One day in Indianapolis

I’m going to be in Indianapolis for a day and a half this weekend to attend a wedding. Anyone from the area have any recommendations for food, fun, or sightseeing on a Friday night or Saturday morning? I’ll be staying near something called the “Arts Garden”, but I have a car, so driving isn’t necessarily a problem, but I’ll be driving all day to get there so I’d prefer something close.

There’s a great website that has lots and lots of information about restaurants, shopping, museums, attractions, galleries, etc.

The ArtsGarden is a neat space - it’s suspended above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets and hosts free events all year long.

Near or in downtown we have the Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, White River State Park, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum (mostly western and Native American art), an IMAX theater, and the Indiana State Museum.

What are you interested in? Maybe we can point you in the right direction.

If you’re staying near the Arts Garden then you are right next to Circle Center Mall.

It’s a short walk south from there, down Washington St. to the canal. If the weather’s nice then I would always recommend a walk along the canal. Rent a boat, rent a bike, rent a bike-car, I think you can even rent a Segway and take a Seg-Tour of the area.

You will be right there by the Indiana State Museum, The Indiana Zoo, just a bunch of cool stuff down town.

For good eats there’s St. Elmo’s Steakhouse or Ruth’s Chris, both excellent. Mikado has a decent sushi bar and I’ve heard P.F. Changs in the mall is good. There are plenty of other chain restaurants / micro brew places around the area as well.

Outside of the immediate area where you are staying there is just too much to just nail down without knowing what you are looking for or what you’re into.

Last time I was in Indy, I visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I took the bus tour of the track (1 lap at about 10 mph), and wandered around the museum that’s there. It was more interesting and worthwhile than I had expected…since I usually balk at the obvious, toursity stuff. My wife couldn’t care less about racing, and she still thought it was great.

Borrow a kid or two, and do the Children’s Museum, which totally rocks.

Sorry you’re coming this weekend-- there are supposed to be thunderstorms here Friday through Sunday, which will minimize your enjoyment of many of the activities otherwise within walking distance downtown. That said, there is plenty you can access through the “Skyway” tunnels linking the Circle Center Mall with many other parts of central downtown, so if you bring an umbrella, you could conceivably hit a number of places.

I second all of the recommendations made above (save the restaurants-- I’m vegetarian, so I don’t have knowledge of those places). I want to stress that the Children’s Museum is fun even without children in tow-- it happens to be child-friendly, but is all kinds of cool for any age.

For afterhours Friday fun, the two hotspots are downtown and Broad Ripple (about 5 miles north of downtown). Broad Ripple tends to cater more to a college-age clientele, downtown is college-and-up, with certain places (Ike and Jonesey’s, for one-- an interesting dive that’s always crammed and attracts everything from bikers to government officials) that attract twenty- to sixty-somethings. Your hotel’s concierge can steer you to a good place based on your preferences-- music, sports, younger, older, etc.