5 Must-Visit Places In Indianapolis (2022)
The capital city of Indiana, Indianapolis, is your typical Midwestern city. Located southeast of Lake Michigan on the mesmerizing White River, the city sits almost entirely in the center of the state, on a site that was selected by ten government commissioners in 1820 to become the new capital of this beautiful state.
When you visit Indianapolis, you will find there are plenty of stunning places to see and many exciting things to do. From taking a lovely evening stroll along the Canal Walk after having dinner at the waterside to checking out the many attractions downtown. Perhaps what puts the city on the global map is the Indianapolis 500, popularly known as the Indy 500, the famous car race that is held every year on the Sunday before Memorial Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is known to be the world’s biggest single-day sporting event, and it draws hundreds of thousands of fans of the sport to Indianapolis.
5 Must-Visit Places In Indianapolis
Here are some of the best places to visit when you are in Indianapolis.
1. Indianapolis Children’s Museum
A wondrous place to visit with the entire family is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This large and fascinating place is spread over 29 acres in the United Northwest neighborhood of the city. It is known as the largest children’s museum in the world, being home to many different exhibits and hands-on science displays that range from the astronauts living on the International Space Station to the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
This museum is a favorite with children of all ages, but at the same time, it provides an incredible learning experience for the parents as well. Out of the many collections housed here, you will find thousands of artifacts, interactive experiences, and photo opportunities. Some of the popular exhibits you can check out at this famous museum include a children’s theater, planetarium, and many outdoor exhibits, including the hugely awe-inspiring Tree of Sports playground.
Some of the other must-see exhibits here include the 43-foot tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and an interactive playscape that is designed just for preschoolers, and many full-sized dinosaur skeletons, including one of the few mummified dinosaurs in the world.
Apart from offering full-day family outings, the museum also arranges numerous daily events and programs. Some of these exciting events include costume-building workshops, Astronaut Training aboard the International Space Station, and a Secrets of the Lab series where children get to indulge in many do-it-yourself science projects.
Another unique feature of this children’s museum is a restored carousel that dates back to 1917, located on the fourth level of the facility.
2. Indianapolis Zoo
One of the most popular and family-friendly attractions to visit in Indiana is the Indianapolis Zoo. Located in the capital city of Indiana, the zoo opened its gates to the public in 1964, and since then, it has expanded and grown into a place that is synonymous with the city of Indianapolis. Today the zoo is home to over 3,500 animals belonging to 320 species and subspecies. This is a huge number of animals that not many other city zoos can boast of.
The Indianapolis Zoo is the perfect place to visit with children to let them discover and see animals from different ecosystems. And it is the ideal attraction for people of all ages who can spend the day at their own pace, wandering through the various exhibits and trying out new experiences like swimming with the dolphins at the zoo.
In fact, this is the only zoo in the entire Midwest where you can get up close with dolphins in the water. You can also check out the White River Gardens to find out about what all you can do to help conserve plants and animals through their Conservatory Show.
Apart from this, the major attraction of the zoo is the five different biomes, with each biome consisting of plants and animals that are from the same habitat. The five biomes include Oceans, Deserts, Forests, Plains, and Flights of Fancy. Visiting the Indianapolis Zoo is a great experience for the entire family, and you also get the opportunity to visit a zoo, an aquarium, and even a botanical garden all under one roof.
3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
For those who have a need for speed, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the best place to visit in Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the famous IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, and many other leading races in the US. Unlike other states that have many rules about visiting race tracks, you can head over to this motor speedway to watch many famous races, including the popular Indy 500. Not many people know that you can even take a test drive with an on-track experience with the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program that lets you take a car for a spin.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you get to sit behind the wheels of a near NTT IndyCar Series car, which is a car that has actually taken part and competed in the Indy 500 race. While the speed is up to you, but imagine being able to power up to 180 miles an hour.
After spending some time on the track, you can take a full Indianapolis Motor Speedway tour that is offered by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Here you get access to many behind-the-scenes landmarks at the speedway, including learning about the detailed history of this complex.
At the museum, you will also get to check out several rare sports cars, trophies, and many other unique and unusual artifacts from the world of motorsports that are all showcased here in Indianapolis.
4. Market Street Catacombs
One of the most exciting and unique things to do in Indiana is to explore the one-of-its-kind market street catacombs located in the capital city of Indianapolis. This highly mysterious underground network of passageways was constructed in 1886, and it is hidden underneath downtown Indianapolis.
The Market Street Catacombs are spread out over 22,000 square feet, and the elaborate underground system has over 130 columns that give it a labyrinth kind of look and feel. However, visitors can relax knowing that there are no dead bodies or even paranormal sightings here.
Tunneled underneath the streets of this bustling city with brick and limestone archways, the catacombs were used for transporting and storing meats and other products that were to be sold in the City Market. This huge subterranean area remained much cooler than the streets above, which is why the catacombs were used to help preserve food for the whole market at night while the vendors waited to set up stalls again the next day.
Today, over a century later, several parts of the catacombs are still remarkably intact, but certain parts are crumbling because of their limestone foundations. Owing to the excellent preservation efforts of the City Market, the Indianapolis catacombs are one of the few catacomb sites that still exist in the US.
The best way to explore this magnificent underground labyrinth is to join a tour offered by the Indiana Landmarks. There are guided tours that are available on every third first, and third Saturday of the month.
5. Monument Circle in Indianapolis
Located in the heart of Indianapolis is the towering Soldiers and Sailors Monument, that is a delight to capture. The monument comprises the iconic downtown Monument Circle and serves as the true symbol of this beautiful city. Surrounded by magnificent skyscrapers, bustling city streets, and many places to sit and enjoy the view, you can take a walk up the steps inside the monument to check out an observation deck that provides some of the most stunning views of the city.