Hear about travel to Indianapolis, Indiana as the Amateur Traveler talked to Nancy Parode the Senior Travel Expert at about.com about travel to this mid-western capital.
Nancy says “I think that Indianapolis is one of the hidden gems of the United States. So many people fly over it or drive through it or they only go to perhaps the speedway and they miss out on a great mid-sized city with a really cool vibe, lots of things to do, good places to eat, excellent museums. It’s just a place I think everyone should go.”
Nancy starts us off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which even non-race enthusiasts can enjoy. You can get out on the track (in a bus, not an Indy car), watch a race or visit the museum there.
Of the city, she says “it’s a walkable city, it’s very friendly. Even before the Super Bowl of 2012, the city was going through a massive renovation and cleanup project. Some of the areas where warehouses had been sitting empty have been turned into restaurant space [the Wholesale District]. They built a bunch of neat museums.”
“There is a state park in downtown Indianapolis that has an enormous amount of green space. That is also home to the Indianapolis Zoo and quite a few of the top museums in Indy. In the Summer and early fall, you can rent bicycles and pedal buggies.”
Sports fans can take in a Colts game or a college basketball game in a state known for its college sports or visit the NCAA Hall of Champions. Art lovers will enjoy the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, while history buffs can take a tour of the state capital, visit the Indian State Museum or the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.
If you are traveling with kids then Nancy says the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a must-see. A giant dinosaur model must agree as it sits in the front go the museum peeking in. If you are traveling with big kids or adults who just think they are big kids the largest gaming convention in North America, Gen Con, is held each summer in the city.
For side trips, Nancy recommends a fall visit to Brown County State Park for fall foliage and the artist colony at Nashville, Indiana. Other side trips she recommends are to the town of Fishers with the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (living history museum) or to Columbus Indiana which is a company town designed by well-known architects.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides – One of my favorite guidebook series
Official Indianapolis Site
Nancy on About.com
Travel to Baltimore, Maryland – Episode 438
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
Bike Rentals in Indianapolis
Brown County State Park (for fall foliage)
Harry & Izzy’s Steakhouse
Indian State Museum
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Indianapolis Zoo White River Gardens
NCAA Hall of Champions
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Indiana Historical Society
Fort Harrison State Park (riding stables)
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Indianapolis Colts Grille
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home
Indianapolis Cultural Trail
Nancy on 60 and Me