Why Go To Indianapolis
To the uninitiated, Indianapolis's nicknames — "Naptown" and "Indiana No Place" — may seem like accurate labels. After all, when compared to its neighbors, Indiana's capital doesn't initially stand out as a hotbed of culture quite like Chicago or Minneapolis. But if you look closer, you'll find that Kurt Vonnegut's hometown is just as vibrant as its Midwestern siblings. For starters, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Indianapolis 500, which, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans comprise the prestigious Triple Crown of Motorsport. Not much of a speed demon? That's fine — Indy has plenty of other sports to capture your attention, including the Indianapolis Colts, not to mention the Indianapolis Indians, the city's Triple-A baseball team who play in one of the country's best minor league parks.
And then there's the city's family appeal: Indianapolis is home to the world's largest children's museum and an impressive zoo. Meanwhile, culture hounds will be pleased to know Indy boasts one of only two museums east of the Mississippi that showcase both Native America and the American West. Plus, the city touts an 8-mile urban bike and pedestrian path that weaves visitors through neighborhoods, cultural districts and past some of Indy's top attractions. Still not convinced? Maybe the Hoosier hospitality and comforting Midwestern fare will help change your mind.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
Indianapolis is ranked as:
#1 in Best Places to Visit in Indiana
Best Things To Do In Indianapolis
Besides the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum (which is a must-see for most visitors), the city offers the truly wonderful Indianapolis Museum of Art. If you're traveling with kids in tow, you'll definitely want to spend a few hours at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The zoo, which is inside the verdant White River State Park, is another good pick for families, as is a stroll along the Central Canal. Did we mention the Indianapolis Colts? They're here too, winning games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis Travel Tips
Avoid Memorial Day - Unless you're in town for the Indianapolis 500, which always takes place over Memorial Day, you'll want to plan your Indy visit for another weekend. Flights and hotel rates will be pricey thanks to all the race traffic; budget travelers beware.
Don't let the Naptown nickname fool you - Indianapolis is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, especially live, local music. Try Slippery Noodle for a sampling of Indy's sound.
You don't need a rental car - Another pro for Indianapolis: The city is very walkable, especially the downtown area, where you'll probably spend most of your time. Instead of a car, rent a bike. You'll save a bundle and enjoy a more intimate view of Indy's treasures.
Check with the visitors bureau - Visit Indy offers coupons for attractions, restaurants and hotel packages on its website. Consult its site to see if any of the discounts apply to your itinerary.
Ditch the airport taxi; take the shuttle instead - The Go Green Airport Shuttle is an express service that transports visitors between the airport and downtown Indy for just $10.