Indianapolis is in the Nine-County Region of Indiana, right at the center of the state. It is the state capital and largest city of Indiana, United States, and is in Marion County. The population within city limits is approximately 830,000 people, making it the 12th largest city in the US. The metropolitan area has about 2 million (23rd in the US). Indianapolis is also known as the "Racing Capital of the World" due to the proximity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (formerly known as the "Brickyard 400").
The name Indianapolis is simply Indiana joined with polis, the Greek word for city. The founders of Indianapolis expected it to be the "Great Inland Port," but they neglected to consider the fact that the White River is impossible to navigate most of the year; other than during the spring, it is a melange of sandbars and temporary islands. However, this port-desire left the city with a beautiful, if useless, canal district.
Indianapolis is called the "Crossroads of America". The city is warm in the summer, with average highs in the mid-80s in June, July, and August. Indianapolis has a typical mid-western winter. January is the coldest month, with an average high of 34 degrees.
Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" for a good reason. Interstates 65, 69, 70, and 74 meet here. The city's outer belt is I-465. Travel directly through the city on I-70 or I-65. Direct travel using I-74 or I-69 is not possible; I-74 is routed around the center of the city on I-465, and I-69 currently ends at its intersection with I-465 to the city's north.
Amtrak runs daily between Chicago and Indianapolis.350 S. Illinois St. +1 800-872-7245.  Three days a week between Indy and Washington, D.C. & New York City. Located right in the heart of the city.
Outside Downtown and Broad Ripple, you'll need a car to get around this sprawling city. While the public bus system is both clean and efficient, routes are complex, and large parts of the metro area are not serviced.
Currently there are two pedicab companies serving downtown Indianapolis area, one is Indy Pedicabs and the other is Circle City Pedicabs. They provide downtown area taxi service, downtown touring service, wedding service and special events. The former has a slightly larger service area than the latter, and it provides free taxi service within its service area while the latter charges $5 minimum for taxi service.
Indy Go is the public bus system. It travels throughout the city and suburbs. Single fares are $1.75, day passes are available for $4, and all buses are equipped with two bike-racks. The bus system is a very nice way to travel with the one exception of frequency—outside of rush hour routes, you can find yourself with a 30+ minute wait. Almost all routes travel from a locality in the outskirts of the city to the centrally-located bus stops downtown and back out; there are also a handful of smaller circulators and loops.
Perhaps the most useful route for visitors is #17 College, which runs between all of the city's most popular dining and nightlife strips. It runs between Broad Ripple Ave and Downtown, where it travels along the popular Mass Ave strip, and loops around Capitol, Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland. Runs roughly M-F 5AM-9:30PM, Sa 6AM-9:30PM, Su 7PM-9PM.
#8 Washington St is a good route to travel quickly west of downtown to the Zoo and the Canal. It runs west through downtown on Ohio, then down West St by the Canal, and then on old US-40/Washington St past the Zoo, and then all the way out to the Airport. M-F 9AM-11PM, Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 7AM-7PM.
#18 Nora runs up from the Downtown loop around Capitol, Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland up Meridian St past the Children's Museum. M-F 6AM-9:15PM, Sa 8AM-9:15PM, Su limited.
#38 Lafayette Square is another convenient tourist route, as it runs up Meridian St past the Children's Museum from the Downtown loop, and then west on 38th past the beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art. M-F 7AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 9:30AM-7:30PM.
Biking  is easy due to the flat terrain. Indy offers a variety of bike paths throughout the city, including the Monon Trail and the Central Canal. Currently under construction is The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, scheduled to be complete by 2011. This world-class bike and pedestrian path will mark an interconnectivity that no other city of Indianapolis' size can achieve, connecting the city's seven downtown Cultural Districts, neighborhoods, and entertainment amenities, and serving as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. Also new as of 2008, Mayor Greg Ballard has announced a plan to make Indianapolis a bike-friendly city for those venturing out on open, and often busy, roads. The plan includes constructing 200 miles of additional bike lanes throughout the next 15 years.
The tallest building in Indianapolis is the Chase Tower, standing at 830 feet. The second is the OneAmerica Tower standings at 533 feet, and the third is the One Indiana Tower standing at a height of 504 feet. The fourth and fifth are the Market Tower (421 feet) and 300 North Meridian (408 feet). The sixth and seventh tallest are the M&I Plaza (401 feet), and the seventh tallest is the JW Marriot Indianapolis (376 feet), the JW Marriott Indianapolis is the tallest hotel in the state and the largest JW Marriott in the world.
Indiana State Capitol 200 W Washington St, +1 317 233-5293.  ($ parking) Completed in 1888, this is the hub for Indy's government. Originally the state capitol was in Corydon, in Southern Indiana, and in 1825 it was moved to Indy. Featuring Italian Renaissance, Greek, and Corinthian design, the building is made from Indiana limestone. Look up for the amazing German stained glass window, take guided or personal tours, or observe the government "at work".
Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument 1 Monument Cir, +1 317 232-7615.  ($ parking) This is the famous statue right in the heart of the city. Built in 1902, it stands only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty. The artwork built into the monument is moving - bloody Civil War battles and freed slaves. Miss Liberty on top faces South, protecting the North from the Confederacy. Housed in the basement is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War museum, and you can take a ride up to the top of the tower to look out over the city. Museum is free, the tower trip costs $1.
Indiana War Memorial 400 N Meridian St, +1 317 232-7615. ($ parking) A seven-block district featuring the neoclassical memorial. The memorial features an amazing performance/lecture hall and a free war museum documenting all US wars. Free.
Scottish Rite Cathedral 650 N Meridian St, +1 317 262-3100.  An architectural masterpiece, it is the world's biggest Scottish Rite cathedral. Take a tour and explore the huge pipe organ, floating dance floor, handcrafted art glass windows, learn about the mystery of Freemasonry and grab a bite to eat in the cafe.
Indianapolis Zoo 1200 W Washington St, +1 317 630-2001.  ($ parking) Home to the Dolphin Adventures Gallery and Dome. The underwater dolphin viewing dome is the first of its kind (and free with admission). The "Oceans" exhibit features a shark touch tank. Other areas include the Plains, the Forest, the Desert, and a petting zoo. Check out different animal talks throughout the day. There are opportunities to feed the animals for an extra charge. Amusement rides such as the small roller coaster, carousel and train are extra, too. Zoo grounds are a non-smoking environment. Community Tuesdays, throughout the year, also offer a discounted admission.
Crown Hill Cemetery 700 W 38th St, +1 317 925-8231.  It's the third largest cemetery in the United States and is considered the "Best Walking Tour" in Indy by Indianapolis Monthly. Tours explore the Gothic Chapel and Waiting Station from the late 1800s and famous grave sites. You can also pick up a map at the office for free and explore the cemetery by foot, car or bike. Hundreds of soldiers are buried in a beautiful war burial ground. Famous graves include John Dillinger, Frederick Dusenberg, Booth Tarkington, James Whitcomb Riley, Colonel Eli Lilly, President Benjamin Harrison and others.
Military gravestones at Crown Hill Cemetery
White River Gardens 1200 W Washington St, +1 317 630-2001.  ($ parking) The gardens are a part of the White River State Park. Over 3 acres of gardens and pathways along the White River. There is also the Hilbert Conservatory, which is the showplace for different flowers, plants, and special attractions (such as butterflies) throughout the year. The grounds to the gardens are non-smoking. Admission is charged for White River Gardens, and price includes admission to the Indianapolis Zoo. Community Tuesdays, throughout the year, offer a discounted admission.
American Legion National Headquarters 700 N Pennsylvania St, +1 317 630-1200.  ($ parking) Situated in the heart of downtown Indy with a beautiful mall that reminds one of D.C. Check out the museum that features hundreds of World War I & II posters and artifacts, check out a diorama of Jessica Lynch's rescue, explore the grounds and learn about the Legion's history.
Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden 2505 Conservatory Dr, +1 317 327-7184.  Located inside of Garfield Park, the Conservatory houses 10,000 square feet of plants from all over the world. The Sunken Gardens, built in 1916, are three acres of European classical formal gardens. Gardens change based on the season. Visiting the gardens is free; however, guided tours are $1 per person.
Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial 650 W Washington St, +1 317 261-6646  ($ parking). Monument that is part of White River State Park that pays tribute to over 3,000 Medal of Honor recipients. Ranges from Civil War through modern day clashes. It is made up of 27 curved glass walls, each 7-10 feet high, and etched with the names. It's quite breathtaking - especially at night! Free.
Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium 4600 Sunset Ave, +1 317 940-9333.  is on Butler University Campus. About 10 minutes from downtown. It's one of the largest public observatories in the world, and the 38-inch Cassegrain telescope is the largest in Indiana. Weekend tours are available only, since students use the observatory during the week. Check website or call for times. Private tours are also available. $3, $2 children.
Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens 4000 Michigan Ave, +1 317 923-1331.  An amazing home located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This is the former estate of the Lillys. Located on 26-acre grounds with a 22-room mansion, gardens and museum. Check out country estate living in the 1930s, and explore the beautiful home and antiques that the family acquired. The gardens are beautiful and feature many pathways and fountains. Be sure to also check out the garden shop where you can purchase plants grown on the grounds. Free, although they may charge for special exhibitions.
Children's Museum of Indianapolis 3000 N Meridian St, +1 317 334-3322.  This museum is the largest children's museum in the world. In March 2006, it unveiled artist Dale Chihuly's largest blown glass exhibit, Fireworks of Glass. It is a glass sculpture that rises 43 feet tall. Children (and adults alike) can dig for "dinosaur fossils", catch a planetarium show, view the miniature trains, ride the carousel and so much more. There are also temporary exhibits to check out as well. $13.50, $8.50 ages 2-17, $12.50 seniors 60+. Free on Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, El Dia de Los Ninos, and 24 Dec and from 4PM-8PM on the first Thursday of every month. Free parking.
Indiana State Museum 650 W Washington, +1 317 232-1637.  The state museum's new home is one of the most beautiful in the country. Learn about the beginnings of Indy - from dinosaurs and fossil finds to the Civil War, World War II and so forth. Explore a hall dedicated to famous Hoosiers, enjoy the IMAX theater, special events, and walk the grounds of White River State Park exploring the sculpture garden dedicated to the counties of Indiana. A must see. Standard admission: $7, $4 ages 3-12, $6.50 seniors 60+. IMAX admission extra, discount combo passes are available. First Tuesday of the month, admission half off. Parking with validation $3
Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd, +1 317 923-1331.  Recently reopened following a multi-million dollar renovation it's one of the most beautiful buildings in the country for fine art. Founded in 1883, thsi is one of the oldest art museums in the country, boasting over 50,000 pieces of a art and an amazing public art library. Exhibits include Contemporary Art, European Art, Asian Art, African Art, Textile Art and more. Rotating and traveling exhibits are abundant. Experience hands on exhibits where you can create your own art, walk the amazing grounds exploring the sculptures, gardens and homes, shop at the museum store and eat and drink at the IMA Cafe and Wolfgang Puck's namesake restaurant- this is the city he got his start in. On Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9PM, the museum has a special "happy hour" for hip and artsy socialites at Puck's featuring cocktails and hor'dourves. Free (special exhibits and events may have an admission charge).
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art 340 N Senate, +1 317 63-IMOCA.  A coalition of local arts have come together to put together this beautiful masterpiece of galleries featuring regional, national and international modern art exhibits. Free, donations are accepted.
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art 500 W Washington St, +1 317 636-WEST.  The museum is the only one of it's kind in the Midwest. Featuring western art by T.C. Cannon, N. C. Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Allan Houser, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Kay Walkingstick. The museum also focuses on Native American history featuring artifacts, art, and history about our nations first people. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant too. Located within White River State Park, check into a park pass for admission to all seven of the park's attractions. $8, $5 children 5-17 and students with id, $7 seniors 65+. Free parking.
National Art Museum of Sports 850 W Michigan St, +1 317 274-3627.  ($ parking) One of the largest collections of sports themed arts in the world. Check out over 800 pieces of art about over 40 different sports. Artists featured include Winslow Homer, LeRoy Neiman, Odgen Pleissner and more. Free.
Museum of Miniature Houses 111 E Main St, Carmel. +1 317 575-9466.  This is a rare find, a museum that caters specifically to miniature homes, room boxes and vignettes. They also have a gift shop and a children's play area. Very unique. About 20 minutes from downtown Indy. $4, $2 children under 10.
Indiana Historical Society 450 W Ohio St, 1+ 317 232-1882.  An amazing place to visit for those interested in the people and places that make up every bit of our state. Featuring a state-of-the-art research library, music room, film viewing room, gift shop and cafe. Special events include "A Century of Black Film," "Hoosiers In Hollywood" and "The Faces of Lincoln." Located snugly on the White River Canal. Free.
Indianapolis Firefighters Museum & Historical Society 748 Mass Ave, +1 317 262-5161. Learn about the founding and history of Indy's firefighters, check out the antique hand pumper, horse drawn fire cart, horse drawn steam pumper and more. Also be sure to visit the Indy Firefighters Memorial too. Free.
Indiana Medical History Museum 3045 W Vermont St, +1 317 635-7329.  Located in the old pathology building on the grounds of the now closed Central State Hospital - an ex-mental hospital that serviced Hoosiers for years, and might be haunted. It's the oldest pathology building in the country and is in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum offers a tour that shows off crazy medical equipment, preserved medical specimens, and so forth. Quite creepy, chilling and fascinating. $5, $3 university students with i.d., $1 children. AAA and AARP discounts available.
Crispus Attucks Museum 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St, +1 317 226-2432.  Located inside of Crispus Attucks school, this museum celebrates Indy's African American heritage with art galleries, school history, and student achievement.
James Whitcomb Riley Home & Museum 528 Lockerbie St, +1 317 631-5885.  Visit the home where this legendary poet and author lived out the last half of his life. Riley is known as "The Children's Poet". The home has been featured in Architectural Digest and is considered one of the finest preserved Victorian homes in the country. Take a tour and see his belongings, antiques collection and history. $3, $.50 ages 7-17, $2 seniors. Limited free parking.
President Benjamin Harrison Home 1230 Delaware St, +1 317 631-1888.  So far, Indy's only president, serving one term (1889-1893). Take a tour of this Civil War hero's home, this beautiful 1875 home built in the Italianate Victorian school. It's three stories, and filled with antiques, art, political memorabilia and personal artifacts. The carriage house in the back features a First Ladies exhibit. Throughout the year they have fun events, that often include amazing re-enactors, performing as Indiana historical figures. They also host Victorian murder mystery tours, a naturalization ceremony and the always fun croquet tournament. $8, $3 children 5-17, $6 seniors 65+. AAA discount available.
Conner Prairie Living History Museum 13400 Allisonvile Rd, Fishers. +1 317 776-6006  Settled in the 1880s, Conner Prairie is an Indiana tradition for those interested in learning about Indiana living 'back in the day.' With volunteers dressed in period-costume year round you are able to experience every aspect of the way of life - from blacksmithing to cooking, games and schooling, farming and church. Start at the modern museum learning about the science and anthropological history, then head to the living history museum featuring authentic buildings from the 1880s. Current exhibits involves Native American regional language sponsored by History Channel. In the summer the grounds feature 'Symphony on the Prairie' where one can picnic in the evening and enjoy live classical and pops performances. Halloween features haunted hay rides and the Holiday season includes dinners, candlelight tours and other celebrations. Restaurants on hand and a gift shop too. $11, $7 youth, $10 seniors 65+. Nov-Mar $4. Free parking.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library 340 N Senate Ave, +1 317 652-1954.  See Vonnegut's typewriter, reading glasses, and other personal belongs on display. View photos from his life. Browse the Kevin Scherr Collection - first editions of every Vonnegut novel. Free.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame 4790 W 16th St, +1 317 492-6747.  Located inside the home of the Indy 500, this is the world's largest collection of racing, classic, and antique cars. Check out 30 of the Indy 500 winner's cars, a 20 minute film about the history of the race, a gift shop and cafe. You also can pay a few bucks to ride in a bus around the actual race track (at about 40 miles an hour, ha!). $3, $1 children.
NCAA Hall of Champions 700 W Washington, +1 317 916-HALL.  This is the headquarters of the NCAA, located in White River State Park. Explore the history of college athletics - from hockey to basketball, cross-country skiing to football. Check out a film about NCAA sports, and be sure to check out the spirit section. Gift shop, too! $3, $2 students, free for kids under 5.
Indiana University Natatorium Located on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the IU Natatorium is one of the marquee swimming & diving venues in the world. The Nat has hosted countless nationally recognized events and is also home to the annual IHSAA boys and girls swimming championships, along with housing various swimming clubs from across the Midwest.
Indianapolis Art Center 820 E 67th St, +1 317 255-2464.  was formed in 1934 and continues to be one of the Midwest's premier community art centers. Check out one of the many local art exhibits, take an affordable art class, relax and read a book in the beautiful library, shop at the art gallery gift shop and don't pass up the amazing ARTSPARK located around the White River and the natural grounds. ARTSPARK has interactive sculptures laid out through the 12 acres designed by Michael Graves, a Hoosier native known throughout the world for his architecture and design work. Each summer you can check out the fun Broad Ripple Arts Fair, which features arts and crafts, food and booze, and live music galore on the grounds. Free.
Madame Walker Theatre 617 Indiana Ave, +1 317 236-2099.  Visit the headquarters for the first self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker (she spelled her 'Madam' without the "e"), built in the early 1900s, Walker came from cotton field beginnings to start her own line of beauty products for African American women. Visit the original salon where people still get their hair done, see a concert or play at the theatre, and take a tour of the grounds.
Dean Johnson Gallery 646 Mass Ave, +1 317 634-8020.  is the main hub and gallery for the renowned Dean Johnson Design group. Featuring exhibits from international, regional and local artists. The design group has designed logos and work for the NCAA, Kiwanis and other international events and businesses. A must visit for art and design lovers.
Domont Studio Gallery 545 S East St, +1 317 685-9634.  Local gallery and studio for artist John J Domont. A beautiful space located in the historical Fletcher Place area. Check out the artist at work, and buy a piece. He specializes in modern Indiana landscapes.
Stutz Artist Gallery 1005 N Senate Ave, +1 317 833-7000.  Originally built in 1918 as the home of the Stutz automobile. Now, it houses numerous local artists, businesses and meeting spaces. Check out the "show room" featuring a collection of Stutz cars (Elvis drove a Stutz, ya know) and have a bite to eat at Bearcats.
Harrison Center for the Arts 1505 N Delaware St, +1 317 396-3886.  Recently revamped gallery, art center, and conservatory. Check out countless art galleries, VSA Arts, the Nature Conservancy and the beautiful Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Punk and ska bands play in the basement on weekends, and on First Fridays they open their doors to good sized crowds of local art lovers who wander the halls drinking, eating and checking out art and music. Great place to check out local art and local people.
Herron School of Art & Design Galleries 735 W New York St, +1 317 278-9418.  On the campus of IUPUI this is the home to Indy's biggest art school. Check out students studios, three galleries with regional and national art, and an outdoor sculpture gallery.
Noel Studio/The Sanctuary 75 N Main St, Zionsville. +1 317 733-1117.  Studio of world-renowned artist N.A. Noel who is famous for her images of angels, children, Amish and more. Gallery features a cafe and gift shop too.
Early JuneVintage Indiana Wine & Food Fest Military Park, 601 W New York St, +1 800-832-WINE.  Over a dozen Indiana wineries come together in downtown Indy, offering samples of their finest. Restaurants from the city participate as well, serving up samples too. Cooking classes show you how to cook with wine, and Indy's finest live music acts perform. There is a kid's activity area too for the under 21ers! Though it's rather not that exciting for the little ones.
Late-JuneEiteljorg Indian Market Eiteljorg Museum, +1 317 636-9378.  The Midwest's largest festival celebrating Native American culture and history. Craft and art fair, performances, food and more.
Mid-JulyIndiana Black Expo Summer Celebration Downtown, +1 317 925-2707.  African Americans from all over head to Indy ever summer to celebrate life and culture. Lectures, community fairs, special events and don't forget the music - some of music's biggest starts come to town to celebrate. Everyone from Mary J. Blige to Public Enemy, Cameo to Barry White have made appearances. Traffic can be crazy and expect higher cover charges at nightclubs. Fun for the entire family.
Mid-JulyIndianapolis International Film Festival TBA Location. +1 317 513-9379  Indie films are hosted in non-pretentious environments. Meetings, parties, lectures, and of course films! The group also hosts films throughout the city, throughout the year.
Early-Mid AugustIndiana State Fair State Fairgrounds, . The biggest summer event in the state. A trip to Indiana isn't complete without a trip to the fair. Animals, crafts, art, rides, dancing, education, environmentalism, Hoosier Pride and FOOD!! I go at least 2-3 times within the two week period. They also have live music and concerts. Prairie Home Companion comes every other year.
Mid AugustGen-Con Convention Center, . The "best four days of gaming," in the world comes to Indianapolis every year. Thousands congregate from all over the world to play games of all types, meet sci-fi and fantasy film stars, purchase gamer goods and hang with others. The freakiest time of the year in downtown Indy.
Late August-Early SeptemberIndy Fringe Festival On Mass Ave, +1 317 822-4386.  A 10 day festival of local, national and international theater groups, performance art, visual artists and dance groups - uncensored and unique. Fun, entertaining, and unlike anything else. Events are held at venues in short walking distance from each other on Mass Ave. Great for all ages.
Late August-Early SeptemberOktoberfest State Fairgrounds.  Held annually since 1974, Oktoberfest is a celebration of German culture organized by the German-American Klub. The festival features German food and beer, along with other food vendors, live music (on at least two stages), shopping, and German dance exhibitions.
Late August-Early SeptemberRib America Fest Military Park, 601 W New York St, +1 317 566-2118.  Pig out on ribs, drink booze and listen to some tunes at this summer-time fest. A benefit for the March of Dimes, this is the national festivals stop in Indy. Last years performers featured REO Speedwagon, Hootie & The Blowfish and Charlie Daniels Band.
Early-Mid SeptemberInternational Violin Competition+1 317 637-4574.  Is an internationally acclaimed and attended contest.
Mid-SeptemberIndy Jazz Fest September 12-17th, 2011 Military Park, 601 W New York St, +1 317 940-9945.  A very popular event featuring jazz, blues, bluegrass, roots, r&b, zydeco, and fusion bands. Vendors also sell food and drinks. Past performers include Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Wynton Marsalis, BB King, Chris Isaak, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ray Charles, James Brown, and more.
Mid-SeptemberIndy Irish Fest Military Park, 601 W New York St, +1 317 713-7117.  One of the most fun festivals of the year. Celebrate your Irish (or lack of) heritage with dancing, musical acts, food, booze, sheep herding, Civil War re-enactments, Celtic Mass, a toast contest, rugby, soccer/football, and a kilted mile! The festival has been featured on Food TV. Past performers include Gaelic Storm, The Prodidgals, and more.
Late SeptemberNormandy Festival 1201 E 38th St, +1 800-259-5856.  A celebration of agriculture and good earth in Indiana. Enjoy the best of Indiana beer, wine, and food. Farmer's market, antiques, fine art and crafts, book signings, live music, hayrides, kids crafts (make your own tie-dye!), petting zoo and demonstrations.
Early OctoberCircle City Classic RCA Dome, 100 S Capitol, +1 317 237-5222.  Black college football's best teams come together to play great football and celebrate African American culture and influence in America. Music performances, special events, a parade...hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to enjoy the weekend in Indy. Benefits African American scholarships.
Mid NovemberBands of America Grand Nationals Lucas Oil Stadium  Once a year the best bands from all over the country come to compete in Indianapolis. Buy a ticket for the finals performance to see the best of the best, you are guaranteed to be excited, moved, and maybe even shed a few tears while observing this quintessentially American activity.
Indy Parks features information and links regarding all Indianapolis public parks. Below is an example of some of the cities finest - that attract visitors and locals alike.
White River State Park 801 W Washington St, +1 317 233-2434. [ (Free and $ parking) Home to the Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens, Victory Field, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, IMAX Theater, and NCAA Hall of Champions. It also has the Governor's Lawn  near the river, which is host to concerts during each summer. Central Canal is also located within the park. Park passes are available for purchase, entrance to all 7 of the main attractions is included in the pass.
Eagle Creek Park 7840 W 56th St, +1 317 327-7110.  On the west side of Indy, this park boasts many amenities, including a nature center, fitness course, fishing areas, and bird sanctuary. Fill your day with sailing, bird watching, fishing, rowing, hiking, swimming and much more. Only 10 minutes from downtown. Admission charged.
Garfield Park 2345 Pagoda Dr, +1 317 327-7220. (Free parking) Oldest park in Indianapolis, established in 1881. Features include the Conservatory and Sunken Gardens, an Arts Center, MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts, Swimming pool and aquatic center, picnic shelters, pagoda, tennis courts, softball diamond, numerous trails, horse shoe courts, playgrounds, sledding hill and countless other park activities. Free for most activities.
Holliday Park 6363 Spring Mill Rd, +1 317 327-7180.  One of the oldest and coolest parks in town. Planted right on the White River with swamps, ponds, wildflower gardens, birdwatching sanctuaries, a renovated nature center, sculpture garden, and countless wildlife and plantlife. In the warm months parents take their kids to play on the best playground in the city, and locals picnic, lay out, read and host family gatherings at the extensive parkland. A great place to wade and rock collect too! 95 acres of trails and woodland, a must see.
Riverside Park 2420 E Riverside Dr, +1 317 327-7171.  (Free parking) Founded in 1898, houses many athletic leagues, community activities and special events. It is situated on the White River. Amenities include a large family center, swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball & softball diamonds, boating, football fields and other sports fields and picnic areas. Free.
Broad Ripple Park 1550 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 327-7161.  Established in 1946, Broad Ripple park was originally an amusement park. Located on the White River. The park features a family center, swimming pool, playground, fitness trail, baseball diamond, tennis courts and boating. They have a great dog park, which does require a pass and proof of recent dog vaccinations. Everyday tons of dogs and their owners play in a well kept, fenced area. It can get very muddy when rainy or snowy. Located within walking distance of Broad Ripple Village. Activities are free, dog pass rates vary.
Rent a paddle boat on the canal 801 W Washington St, +1 317 233-2434.  Rent a paddle boat and roam the lengthy water of the White River canal system. Explore tunnels and fountains, see fine outdoor art and people watch as you paddle around at your whimsy. Be sure to enjoy a popsicle at the ice cream stand after your trek.
Picnic at James Whitcomb Riley's grave Bring a picnic basket and enjoy a sunset at one of Indy's highest points with one of Indy's most beloved authors, located on the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery.
Walk the streets of Lockerbie Located between North and Miami St in downtown Indianapolis. Dating back to 1847 it's the oldest surviving neighborhood in Indy. Featuring an amazing array of Victorian homes still maintained in their original beauty, mixed with some modern homes as well. Italianate, Federal and Queen Anne architecture line the streets. Visit the website for a walking tour map.
Play croquet at President Benjamin Harrison's home 1230 N Delaware St, +1 317 631-1888.  A charity event hosted in June. Compete against amateurs and pros, celebrating Victorian heritage and enjoy lunch as well.
Ride on a gondola Ohio Street Basin at White River Canal +1 317 491-4836.  Available only during warm months, you can experience a bit of Venice in Indy. All ages are invited - for a public or private ride (private are more pricey). Each ride includes lovely Italian songs sun and a tour of the Canal. And yes, they wear the striped shirts, hats and red sashes.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4790 W 16th St, +1 317 492-6747.  Is Indy's pride and joy sporting landmark. Several of the world's most famous motor races take place here, including the Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and Red Bull MotoGP. Check out the museum, or a race depending on your visit. Ticket prices aren't cheap to the main affairs, but just attending one of the many practices or qualifications during the reason season (May-Sept) is well worth the experience. A must see when visiting Indy, for race lovers or not.
Indiana Pacers 125 S Penn, Bankers Life Fieldhouse. +1 317 917-2500.  NBA member, the Pacers can be seen live at their home court November-June.
Indiana Fever 125 S Penn, Bankers Life Fieldhouse. +1 317 917-2500.  A member of the WNBA, Fever games are played June-September and tickets are quite a bit cheaper than their NBA counterparts affordable.
Indianapolis Colts 500 S Capitol Ave, +1 317 297-7000.  NFL member, Indy's Colts take the stage August-January. The Colts play home games at Lucas Oil Stadium, a retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2008.
Naptown Rollergirls games take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Blue Ribbon Pavilion.  Watch cute girls take and give a beatin' on rollerskates with Indiana's first Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Association team. Thousands of people crowd into the pavilion each month to watch the Tornado Sirens battle it out against the nation's best teams. This is a serious game - major injuries take place. And yes, nothing like watching cute girls get into it on skates. A great friendly event for all types of sports or not-so-sports people alike. $10-15.
Catch a puck at an Ice game. 1202 E 38th St, +1 317 925-4423. Indianapolis' Tier 1 hockey team, comprised of high school and college students. Tickets are cheap and fights are plentiful at our hockey games. They also feature funny theme nights - like Elvis Night - which are always entertaining. $11-15.
Ride the slick track at Post Road Recreation Center. 4700 N Post Rd, +1 317 897-7908.  With three go-kart tracks be sure to pick the indoor oval. You chose you race car, and during the race they throw baby powder down on the track to make it more slick - causing you to slide, spin and experience true 'wet spots' on the track. They also have mini-cars you can race on the outdoor tracks. They have an unlimited $20 indoor track ticket you can buy. Also putt-putt, bumper cars, arcade basketball and a cafe full of junk food.
Check out a basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse Butler University, +1 317 940-8000.  Butler's Bulldogs are one of the top teams in the NCAA, and this stadium is full of history. The movie "Hoosiers" was filmed here and the basketball fame of Hinkle is legendary amongst college sports. $5-20.
See a baseball game at Victory Field. 501 W Maryland St, +1 317 269-3545.  Indy's is home to the minor league Indians, who are the farm team for the Pirates. It's been deemed the best minor league baseball stadium in the country. Pack a picnic and sit in the outfield next to the famous teepee during the game (and catch a few balls if you're lucky) or get a seat in the stands. Check out the "Dollar Monday" games or fireworks after Friday games. $8-12.
Play disc golf at Brookside Park. 3500 Brookside Pkwy S Dr, +1 317 327-7179.  Disc golf is a fun and challenging outdoor sport unlike any other.
Drag race your car at Lucas Oil Raceway. 10267 US Hwy 136, +1 317 291-4090.  Yes, that's right. You can drag race your car (whether it's a Dodge Charger from the 60s or a Dodge Neon, even a Yugo!) for a nominal fee and signing a waiver, don't forget your helmet. Drag race against fellow Hoosiers and get a time-card after each drag. This world famous quarter-mile drag strip is home to the NHRA US Nationals, and the oval hosts the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. Public dragging happens once a week during the Spring-Fall. It's cheap/free to watch. All ages, but 18+ to drag.
Indianapolis Tennis Center 150 University Blvd, IUPUI Campus, +1 317 278-2100. Play tennis on one of 24 indoor and outdoor courts. Private lessons available. This is where they host the RCA Championships every year.
Dark Armies Paint Ball 2525 N Shadeland Ave +1 317 353-1987.  Throw on your rented protective gear and grab your paint ball gun and shoot the crap out of strangers and friends alike. Located in a warehouse with indoor, outdoor and underground space. The playspace is painted black and music is pumped through the building. Hiding spaces and team warfare contribute to you living out your wildest war-time fantasy. It's very cyber and apocalyptic. Be prepared for bruises the next day. Great for all experience levels and a good way to release some tension!
Go bowling anytime at the 24 hour bowling alley, Beech Grove Bowl 95 N 2nd Ave, Beech Grove. +1 317 784-3743.  Yes, 24-hour bowling alley. Located about 10 minutes south of downtown Indy. Pick up a plate of cheese-sticks and a couple of beers and bowl your brains out anytime. It's also located in a small burb south of downtown Indy that has a very "small town" feel. Very local. Games are cheap!
Ride your bike at the Major Taylor Velodrome 3648 Cold Spring Rd, +1 317 327-8356.  One of 18 velodrome tracks in the country, named after Indy's own African American bike superstar Major Taylor. Bring your road or track bike (no BMX) and your helmet and throw down $4 and you can race on the inverted track that Olympic superstars have tried out on. Perhaps you'll catch a race or one of many remote control car races they host too. There is a BMX park next door. Ages 10+. NEW: Major Taylor Velodrome will be converted into a snow park during the winter months. Hit the slopes 15 Nov-1 Mar.
Ice skate at the World Skating Academy with countless other locals year round. 201 S Capitol Ave, +1 317 237-5555. Cheap skate rental and pro shop. Two NHL sized ice rinks located right downtown. Originally built for the Pan-Am Games in the 80s. This is the best rink to see amateur and pro hockey and ice skaters practicing, and show off your own skills. Be sure to arrive early during the cold months, you might have to wait in line!
See a soap box derby at Wilbur Shaw Soap Box Derby Hill.  Starting in April check out hundreds of kids from Indy's soap box derby clubs battle it out for awards and placings. This is the longest soap box derby track in the country and was built in 1953.
Go duckpin bowling at Action & Atomic Bowl. 1105 Prospect St, +1 317 686-6006.  Experience a rare treat! Duckpin bowling is basically bowling with small balls and small wooden pins. A lot of fun for all ages and located in this entirely retro building is an extra perk. Neon lights, milkshakes, jukeboxes, beer and wine, sodas and pizza, poodle skirts and all, this is the real deal. The interior hasn't changed since the 1930s.
Golfing anyone? here is a list of fine golf courses located throughout Indianapolis, many award winning!
Brickyard Crossing 4400 W 16th St, +1 317 492-6572.  Shares space with the Indy Motor Speedway, four holes are inside the oval!
Buffer Park Golf Course 3825 S Foltz St, +1 317 241-5046,  IndyGolf.com users rated this as their favorite nine hole course in 2001. A well-maintained 3,411 yards from the Championship Tees.
Includes art galleries, opera, classical and traditional music, dance, performance art.
Indiana Repertory Theatre 140 W Washington, +1 317 635-5277.  ($ parking) Some of the nation's finest actors perform in this architectural masterpiece of a theater! Two theaters provide different types of performances, and their famous version of A Christmas Carol is a classic. Be sure to check out their Shakespeare performances. Dress up in your Sunday best and see a matinée to save some bucks! Cocktails are served! All ages.
Wander the galleries on First Fridays.  Various galleries in downtown Indy open their doors every first Friday to local art lovers and novices alike. Explore the art galleries, theaters, restaurants and bars on Mass Ave, in Fletcher Place, Fountain Square and the Stutz Building. Galleries serve food and booze and schedule their collection openings around this time of the month. During the warm months outdoor musicians and performers take to the streets, adding to the atmosphere. Don't forget to skip north on Delaware to the Harrison Center for their opening too.
The Phoenix Theatre 749 N Park Ave, +1 317 635-7529.  Founded in the early 80s, Phoenix has always been a theater to experience unique, thought provoking, open minded shows. From classics to world-premiers. Controversy is frequent! Rocky Horror, HAIR, Three Guys Naked From The Waist Down, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Six Degrees of Separation, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Vagina Monologues, The Laramie Project, Bat Boy: The Musical are only some of the classic and fascinating titles of past performances! $15-29. All ages.
Kuaba Gallery 876 Mass Ave, +1 888-809-9179.  Kuaba promotes modern African art. A portion of every sale goes to a non-for-profit that helps African orphans.
See a puppet show at Peewinkle's 25 E Henry St, +1 800-849-4853.  Indy's only puppet studio! 50-seat theater in downtown Indy provides entertaining puppet shows for all ages. Puppet are made in house. Call ahead to schedule a puppet workshop - learn about the art and history, make your own too! $8 and an extra post-show workshop is $3. Shows happen in the afternoons and early evening.
Murphy Art Center 1043 Virginia Ave, +1 317 686-0895.  23 artists have galleries at this Fountain Square studio building. First Friday includes an open house. Some of Indy's most bright shining stars have galleries here, and it's a great place to buy affordable great art.
Wheeler Arts Community 1035 Sanders St, +1 317 916-8894. A collaboration of the city and the University of Indianapolis to provide affordable studio and housing space for students and artists. 36 loft/studios are housed here as well as a theater.
Indianapolis Civic Theatre 3200 Cold Spring Rd, +1 317 924-6700.  This is Indy's largest professionally managed theater, which started in 1914. From comedies to drama, they host it all. Their performance of of The Crucible left me in tears, great company. $24-32. All ages.
American Cabaret Theatre 401 E Michigan St, +1 317 631-0334.  ACT is a cabaret-style theater that serves food and cocktails during the performances. Many of the shows feature song/dance/acting routines with upbeat and fun-filled performances, featuring classics and new works. $20-25. All ages.
Get involved with improv theater Comedy Sportz 721 Mass Ave,+1 866 91-LAUGH.  A hilarious way to spend an evening! Comedy Sportz takes ideas thrown up from the audience and throws them into wacky and weird skits. They have all ages and 17+ performances. Drinks and snacks are served. $14 adults, $12 students & seniors, $6 kids 5-11, under 4 free.
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre 9301 Michigan Rd, +1 317 872-9664.  For over 30 years B&B has been providing equity Broadway performances. Buffet dinner with cocktails is served during performances. Seasons range from classic Rogers & Hammerstein shows to modern hits. $32.50-$52.50. All ages.
Theatre on the Square 627 Mass Ave, +1 317 685-8687.  Originally located in Fountain Square, the move of this theater to Mass Ave prompted the revitalization of this arts district. Great community theater with a varied selection of plays. A theater for the more culturally aware and open minded! $15-25.
Dance Kaleidoscope 140 W Washington St, +1 317 940-6555.  Performances take place inside the Indiana Repertory Theatre. Indy's contemporary dance troupe. Performances feature Martha Graham classics to director David Hochoy's own creations such as "Magical Mystery Tour" which features the music of the Beatles. $15-34.
Indianapolis Opera Performances held at Clowes Hall - 4600 Sunset Ave, +1 317 283-3470.  Indy's only opera troupe. Featuring the finest singers from the region and international fame.
Circle City Sound Performances held every Monday evening at 7PM at Scottish Rite Cath. (650 N Meridian St) and throughout the city. Indy's only barbershop performance group.
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Performs at Hilbert Theater on the Circle downtown. +1 317 262-1100.  Indy's internationally acclaimed symphony. Check out the website to see what performances are happening. A great Holiday extravaganza takes place during the Christmas season and special guests are frequent.
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Butler University. Performs at Clowes Hall Sunday and Mondays Sep-May. They are orchestra in residence at Clowes Hall which garnishes them plenty of experience and status. Four centuries of music are covered.
Mind Tripping Show: A Comedy with a Psychological Twist, 120 W. Market Street, +1 317-691-6399,  An intimate theatrical performance of illusion, psychology, surprises, and mysteries starring Christian & Katalina the #1 Husband and Wife Comedy Mind Reading Act. The show is a roller coaster ride for your mind, a fun psychological thriller that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Friday & Saturday nights.
Includes rock, punk, hip hop, top 40, soul, blues, jazz and all that goodness. A lot of great shows also take place in non-traditional venues (i.e. VFW's) so check out local papers for information.
Birdy's Bar & Grill 2131 E 71st St, +1 317 254-8971.  Local venue that caters to local, national and international acts. Big beer selection and overpriced barfood menu. Posters from bands who have performed there over the years plaster the walls and there are pool tables, video games, pinball and an outdoor beer garden. Local acts frequent this venue and past performers include Prince, Yo La Tengo, Jordan Knight, Califone, Frank Black, Matt Pond PA, The Stills and more. A great place to see major local rock bands like Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and Virgin Millionaires. 21+.
Chatterbox 435 Mass Ave, +1 317 636-0584.  A local favorite and one of the oldest bars in town. It's a Mass Ave. staple that has walls graffitied by visitors and the bathrooms as well. Bring a marker. Drinks are really strong and they have a small wine menu with good choices and beers too. Live jazz is the thing here. The teeny tiny bar features a teeny tiny stage that caters to Indy's finest real jazz. This is the place to hear good simple old school jazz at it's finest. Smoke free early in the evening, and outdoor seating which is the best in town. Check the website for wine tastings and special events. Great place to mix with the locals - artists, journalists, musicians all call it home. Grab some Jamaican Patties while you're there. 21+.
Emerson Theater 4634 E 10th St, +1 317 357-0239.  Indy's largest and oldest all-ages venue that caters to young punks and metal heads on the weekends. Many "older" punk rockers in town got their start here, seeing bands such as the Misfits, Sloppy Seconds, Cannibal Corpse, Babes In Toyland and many others play.
The Jazz Kitchen 5377 N College Ave, +1 317 253-4900.  Voted one of the top 100 jazz bars in the world by DownBeat magazine, serving up jazz, salsa and American fusion food. Music six days a week. Wednesday features live jazz and soul/neo-soul/neo-jazz DJs, Thursday is Indy's biggest salsa night too. Cover ranges. 21+.
Melody Inn 3826 N Illinois, +1 317 923-4707.  One of the oldest bars in town has become the haven for punk rock and underground music in the city. Built in 1933, the bar features local relics in the decor, a back VIP lounge, the best jukebox in town and a friendly staff and group of regulars. Punk, indie, acid jazz, folk, rockabilly, techno, goth is the main beat here. They also have retro video games and pool. Drinks are cheap and hard, and the beer selection is unique and good sized. The house specialty is Pabst Blue Ribbon, and specials are usually $1.25 for a can. It is a great dive bar, however it can get very smoky. $2-6. 21+.
Radio Radio 1119 Prospect St, +1 317 955-0995.  Located in the heart of Fountain Square, Radio Radio is one of the nicest and cleanest venues for music in town. The cool bar, leopard carpeting and bathroom doors came from the once downtown Indy Planet Hollywood. Good beers on tap. Past performers include: Ben Lee, Big Sandy, Cat Power, The Cruxshadows, Deke Dickerson, The Frogs, Silkworm, Wesley Willis, Jets To Brazil, Los Lonely Boys, Neko Case, Pansy Division, VHS or Beta and countless others. They also have monthly film nights and hosts Rockabilly Rebel Weekend every year. Smoke-free 21+ venue.
Slippery Noodle Inn 372 S Meridian St, +1 317 631-6974.  The oldest bar in Indiana since 1850. Originally it was a brothel, and it's now the best blues bar in the city. Steaks, homemade soup, baked potatoes, sandwiches and subs are the starts of the menu with a classic bar menu to boot. Beer, champagne, wine, and of course - hard liquor is poured with pride and the blues is local and national/international acts. There are still bullet holes in the wall from brawls in the 1800s. Dis is it. 21+
Verizon Wireless Music Center 12880 E 146th St, Noblesville. +1 317 239-5151.  is Indy's biggest outdoor amphitheater. Concerts run May-September and in October they feature a crazy Halloween themed festival. This is where the famous Grateful Dead riots happened in 1995. Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett got married here in 1993. A 30 min to hour long trip from downtown Indy. All ages
Pig out at Trader's Point Creamery 9101 Moore Rd,+1 317 733-1700.  Indy's only grass-fed USDA organic dairy. They are always open with their self-serve dairy-shop (with a bucket you pay and take your change from - honesty basis!), and at 4PM you can watch the cows get milked au natural. Creamy milk, amazing yogurt (voted #1 by the American Cheese Society in 2005), ice cream, eggs and cheeses are all for sale. On the weekends they feature a farmers market and organic cafe. You can walk the grounds petting cows and chasing chickens. Fun for the family and eco-friendly folk.
Drink hot chocolate at the Chocolate Cafe 30 Monument Circle, +1 317 951-4816.  Enjoy the best hot chocolate in town at South Bend Chocolate Company's chocolate shop on the Circle. Cozy up with your pal/friends/special friend and a hot cup of cocoa. Perfect during the Holidays, so you can see the beautiful Christmas lights on the Circle.
Get creeped out at the Indiana Medical History Museum 3045 W. Vermont St. +1 317 635-7329.  Set on the grounds of one of the countries most well known mental hospitals, Central State, which is now defunct, this is a creepy way to make any visit memorable. Take a tour and check out the collections. See Museums above for more gory details.
Grab some popcorn at Just Pop In 6302 Guilford Ave, +1 317 257-9338  Indy's only popcorn shop is owned by two identical twin sisters. A cute teeny shop in Broad Ripple that offers up all types of flavors. Classics like "original" (you know, just good tasty popcorn!) and Caramel to the oh so tasty "Chocolate Karma" (chocolate covered popcorn!). They also sell gift tins and sampler packs.
Have dessert at the Eagle's Nest 1 S Capitol Ave, +1 317 632-1234.  The Eagle's Nest is the highest dining room in the city, sitting atop the Hyatt downtown. The restaurant is revolving, slowly moving to show the best view of the city. The food is high priced and just okay but, get a table and enjoy a nightcap or dessert. Make reservations to see the sunset.
Head to the flea market at the Fairgrounds 1202 E 38th St, +1 317 927-1482  ($ parking) Is Indy's best monthly flea market, since 1976. Held once a month (weekends can change) at the State Fair Grounds, hundreds of vendors sell antiques, vintage goods, housewares and more. From Elvis records to a Victorian baby coffin. You can find it all. Free.
Eat fried chicken at MCL Cafeteria 2730 E 62nd St, +1 317 257-5425.  Indy's finest cafeteria offers the best home-made cooking in town. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, chocolate meringue pie..and the list goes on and on. The 62nd St location is retro in design and attracts seniors, families and young people alike. AMAZING customer service - the staff is attentive and friendly. An Indiana tradition.
Butler University 4600 Sunset Ave. +1 800-368-6852  Located on the near northside this historic campus was founded in 1855 focusing on liberal arts education. Home to the Butler Bulldogs and Clowes Hall.
Herron School of Art 735 W New York St, +1 317 278-9400  One of the top art schools in the country, Herron is attached to IUPUI. 800 students attend full and part time in the new building on IUPUI campus and other areas of town. From art history to painting, photography to sculpture it's all covered here.
MedTech College, 6612 E 75th St, +1 317 845-0100 
IUPUI 425 University Blvd, +1 317 274-5555  The city's largest college campus is the home for Indiana University and Purdue University in the city. Mainly a commuter college the school features technical and liberal arts schools. The new campus center has added a stronger form of community, and this campus welcomes all levels of learners.
University of Indianapolis 1400 E Hanna St, +1 317 788-3368 
Indianapolis is made up of various areas that feature unique and typical shopping alike. From Broad Ripple Village and Fountain Square - two unique areas, to typical suburban shopping malls and chains like Castleton. Every area has different options and chances to experience all levels of shopping. Below are some local, regional and national shops and districts that are frequented by avid shoppers.
About 20 minutes north of downtown. Broad Ripple  is Indy's closest thing to "Greenwich." A big variety of vintage, hippie, trendy, and punk shops. Gift shops galore too. It's a great place for unique local fare.
Broad Ripple Vintage 824 E 64th St, +1 317 255-4135  One of Indy's best known vintage shops, they offer a wide variety of retro clothes - mainly 60s, 70s and 80s. Large array of t-shirts and accessories and drag queen sized gowns. They always are playing the Doors, and the decor is out of an old school head shop. Quite pricey, and we swear that prices go up around Halloween.
The Bungalow 924 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 253-5028 . Artsy gift shop featuring artsy kitchen, textiles, art and housewares. Local and international art pieces. Very cool store.
Chelsea's 902 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 251-0600 Nice gift shop featuring everything from funky neon lights to funky salt and pepper shakers, funky frames, funky jewelry, and well, all things funky. Good place for finding cards for all occasions.
Dinwiddies 6216 Carrollton Ave, +1 317 253-2219.  Awesome clothing shop that is owned by a local designer. Reflecting trends in fashion and her own unique style - find one of a kind pieces at affordable prices. A cute place that is funky and fun. Women, men and children's clothes and accessories.
French Pharmacie 823 1/2 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 251-9182  A very cool award-winning shop that features fashion, furniture and accessories. Carrying clothing by names such as Balenciaga, Acne, Stella McCartney and more. 18th century and modern creations in furniture, and accessories for your home and self - candles, shoes, bags, and more.
Girly Chic Boutique 841 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 217-1525. Trendy cute boutique catering to ladies and children - clothing, furniture and accessories from unique designers from all over the country.
Good Earth 6350 E 65th St, +1 317 257-9463  Indy's oldest natural living store in town. Organic and natural food, health and accessories. Great place to stop by for a snack or for much needed groceries. Upstairs is a huge selection of vitamins and supplements, shoes and clothing too.
Hardwicke's Pipe & Tobacco 743 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 257-5915 Indy's finest and oldest tobacco shop offering new and vintage pipe and tobacco equipment and every cigar and tobacco you can find. Very knowledgeable staff.
Haus 5910 N College Ave, +1 317 257-0659. Great clothing, housewares and furniture shop for women and children. Very cool clothes from all over the world. Great place for shabby chic fans.
Indy CD & Vinyl 806 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 259-1012.  One of Indy's most popular record shops specializing in independent musics and obscure finds. A wide selection of new and used CD's and vinyl. From indie rock to hip hop. Great selection of box sets and music-related DVDs. They also host instore performances, and is a great place to pick up fliers about upcoming shows and events.
Luna Music 5202 N College Ave, +1 317 283-5862  Indy's finest local record shop. Featuring CDs, vinyl and collectibles - posters, t-shirts, etc. Great place to find rare imports and out of print gems. All genres of music with friendly staff, clean and hip environment.
The Magic Bus 1073 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 251-5463. Indy's most infamous "smoking accessories" shop. Every type of smoking and hippie thing available is sold here - from pipes to hookahs, Grateful Dead memorabilia and that pack of patchouli that you might need for later.
Pitaya 842 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 465-0000 . Women love Pitaya's homegrown jeans - trendy and stylish shopping since 1990 that provides women with an affordable place to get lovely trendy clothes. Voted best jeans in town numerous times!
Red Rose Vintage 834 E 64th St, +1 317 257-5016  Red Rose is one of Indy's oldest vintage shops. Owned by a lovely lady named Ralph you'll find all types of gems in her little house. From flapper dresses to Victorian bustles, 80s parachute pants and rockabilly rebel western wear. Tons of accessories too! They also rent outfits for special events.
Rusted Moon Outfitters 6410 Cornell Ave, +1 317 253-4453.  Indy's finest outdoor shop for hiking, canoing, kayaking and camping. They offer a great selection of hiking boots, clothing, rope climbing accessories, and offer canoe & kayak rentals. Located within a 5 minute walking distance of the White River for easy access, and right on the Monon Trail!
Vibes Music 1051 E 54th St, +1 317 726-0927. Independent record store owned by local rocker John Zepps. Strong collection of new and used CD's, with some vinyl. Vibes also carries an assortment of new and used music equipment and accessories. They also have a store located in Castleton.
Castleton  is Indy's biggest shopping mall chock full of mall-chains, mall rats and mall food. Surrounded by mega-shops and a few local joints.
86th St. is very complicated in this area because it alternates between 86th St. and 82nd St. There is a Vietnamese restaurant called Viet Bistro at the mall. There is also a large Japanese grocery store.
Fountain Square  is a historical area about a mile from downtown Indy, to the Southeast. Mainly comprising of antique, thrift and art shops.
Arthur's Music Store 931 Shelby St, +1 317 638-3524.  Arthur's is Indy's finest music instrument shop, focusing mainly on fretted instruments. From it's retro housing, it's been a staple on the Indy music scene since 1952. From guitars to banjos, dulcimers to luthier's - you can find it all. A great place for on-site repairs and supplies too. A must see for any stringed instrument lover!
Heirloom Classics Jewelry and Beads (formerly Boca Loca Beads), 1311 Prospect St, ☎ +1 317 495-1102, . A great Indy bead shop featuring handcrafted jewelry from local artists as well as beads from around the world. This store has new owners with along with its new name. They are still in the same location and will be carrying the same caliper of wonderful beads brought from around the world. They also offer a variety of classes.edit
Claus' German Sausage & Meats 1845 Shelby St, +1 317 632-1963.  Indy's finest place for homemade sausage, lunch meat, smoked, and well, meat. Originally opened as Klemm's in 1913, it is now owned by Claus Muth, who is a master sausage maker from Frankfurt, Germany. They also have great German beers and other goods.
Days Gone By Antiques 1028 Virginia Ave, +1 317 636-1954.
Dolphin Papers & Art Supplies 1043 Virginia Ave, +1 317 822-3846. Located right under the Murphy Arts Building you find Indy's best paper shop. Featuring beautiful, exotic, classic and lovely paper from around the world. They also make their own too! You can also find all your art supply needs. They also sell gifts, how-to-books, journals, and notepads.
Indianapolis Downtown Antique Mall 1044 Virginia Ave, +1 317 635-5336. Chock full of antiques and collectibles. Furniture, primitives, glassware, country an antique art. Two story mall that is for serious enthusiasts.
Is easily findable as "86th and Keystone." West includes shopping West of Keystone - Nora, 86th & Ditch, etc. Indy's high scale shopping district with fancy chains and boutique shops and restaurants.
The Fashion Mall 8702 Keystone Crossing. +1 317 574-4000.  This is the mall to see and be seen. The ritz and the wanna-be's shop at this classic Indy mall. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue are the anchor stores. Other shops include Crate & Barrel, Tiffany & Co, MAC (Cosmetics), Sephora, Coach, Sony, Apple, William & Sonoma and more. They also have a huge variety of locally owned boutique shops too. Locals often declare this mall has the worst food court in the city, so grab a bite before/after you leave.
Global Gifts 1468 W 86th St, +1 317 879-9090  Indy's only all fair-trade boutique. Meaning that artisans from all over the world receive a fair price for their work. Buy clothing, decor, beauty products, food, and unique gifts from Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond. A unique non-profit shop that supports third-world-countries artisans and talents.
A hop skip and a jump from the Circle, this area has gone through an amazing rebirth to become one of the coolest shopping areas in town full of local shops. 
At Home in the City 434 Mass Ave, +1 317 955-9925.  Voted Indy's favorite gift shop by Nuvo readers. Great selection of unique gifts and jewelry.
Global Gifts 446 Mass Ave, +1 317 423-3148.  Indy's only all fair-trade boutique. Meaning that artisans from all over the world receive a fair price for their work. Buy clothing, decor, beauty products, food, and unique gifts from Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond. A unique non-profit shop that supports third-world-countries artisans and talents.
City Market 222 E Market St, +1 317 634-9266.  Halfway between Mass Ave. and the Wholesale District this is a historical landmark in downtown Indy full of shops and restaurants. From chocolates to crafts, fresh meats to veggies, they also feature an awesome farmer market in the warm months.
Mass Ave Toys 409 Mass Ave, +1 317 715-9158.  The coolest toy store in town features Ugly Dolls, Steiff Toys, ecological toys and more. A friendly and knowledgeable staff abounds. A fun place to stop by after a drink and feel like a kid again.
The Best Chocolate In Town 880 Mass Ave, +1 317 636-2800.  The name here does not lie. Truffles anyone?
Is basically downtown Indy. The heart of the city. The main shopping attraction here is the mall.
Circle Center Mall 49 W Maryland, +1 317 681-5615.  This is the mall that caused the big revitalization of downtown Indy. Shopping and restaurants fill up this mall. Flagship shops include Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott. Stores vary to feature Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Hot Topic, Forever 21, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M and more. The third floor has a movie theater and video game arcade. It's a nice mall, but on the weekends in the evenings can be overrun with underage kids.
Downtown Comics 11 E Market St, +1 317 237-0397.  Indy's finest locally owned comic chain features new and collectible comics, games, and toys. They have three other locations.
Hardwicke's Pipe & Tobacco 20 N Meridian St, +1 317 635-7884. The cities finest cigarette, pipe and cigar shop. Every type of those goods that is available here in the country is available from the knowledgeable staff and well kept shop. Vintage and antique smoking goods litter the walls and windows.
Krieg Brothers Religious Supply House 119 S Meridian, +1 317 638-3416. A must see! A legendary religious supply shop that has been in the same location for at least 30 years or more. Every kind of Christian worship item is seen here. From giant 6' long glow-in-the-dark rosaries to Saint sculptures. Bibles and rosary rings, holy water and prayer cards. No matter what your religion, it's quite a fascinating experience. The staff is friendly and open minded.
Northern Suburbs include Carmel, Zionsville , Noblesville, Westfield and Fishers. These start anywhere north of 96th St. and are about 30 minutes from downtown. Shopping varies area to area.
Clay Terrace 14300 Clay Terrace Blvd, Carmel. +1 317 566-0011.  The first new outdoor mall in ages is in the burb of Carmel. A well kept environment this mall has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Shops include DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Dick's Sporting Goods, Wild Oats, Sur La Table, Z Gallerie, Indigo Nation and White House/Black Market. When the weather is nice, it is a lovely place to stroll.
Brown's on 5th 315 N 5th St, Zionsville. +1 317 873-2284.  Gift shop that specializes in Vera Bradley bags. You can get new and old bags, in this collectors paradise. It's like Vera Bradley threw up and out popped this store.
Captain Logan 150 S Main St, Zionsville. +1 317 873-9999.  Trendy and stylish antique and vintage store specializing in rare furniture and decor goods.
Hamilton Town Center 13901 Towne Center Blvd, Noblesville. +1 317 214-6956.  A brand new outdoor mall that opened in May of 2008. Located on the southwest corner of Interstate 69 and State Road 238 (Exit 10), it has some great options for dining and shopping. There you will find discount-type stores such as SteinMart and Payless; a large JCPenney anchor; and a good varitey of shops including Ann Taylor Loft, Borders, Chico's, Dicks' Sporting Goods, Old Navy, etc. If shopping makes you hungry, you can find both casual and fine dining at places like Stone Creek Dining Co., McAlister's Deli, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Paradise Bakery & Cafe.
Includes Speedway & Lafayette (parts of Indy incorporated) and Plainfield.
Lafayette Square Mall 3919 Lafayette Rd, +1 317 291-6390.  This mall, like the area around it, has fallen into disrepair over the past 20 years. The mall is big, with little stores however, and lots of fascinating retro architecture. Shops include Macy's, Bath & Body Works, Champs and Old Navy. There are also a number of local speciality and boutique shops. Many cater to hip hop culture and living. Warning: This mall is NOT a safe place to visit past dusk.
Metropolis 2499 Futura Park Way, Plainfield. +1 317 203-4555.  A bizarre innovation in outdoor shopping, the Metropolis is the 'future mall.' With modern architecture and unique events, this is the latest mall in the region. Anchored by JC Penney and Dick's Sporting Goods, they also have Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes & Noble, Coldwater Creek and more. They also have a huge movie theatre, Rave, with 18 screens.
Chocolate Cafe 30 Monument Cir, +1 317 951-4816  Enjoy Indiana's favorite chocolate from the South Bend Chocolate Company at their Circle-side cafe. Yes, they serve only chocolate, sweets, coffees and sweet drinks. Check out the wall of celebrities who've indulged, and get educated on chocolate by the helpful and friendly staff. Watch fudge get made, sample the goods and enjoy the best hot chocolate in town. Vegetarian friendly.
Donut Shop 5527 N Keystone Ave, +1 317 255-3836 Breakfast and lunch are cheap and good - cheap biscuits and gravy, pancakes and eggs, and don't forget a freshly baked donut. One of Indy's favorite hang over and breakfast stops! 36 types of donuts.
Heidelburg Haus 7625 Pendleton Pike, +1 317 547-1230. Enjoy this German bakery's treats and sweets. German-born owners who have served great German eats since the 60s here in Indy. Real Black Forest Cake, sausages, potato salad, and more. Check out the gift shop with great German beer-lover gifts. The decor is filled with antiques and German decor. Authentic as hell and a great destination for simple basic German eats. Vegetarian friendly.
Long's Bakery 1452 N Tremont Ave, +1 317 632-3741. Grab a doughnut from this Indy institution just off 16th St., not far from the track.
Rene's Bakery 6524 Cornell Ave, +1 317 251-2253  One of the premier bakeries in Indianapolis, in a little house in North Broad Ripple and owned by a pastry chef named A. Rene Trevino. With an expansive menu that is freshly baked and changes daily -- you'll find so many lovely treats. Scones, croissants, muffins, cookies, truffles, eclairs, tortes, tarts and breads. Currently, the weekly bread selection is Walnut Rye, Multi-Grain, Raisin, White, Brioche and Challah. Great place for a quick snack or to pick up a lovely breakfast. It's just a bakery - no seating, but when the weather is nice you can sit outside or relax on one of the many benches on the Monon Trail.
Ripple Bagel & Deli 850 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 257-8326  Broad Ripple's only locally owned deli - with the only steamed bagel sandwich in town. Hippies work the counter and the bagels are fresh. Look for the giant bagel clock over the door! Vegan friendly.
The Flying Cupcake 715 Massachusetts Ave, +1 317 536 0817  Regular, filled and jumbo cupcakes with a menu that changes daily, or sometimes hourly!. Alternative location at 5617 N. Illinois Street.
96th Street Burgers 4715 E 96th St, +1 317 844-6351  Numerous winner of best fast food burger and best fries and shakes. Indy's local take on the fast food joint - serving up tasty steak burgers, fresh cut french fries and delectable fresh hand-dipped shakes. A super cool retro decor makes this the hippest looking fast food place in probably the Midwest.
Au Bon Pain 1701 Senate Avenue, +1 317 926 5840. Located inside the Methodist Hospital, Au Bon Pain is a chain that offers tasty sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries. A simple and modern decor with mediocre service offers up a help yourself section and a 'made to order' section. Take your choice of countless pastries - muffins, scones, croissants and so forth. Sandwiches are good and the beverage choices even include organic drinks. After 4PM they offer a "half off" baked goods deal that allows to eat great pastries for cheap! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your carbs. Vegan friendly.
Downtown - 26 Monument Cir,+1 317 226-9300
Badaboomz 4930 Lafayette Rd, +1 317 291-6932 The owner of Badaboomz used to run a few BW-3's and now owns Badaboomz. Morphing it into an "upscale sports bar," it's cozy, clean and not full of typical frat guys chugging beers and wings. They tossed out the wing based menu to introduce gourmet hamburgers and healthier eats. Lots of TV's, and they still have TV trivia for playing. A nice jukebox, and when we were visiting they were playing a great alternative muzak channel that pumped out The Cure and Sonic Youth, much to our surprise. The staff was friendly, the entire place was clean (bathrooms could use a bit of work), and they have a HUGE beer selection (on tap and bottled). Their wings aren't the best...but their homemade chips and voodoo burger are tasty.
Boogie Burger 927 Westfield Blvd, +1 317 255-2450 ] Some consider this tiny little shack in the heart of Broad Ripple to be the best place to get a burger. Freshly made burgers right before your eyes with mouthwatering french fries (the hand cut garlic fries are the best, with chunks of garlic on them!). They also have smoothies too!
Buffalo Wild Wings Multiple Locations, see below.  This country-wide chain has great wings and boneless wings. Specials vary, and all locations have extensive beer on tap and bottled. Televisions slather the walls showing every sporting game going on, and you can also play trivia/poker/etc on the tele, which is quite fun.
86th & Township Line - 2514 Lake Circle Dr, +1 317 872-9464
Fountain Diner 1105 Prospect St, +1 317 685-1959  Originally a Woolworth built in 1959, it's been revitalized amongst the rebirth of Fountain Square. Pop a squat on a stool at and check out old photographs of Indy and retro art. The Diner only serves breakfast now and milkshakes and ice cream during the day. Quite a shame, they used to have great grilled cheese! It should be noted that Smokehouse on Shelby; the restaurant that replaced the Fountain Diner, sells all the menu items that the Fountain Diner used to offer. You can still get your Fountain Burger and Grilled Cheese sandwich at the Smokehouse.
Mug-N-Bun Drive-In 5211 W 10th St, +1 317 244-5669. Serving up an award winning pork tenderloin and a world famous "bacon cheeseburger on toast" this is a destination for all greasy food loving Hoosiers. Employees arrive at 7AM to start preparing the root beer that lures people from all over the state. Famous racecar drivers are known for making an appearance here during race season. A must visit! Cash only.
Peppy Grill 1004 Virginia Ave, +1 317 637-1158. An institution in 24 hour feasting. Greasy spoon is an understatement. Take a seat at the Peppy, try to sit in the main room, where you sit next to the tiny open kitchenette where tattooed ladies serve up piping hot "sour cream fries" and burgers. Great cheap as hell breakfast lunch and dinner to serve a hangover. Good pie, too. Good country jukebox with lots of old school tunes.
Red Eye Cafe 1904 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 972-1500.  A haven for alternative types during the weekend "party fest" of downtown Indy. Board games are offered at every table, beer and wine is available. The food varies from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sandwiches and great fries. Sit back with free wi-fi and watch drunks stumble in from the street and cops chug coffee next to you. Quite a place to people watch in the evening! Vegetarian friendly. Note: this description applies to the downtown location, which has closed. The new location is in Broad Ripple.
Bazbeaux Pizza Multiple Locations, see below.  Indy's finest gourmet pizza! Established in 1986, Bazbeaux is a local favorite. Downtown is perfect for that pre-theater or concert eat, and Broad Ripple is located snugly along the White River. Both locations offer indoor/outdoor dining. Art students and hip kids serve your eats - don't be surprised to see mohawk or two in the kitchen. I haven't been to the Carmel location! Their chicken BBQ pizza is amazing - BBQ sauce instead of tomato, and their Greek pizza is to die for. Vegan friendly.
Broad Ripple - 811 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 255-5711
Downtown - 334 Mass Ave, +1 317 636-7662
Carmel - 111 W Main St, +1 317 848-4488
Canary Cafe 621 Ft. Wayne Ave, +1 317 635-6168. One of Indy's oldest late night establishments opens late and stays that way until early afternoon. Serving up hardy piles of pancakes and eggs, this is a cozy spot to nurse early morning hangovers (or prepare for the hangover to come).
Greek Islands 906 S Meridian St, +1 317 636-0700.  Opening in the late 80s by the Stergiopoulos (is that Greek enough for you?) family, Greek Islands offers great Greek dining in a small, cozy atmosphere featuring art, pictures and a feeling of being right at home with the family. Everything is freshly prepared by the family everyday and they have belly dancers! Vegetarian friendly.
Iaria's 317 S College, +1 317 638-7706.  An Indiana tradition, Iaria's is where you go when you're craving mom's homemade Italian. Since 1933 the Iaria's have owned this Italian gem. With it's amazing building - neon lights greet you in and out, mirrored walls and teeny bathrooms - have been a staple in the city. This is the place joints like Buca Di Beppo base their restaurant on. Family style portions, the biggest "wall of celeb photos" in the city, and the biggest and best meatballs available outside of mom's kitchen. Vegetarian friendly.
Indianapolis City Market 222 E Market St, +1 317 634-9266.  Indy's favorite historical landmark to dine! Open only for breakfast and lunch stop by here for a great cheap meal. From Cajun to Greek, gourmet potatoes and roast beef sandwiches. Tons of restaurants and merchants make this a multi-level historical edible experience. Dine outside to enjoy the historical area and watch the locals buzz around on their lunch breaks.
Seasons 52 8650 Keystone Crossing, +1 317 846-5252. Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that invites guests to discover the sensational flavors of a seasonally-inspired menu and award-winning international wine list in a casually-sophisticated ambiance.
Three Sisters Cafe 6360 Guilford Ave, +1 317 257-5556. Three Sisters has withstood the changes of Broad Ripple. Offering vegan friendly breakfasts - from classics eggs and sausage to tofu treats and omelettes. Located in a lovely old home just off Broad Ripple's main drag, enjoy outdoor dining for breakfast and lunch in warm months and a relaxing and quaint indoor dining experience, featuring local art and nice folk tunes through the speakers. Great for an affordable, healthy bite to eat. Vegan friendly.
Yats Many locations. Indy's top restaurant for Cajun food. Sharing three locations, owned by a New Orleans native transplant, you'll feel like you're in the Cresent City. Large quantities of limited meals are offered up each day - and each is so tasty you'll be content. Pig out on great Cajun eats in a fun artsy environment. Vegan food available too! Hipsters and punks serve up your meals and sodas are refillable and mere $1. A great deal for a lot of enjoyable food. The chili cheese crawfish etouffe is their signature dish, but the jambalaya is also outstanding. Vegan friendly.
A2Z Cafe 4705 E 96th St, +1 317 569-9349.  Named after the owners and their child (Asraf, Antonio and Zulma) A2Z offers up tasty breakfast and lunch dishes. From oatmeal to crepes, omelettes and "build your own" breakfast, to babba ganouche and Divine Salmon Cake salad. Warm, friendly environment for families and friends alike.
Ambrosia 915 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 255-3096  Located in Broad Ripple, a family establishment for just that, and for romantic night outs, gatherings, and so forth. Owned by a tiny Italian lady who has kept it in the family since she moved here so long ago. Great Italian food and a bar next door. Great outdoor dining. Dress cute, jeans are very lame to wear here, and enjoy a nice, relaxing, homemade Italian meal. Elegant and light decor, Ambrosia is also a staple place to visit for visiting racecar drivers.
Andrus O'Reilly's 36 S Pennsylvania St, +1 317 974-0674.  Irish owned! Traditional Irish and American food in a dark, nice, clean environment. Plenty of televisions for your sports viewing pleasure, lots of beers and plenty of room to wander. Nice outdoor dining, and a good place to grab a bite for lunch or early evening.
Barcelona Tapas 201 N Delaware St, +1 317 638-8272.  Barcelona serves up tapas - Spanish appetizer-sized dishes - to make your palette happy! Small portions and a big menu, with lots of options. Indoor and outdoor dining, with a hip and cute Spanish inspired interior, makes it a unique dining experience for Indy. Go during the week- it's less crowded; you'll get more attentive service, and not feel as rushed. The food comes out as it is prepared, and they also have cheap cocktails (martinis, beer, wine and of course sangria!). Favorites include Pincho de Maruno (pork tenderloin with curry mayo), Patatas Bravas (roasted potatoes in spicy tomato sauce) and Alas de Pollo (garlic pepper chick wings with sherry mayo). Vegetarian friendly.
Black Market Indy 922 Massachusetts Ave, +1 317 822-6757.  Located at the very east end of Mass Ave, after crossing over College St. A hip, cool new gastropub serving 'comfort food with a modern update'. The minimalist interior has a few tables but guests mainly sit on one of two 'community' wooden tables. The bar serves a choice of boutique wines and craft beer. Open for lunch and dinner Tues - Sat. Sun brunch only and Mon closed.
Capri 2602 Ruth Dr,+1 317 259-4122  Locally owned Italian restaurant that is one of the stars of the city. The family is from Naples, and the food is fresh and delectable. Dine in the bar - a dark wooden collection of comfy couches and a few televisions. Live music all week and a nice wine list!
Champps 8711 River Crossing Rd, +1 317 574-0333.  Champps is a sports bar meets restaurant explosion. Indoor and outdoor dining, family friendly and bar friendly. The food ranges from American classics to fusion treats. Lots of beer to chose from. The biggest highlight of dining here is sitting in the booths facing the bar and watching karaoke that happens once a week. Northside is more laid back than downtown's touristy feel. Vegetarian friendly.
Downtown - 49 W Maryland St,+1 317 951-0033.
Claddagh Irish Pub Multiple locations  Regionally owned Irish pubs that offer the biggest fish and chips in town, two pounds worth! The "chips" are dipped in sour cream then fried, and the Irish stew's base is Guiness. Downtown is 21+ and the other two locations have family and bar dining. Irish/English jams pump out through the stereo (from U2 to Loreena McKennitt to Radiohead) and Black and Tans are served a plenty. The stools are short, the whiskey is served from upside down pours, and the decor features Irish antiques and themed paintings.
Downtown - 234 S Meridian St, +1 317 822-6274
North - 3835 E 96th St,+1 317 569-3663
Edelweiss Restaurant 8602 S Meridian St, +1 317 888-6940. Located inside German Park on the far south side of Indianapolis, this restaurant is run by a private club (the German-American Klub) but is open to the public. Serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Food is mostly Bavarian in style, with some American specialties on the menu with daily specials. Friday evenings often have live entertainment in the quaint Gasthaus-style dining room. There is also a Biergarten for dining on pleasant evenings. A ballroom on the upper floor is available for rental.
India Garden 830 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 253-6060.  Locally owned Indian restaurant that is considered the best in town. They have a lunch and dinner buffet that is legendary in Indianapolis. The downtown location just reopened for lunch & dinner, and the Broad Ripple location is chock full of hungry college students and Broad Ripple hipsters and vegetarians. Bring on the buffet! Vegan friendly.
Downtown - 207 N Delaware St, +1 317 634-6060
Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood. +1 317 881-8888.  The world's biggest cafeteria. Yes, cafeteria. Your wildest fantasies will come true here. Well, cafeteria wise. They also offer their food to go and desserts galore. Jonathan Byrd is a millionaire and also has one of the world's biggest collections of Bibles. You can see some on display here too. Vegetarian friendly.
Le Peep Multiple locations, see below.  One of Indy's favorite places to have breakfast. Classics like oatmeal and biscuits & gravy. Breakfast served in skillets with names like "Hobo" "Gypsy" and "Desperado" these meals are hearty for any wandering traveller. Their omelettes are the number one in town, and their pancakes will leave you speechless (cause you'll be eating them so quickly). Have a sweet tooth? Try the King Cakes, a sweet tempting pancake. They also offer lunch fare too. Be prepared to wait, no reservations accepted. Only open for breakfast and lunch. Vegetarian friendly.
Carmel - 12213 N Meridian St, +1 317 580-9193
Keystone at the Crossing - 8487 Union Chapel Rd, +1 317 259-8344
Castleton - 8225 Craig St, +1 317 576-0433
Downtown - 301 N Illinois, +1 317 237-3447
Luxor 1026 S Virginia Ave, +1 317 Downtown's only Egyptian restaurant also offers Greek and Italian cuisine - but stick with the Egyptian fare - it's amazing. Vegan friendly.
Mark Pi's China Gate 1439 E 86th St,+1 317 254-8839. A long time standard for great Chinese, Mark Pi is world famous - and he even created the "worlds longest Chinese noodle." Unlike most Chinese joints in town, Mark Pi's offers a nice sit down "upper" scale version of traditional Chinese. White table clothes and all. Oh, and don't forget the fancy aquarium. The food is great and don't forget the tastiest fortune cookies in town. Vegan friendly.
Naked Tchopstix 6253 N College Ave, +1 317 252-5555 Great Broad Ripple restaurant with a good location and late night dining. Offering Asian cuisine - Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean and the list goes on. A huge menu, interesting Japanese drinks (the sake-plum cocktail is superb!) and friendly stylish servers. A cute decor reminiscent of San Francisco. Nice portions, sushi bar, and a clean environment with good music on the stereo (Air is a popular choice). Indoor/outdoor dining. Great for large groups and a good place to drink heavy at an Asian restaurant.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room 30 S. Meridian Street Suite 100, +1 317 955-2277. Fine dining seafood restaurant with oyster bar. Menu changes daily based on market availability and offers a good steak selection for non-seafood lovers. The interior is slick and inviting with a more private area for large groups upstairs. Open nightly for dinner and for lunch Mon-Fri. A happy hour bar menu is also available Mon-Fri 4-7pm
Santorini Greek Kitchen 1417 E Prospect St, +1 317 917-1116.  Winning numerous awards has put this Greek restaurant at the top of its game in town. The dining room is white and blue, art from Greece decorates the walls and belly dancers wander table to table. A small bar offers bar seating. Prepare to load up on potatoes, salad, and the best pasticchio in the city. Vegan friendly.
Shapiros Delicatessen Two locations (see below)  An Indianapolis institution, Shapiro's is a Jewish bakery/delicatessen with a cafeteria line. Their fried chicken is to die for (available principally in the evenings), and their pastrami is arguably some of the best anywhere. The food is not cheap, but it is typically heavenly, and the portions very generous.
808 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 +1 317 631-4041
918 S Rangeline Rd Carmel, IN 46032 +1 317 573-3354
Thai Cafe 1041 Broad Ripple Ave, +1 317 722-1008. One of the finest Thai restaurants in the city. Dine in and watch Thai-themed films on hi-res televisions in a teeny tiny restaurant or order to go. Arrive with plenty of time, there can be a wait. Not good for large tables, but if you have a party of 6 or less you should be okay. Great for couples. With 10 levels of spice, a good start level is 2. Amazing Thai ice tea and the greatest pad thai in town.
Amalfi's 1351 W 86th St, +1 317 253-4034.  One of the warmest and finest Italian restaurants in the city. Owned by Mario and Joni DiRosa, with help from Mario's mother Pina, both from Naples, serving mouth-watering homemade Italian food. Ravioli Pomodora and Pollo Al Marsala are two of the prime dishes on the menu. Joni greets visitors and Mario stops by the tables to greet visitors, making it a very lovely environment. Best tiramsu in the city and chicken lasagna ever. Vegetarian friendly.
Chanteclair 2501 S High School Rd, +1 317 243-1040. Located inside the airport Holiday Inn, Chanteclair is an Indy classic, the restaurant of choice for romantics. Traditional French cuisine that requires a jacket for men and business attire for ladies. A strolling violinist roams the tables playing romantic serenades tableside. Don't forget your left-overs, they wrap up doggie bags in foil to be shaped like swans.
Corner Wine Bar 6331 Guilford Ave, +1 317 255-5159  A Broad Ripple staple that offers a plentiful wine list (hence the name) and specialty beer list. French inspired food with perfect portions. Their cheese crock is great - served with fresh apples in a bread bowl. They have a weekly filet mignon special where you can get a small filet for a mere $12.99 or so. They also have a special where you allow the manager to pick out a bottle of wine you like for $15 - tell them what you like, and out it comes, nice and unique choices. Their outdoor dining is some of the best in the city and the interior is lovely dark wood, small and intimate.
Dunaway's 351 S East St, +1 317 638-7663.  Located in the old Indiana Oxygen Building, Dunaway's has won numerous local accolades for it's dining. The front door greets you with two old oxygen tanks, hollowed out to make beautiful lamps inspired by the art deco building they represent. Chef Dunaway offers the best crab cakes in town, live jazz three days a week, and the best rooftop outdoor dining in the city. Their wine cellar has won the prestigious Wine Spectator Award and is one of the best in the city. Reservations are recommended. Vegetarian friendly.
Elements 415 N Alabama St, +1 317 634-8888.  An amazing restaurant. Modern in design, with beautiful art and stylish decor. Make reservations - this is one of Indy's hottest dining establishments. With a great location and a great ever changing seasonal menu, incorporating local and fresh food. The Kobe Beef is amazing, ice cream selections for dessert are heavenly and the side dish of fingerling potatoes are so tasty. A hip place to enjoy and be seen.
Fleming's 8487 Union Chapel Rd, +1 317 466-0175.  National group of steak houses that have one of the best wine lists in the country (Wine Spectator award and all!). Sit at the bar and ask enjoy the company of Jimmy, Evelyn or Curtis, three of the best bartenders in the city. The dark wood decor adds to a cozy feel. Great steaks, lobster and hor'dourves. They have great shoe-string fries for a side!
L'Explorateur 6523 Ferguson Ave, +1 317 726-6906.  Focusing mainly on seafood, this restaurant has won numerous awards declaring it the finest restaurant in town. The menu changes all the time, based on freshness and availability. They do offer meat and fowl dishes as well. Sweet Potato Ravioli and Duck Confit are only two of the fine options on the menu. They also offer a raw bar - with oysters and sushi. Beautiful design, nice location, very special place!
Midtown Grill 815 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 253-1141.  One of Broad Ripple's finest. Great steaks, wine and unique fusion cuisine. Fresh ingredients contribute to their ever changing menu. Their lobster bisque is the best, grill beef medallions with risotto, and the best dessert in town - white chocolate brownie. Great service and indoor/outdoor dining. Modern decor too!
Mo's 47 S Penn, +1 317 624-0720.  Mo's serves great steaks, chops, chicken and seafood. The room is open air and wide, offering cigars for an after dinner...snack. They wheel a cart out full of meat and let you pick out your choice cut. Not a vegetarian's ideal stop.
P.F. Chang's Two locations,  World-famous Chinese-American fusion chain that offers up great food. Downtown is in the Circle Center Mall, uptown is in front of the Fashion Mall. Both locations are decorated in modern Chinese-inspired decor and giant statues from Chinese history. The lettuce wraps are great for an appetizer, the wine list is good, and they have beer on tap! The dessert menu is small, but every treat is tasty. The north side location is frequented by shoppers and celebs - you'll often catch local Colts' players (Peyton Manning, for example) grabbing a bite to-go after games. Downtown is busy at lunch and early dinner, so make it a late one. Dine at the bar for less wait time and faster and more attentive service. Vegan friendly.
Downtown - 49 W Maryland St, +1 317 974-5747
Keystone at the Crossing - 8601 Keystone Crossing, +1 317 815-8773
Palomino 49 W Maryland St, +1 317 974-0400.  Located right downtown in a prime location - at the mall, at the theater, at the RCA Dome. Modern design with Chihuly-designed lighting. Palomino's European-melding cuisine is tasty and they have one of the best appetizers in town - "Crisp Potatoes Gorgonzola" a.k.a. waffle fries with gorgonzola cheese dripped all over them. Decadent! They also offer a Colt's brunch before games on Sundays which offer tasty brunch fare and champagne and beers pre-game. Great location so you can walk to the game. Half off appetizers in the evenings. Make reservations. Vegetarian friendly.
R Bistro 888 Mass Ave, +1 317 423-0312.  The weekly menu changes every week, Chef Regina has traveled the world and uses only the finest local ingredients. A small cozy spot at the end of Mass Ave. Reservations are a must for one of the finest in town.
Rathskeller 401 E Michigan, +1 317 636-0396.  Indianapolis' best joint for traditional German food. One of Indiana's oldest buildings, the building was actually built by writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s grandfather. Originally housing the German Klub of Indianapolis, it's now a true German dining experience. Located right on Mass Ave. it's within walking distance of bars and theaters. Make reservations to enjoy potato pancakes, Jaegerschnitzel, and wurst. Tons of beer and wine available too including beers that are hard to find locally. Lunch time offers outdoor dining in the beer garden.
St. Elmo Steak House 127 S Illinois St, +1 317 635-0636.  Downtown in Indy since 1902, the restaurant has went through some changes, but the biggest asset is the main room. Make reservations to dine in the main room/entry room/bar. This is the original restaurant, the walls are covered with celebrity photos including more car racing stars then the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's museum, artwork and memorabilia from the opening to present. Their shrimp cocktail features giant prawns and is the best in the city. The wooden bar is beautiful and the prep-chef sits in the window, serving up shrimp cocktails and preparing seafood and steaks for your viewing.
Sullivan's 3316 E 86th St, +1 317 580-1280.  Inspired by the famous boxer, 1940s decor offers up amazing steaks and seafood. Now smoke free, their bar is a great place to hear live jazz and watch a sports game. Bar menu is a tad different then the dining room. The bar menu features "The City's Best Hamburger" and it is - thick, juicy and cooked perfectly. Also order a chocolate souffle when you order dinner, your taste buds will thank you. Vegetarian friendly.
Taste 5164 N College Ave, +1 317 925-2233  Stop in for breakfast or lunch at this gourmet cafe. Be sure to order the pomme frites or the cheddar biscuits! Vegetarian friendly.
The Coffee Brake Co. 6215 Allisonville Rd. +1 317 257-8222. Local coffee shop, freshly roasted on site coffee beans.
Cornerstone Coffee 651 E 54th St, +1 317 283-1360. Local coffee shop that offers full menu, pastries, tea and coffee of course. Indoor and outdoor seating, connected to Moe & Johnny's bar.
Hubbard & Cravens Coffee Co. Two locations,  H&C has their own warehouse where they custom-roast all their own beans and import over 20 types of coffees. Considered the finest coffee in town by some.
Lazy Daze Coffee House 10 S Johnson Ave, +1 317 353-0777. Located in the historic Irvington neighborhood just a few miles east of downtown. Its just south of Washington St and attached to the Irving Theater. Small but cozy, this coffeehouse features live music almost every weekend. Outside seating available. Free Wi-fi.
Mo'Joe Coffee House 222 W Michigan St, +1 317 822-6656.  Located by IUPUI providing coffee and tea and so forth in a clean modern and cozy environment. Live music too. Free wi-fi.
Monon Coffee Company 920 E Westfield Blvd, +1 317 255-0510  Independent coffee shop, free wireless access.
To drink and get into bars you must be 21+. Bars close at 3AM; 12:30AM on Sundays. Alcohol cannot be bought in stores on Sundays. Age requirements vary and are listed below.
501 Eagle 501 N College Ave, +1 317 623-2100  Hardcore gay leather bar. For serious enthusiasts of the leather. Leather events, charity events and theme nights are regular.
Alley Cat 6267 Carrollton Ave, +1 317 257-4036 This is the #1 dive bar in the city, according to every poll, award and every heavy drinker in town. Located in Broad Ripple, down an alley. No windows, smoke-ridden, and open at 7AM for breakfast till 3AM for dinner. A great jukebox, legendary bar staff, numerous pool tables, and the hardest drinks in town. Sometimes bands play too. A place you know will never change. Vegetarian friendly. 21+
Babes East 7259 Pendleton Pike, +1 317 545-5100 Indianapolis strip club featuring female exotic dancers, decent cocktails and plenty of drooling men to boot. Always popular on weekends and during car race season!
Blu 240 S Meridian St, +1 317 955-8585  Another night club to jump on the whole "Miami inspired ultra lounge" wave. Theme rooms and leather couches, oh and don't forget beds for lounging on. DJs pump top 40, appetizers are served and you can call ahead to reserve space and "VIP" treatment. Martinis are the house speciality. 21+
Bourbon Street Distillery 361 Indiana Ave, +1 317 838-3316 Always an after work staple, the Distillery has evolved into a bizarre bar. Offering a cajun fare of spice and heat in downtown Indy - the downstairs is a standard pub and upstairs is a mix of a living room and a nightclub offering a Bourbon Street style balcony that is heated year round. Aside from having tasty food, the Distillery is a house for house music, top 40 and live music.
Broad Ripple Brew Pub 840 E 65th St, +1 317 253-2739  Indy's favorite "British" pub. Located snugly in Northern Broad Ripple, the neighborhoods namesake pub brews some of the best beer in the city. It was the first brewpub in town, and is the oldest microbrewery in the state. If E.S.B., India Pale Ale, Lager, Porter and Bitter falls into your vocabulary then this is the place for you. Good food - Scotch Eggs, bangers and mash - and one of the best vegetarian menus in the city. Smoke free finally, with a friendly and familiar bar staff. Indoor and outdoor dining makes this one of the busiest lunch and dinner spots in the area. They also have real darts (not plastic). A must visit!! All ages.
Brugge Brasserie 1011a E Westfield Blvd, Broad Ripple. +1 317 255-0978  The only Belgian restaurant in the city. Amazing food and beer. Sit at one of many indoor/outdoor tables - what are those holes for in the table you ask? Frites of course! The best Belgian Fries in the Midwest. Chose one of your many dips - garlic mayo is the gem. Order a crepe, sandwich or perhaps some mussels and pig out. Don't forget one (or more) of their award winning microbrew Belgian ales. Watch European football on the television and enjoy great music (Nick Cave!). Reservations are recommended, this place gets packed fast. 21+
The Casba 6319 Guilford Ave, +1 317 251-3138. One of Indy's only basement bars! Located underneath the restaurant Usual Suspects, this is as Broad Ripple institution. Nice drink specials, and a variety of DJ's during the week. Wednesday's features retro/electro DJ's, Thursday a jam band, and on the weekends DJ's and jukeboxes. They just renovated, expanding the basement to cater to larger crowds. 21+
Chalkie's 5603 E 82nd St, +1 317 578-2221. Probably the cleanest pool hall in town. A spacious venue featuring pool tables and dart boards galore. Mediocre bar food is served (eat before you go) and they have a really unique drink menu (high end import beers). Friendly staff, and cheap pool on really nice tables. It's also smoke free. They also have a great jukebox with weird and popular music alike (from Sisters of Mercy to Outkast). Nice crowd, and a low-key joint.
Chatham Tap 719 Mass Ave, +1 317 917-8425.  English style pub that features hi-def tv's playing soccer (err..."football") all day and night. A nice selection of high end beers and a mix of bar style food with more gourmet takes on classics. They serve some of the best fish and chips in town to a mix of hipsters, post-work yuppies, gays and jocks.
Claddagh Irish Pub (downtown) 234 S Meridian St, +1 317 822-6274.  Regionally owned Irish pubs. The one downtown is a bar, so no kids allowed. The closest thing to Ireland - short stools and all. Grab a pint of beer and some amazing fish and chips and listen to live Irish music and watch some sports on the televisions. Can get crazy on the weekends, so check it out during the week and sit at the bar to watch them poor some black and tans. 21+
Coaches Tavern 28 S Pennsylvania St, +1 317 917-1191.  Popular for lunch and after-work meet ups, Coaches celebrates just that - sports and coaches. A nice wooden pub located right downtown with high tables, video games and jukebox, and of course sports on the TV. Live music and DJs offer entertainment on the small stage and outdoor seating is nice during the warm months. Thursdays is $2 pint night, and the beer choices are good and plentiful. They also serve food - and lots of it. Great place for lunch and a brew in the afternoon. Vegetarian friendly. 21+
Club Level 120 E Market St, +1 317 964-0400. Night club housed in an old bank in downtown Indy. Music caters to mainly top 40 and hip hop crowds. 21+
Deano's Vino Restaurant & Wine Bar 1112 Shelby St, +1 317 423-3154.  Located in the heart of Fountain Square, Deano's started out originally as a wine shop. Now it's an award-winning restaurant and wine bar. A relaxing atmosphere decorated with local art (many of it from the local art galleries next door), seasonal menu items with sandwiches for lunch and regional themed dinners. The wine bar is filled with wine/beer memorabilia and a visitors Wall of Fame. Wednesday nights is wine tasting night, with awesome wines and affordable prices. Lots of beers too! All ages. Vegan friendly. All ages.
Elbow Room 605 N Pennsylvania St, +1 317 635-3354 Located inside of just that, an Elbow shaped building just north of Mass Ave. With a bar and a restaurant, outdoor dining too, the Elbow Room is a great meeting place for lunch or pre-club or show dinner and a drink. American fare with nice twists on sandwiches. Good fish and chips! Vegetarian friendly. All ages
English Ivy's 944 N Alabama St, +1 317 822-5070 An Old Northside (that's the historic district downtown) institution. The downtown queer community regulars it, but everyone can find themselves at home here. Not much natural light, but plenty of Christmas lights decorate this bar and pub. Enjoy drinks and good food. Vegan friendly. 21+
Front Page 310 Mass Ave, +1 317 631-6682 Located on Mass Ave's far west end, the Front Page is a great stop for late lunch and after work drinks. From 4PM-5PM the Front Page offers half off appetizers - so eat greasy food like a king and enjoy cheap beers. A few tables litter the street for warm weather outdoor dining/drinking, and the bar inside offers karaoke once a week.
Jillian's 141 S Meridian St, +1 317 822-9300.  The Chuck E. Cheese for adults, if you will. This chain features a restaurant serving a variety of American-based cuisine, a hibachi restaurant, and a dance club. Then, littered with bars, is the huge arcade room featuring retro and current game systems, a dance club, and a crazy bowling alley with dance lights and cocktails. Drink prices aren't too cheap, and honestly, the best time to go is when you can have the place to yourself on a rainy afternoon. Drinking and Dance Dance Revolution, woo! 21+ Vegetarian friendly.
Kellerbar at the Rathskellar 401 E Michigan, +1 317 636-0396.  Located inside the Rathskellar German restaurant the Kellerbar is the downtown place to drink beers from around the world and sop it all up with German food. During the warm months, this is one of the busiest bars in town. Get there early to enjoy a quieter beer (or two, or three, or four), the bar opens up in the afternoon and you can enjoy their in-house brew (the Dunkel is amazing) outside in the Biergarten or inside in the cozy oak bar that emulates a German castle. Later in the evening on the weekends cover bands rock out in the garden and drunk college students go wild.
Living Room Lounge 934 N Penn, +1 317 635-0361. A downtown semi-dive bar that offers the type of karaoke that you plug your ears, cover your eyes and ask yourself "Why, God, why?" then you get on the microphone yourself. Jaegerbombs's are $2 on Thursdays. With cheap specials, you'll become a regular yourself quickly.
MacNiven's 339 Mass Ave, +1 317 632-7268. Indy's only Scottish pub, owned by a Scotsman with a vegetarian wife. Real haggis and blood pudding - and the nice thing is that they offer vegan haggis too (a vegan friend describes it as "tasty but salty"). Comfort food at its best - fish and chips from heaven. Restaurant on one side, street side seating and a bar on the other side. Scottish antiques, flags, and the biggest best beer menu in town. Oh, don't forget the Scotch! 18+
Metro 707 Mass Ave, +1 317 639-6022  A laid back, casual environment with a pub downstairs and a modern pool hall upstairs. Their karaoke is legendary - featuring people who really can sing. Upstairs they also feature a sex/bdsm shop for kinky goods. Speaking of kink, food is served too! 21+
Mo's Loading Dock 1045 N Senate, +1 317 637-2680  Located inside the Stutz Art Gallery the Loading Dock is just that - an old Loading Dock for the Stutz car factory. Resident artists and workers stop in for lunch, a smoke, or perhaps a drink throughout the day and evening. Cheap specials, Monday's is .50 draft night, and good food. They have great chicken fingers which are rolled and fried in Cap N' Crunch cereal. Live music too. 21+
Moe & Johnny's 5380 N College Ave, +1 317 255-6376.  A popular bar for Butler students and Broad Ripple residents. Big screens pump sports games from all over the world - we watched the World Cup here - and the huge bar offers plenty of room for eating and drinking. Pool tables, pinball and that crazy golf game are here too. Nice outdoor seating that offers some of the best street-watching in the city. The best buffalo chicken sandwich in the city. Great beer specials!
Nicky Blaine's 20 N Meridian St, +1 317 638-5588. Martinis and cigars are the main attraction here. With a 1930-40s feel from the dark plush interior.. A lot of businessmen and businessmen-loving-women attend here, as do early-night partiers, and the night-cap types. Once a month they have a meeting called "Meet The Mistress" which features local Dominatrix's having cocktails with interested folks. Fascinating mix and serious cocktails. 21+
Old Point Tavern 401 Mass Ave, +1 317 634-8943. Great location on Mass Ave for eating before a performance. Great for meeting friends, chatting till they close (around 1AM), bathing in the red neon light, listening to alternative music on the stereo. The nachos are legendary - a huge pile of nachos with every topping imaginable(vegetarian is the most popular choice) will feed 3-4. The freshest and healthiest bar food in town - hummus, parfaits, bean sprouts, sandwiches and fresh salad. Great desserts, drink specials - lots of beer! Friendly staff and perfect outdoor dining too. It's hard to find a seat outside once 5PM rolls around during warm months. They have a great muzak channel that plays all new wave and 80s alternative - the only place you'll hear Morrissey on the stereo.
Plump's Last Shot 6416 Cornell Ave, +1 317 257-5867. This pub is owned by Bobby Plump, who threw the winning Hail Mary shot in the Milan 1954 game that is immortalized in the film "Hoosiers." It's been described as a "boho sports bar" which is a good, yet cheesy, name for it. The type of sports bar that hippies, artists, and jocks can come together without a problem. And only one tv. Yes, one TV. A huge outdoor deck in this small house, that has indoor dining too. A good jukebox that is pumped outdoors and the best hush puppies this side of the Mississippi. Friendly staff, friendly locals. We'll hang out here for hours during the summer on the patio. Very dog friendly. 21+
Red Key 5170 N College Ave, +1 317 283-4601. An Indianapolis legend, this is where Ben Affleck filmed his first motion picture. You'll walk in to this joint and think you're back in WW II. It's been owned by the same folks since then. Model planes hang from the ceiling, awesome vintage art, and pennies on the ceiling that get tossed up and pulled down for donation each year (and thousands of them, seriously). A beer is served with a small glass and unique cheap eats are on the bar menu. There are rules here - don't put your feet on the chairs or booth seats, hang your coat up on one of the hooks, and don't get too obnoxious or you're out. They'll ask you politely of course the first time. A must see for lovers of classic bars. By the time you leave you'll be a regular.
Talbott Street 2145 N Talbott St, +1 317 931-1343.  In the old Talbott Theater building is Indy's most popular gay dance night club and drag show cabaret. With modern design and three bars, it's never a dull moment. Gays, straights, androgyny, punks, art schoolers, celebrities and parties - it's a great venue that anyone can feel comfortable at. Fridays is 80s night and drag shows with the "Legends" drag troupe is the best is the city. Saturdays is house, techno and top 40 dance remixes all night long in the main room and drag shows in the Legends Lounge. I like to grab a drink at the upstairs Sky Bar and observe the insanity on the dancefloor. Bring plenty of cash to tip the drag queens and heavy pouring bartenders! Cover ranges from free-$5. 21+
Ten 1218 N Penn St, +1 317 638-5802. Indy's only gay-girls bar. Dark, smoky, and no outdoor lighting - the dive of the gay bars, it's a favorite. Ran by a group of women, who have been there since day one, who offer a safe, clean and fun environment for gay women, men and everyone else who wants to feel comfortable someplace. Top 40 DJ's spin, vendors sell goods, the dancefloor is packed. Drag king shows and open mic nights. Thursdays is the most insane - cheap cover and half off drinks, and we mean every drink. From margaritas to Jack and Coke to Newcastle. Great place to meet like-minded ladies! Cash only, 21+
Therapy 605 E Market St, +1 317 632-0325.  Modern design with local artists displaying their works on the walls of this simple and sleek joint. Two rooms - main room offers major techno/dance/house/trance DJs - this is the venue for the genre - the best DJs in the world tour through. The lounge features chill out on major event nights, and during the week offers up the best local DJ talent. Tuesdays is dark industrial called "electro Faktory" and Thursdays is "Keepin' It Deep" featuring world-class house DJs Slater Hogan and John Larner spinning house, underground hip hop and soul, trip hop, brit pop and more. 21+
The Unicorn 122 W 13th St, +1 317 262-9195  Indy's ONLY male strip club. Yes, men, stripping. It also has the biggest cast of male strippers in the Midwest, so never a dull moment. Ladies and gays flood the Unicorn 7 days a week. It is a private club, yearly memberships are available - but of course there is an option for guests. You're welcome there any night, just donate, depending on the evening ($2-5). Mondays feature the famous drink and drown, where you play a flat cover and drink all you want. Check out the hot bods and drink yourself into a frenzy. Life is good. 21+
Union Jack Pub Two locations, see below. There are two locations of this English pub, the best being in Broad Ripple. This location offers family and bar dining. Both rooms are littered with well placed English and local antiques and artifacts. Busts of great English minds greet you in the bar and televisions show sports. They have the best "Chicago Style" pizza in the city. Thick, hot and amazing. Great beer selection and weekly specials. They also have a great selection of whiskey and scotch! Friendly bar staff. The Speedway location is drenched in racing memorabilia, a huge bar with good music and lots of televisions!
Broad Ripple - 924 Broad Ripple, +1 317 257-4343
Speedway - 6225 W 25th St, - +1 317 243-3300
The Varsity 1517 N Penn, +1 317 635-9998 A dark divey bar that attracts a fascinating mix of people. Lunch and dinner features good, greasy bar food and decent drinks. TVs, pool, darts, arcade and karaoke too. 21+
The Vogue 6259 N College Ave, +1 317 259-7029.  Originally a movie theater built in the 1930s, in the 70s it opened up as a music venue and nightclub. Now, it's the place for college kids to get wasted on the weekends and dance to top 40 and retro tunes. You'll also find great live music and past acts include: Cheap Trick, Johnny Cash, David Byrne, The White Stripes, Common, Sean Paul, The Faint, VHS Or Beta, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams III, The Black Keys and more. Cover varies. 21+
Chateau Thomas Winery 6291 Cambridge Way, Plainfield. +1 317 837-WINE.  About 20 minutes from downtown Indy. One of Indy's original wineries, grapes are grown in California and wine is made here. Stop by for a free wine tasting, tour and shop their gift shop featuring locally made wine, cheese, food and wine lover goodies. During the spring and summer they feature live local music and social hours.
Easley Winery 205 N College Ave, +1 317 636-4516.  The oldest winery in downtown Indy. Free guided tours, wine tasting, and events. In warm months they feature after-work cocktails and live music. Check out the wine-shop featuring tons of wine and beer making goods.
There are many national/international hotel/motel chains in town; listed below are some more unique and/or regionally owned operations.
Residence Inn Indianapolis Airport, 5224 West Southern Avenue, ☎ 317-244-1500, . checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Accommodations include fully-equipped kitchens in every suite. Guests also have access to complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access.$150. edit
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport, 8910 Hatfield Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46241, ☎ 317-856-9100, . edit
Hampton Inn & Suites Indianapolis-Airport, 9020 Hatfield Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46231, ☎ 317-856-1000, . edit
Hampton Inn Indianapolis Dwtn Across from Circle Centre, 105 S. Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225, ☎ 317-261-1200, . edit
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis South/Greenwood, 5255 Noggle Way, Indianapolis, IN 46237, ☎ 317-888-4814, . edit
Homewood Suites by Hilton® Indianapolis-Downtown, 211 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225, ☎ 317-636-7992, . edit
Homewood Suites by Hilton® Indianapolis-At The Crossing, 2501 East 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240, ☎ 317-253-1919, . edit
Hampton Inn Indianapolis-Ne/Castleton, 6817 E 82nd St, Indianapolois, IN 46250, ☎ 317-576-0220, . edit
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Northwest, 6930 Intech Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46278, ☎ 317-288-6060, . edit
Homewood Suites by Hilton® Indianapolis Northwest, 4140 West 94th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268, ☎ 317-870-7660, . edit
Hampton Inn Indianapolis-East, 2311 North Shadeland Avenue, Indianpolis, IN 46219, ☎ 317-359-9900, . edit
Hampton Inn Indianapolis-South, 7045 McFarland Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46237, ☎ 317-889-0722, . edit
Hampton Inn Indianapolis Northwest - Park 100, 5860 West 73rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46278, ☎ 317-290-6000, . edit
Courtyard Indianapolis Airport, 2602 Fortune Circle East, ☎ 317-248-0300, . Courtyard Indianapolis Airport hotel.edit
Courtyard Indianapolis Castleton, 8670 Allisonville Road, ☎ 317-576-9559, . edit
Indy Hostel 4903 Winthrop Ave, +1 317 727-1696  Indy's only hostel! Located in Broad Ripple. A suite is available for those who don't want to be bothered with the shared rooms. Local art adorns the walls and the hostel hosts a myriad of travelling folk and acoustic artists for performances. No curfew, internet access, and bicycles are available for hire.
Quality Inn 8325 Bash St, +1 317 577-0455  An Indianapolis hotel, the Quality Inn hotel is a pet-friendly hotel near the Indianapolis Zoo, that offers guests free local calls, and high-speed Internet access in every room. Has an outdoor heated pool
Serendipity Haus 1423 Hoyt Ave, +1 317 236-9844  An affordable little B&B, owned by a massage therapist and her husband who is a seasonal Santa! Very kind and sweet couple. Built in 1885 the B&B offers two bedrooms with private baths each, two friendly pets (cat and dog), and breakfast is served freshly made! Walking distance of Fountain Square. Vegetarian friendly.
Suburban Extended Stay Northeast Hotel 8055 Bash St, +1 317 598-1914  All standard guest rooms come with microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, spacious work desks and cable television with free movies. Handicap accessible and non-smoking rooms are available upon request.
All Nations B&B 2164 N Capitol Ave, +1 317 923-2622  Downtown bed and breakfast located in the home of a couple who have travelled the world. This has led to their creation of their B&B, with themed rooms decorated in the motif of visited countries, i.e. New Zealand, China, Ireland and Zimbabwe. Clean, friendly and comfortable the beautiful home offers a well mainted backyard and front decks, family room, and dining room, where the owners cook guest meals.
Brick Street Inn 175 S Main St, Zionsville. +1 317 873-9177  A bed & breakfast home built in 1865. Placed right in the heart of Zionsville, a quaint arts and food district north of Indianapolis, it's family operated with has a restaurant and gift shop as well. 8 bedrooms offer different regional design styles common to Indianapolis' past. Zionsville is quite cute, filled with antique shops and art galleries.
Brickyard Crossing Inn & Resort 4400 W 16th St, +1 317 241-2500.  The Motor Speedway's own inn. It books up fast, months in advance for the races, providing simple and nice accommodations for racing and golf enthusiasts. The race track is right behind it. Literally. The place to party the nights before the race, the entire street turns into a mini-Mardi Gras.
Comfort Suites, 4125 Kildeer Dr, ☎ +1 317 791-9610. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. The newly built Comfort Suites hotel includes free continental breakfast, free coffee, free local calls, and an indoor heated pool.edit
Courtyard Indianapolis Carmel, 10290 N Meridian Street, ☎ +1 317 571-1110, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Located in the Northside Business Community. Convenient to Butler University and 10 minutes from downtown Carmel.</sleep *FantaSuite 1117 E Main St, Greenwood. +1 317 882-2211  The main reason this place is listed because it's surreal and stuck in a time warp. It's been in Greenwood since probably the late 70s as a "themed room" hotel. Stay in "Arabian Nights," "Le Cave," "Geisha Garden" or perhaps the "Jungle Safari" is your pick. The decor is tacky and retro, and most of the bedrooms are equipped with a mere AM/FM tape player. Celebrate kitsch and strange retro love making with a FantaSuite. *Looking Glass Inn B&B 1319 N New Jersey St, +1 317 639-9550  A beautiful home built in 1905 located downtown in a historic district. A mission style home filled with Victorian antiques. They also own the Villa. Movie collection available, multi-lingual innkeepers and on-call massage therapists available. Breakfast is provided. *Nestle Inn B&B 637 N East St, +1 317 610-5200  One of the most delightful B&B's in town. Victorian home built in 1896 located just off of Mass Ave. Five bedrooms and one suite, library, dining room and sitting rooms, they also serve great homemade breakfast (the scones are stellar!). The owners are sweet and remember all their past guests. Romantic, cute, and friendly. * Quality Inn Downtown South, 4502 S Harding St, ☎ +1 317 788-4774. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. The Quality Inn South hotel is located five miles from downtown and includes free continental breakfast, free coffee, free wireless internet access, a fitness center, and is a pet-friendly hotel (additional fees apply).editedit
15 North 15 N Penn, +1 317 255-8002.  Locally owned loft located in a 1923 built building. A beautiful loft that most of us can only dream of owning! Located in the heart of the city it features 2 bedrooms, a stainless steel kitchen, flatscreen entertainment center - stay in the city in style.
Canterbury Hotel 123 S Illinois, +1 317 634-3000.  One of the cities oldest and most beautiful hotels. Award winning, built in 1858. With a beautiful lobby bar and restaurant, French/European decor overwhelms you. Turndown service doesn't have a mint - it offers truffles. This is for the creme de la creme of hotel experiences in Indy, where celebrities often stay.
Conrad Indianapolis 50 W Washington St, +1 317 713-5000.  State of the art hotel that features plasma screens and wi-fi in every room. Restaurants, spa, and pet friendly.
Crowne Plaza at Union Station 123 W Louisiana St, +1 317 631-2221.  Stay in one of the 26 authentic Pullman train cars or one of the other guest rooms and suites at this hotel situated in historic Union Station. A great downtown location that is smoke-free. All rooms are equipped for high-speed internet connection. Light sleepers should ask for a room on the quiet side of the hotel, as you may hear the rumble of a train passing by.
DeWolf-Allerdice House B&B 1224 N Park Ave, +1 317 822-4299.  A beautiful home built in 1870, Victoria and modern design, and dial-up access. Gourmet meals (vegetarian friendly) and cocktails served in the evening.
JW Marriott Indianapolis 10 South West Street, +1 317 822-8554.  Part of the Marriott Place and connected to the Indiana Convention Center, this downtown Indianapolis hotel features 1,005 guestrooms and over 100,000 square feet of event space making it the largest JW Marriott in the world. All guestrooms include high-speed internet connection and 40" LCD TVs.
The Kendall Inn, 5830 N Post Rd, +1 317 591-7280.  Locally owned luxury inn located at Fort Harrison State Park on the East side of town. Beautiful grounds in a historic building that originally served as a hospital on the military grounds starting in 1902. 28 unique rooms with an early American decor. Each room has a jacuzzi!
Luxus Suites & Spa, 502 Indiana Ave, +1 317 423-3460.  Luxurious is the word to describe this penthouse suite. Two bedrooms, grand piano, fireplace, rooftop terrace, limo, spa services, plasma screens, and more. Live like a celebrity during your visit to Indy.
Old Northside B&B, 1340 Alabama St, +1 317 635-9123. Located in the Historic North Side and built in 1885, this Victorian mansion offers opulently designed theme rooms. Jacuzzi tubs, bridal suites, off-street parking and breakfast served every morning.
Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre, 31 W Ohio St, ☎ +1 317 635-2000, . Features 378 guest rooms and suites and 18,000 square feet of meeting space. On-property dining options include Alexanders Bar & Grill, Circle Café and Starbucks.edit
The Westin Indianapolis, 50 S Capitol Ave, ☎ +1 317 262-8100, . The Westin Indianapolis is connected to the Indiana Convention Center and Circle Center Mall via an enclosed skywalk. Westin Guest Office rooms feature additional business amenities. edit
The Villa, 1456 N Delaware, +1 317 916-8500,  Bed and breakfast located downtown. Beautiful building from 1906. Six rooms, one of the finest restaurants in the city and an in-house spa
Yellow Rose Inn, 1441 N Delaware St, +1 317 636-7673,  Beautiful restored 1898 home located in a historical district of downtown Indy. All four rooms have access to a hot tub, 1200-ft deck, gardens, spiral staircases and outdoor dining. Amazing antiques, beautiful rooms and jacuzzi's welcome you. Romantic and lovely!
Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL), 40 E St Clair St, ☎ +1 317 275-4100, . M-W 10AM-8PM, F 10AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM, Th closed. Free wi-fi, internet terminals available.edit
Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame 1 Hall of Fame Ct., New Castle. +1 765 529-1891.  About 30 minutes east of Indy. This is where "Hoosier Hysteria" is celebrated. Explore exhibits celebrating Indy's basketball history, players, coaches, cheerleaders and so forth. Check out the Hall of Fame featuring amateur inductees from all over the state. $4 for adults, $2 for children.
Brown County+1 800 753-3255.  Is an hour south of Indy. A quaint and cute artist commune with shops, galleries, food and drink, theaters, music halls and historical monuments. One of the most popular places for locals to check out the 'changing of the leaves' during the Fall. Make sure to get some pumpkin ice cream and take a hike through the beautiful Brown County State Park.
Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Country Star Museum is a hidden secret in Southern Indiana. This is also the site of the legendary annual bluegrass festival in June that draws people from all over the world to perform, jam out, drink, eat and celebrate bluegrass music and culture. Check out the Walk of Fame, Bill Monroe's personal collection of memorabilia and other items from the likes of Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones and more. $4 for adults, $3 seniors, children are free.
Edinburgh Premium Outlets 11622 N.E. Executive Dr, Edinburgh. +1 317 812-526-9765.  Indy's best Outlet, about 30 minutes south of downtown. Features shops like Borders, Banana Republic, the Gap, Calvin Klein, Clarks, Adidas, J.Crew, Guess, Polo and more. They also have an Estee Lauder Company Store which features make-up by companies like MAC, Estee Lauder, Clinque, Perscriptives and Bobbi Brown at outlet prices. AAA discount available.
Hunter's Honey Farm 3440 Hancock Ridge Rd., Martinsville. +1 765 537-9430.  Locally owned and operated for over 90 years. Take a tour and learn how honey is made, watch it get extracted and bottled, learn about how candles are made and explore the grounds. They also have a gift shop. $3 per person, kids under 2 are free. About 20 minutes south of Indy.
Morse Reservoir This man-made lake, located between Cicero (Indiana) and Noblesville has 1,500 acres for boating and water activities and 35 miles of shoreline. More than 95% of the shoreline is residential, but recreational boating is allowed. Launch your boat from the Carrigan Road Bridge marina. Morse Lake Park, by the dam on the east side of the lake, allows supervised swimming in the lake and year-round picnicking as well as fishing.