UPDATE: While this post was originally written before the Indianapolis 500, these 5 things are SO awesome that you can do them anytime you visit Indy.
Thank the heavens my friends- the Indy 500 has arrived and this Sunday, the largest single day sporting event in the world will take place! I could go on at length about the Indianapolis 500, as I’ve been attending since I was a young lad, but luckily, my amigos have already written and chronicled life in the infield and the best places to watch the race.
This post, however, is your guide to the 5 things that I demand you see and do while visiting Indianapolis for the Indy 500 (or any time for that mater).
5. Broad Ripple & Fountain Square
Indy has 6 awesomely unique cultural districts, all worth spending time exploring, but Broad Ripple and Fountain Square are my favorite spots in Indianapolis to hang out.
Broad Ripple is a trendy spot known for its amazing nightlife and bars. There are some great independent joints, restaurants and funky boutiques, but the bars are what send people en masse to this cool village. Whether you dig a dive bar, a sports bar, or anything in between, you can find a place to get a little crazy.
Fountain Square is very similar in its offerings, but the feel is much different. With beautiful European architecture and awesome art galleries, you really can spend an entire day exploring, eating and checking out some of the best contemporary art in the city.
4. Unwind on the Monon Trail
Whether you can bike, run, or leisurely stroll, you should definitely head towards the 16.1 mile Monon Trail that runs throughout Indianapolis. If the weather is great, head to Broad Ripple, jump on the trail and take one of the most scenic walks in Indy.
If you’re feeling wild and crazy, you could even bike or run on the Monon from Broad Ripple all the way to Downtown (or the other way). It truly is a great and relaxing way to see the city.
3. Indy Brewery Tour
Since 2009, there has been what some have called a microbrewing renaissance here in Indianapolis. After the opening of Indy’s own Sun King Brewing, a handful of talented brewers have been opening up their own breweries throughout the city. Don’t take my word for it, check out this previous post from the Hoosier Beer Geek here.
Grab a few friends, a bike or a designated driver and tour all of these Indianapolis breweries: your Brewery Tour Itinerary
2. Indianapolis Museum of Art
This museum ain’t your grandmother’s museum. The IMA is by far one of the best stops to make in Indianapolis if you like art. It not only has amazing exhibits that have been raved about by people all over the country, but it’s also free. Yes, free.
With works from just about every time period and type, you can really spend the entire day wandering and getting inspired.
If the weather is great, head outside to the Art & Nature park: it’s 100 acres of contemporary outdoor art placed throughout the grounds.
1. Lafayette Ethnic Food Corridor
The Lafayette Ethnic Food Corridor, aka the International Marketplace, is a large area of the city on the Westside near the speedway that isn’t the most glamorous part of town, but it’s home to the best ethnic food in the city, and even the nation.
You could spend every meal in that area and still come back the next day for more.
So there you have it. After you’re done partying it up in the infield or the stands at the 500, you still have 5 more places you need to go. Enjoy!