Indy: What to See, Eat and Do

Friday, May 31, 2013

(Me with the giant Vonnegut mural on Mass Ave and the 
Funky Bones Sculpture from The Fault in Our Stars)

Oh Indianapolis, how I love you. I’m a lifelong Hoosier and am constantly shocked when I hear people say there isn’t anything to do in our city. We have so much to offer! We may not be a literary capital of the world, but we have wide and diverse cultural offerings. There are a dozen theatres, a symphony, that little race track, and tons of independent restaurants and parks.

So all of that has been on my mind lately and I thought I would make a list of a few of my favorite MUST SEE things in our city. I hope you’ll check them out if you’re ever in my neck of the woods!

Yummy Places to Eat:

Yats: Cajun/Creole food, cheap and so delicious!
Rathskeller: German food, really fun outdoor biergarten in the summer (Building designed by Kurt Vonnegut’s father)
Brugge: Belgian food, think frites, mussels, crepes and wonderful beer
Saffron Café: Moroccan Food, I’ve never had a bad meal here!
Mesh: A little bit pricey, but a good, unique menu
Creation Café: Located right on the White River, beautiful view of the city
The Tamale Place: Best tacos ever. No seriously. The tamales are obviously really good too.
Traders Point Creamery: Amazing cheese, yogurt, etc. made there!

Free Place to Check Out:

Indy Reads Books: My favorite used bookstore in the city. Every penny of their sales supports literacy in Indy!
Indianapolis Art Museum: Everything from Monet to the famous LOVE sculpture. Bonus: In the summer the art museum has an outdoor amphitheater where they show classic movies!
Indianapolis Central Library: I’ve spoken before about how much I love this library. Not only does it beautifully combine the old and the new, it also provides one of the best views of the city.
HART - Free Shakespeare performance on the White River Canal.
100 Acres Park: A beautiful park to wander in, plus it includes the huge Funky Bones sculpture from The Fault in Our Stars!
Sun King Brewery: A local brewery that offers free tastings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Crown Hill Cemetery: Gorgeous cemetery with walking tours, the final burial place for author James Whitcomb Riley and outlaw John Dillinger.
Holliday Park: Beautiful park with crazy old ruins (mentioned in The Fault in Our Stars)  
Who North America: For any Whovians out there, this is store entirely dedicated to Doctor Who. It is mainly an online store, but you can shop at their actual facility too and they’re incredibly nice.
Lew Wallace’s Study (The author of Ben Hur)
The Cultural Trail: Biking and walking trails through Indy

Other Random fun Stuff:

The Children’s Museum: One of the most incredible in the country. It’s fun for adults too and includes a huge Dale Chihuly glass sculpture.
Keystone Art Cinema: They show wonderful movies and have a bar, so you can take your drink in with you. Yes please. 

A few other resources if you plan a trip:

Photos by moi. 


Sandy Nawrot said...

I grew up about 1.5 hours from Indy, and have been there hundreds of times, but on your list, I've only done a few things. The fun thing is that you can go downtown and just walk around and have a ball. We have done a couple dinner theaters, the Children's Museum, the aquarium, and OF COURSE the race!

annieb said...

Since Indy is the capital, I'll bet there are a lot of interesting things to see concerning the government offices and the Legislature. I was a page at the Legislature when I was in 5th grade. They probably don't do that anymore because most Legislatures don't, but it was a big deal in the 1950s for kids all over the state to go to Indianapolis for a day and get to do some things for their legislator. It was really quite an honor to be chosen and I loved it. I haven't lived in Indiana for many years, but I hear a lot about what a nice city Indianapolis is.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I keep trying to pin this post but my work computer is being all crazy like. Bah. I've never been to Indiana but I'm sure that we will one day! Rathskeller especially sounds awesome. I love a good biergarten!

Amy said...

You make me want to come visit! You left off the best one though: meet Melissa in person! (What? You don't want to meet hundreds of random strangers? :-))

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

This post makes me so excited for our upcoming move to Indy! I can't wait to try some of your restaurant suggestions :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - It really is a fun city to walk! Between the canal, murals and monuments there's so much to see. I recently found out that Indy has more memorials and monuments than any city in the USA except DC!

annieb - The Statehouse is really beautiful. I remember touring it in grade school.

Trish - The biergarten is so good and there's always a live band on Fridays.

Amy - I would love that! If you're ever in the midwest we are definitely meeting up.

Kat - New restaurants have been popping up everywhere in the last couple years. There's so much to try!

Jeanne said...

Guess I'll have to come back one of these days!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - Yes! You'll have to see Funky Bones at some point.