Indianapolis International Airport, on the west side of town, is a relatively short drive from downtown.
In general, getting to or from Indianapolis by air requires flying through a hub city like Chicago. However, ATA is based in Indianapolis, and Northwest plans to offer, as of October 2004, 36 direct flights per day from Indianapolis to 13 destinations. (In October, with increased flights planned, ATA will also offer the same number of daily flights to the same number of destinations.) There is also direct service by Southwest .
By train and bus
The Hoosier State train (Amtrak) runs daily between Chicago and Indianapolis with reserved coach service.
Two daily Greyhound bus round trips go to/from Chicago's Union Station, providing same-day connections to Amtrak's multiple departures from Chicago.
Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" for good reason. Four major interstate highways intersect in the city, keeping it within one day's drive of more than half of the US population. Many federal and state highways also allow connections within the state and surrounding states.
Cities within a few hours drive are Cincinnati, Ohio (2 hours to the southeast) Columbus, Ohio (3 hours to the east), Chicago, Illinois (4 hours to the northwest), St. Louis, Missouri (4 hours to the west), and Louisville, Kentucky (2 hours to the south). Interstates serving Indianapolis are I-70, I-65, I-69, and I-74. Of those interstates, I-69 ends on the Northeast side of the city. I-65 and I-70 pass through downtown, and I-74 uses part of the outer loop, I-465, as its major route around the Southside.
Indianapolis has plenty of the usual suspects - large indoor malls and plenty of "big box" stores. Worth mentioning is the Circle Centre Mall downtown.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has a new (as of 2004), permanent exhibit on dinosaurs ("dinosphere")
Indianapolis is a very safe city, and has the typical Midwest sense of hospitality.
There is a 2001 book called Day Trips from Indianapolis that covers hundreds of things to do and see, most within a two-hour drive of Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is warm in the summer, with average highs in the mid-80s in June, July, and August, and can be unpleasantly humid as well. January is the coldest month, with an average high during the day of 34 degrees. As of 2006 Indianapolis and the majority of the state of Indiana are now on Eastern Time and DO observe daylight savings time in the summer.
Travel by car (truck/minivan/SUV) is the obvious choice, but it is possible to get around by bus, supplemented by walking. For car travel, I-465 loops around the city to provide easy access to surrounding counties as well as circumventing city streets when crossing the city. Most major streets are accessible by one of the interstates running through or around the city. Indianapolis is laid out on a grid system - all addresses in the city correspond to the distance the location is from the center of the city at Meridian and Washington.
Indianapolis is fairly flat (not surprising for the Midwest), so bicycling is possible, though not common. (Weather extremes, including rain, and dealing with gasoline-powered vehicles, are not conducive to bike use, at least for commuting and tourism.)
• The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the home of three major races each year: the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, and the US Grand Prix . The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum has more than 75 vehicles, including the Marmon "Wasp," which won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race in 1911.
• There is a nice zoo near downtown; next to it is the White River Gardens . Nearby is the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art .
• Also downtown, you can see the Pacers (men's basketball), the Indiana Fever (women's basketball), the Colts (regular football), and the Indianapolis Indians (triple-A baseball, one level below major league play). For even more sports, you can visit the NCAA Hall of Champions .
• The Indianapolis Museum of Art is located at 4000 Michigan Road, near Butler University, north and west of downtown.
• Some nice walks and bikes are available along the old canals, including the Downtown Canalwalk and the Central Canal Walk to the north.
• Among the golf courses, the Brickyard Crossing is unusual for having four holes inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
• You can attend a program by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra or the Indianapolis Opera .
• Attend professional year round ghost tours with unseenpress.com - Historic Indiana Ghost Walks & Tours . Various walking tours and bus tours are available in different parts of the metro area. Focusing on real haunted stories from real believes with a good dose of history.
• Get the shrimp at the St. Elmo Steak House downtown. Note the sauce is VERY hot.
• Also dependable as a place to spend freely is Ruth's Chris Steak House (there are two, one downtown and one Northside).
• Indianapolis Monthly has a good restaurant guide in every issue.
• The Rathskeller's Kellerbar, 401 E. Michigan Street (in the Athenaeum Building at the intersection of E. Michigan Street with N. New Jersey Street and E. Massachusetts Avenue), +1 317-636-0396 (fax: +1 317-630-4652). M-Su, 3 PM to close. German beerhall-style bar connected to the city's oldest restaurant (the Rathskeller) in the basement of the historic (1894) Athenaeum Building. Crowded on weekends. Beer garden open in summer
• Broad Ripple is the neighborhood for bars, nightclubs and nightlife.
• Liquor laws in Indiana do not allow the sale of beer or alcohol on Sundays. The only exception is in restaurants. They also make it impossible for smaller music venues to serve any type of alcohol if people under 21 are admitted.
For those inclined to splurge, there is no five-star hotel in Indianapolis (no Ritz-Carleton or Four Seasons), but there are several four-star (approximately) hotels downtown (Canterbury, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Omni Severin, and Westin) and at least one (Omni Indianapolis North) on the periphery. Some of these have rooms for less than $200 per night. The Canterbury is the infamous Mike Tyson hotel.
• The Adams Mark hotel downtown has (as of August 2004) become a Hilton hotel, and the new owners will reportedly spend $6.5 million on renovations, mostly in the lobby area.
• Wyndham Indianapolis Hotel 251 East Pennsylvania Parkway. (317) 574-4600. Just north of downtown.
There are also many budget-conscious options to choose from. Here are a few:
• Clarion Indianapolis Hotel at Waterfront Plaza 2930 Waterfront Parkway. (317) 299-8400. Located between the areas' two lakes, the hotel is only located 3 miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4 miles from Indianapolis Raceway Park, and 12 miles from downtown Indianapolis.
• Clarion NW Indianapolis Hotel 7001 Corporate Dr. (317) 298-3700. Enjoy the indoor heated pool, hot spa, and exercise facility after a long day of work or play. Located by Park 100 and Intech Park, which is home to many companies, including Hurco, Acterna, UPS, U.S. Customs.
• Comfort Inn East Indianapolis Hotel 2295 N. Shadeland. (317) 359-9999. On the East Side of Indianapolis.
• Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown Indianapolis 530 S. Capitol Ave. (317) 631-9000. Within easy access of local restaurants and major attractions in downtown Indianapolis.
• Comfort Inn & Suites At The Pyramids 9090 Wesleyan Rd. (317) 875-7676. Situated at the center of several industrial and corporate office parks, the hotel is only a short distance to all major interstates, neighborhood shopping, and numerous dining options.
• Comfort Inn South Indianapolis Hotel 5040 S. East St. (317) 783-6711. 10 minutes south of Downtown Indianapolis, Conseco Fieldhouse, and RCA Dome. The Indianapolis International Airport is conveniently located 10 miles east and the Indianapolis 500 is 15 miles east.
• Comfort Inn West Indianapolis Hotel 5855 Rockville Rd. (317) 487-9800. 15 minutes west of Downtown Indianapolis - a great location for those visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Covered Bridge Festival, Eagle Creek Park, Major Taylor Velodrome or many other great attractions.
• Comfort Suites Indianapolis 9760 Crosspoint Blvd. (317) 578-1200.
• Econo Lodge Downtown Hotel Indianapolis 1530 North Meridian. (317) 634-6100.
• Econo Lodge North Indianapolis Hotel 3880 W. 92nd St. (317) 872-3100. Conveniently located 'just minutes' from Downtown Indianapolis, St. Vincent's Hospital, the Children's Museum, Indianapolis Zoo and Conseco Fieldhouse and 20 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport.
• Econo Lodge South Indianapolis 4505 S. Harding St. (317) 788-9361.
• Quality Inn & Suites Airport 2631 S. Lynhurst Drive. (317) 381-1000. Located approximately 1.5 miles east of the Airport at the junction of Lynhurst Drive Airport Expressway.
• Quality Inn Suites Indianapolis 4345 Southport Crossing Way. (317) 859-8888
• Sleep Inn Indianapolis Hotel 5845 Rockville Rd. (317) 247-4100. Conveniently located on the West Side of Indianapolis at I-465 and exit 13A (Rockville Road). Our location is only 2 miles north of the Indianapolis International Airport and only 7 miles west of downtown Indianapolis.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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