Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On My Radar: Indianapolis

Photo courtesy of VisitIndy.com
When the husband and I made our cross-country drive from Arizona moving to New York City, we stopped for one night in Indianapolis. And by one night I mean maybe 10 hours tops to eat, sleep, and then hit the road before sunrise the next morning. (It was a looong trip!) As we skirted around downtown Indianapolis' sparkling skyline in the thick of night, I said:

"I wonder what Indianapolis is like."

This prompted a 10-minute speech about Indianapolis' sports history. Super Bowl! The Colts! Reggie Miller!

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Oh, sorry. I fell asleep.

Okay, so I may not be that interested in sports (except for the NBA - even I appreciate the showy Reggie Miller-John Starks rivalry of the 90s), but what I've discovered since our quick run through Indianapolis is this:

There is some seriously cool development happening in downtown. Most of it is centered on a multi-use district called CityWay. We're spending a couple of days in Indy this March and what I'm most excited to experience is a new hotel called The Alexander.

Named after Alexander Ralston, the architect who platted the city (same guy who platted Washington D.C.), everything in the art-focused Alexander hotel is tied to Indy - like the guestroom wallpaper that looks like the city grid. And its in-house collection is curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

I'm looking forward to sampling truffled potato soup and sipping on crafted cocktails at Cerulean Restaurant (the second location for this local favorite), and definitely plan on renting one of The Alexander's free bikes to use on the adjacent Cultural Trail. It's an 8-mile path that connects six of Indianapolis' cultural districts.

But what is my to-do list missing? What are your top recommendations for our trip to Indianapolis? Tell me!

6 comments:

  1. Come try honey wine at New Day Meadery in Fountain Square-only about a mile from downtown!

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    1. Thank you! I am EXTREMELY intrigued by this honey wine! Is it very sweet?

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  2. Welcome to Indy! A bike ride on the Cultural Trail is a great start. Be sure to check out the Indiana State Museum and go under the canal to see the murals painted there. White River State Park is along the canal and Cultural Trail. The Indianapolis Zoo is lovely. The Botanical Gardens are my favorite. The Indianapolis Museum of Art and 100 Acres is a must. If you ever come back in the summer, there is outdoor classic movies in the outdoor amphitheatre at night! Bring a basket of food, a blanket and some wine! The Stutz Studios has a first Friday open studio which is a good way to see new artists in their element. Dependant on when you are here, Indy has a Shamrock Run/Walk St Patty's weekend. www.indystpats.com has the info to register and schedule of the greening of the canal and the parade. Fountain Square is one of the oldest areas of the city and has been given a facelift as a new hip area of restaurants and live music. If you are looking for a something a bit different, The Rathskellar is a German restaurant and bar with fantastic food, beer and music. The War Memorial as well as the Eitlejorg Museum cover much of Indiana's great history. Massachusetts Avenue (known locally as Mass Ave) has unique boutiques and fun shopping. The Indianapolis Symphony offers a wide variety of music from string trios to full symphony performances. The Irvington is a hipster style live music hall. You must go to Shapiro's Deli. The absolute best corned beef you will ever eat! The City Market has a broad offering of local, organic foods as well. I know I'm forgetting so much, but you have to sleep sometime while you're here:) Enjoy!

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    1. Oh, goodness! Where is a girl to start?! Thank you so much for your recommendations! Fountain Square sounds like a good place to explore and I will have to look into the boutiques along Mass Avenue. Any other great shopping districts/boutiques you would recommend? I love checking out local shops especially.

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  3. Will you be renting a car when in town? If not, a cab ride to Broad Ripple Village just north of downtown won't cost too much. Broad Ripple's night scene is very big for the thirty and under crowd. There are all kinds of different venues. During the day, BRip is a fantastic unique shopping experience! One of my favorite things to do is to grab a coffee at Monon Coffee Company and walk around. Yes, there is a Starbucks and also a Hubbard and Cravens, but Monon Coffee Company is so much better! Plus, they sell local artists' work and have available local newspapers for free. Chelsea's, The Bungalow, and Artifacts are three of my favorite shops. Broad Ripple Vintage store is just off the main drag. Check out www.discoverbroadripplevillage.com for a listing of shops, restaurants and maps. Three Sisters Café is my absolute, hands-down favorite spot for lunch! Indy CD & Vinyl is right on Broad Ripple Avenue and is one of the last true music stores to carry vinyl! My brother swears by it:) The Toggery Resale Boutique is a funky, eclectic mix of new and vintage. One of my fave out of the way places is Future Shock. It's a bizarre little punk rock shop, but I like to go there to find unusual bags, sunglasses and t-shirts. You could seriously spend an entire afternoon in Broad Ripple Village and shop! Have fun:)

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    1. PERFECT! Thank you! I'm not sure yet about the car situation, but I will keep all of your recommendations in mind as I plan our itinerary. I SO appreciate all of your help!

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