Although Indiana is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, its capital city feels anything but old. In fact, this friendly metropolis is in the midst of one of its biggest growth spurts, which you’ll notice as soon as you arrive at its state-of-the-art airport. Once in the city, you’ll find world-class sports—Indianapolis is home to the Pacers basketball and Colts football teams—and cultural attractions that appeal to all ages. Yet it’s in the up-and-coming neighborhoods where you’ll find the real spirit of the city, plus a budding brewery/distillery and food scene. With the Indy 500 just a month away, it’s time to start those engines and steer yourself to Indianapolis.
Rent a bike and pedal the 8-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which cruises past iconic spots such as White River State Park and Mass Avenue, a shop- and restaurant-lined street. From there, catch the 18-mile Monon Trail that runs by the Broad Ripple Village neighborhood. Or head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where anybody aged 9 and up can try a new experience: riding around the track in an IndyCar.
Starting May 10, test your putt-putt golf skills on an artist-designed course at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. While there, you also can view the original LOVE sculpture created by American artist Robert Indiana. Then make your way to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. If you have kids, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a must.
At Tinker Street Restaurant & Wine Bar, chef Braedon Kellner puts creative spins on produce-heavy dishes featuring Indiana products. For a menu that is anything but conventional, grab a seat at the counter at Milktooth (try the chickpea grits). No trip to Indianapolis is complete without visiting one of the Patachou restaurants. Try Café Patachou in Downtown or Public Greens in Broad Ripple Village, which donates all of its proceeds to The Patachou Foundation, which helps feed schoolchildren in need.
In the trendy Fletcher Place neighborhood lies Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery, which has a cozy tasting room. Beer more your style? You have 34 breweries to choose from. A few not to miss: Flat12 Bierwerks, Indiana City Brewing Co., Tow Yard Brewing Company and Sun King Brewery. Find tons of Indiana brews on tap at Tomlinson Tap Room at the Indianapolis City Market and at Ralston’s DraftHouse on Mass Avenue.