come to Indianapolis each year in order to see one of the many national sporting events that take place. The most famous event is the annual Indianapolis 500 racing event that is held in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each Memorial Day weekend. A National College Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship is frequently held in the city although this is not consistent every year. Visitors who are not interested in sports might want to purchase tickets to the large Indiana State Fair. Other popular annual events include the Indy Jazz Festival and the Heartland Film Festival.

Indianapolis Downtown Hotels

Downtown Indianapolis is the central business district of Indianapolis, Indiana. Many define the downtown area border as Mile Square. Indianapolis has changed from vacant storefronts and little activity to a dynamic, exciting urban district, boasting modern skyscrapers such as the Chase Tower as well as exciting shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. Much tourism to the Downtown Indianapolis area is due to the presence of the Indiana Convention Center. Many museums and parks, such as the White River State Park, NCAA Hall of Champions, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, and White River Gardens provide diverse historical, entertaining, cultural and educational opportunities. Professional sports are hosted at the Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as events, such as musical concerts. The Circle Centre Mall is considered a highly successful mall in comparison to others in the country. The Circle Centre is proud to have GameWorks Studios arcade, as well as an impressive nine-screen United Artists movie theater. There is much to do, see and experience in Downtown Indianapolis. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Indianapolis that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available

Indianapolis Weather

Like a majority of the cities in the surrounding area, Indianapolis has four distinct seasons, meaning that there’s a perfect time of year to visit for nearly everyone. A majority of visitors and residents alike are likely to enjoy the Spring and Autumn seasons, where temperatures average around 65 degrees. However, these times of the year can often be unpredictable, owing to the various pressure systems that tend to run through the area.

Spring is the most beautiful, yet most temperamental, season that Indianapolis has to offer. Between mid-March and mid-May, temperatures will steadily begin to climb, with average highs in a comfortable 55-65 degree range. However, Indianapolis is in a geographical area that makes it a pressure cooker for fronts traveling from the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, the cold and windy conditions of Canada, and the humidity found in the Southern part of the United States. The result is that weather in Indianapolis may be beautiful and sunny one day, followed by a snowstorm the next. In the Spring months, rain showers are likely, which turn into thunderstorms as the temperatures rise. When the temperatures begin to fall again at the end of summer, Indiana is at risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. However, Indianapolis is more well-protected from potential damage than are other, more rural locations. During both the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures may drop as much as 30 degrees in a 24 hour period, making layering an important part of dressing for life in Indianapolis.

Summers in the area are considered beautiful and temperate, lacking both the humidity and heatwaves common to large East Coast cities and the dry heat that categorizes cities to the West and South of Indianapolis. During June, July, and August, temperatures tend to have highs in the mid 80’s and lows near 60, creating a comfortable outdoor atmosphere. In September, temperatures begin to drop as early as Labor Day, creating a beautiful cacophony of foliage. Winters are cold and begin early, as they do in much of the surrounding area, with the first frost typically having affected Indianapolis by Halloween.

Winters are cold and snowy, although relatively moderate when compared to that of Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Chicago area. Nights generally hit the 20’s and teens during December, January, and February, and blizzards in March are not uncommon. There are some occasions when the temperature falls below zero, but the greater concern in Indianapolis is the wind chill, which can easily make a 20-degree night feel like a 10-degree night. If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas with the family, Indianapolis may deliver.

Indianapolis Transportation

Driving by car is by far the most popular way of getting to Indianapolis. The capital city of the state of Indiana is situated along the intersection of several major interstate highways. Running for about 900 miles, Interstate 65 links all areas between Mobile, Alabama and Gary, Indiana along Lake Michigan. I-65 is also a major gateway into Chicago for anyone who is coming from areas south of Lake Michigan. Stretching for over 2,100 miles, Interstate 70 runs from Utah to Maryland and cuts through several Midwestern states. Interstate 69 directly connects Indianapolis with Lansing, the capital of Michigan. Interstate 74 is a 430-mile long highway that links Indiana’s capital city with Cincinnati, the third-largest city in Ohio. After arriving in Indianapolis, drivers can navigate the city and the surrounding communities by using the Interstate 485 loop highway.

Public transit in Indianapolis is provided by the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, also known as IndyGo. This transit authority operates more than 25 bus routes that circulate throughout Indianapolis. However, not all routes operate 7 seven days a week. For example, bus routes 11, 22, 30 and 55 run only during weekdays. Many of the IndyGo bus routes converge in the Downtown Area near Monument Circle, which is the best spot for transfers.

Located along South Street in the Downtown district, Indianapolis Union Station is served by two long-distance Amtrak lines. The Cardinal route runs between Chicago and New York City and makes multiple stops in several states including Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The Hoosier State is a much shorter line that runs between Chicago and Indianapolis. IndyGo bus route 16 stops right near the Union Station.

Greyhound Lines buses pick up and drop off passengers near a dedicated transit center right near the Indianapolis Union Station. Greyhound offers intercity services between Indianapolis and dozens of other communities in Indiana and other Midwestern states.

Indianapolis International Airport welcomes more than 7 million passengers to Indianapolis each year. This airport is served by some of the biggest domestic airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, US Airways, and United Airlines. Indianapolis has directly connected to more than a dozen major cities in the United States thanks to these major airlines. IndyGo bus route 8 is the only service that stops at Indianapolis International Airport. Ground transportation options in this airport include eight car rental companies and several taxi and private shuttle operators. There are thousands of onsite parking spaces available at the airport including the garage and valet service.

Indianapolis Attractions

Create indelible memories on your next vacation with a visit to Indianapolis, Indiana. Know that the city offers a medley of tourist and cultural attractions that appeal to the imagination of all of its guests. Whether you and your family enjoy athletic activities, outdoor attractions or cultural institutions, know that the city has something for every taste. Trust that the attractions of Indianapolis are certain to fill your days in the city with pleasure.

Consider that Indianapolis hosts the two grandest single-day sporting events on the planet. Understand that the Allstate 400 and Indianapolis 500 Mile Race attracts more than 250,000 guests from around the world to witness this racing spectacle. Enjoy the accompanying 500 Festival with the Indianapolis 500 as well as Indianapolis-Motor-Speedway Hall of Fame Museum that exhibits vintage and classic automobiles and droves of cars that have won the famous race. In addition, find the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Hall of Champions in the city as well that also serves as the headquarters of the NCAA.

Indulge in many of the outdoor attractions the capital city offers. Discover the Indianapolis Zoo, a prominent zoological garden featuring an aquarium and a botanical garden. Know that the institution draws more than 1.5 million guests per year. Like the Indianapolis Zoo, consider the appeal of the Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden Garfield Park that house some of the most popular conservatories in the nation with 10,000 square feet of meticulously manicured botanical features and natural attractions.

In addition, as an outdoor aficionado, revel in the aeronautical wonders on display at the Indianapolis Air Show. Observe not only wonders in the air but the exhibitions on land at the aircraft and classic care museum. Consider the offerings of Fort Harrison State Park and Fort Golf Course that was established with the help of the United States Army in 1908. Learn that the park was named after President Harrison.

Although Indianapolis offers great outdoor attractions, consider the splendid indoor cultural activities the city boasts. Visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, an institution featuring five floors of interactive fun for youth audiences and the entire family. Moreover, catch a movie at the historic ArtCraft Theatre, a piece of nostalgia in the city that shows classic movies.

Know that Indianapolis, Indiana, offers a wide selection of activities that promise to enrich your next vacation. Whether you seek natural wonders, sporting events or cultural enrichment, the city features the attractions to suit any desire. Visit Indianapolis to expand your horizons and enjoy a unique American city.

Indianapolis Dining

Some of the best restaurants within Indianapolis are sure to satisfy your culinary tastes and curiosity. With a ride variety of dining destinations to choose from throughout the city, all visitors will find the perfect place for their particular taste palate. From higher-priced dining experiences to casual cuisine in a friendly atmosphere, Indianapolis has it all.

St. Elmo Steak House
St. Elmo Steak House is one of the most popular, well-known restaurants in all of Indiana. Whether you’re a local in the area or a celebrity visiting the city, St. Elmo Steak House is a must when looking to enjoy delicious steaks. The Shrimp Cocktail is just one of many dishes made famous at this Indianapolis steak house. Using the freshest ingredients, each dish will astound your taste buds through every bite. St. Elmo Steak House is also known for having the largest wine cellar with retail bottles in all of Indiana.

Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
Taste the cuisine of Italy at Iozzo’s Garden of Italy in Indianapolis. Dine in two different and very unique areas of the restaurant, the dining room or courtyard. Each area transports you into an authentic Italian setting complete with traditional Italian meals such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmigiana and eggplant parmigiana, along with more unique entree items such as the lobster ravioli.

Café Patachou
Café Patachou is the ideal spot in Indianapolis to visit for a delicious breakfast, leisurely lunch or a quick bite to eat. This award-winning restaurant combine meals that we have come to know and love with a bit of a twist. During breakfast, create your very own omelet complete with local eggs. From sandwiches to soups and french toast, Café Patachou serves up all of your favorites in a cozy, comfortable atmosphere.

Goose the Market
Goose the Market first opened it’s doors to the public in 2007 and continues to thrive as one of Indianapolis’ best restaurants today. This sandwich shop was named one of the best in the country by Bon Appetit. Find everything from Italian specialty sandwiches to French delicacies. In the market, purchase your very own meats, spices and ingredients to whip up your own delicious meals in the kitchen.

R Bistro
R Bistro brings food from the farm straight to the table in an intimate dining venue. R Bistro and local area farms work together to bring diners the freshest vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products out there. This small restaurant only offers a total of 17 tables for one of the most unique dining experiences in the city.

Indianapolis Events

The city of Indianapolis offers a bevy of artistic, cultural, sporting and seasonal events and festivities. Visitors have access to a range of fairs, shows, expositions and events that are certain to leave a lasting impression.

Art
The city offers a range of art events that illuminate the metropolis’s sensitive side. The Broad Ripple Art Fair endeavors to support the Indianapolis Art Center, attracting more than 25,000 guests. In excess of 60 organizations contribute to the success of the event making it one of the most popular dates on the calendar.
In addition to the Broad Ripple fair, the city features the Penrod Art Fair at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Stutz Artist Holiday Show at the Stutz Art Space that exhibits 50 local artists.

Cultural Happenings
The cultural offerings of the city are on display throughout a series of events that foster the sophistication of the city. The 48 Hour Film Project challenges local film makers to test their skill. The Indiana Black Expo Summertime Celebration Eleven feature joyous days that highlight the unique offerings of the city’s African-American community. The Indianapolis Greek Festival organized by the local Indianapolis Greek Orthodox Church and community puts on a downtown celebration of Greek food and culture.

Seasonal Bliss
The city boasts a medley of events unique to various holiday times. The Circle of Lights in downtown Indianapolis inspires guests to participate in the glorious holiday tradition at Monument Circle. The Pumpkin Harvest Festival occurs at Halloween and the Lights Over Morse Lake is a stunning way to celebrate Independence day. In the springtime, natural life aficionados enjoy the Indiana Flower and Patio Show.

Musical Events
Like with the seasonal and artistic happenings, the city hosts a bevy of spectacular music moments. The Drum Corps International World Class Championships draws young people to its annual competition. The Indy Jazz Festival gathers some of the best musicians throughout the Midwest. The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis takes place over 17 days to award significant monetary compensation as well as a prestigious honor.

Sports Spectacles
A great sports city, Indianapolis boasts a number of sporting events that draw fans from all over the globe. The city also hosts an assortment of events linked to the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 automobile races. The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is the most significant foot race in the United States with more than 40,000 participants. The Miller Lite Carb Day enables fans to watch a number of prominent musical performers and the drivers practice the Friday before the Indy 500.

Family Fun near Downtown Indianapolis

By visiting these top attractions while in Indianapolis, both kids and parents are guaranteed to have a ton of fun. Whether you’re looking for free hot spots to spend the day or affordable, family-friendly destinations in the heart of Indiana, Indianapolis has it all.

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is known as the world’s largest children’s museum and one of the best by far. Not only will children have a blast discovering amazing interactive attractions, but parents are sure to have fun as well. This five-level facility is an enormous playground, filled with a variety of hands-on exhibits themed around art, culture, science, history and technology. From an antique carousel that visitors can take a spin on, to life-size dinosaur skeleton replicas and fossil digs, there’s no place quite the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Zoo
The Indianapolis Zoo is home to over 350 different animal species in the environments that resemble their natural habitats. Trek through 70 acres of pristine zoo property to see mammals and ocean life up-close. The Indianapolis Zoo is the first zoo in the world to offer a completely submerged dolphin viewing experience. You’ll even want to check out the touch-tanks for the opportunity to feel a real live shark.

Caribbean Cove
No matter if the weather is hot or cold, it’s always the perfect time to splash the day away with the family at Caribbean Cove. This indoor water park is packed full of swimming pools, water slides, a lazy river and other fun water attractions. Float around the lazy river and find the kids-only island. Whirpool spas are the perfect spot to relax while the kids play. Whether you’re looking to enjoy leisurely attractions or a thrilling adventure, Caribbean Cove is the perfect place to experience it all.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure
Children and parents of all ages can get in touch with their adventurous side at the Go Ape Treetop Adventure attraction. This interactive adventure puts visitors high atop the trees, secured with harnesses, carabiners, and pulleys that they will use along the way. Swing through the trees from 50 feet above the ground, make your way across rope bridges, experience a zip line and so much more.

Indianapolis Art Center
The Indianapolis Art Center is the perfect spot to learn about art within the Midwest. Located along the White River, visitors will see exhibits from artists all around the world and have the chance to design their own works of art in the studio.

Shopping near Downtown Indianapolis

Indianapolis is a jewel of the American Midwest. With over one-million people and rich history and culture, Indiana’s capital city offers an incredible volume of things to see and do. Did you know that Indianapolis was rated by Forbes and Livability.com as having one of the country’s best downtown areas? Reasons for this include the hundreds of retail shops, nearly 300 dining options, dozens of hotels, and the overall downtown experience.

It is certainly true; shopping opportunities are immense here. Indianapolis is a real shopper’s haven, drawing roving crowds from far and wide. Where are they headed? Read on for a glimpse of some of the city’s hottest shopping venues.

Malls
What would a great city be without great malls? Indianapolis hosts a healthy number of malls. The five most popular are Castleton Square, The Fashion Mall at Keystone, Greenwood Park, Metropolis, and Clay Terrace. Throughout these malls, visitors can find specialty stores as well as big names such as Sears, Macy’s, Von Mauer, Apple stores, food courts, Loft, Abercrombie, and much, much more.

Flea Markets
Flea markets are a fantastic opportunity for personal interactions, bartering, and purchasing anything one could imagine. Flea market connoisseurs travel great distances to peruse the endless tables and items at Indianapolis’ numerous markets. The Irvington Flea Market is open all year with indoor and outdoor shopping. The massive Indiana State Flea Market actually takes place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Shoppers greatly enjoy the many goods, foods, music, and amusements at these American-style Bazaars.

Independent Stores
Right along with the big venues, there are countless, Indianapolis, independent stores. Are you looking for a special purse, car accessory, or book? The possibilities are endless once you get here.

And Remember – Plan Ahead
Indianapolis is a big city, offering renowned shopping opportunities and experiences. Although you could certainly just come to the city without a plan and do quite well, thinking of a few things ahead can really help. This mainly pertains to transportation and carrying bought goods. If money is not an issue, consider hiring an usher to drive yourself and friends from place to place. Another popular option is the shopping-tour, in which bus companies pick-up and drop-off shoppers at scheduled times throughout the city. However you do it, consider these things ahead.

Indianapolis is sure to grow on you the moment your shop-happy feet touch the ground. Enjoy your time around the city. Shopping awaits.

Map of Hotels in Indianapolis

  1. Indianapolis International Airport – Find Hotel Near Bridgeport, Decatur Township & Victor.
  2. Downtown Indianapolis Hotels – Find Hotel Near Indiana State House, Convention Center Plaza & Indiana Polish Amtrak
  3. University of Indianapolis – Find Hotel at University Heights and Rosedale Hills,
  4. Beech Grove Park – Find Hotel at Churchman Hill Plaza Shopping Center, Park Meadow
  5. Motor Speedway Stadium – Find Hotel Near Speedway, Eagle Creek & Venerable Frackville
  6. Indianapolis Zoo – Find Hotel Near Indiana University Purdue, White River State Park
  7. Children’s Museum Indianapolis – Find Hotel at Spring Hill, Riverside Golf Course & Meridian Park
  8. Riverside Golf Course – Find Hotel at Lake Sullivan, Major Taylor Velodrome Park & Marian Collage
  9. Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis – Find Hotel at Spring Hill, Butler University & Tarkington Park
  10. Presbytery Whitewater Valley – Find Hotel Near International School Center, Wynnedale