Downtown Green Space: Discover the Canal

This past weekend, my wife and I ran a 5K in downtown Indianapolis that benefitted the local Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. We ended getting downtown pretty early so we decided to go for a walk to warm up our legs.


Since the race started in White River State Park – a 250 acre green space right in downtown Indianapolis and home to the Indianapolis Zoo – it was easy to decide where to walk. The Indy Canal is one of my favorite features in the entire city.

If you’ve never seen or walked on the canal, it’s absolutely worth your time. It’s a three mile loop that winds through downtown and is dotted with all kinds of things to do along the way. If you’re in the museum type of mood, you can stop in at the Indiana Historical Society, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art or the Indiana State Museum – which also has an IMAX theatre. If you want to get on the water, you can rent all sorts of items like paddleboats, kayaks and even a guided tour on a gondola. If you prefer to stay on land, rent a Segway and cruise the canal on two wheels.

If it’s exercise you’re looking for, there’s a place with a bunch of different bikes you can rent (see previous link), or you can even just go for an old fashioned run. The second half of our 5K was on the canal and it’s one of the best places in town to run, in my opinion.

After all of that, you’re going to be hungry and the Indy Canal has you covered for that as well. There’s indoor and outdoor seating to be had at Sky City Café, Canal Café and Terrace, The Stardust Terrace Café and at the dynamic Buggs Temple – which houses two restaurants, Euphoria and Creation Café. For my wife and me, it’s one of the best spots to eat on a Spring, Summer or Fall evening.

Where’s your favorite place to exercise, be on the water or eat in Indy?

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This entry was posted in Arts, Beer, Blog, Dining, Family
Tagged: Buggs Temple, canal, eiteljorg, exercise, food, IMAX, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Museum, indianapolis, Indy.
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  • Nathan Miller

    We live on the Canal directly across from the IUPUI campus and run part of my 6 mile run every morning on the canal, and its absolutely gorgeous every single time. Im glad you got to experience the 5K downtown with us. Also thank you for putting a spot light on many places whom live around/in the city take for grated everyday, like the museums, and little local owned food establishments along the way. These little food restaurants have some of the best, and most unique and innovative dishes coming out of the kitchens anywhere in the city and we cant forget the “Left Bank Cafe”, which is on the Canal, in between the white river park, and Buggs Temple…Great little spot that specializes in Crepes and Salads!

  • ngramman

    The canal area is one of the gems of Indy!

  • Kirk

    Thanks for the comments and the suggestion on Left Bank Cafe!

    • Nathan Miller

      Oh no worries! Just love to see people get out and experience our little corner of the world know as the Canal, and rant and rave about it! Very hip! And yes the Left Bank is directly under the Michigan and Indiana Ave streets as they cross over the canal. But again nice piece and glad you had fun, were getting active, and also supporting a great cause!