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From Speedway To State Park: 10 Best Things To Do In Indianapolis

things to do in indianapolis
John
John
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Indianapolis is truly a city like no other. Its athletics venues, dynamic state parks characterized by breathtaking natural views, recreational opportunities and artistic encounters truly make for an appreciation of the Midwest’s best. From the thrill-seeking endeavors of EPIC Climbing and Fitness to the opportunity visitors have to exist among true history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you’re sure to find an attraction in the epicenter of Indiana’s activity that proves to your liking! Make sure to check our recommended list of the absolute best attractions in Indianapolis to make your stay in the region, no matter its duration, truly an unforgettable one!

1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2007 Indianapolis 500 - Starting field formation before start
Source: Photo by user The359 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Begin your visit to the best of the Midwest the right way with a visit to the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway! The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the world-recognized pinnacle of racing, the Indianapolis 500, featuring the talents of racing legends like Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick and Dan Wheldon. This venue also offers an unbeatable variety of on-track experience packages and while you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, a testament to the various high-profile accomplished registered by those whose names are forever etched in the Borg-Warner Indianapolis 500 Trophy. Come check out this establishment like none other, because whether you’re planning on taking advantage of a VIP Grounds Tour, or you’re just in the habit of existing among history, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has something for anyone seeking to experience the thrill of speed-induced adrenaline!

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Address: 4790 W 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46222

Website: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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2. The Children's Museum

The need for speed is real. 🏎️ There's only one week left until the opening of Hot Wheels: Race to Win! Get ready to...

Posted by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis on Saturday, 6 May 2017

Take full advantage of the family friendly atmosphere at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum! This award winning attraction is as affordable as it is entirely unforgettable with a diversified variety of youth-centered attractions intended to foster child development and promote growth with regard to motor skills. The Children’s Museum is also the tried and tested Indianapolis location where children can let their creative side loose! Home to a host of constantly changing, professional exhibits, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum allows families to learn together. The wonders of the dinosaur age, the intricacies of the IndyCar series, the mystery of space beyond the limits of the atmosphere and more are all virtual staples of this venue, a setting that does well to introduce youth to the majesty of the beautiful world around them! Foster in your youth a feeling of positivity and discovery when you frequent the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, home to the state’s best learning experience that the entire family can enjoy!

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Address: 3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Website: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

3. Indianapolis Zoo

Posted by Indianapolis Zoo on Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Indianapolis Zoo is where nature comes alive. This family-friendly location is now easier than ever before to enjoy, with affordable ticket options available for the entire family, both online and at all entrance gates! Recognized as one of the top zoos worldwide, this award-winning venue displays its innate capacity to wow locals and visitors to the area alike, as their animals and exhibits prove nothing short of spectacular. With seasonal events including Christmas at the Zoo, the Indianapolis Zoo provides event and group discounts, specialized experiences for young visitors, educational and conservatory opportunities, and a lighthearted, privileged ambiance throughout. It isn’t difficult to find a good time at the Indianapolis Zoo; prepare to discover a smile on your face that proves as wide as this venue’s diversity of attractions!

Indianapolis Zoo

Address: 1200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222

Website: Indianapolis Zoo

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

4. NCAA Hall of Champions


At the NCAA Hall of Champions, history is immortalized. This living, growing testament to the athletics accomplishments of NCAA teams past, the NCAA Hall of Champions always has some ceremony transpiring that’s well worthy of your attention. Even when they’re not inducting new members to their halls, this establishment has much to offer to even the common visitor. Part museum, part event and conference center, this crown jewel of downtown Indianapolis hangs championship banners, exhibits game-used memorabilia and offers complete statistical records within their archives. It’s a visit to authentic NCAA historicity at the NCAA Hall of Champions, where the past and athletic prowess collide!

NCAA Hall of Champions

Address: 700 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: NCAA Hall of Champions

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5. White River State Park


Home to pristine natural sights just outside of the downtown portion of Indianapolis, White River State Park offers you the shade of tall trees, recreational opportunities, and a chance to appreciate the sunshine which frequently typifies the beautiful Indiana outdoors. Boasting 250 acres of green, open park life, the White River State Park can easily turn your visit to Indianapolis into an unforgettable one, with dynamic options like their 1.5 mile canal, IMAX Theater, Celebration Plaza, Eiteljorg Museum Lawn and the outdoor Children’s Maze! With expansive grounds, forgiving shadows, and ample opportunities to rest your legs beneath the shades of leafy trees, the White River State Park truly has something to offer to everyone who frequents its grounds. Make the next easy decision and come visit the White River State Park, because whether it’s the freshly manicured Governor’s Lawn or the art of Bison Plaza, you’re sure to redefine your expectations of the Indianapolis outdoors!

White River State Park

Address: 801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: White River State Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

6. Indianapolis Museum of Art

Big news today about our LOVE sculpture! On January 9, LOVE will temporarily go off view from our Dudley and Mary Louise...

Posted by Indianapolis Museum of Art on Thursday, 8 December 2016

Marvel at the greatest artistic works available for display in the entire state, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art! With seasonal events and constantly changing exhibits, this affordable downtown Indianapolis attraction promises to deliver on its guarantee of authentic artistic masterpieces, all presented in a contemporary setting, the likes of which foster learning and excitement alike! The museum’s friendly art experts are available to answer any and all of your inquiries, and with offered films, classes and onsite talks, this venue is more than a simple series of exhibits! Visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art, for the perfect manifestation of art delivered right to your backyard! Their unique collections of modern, ancient, and dated pieces of various mediums will deservingly tug on your mind and heart alike. Check out the best artistic venue in the state of Indiana, where art and experience collide!

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Address: 4000 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Website: Indianapolis Museum of Art

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7. Indiana War Memorial

A post shared by Visit Indy (@visitindy) on May 18, 2017 at 5:41am PDT


Conceptualized in 1919, the Indiana War Memorial, located in the heart of Indianapolis, exists today as a memorial to veterans who call both Indiana and the United States their home. The Indiana War Memorial is a testament to their character and perseverance and to the fruits of their labor which we call our freedom. Five blocks long and home to the American legion, a U.S. organization for veterans, this venue also includes a memorial fountain and museum and is characterized by statues and greenery. The outdoor establishment promotes an atmosphere of respect but also allows those passerby to enjoy the the beautifully manicured landscapes which decorate the scene, as well as the events which are regularly hosted on its dignified grounds. Whether you’re there to take in the Veterans Memorial Plaza, University Park or Depew Memorial Fountain or simply to pay your respects for those who continuously pave the way for our own liberty on the front lines, the Indiana War Memorial makes Indianapolis a city not only of excitement but of virtue.

Indiana War Memorial

Address: 431 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: Indiana War Memorial

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

8. The Eiteljorg Museum

A post shared by Jamie Perkins (@cptncvmn) on May 10, 2017 at 12:40pm PDT


Though its full name, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, provides more than adequate backstory for the myriad contents inside the museum itself which prove worthy of your viewing and attention, locals know the the reputable establishment as the Eiteljorg Museum, an authentic indoor witness to American Indian life and heritage. Take in genuine culture, expertly preserved for a beautiful educational experience for all who frequent the site. With the Eiteljorg Museum’s extensive collection of untouched, lasting Native American artistry, side by side with other renowned works of Western American art, there’s truly something at this popular destination for everyone to enjoy. Come enjoy what proves to be both a historical enlightenment and an educational experience and cross the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art off of your Indianapolis essentials bucket list!

The Eiteljorg Museum

Address: 500 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: The Eiteljorg Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

9. Indiana Repertory Theatre

Matt Mueller and Sarah Ruggles in IRT's 2017 production of Dial "M" for Murder. Photo by Zach Rosing.

Posted by Indiana Repertory Theatre on Monday, 24 April 2017

The Indiana Repertory Theatre makes theatrical presentations come fully alive, courtesy of professional acting troupes and dynamic stage sets! A modern repertory cast, meaning the cast is capable of performing multiple shows simultaneously, the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis exists today as a valued member of the local League of Resident Theatres. Capable of putting on nine to ten plays within the course of a calendar season, much of the work that this Indianapolis theatrical staple hosts is Shakespearian in nature, though obviously they do not limit themselves to the Elizabethan era. With seasonal events and available discounts, come see The Three Musketeers, Agatha Sale, A Christmas Carol or any of the other works of professional, top-notch artistry that the Indiana Repertory Theatre hosts for your viewing pleasure!

Indiana Repertory Theatre

Address: 140 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: Indiana Repertory Theatre

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

10. The Keystone Fashion Mall

Posted by The Fashion Mall at Keystone on Friday, 9 November 2012

Your search for the ideal retail getaway has found its end at the Keystone Fashion Mall. Located in Indianapolis and home to many of your favorite retail outlets, this viable shopping getaway aims to prove itself a luxury outlet. With a diversified variety of boutique, clothing, specialty, and cuisine stops, all of which provide the perfect blend of affordability and uniqueness, you’re sure to find the perfect gift, wardrobe item or retail discovery to make a great day into an unforgettable one! Open since 1973, the Keystone Fashion Mall currently hosts 95 independent vendors, and its newly renovated expansive spaces easily bridge the gap between high expectations and higher realities. Keep a good time going when you make the Keystone Fashion Mall in Indianapolis your next shopping destination!

The Keystone Fashion Mall

Address: 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Website: The Keystone Fashion Mall

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, US

An endeavor worth remembering

You’re sure to find the perfect combination of thrill and lasting satisfaction when you choose to enjoy the best attractions and amenities that the great city of Indianapolis has to offer you. Whether it’s the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or the NCAA Hall of Champions, the natural beauty of White River State Park or mankind’s capacity for artistry at the Indianapolis Museum of Art that you find most fascinating, we guarantee that Indianapolis brims with exclusively premium options with regard to venues for your immediate enjoyment. Take advantage of everything that Indianapolis has to offer, and make sure you check out our recommended list of the absolute best of the best Indianapolis attractions in existence, to transform your visit into an endeavor worth remembering!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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John Gallagher is a digital marketing consultant and writer from San Diego, California. When he isn't thoroughly enjoying the writing process or pretending he thoroughly enjoys the revision...Read more

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