Top Things to Do in Indianapolis

Check out our guide for what to see, where to eat and where to stay in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis skyline from White River State Park
Photo: Jason Lavengood/Visit Indy

Sports are a big deal in the capital city—consider the Indy 500, the Colts, the Pacers, the Fever and the NCAA Hall of Champions. But explore cultural destinations, too, including art, history and children's museums. Whether you have a weekend or a full week, you're traveling solo or as a family unit, this guide has ideas for every traveler.


Broad Ripple Village

This ethnically diverse Broad Ripple area has an array of cafes, art galleries, brewpubs and indie shops.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

The world's largest children's museum recently added a $38.5 million sports-theme expansion with 15 experiences, including a mini Colts football field and Indy 500 pedal cars. Inside, Mini Masterpieces got a new home with better ways to examine miniature scenes.

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art hoop dancer
Courtesy of Eiteljorg Museum

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Works of Indigenous art are contextualized in thought-provoking ways at the Eiteljorg Museum. The annual Indian Market and Festival (June 24-25, 2023)—featuring music, dance, storytelling, food, and works from more than 140 artists—has been one of Indy's premier summer events since 1993.

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center

At the center's Chuck Taylor All Star, visitors investigate the story of Taylor's contribution to basketball and the famous Converse All Star shoe via interactive experiences, artifacts and images (through January 27, 2025). The cabaret-style Cole Porter Room focuses on the Hoosier's life and his music.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

The 8-mile bike/pedestrian path links six cultural districts, each with its own personality. Public art installations, such as the Glick Peace Walk, make the trail even better. Guided tours focus on topics such as the local food scene.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Courtesy of Visit Indy

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Fans consider the home of the Indy 500 a pilgrimage site. On nonrace days, zip down the track in a car reaching up to 180 mph. (The speedway's museum, undergoing an $89 million renovation, is expected to be closed from November 2023 until April 2025).

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Part of the 152-acre Newfields campus that also includes a sculpture park, beer garden and the Lilly House mansion, the Indianapolis Museum of Art takes you on a global art journey with exhibits ranging from ancient Grecian art to textile and fashion arts. THE LUME Indianapolis highlights immersive digital art.

Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens

Set aside a few hours to explore the five biomes at this zoo. Book ahead for an Animal Art Adventure if you'd like to work with an animal to create a painting.

Indiana State Museum

Exhibits at Indiana State Museum inspire appreciation for the state's natural and cultural history. Explore an ice age-era cave or try loading a Conestoga wagon.

Massachusetts Avenue

Alfresco dining options, art galleries, and shops make this area popular with both residents and visitors.

NCAA Hall of Champions

Two levels of exhibits let you test your athletic abilities as well as your knowledge of NCAA sports at the Hall of Champions.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument Indianapolis
Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

In the heart of downtown, the limestone monument soars 284 feet into the air. Take the elevator (or climb 331 steps) to the observation deck.

The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park: 100 Acres

Modern works—like Los Carpinteros' Free Basket—dot the former quarry's woodlands and meadows along the west side of the Newfields art campus.

White River State Park

Follow the path along the canal as it flows past some of the city's top attractions in White River State Park, including the zoo, Victory Field, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. To explore the park, rent bikes or pedal boats, or take a gondola ride.

Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis
Cliff Ritchey/Visit Indy

Eat and Drink


Jonathan Brooks' sophomore restaurant in Indy, the chef's inventiveness shines in dishes like grilled cucumber salad tossed in vinaigrette of the cuke's charred skin.


The farm-to-table menu at Bluebeard changes daily but might feature salmon with broccoli rabe or chicken with cashew-and-caper berry relish served in a renovated 1924 factory warehouse.

Bru Burger Bar

Order one of Bru Burger's more than a dozen chef-inspired burger variations, including the namesake with toppings like Taleggio cheese and onion.

Cafe Patachou

Local ingredients star in the lineup of omelets, waffles and Broken Yolk Sandwiches (fried eggs with add-ons) (multiple locations).

The Cake Bake Shop

Elegant sweet treats and a storybook atmosphere draw diners to the Broad Ripple shop and a second location in Carmel.

Harry and Izzy's

The younger, less-expensive sister of St. Elmo Steak House has an upscale atmosphere with rich wood interiors and items like a prime rib sandwich.


Order a taste of Latin America with foods like empanadas, paella and. plantains, paired with a margarita or Latin-inspired cocktail. The restored 1890s two-story building was once a horse stable.

milktooth brunch indianapolis
Kevin J. Miyazaki


Breakfast is a serious business at Milktooth. We love the Dutch baby pancakes, which might come savory (with dates, Manchego, almonds and smoked olive oil) or sweet (with rhubarb and lavender crème fraîche.)

Public Greens

The menu at Public Greens leans on locally grown produce, while profits help feed at-risk and food-insecure children.

Shapiro's Delicatessen

The family-owned spot, which dates to 1905, continues to churn out fist-thick corned beef, pastrami and brisket sandwiches. Try the coconut cream pie for dessert.

Sun King Brewery

Stop by the downtown location for tours and sips of brews like Orange Vanilla Sunlight Cream Ale.


A hydroponic wall of greens shows off the restaurant's commitment to fresh ingredients. The tasting menu lets you sample creations like lobster terrine.

bottleworks hotel exterior
Courtesy of Visit Indy


The Alexander

Works curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art decorate the lobby of this 209-room boutique hotel. Get skyline views along with your sips at the updated Plat 99 Coffee + Cocktails.

Bottleworks Hotel

The 139-room boutique lodging recently opened in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant. It's part of the $300 million Bottleworks project, which also includes The Garage food hall.

Conrad Indianapolis

All rooms feature plush bedding and marble in the bathrooms, but if you want to splurge, book one of four suites with original art by Picasso, Dalí and Warhol.

JW Marriott Indianapolis

Guests at this 33-story blue-glass behemoth enjoy easy access to downtown.

Le Méridien Indianapolis

The 100-room 1928 hotel sports a modern palette of black, white and gray. Kick back with a cocktail in the Spoke and Steele restaurant.

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