I recently visited the midwestern city of Indianapolis. Being from the midwest myself, I expected Indianapolis to be similar to other midwestern cities, but Indianapolis had a culture unlike any other and was full many surprises. Below are some of the things you can do when you visit Indianapolis.
What to do
Visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Start out at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) or Newfields. This museum is the 9th oldest encyclopedic museum in the United States. An encyclopedic museum is one that houses a collection of art that is representative of the culture and history of the world. In the IMA you will be able to see over 54,000 works by artists like Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe.
Get a City View From Monument Circle
Monument Circle is in the heart of Indianapolis. There is a monument at the center that was designed to honor Hoosiers (people from Indiana) who served during the American Civil War.
There is an observation deck that sits at the top of the Monument and it is free is to enter if you take stairs or $2 for adults over age 18 and $1 for kids age 6 – 18 to take the elevator. There is also a Civil War Museum that is on the bottom floor of the Monument below the observation deck.
Indiana Central Library
Indianapolis Central Library is a great place to take pictures because it is filled with tons of colorful backgrounds. Besides the pictures, the library is a readers delight with over 16 million books to choose from. It has a little something for everyone, even if you are not crazy about reading, the architecture will make you fall in love.
Get Lost in Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden
The Garfield Park Conservatory is a 10,000 square foot conservatory or botanical garden and the Sunken Garden is 3-acred European style garden. The Conservatory is open year round whereas the Sunken Gardens are closed parts of the year due the weather. It is free to get into the Sunken Gardens but it costs $2 to get into the Conservatory. Pictures are not allowed in either areas unless you get a photo permit that is $75 for professionals and $25 non professionals. I was able to get pictures before we found out that it cost money to take pictures.
Experience a Venetian ride at the Canal Walk
The Canal walk is an area in downtown Indianapolis that has a canal surrounded by a 3 mile pedestrian walk way. At the Canal walk you are able to rent kayaks, get on a gondola ride or stick to sidewalks and rent a Segway, scooter or bicycle. We decided to get on an Italian style gondola and explore the city that way. Being on the water provided some breeze for the hot summer day. The gondolier also sings to you in Italian.
To ensure that you are able to get on the Gondala, I would suggest booking your ticket before the day of your visit. To book a gondola ride, please click here. It costs $30/person.
Get your Wine on at Easley Winery
Easley Winery is a local winery that began in the 1960’s when making wine in Indiana was Illegal. They would make their wine in Southern Michigan and then bring it to Indiana. The rules changed in 1970s and since then they have been making wine in downtown Indianapolis. The winery has $5 Wine tastings where you can try up to 7 of their best selling wines ranging from dry to sweet.
Where to eat
Brunch it Up at Yolk
No visit to any where is complete without brunch! Yolk is a breakfast spot from Chicago that recently opened a few locations in Indianapolis. Their prices are reasonable and they have really great options. However, their vegan options are extremely limited and almost non existent. They do have extremely great vegetarian options, however. This location does not serve any alcohol, but the food was delicious. I got the crepes stuffed with eggs and avocado with a side of their strawberry orange juice. This juice was so delicious!! If you do not get anything else here, make sure you get this drink.
Get a Taste of Italy Iozzo’s
After the Gondola ride we walked around the Canal Walk and then got dinner at Iozzo’s Garden of Italy. The restaurant is super cute and it is near downtown Indianapolis. The restaurant has gorgeous outside sitting so it will be perfect for date night or dressy dinner. They did not have a lot of vegan or vegetarian options but I was able to get spaghetti and substitute the meat with mushrooms.
Have a Meditarianian Feast at Canal Bistro
Canal Bistro is a Mediterranean restaurant in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis. Not only do you get amazing food but you also get a view of the canal. There were a few vegan and vegetarian options available on the menu. The bistro has parking available on sight unlike many other Broad Ripple restaurants.
Where to go for nightlife
Blu is a really popular bar in downtown Indianapolis. They play a wide variety of music including Hip Hop, Latin, House, Reggae and more.
Broad Ripple is also another neighborhood that allows you to bar hop. Broad Ripple generally attracts a younger crowd. Some spots in Broad Ripple are The Red Room, Vogue and Casba.
I hope this blog motivates you to visit Indiana and also
Thank you for reading,