Indianapolis is full of fun ways to spend an entire day or weekend, but if you’ve only got an hour to spare between meetings, don’t fret. The Racing Capital of the World still proves a well-rounded destination, even when you’re pressed for time. Try some of these suggestions on for size:
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
At the epicentre of Indianapolis on brick-paved Monument Circle, this soaring limestone spire offers a panoramic bird’s-eye view of downtown. Take the elevator ride to the top for a look around, or if you’re feeling especially sprightly, you can climb the 330 steps to the observation deck.
Shrimp Cocktail at St. Elmo
If there’s not enough time in your schedule for a fully-fledged dinner at Indy’s iconic century-old steak house, St. Elmo, at least stop by to sit in the bar and savour a spicy signature shrimp cocktail. Watching first-timers’ reactions when the horseradish kicks in? Priceless.
Beer Tasting at Sun King Brewing Company
Sun King launched a local craft beer renaissance when it opened in 2009. Now, loyalists flock in to refill their growlers with house standards like Wee Mac Scottish Ale and Sunlight Cream Ale, and to sample the seasonal brews during free tasting sessions on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Stretch your legs and drink in some of the best downtown skyline views by strolling the picturesque canal that snakes through White River State Park. If you’re really in a hurry, rent a Segway to speed up your journey.
Lunch at Historic City Market
Teeming with tempting sights, smells and tastes, City Market is a vibrant smorgasbord, and a popular lunch destination among the downtown business community. Soups, sandwiches, salads, crepes, cookies, ethnic cuisine, coffees, seafood, craft beer—there’s a little something here to please any palate.
Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park: 100 Acres
On the grounds of the lovely Indianapolis Museum of Art, this outdoor oasis seamlessly blends art and nature with funky large-scale sculptures interspersed with walking trails that lead through indigenous natural habitats. Feel free to bring a picnic.
Cocktails at The Libertine
Shake it up, baby, with a handcrafted cocktail at this speakeasy-style hotspot. Nattily dressed mixologists wear retro vests and ties, and the drinks go by clever call-signs like the “Screw and Bolt,” “Indiana English,” and “All the Rage.” The small plates at The Libertine are stellar, too—don’t miss the bacon flight.
The Rhythm! Discovery Center
When business meetings get a little too intense, burn off some steam by banging some drums at The Rhythm! Discovery Center, located next to the Circle Centre Mall Artsgarden. You’ll learn something about the science of sound, and might just discover a hidden talent.
Lucas Oil Stadium Tours
For Indianapolis Colts football fans, Lucas Oil Stadium is hallowed ground. One-hour public tours give visitors a behind-the-scenes peek at the facility with stops at the playing field, the locker room and the press box.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Pay tribute to the Slaughterhouse-Five author (and Indianapolis native) by browsing the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Afterwards, head over to Mass Ave to take a photo of the giant Kurt Vonnegut mural.
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Have you visited any of these Indianapolis attractions? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Written by Amy Lynch
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About the author: AmyLynchAmy Lynch
Amy Lynch is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Ind., and has traveled extensively throughout the United States and western Europe. A member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, Amy’s work has appeared in Delta Sky, the Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living, Indianapolis Monthly, Cincinnati Magazine and Draft.