Top 5 in the Circle City
Just because we are home for a few months doesn't mean we are going to stop exploring or encouraging other people to explore. Something we have always loved about Indianapolis is the fact that it's always changing, there's always something new to experience.
So while we explore the new, we have to appreciate the classics. We've compiled a list of our top 5 things to do if you're only visiting Indianapolis for a short time.
1. Grab a Beer
With 127 breweries, Indiana has cultivated quite the beer scene. We are currently ranked #15 in the US of most breweries. A trip to Indianapolis wouldn't be complete without stopping by Sun King. These guys have been absolutely killing it since they opened less than a decade ago. You can find their flagship brews at most bars in the state but we really suggest you head to the brewery for a wider variety of some killer beers! Their barrel aging and sour programs are incredible. You are sure to find some great beer on tap here that you won't find anywhere else.
After that you can head down to Fletcher Place for some more award winning beer at Chilly Water. Full disclosure this is where MJ has worked since they opened back in 2014. Nonetheless, they have won countless awards at the Indiana Brewers cup as well as medaling at the Great American Beer Festival. Make sure you try all of the lagers on tap. They definitely take pride in making quality lagers. The Built to Last Pilsner is the flagship beer so it's always available. If you get in soon you might get a taste of the G.A.B.F winner Smoke on the Lager Rauchbier, a wonderfully smokey classic German lager. Don't skip the Blood Orange I.P.A. either. It might be the best you've ever had!
Here are some more of our fave Indy breweries: St. Joesphs, Mashcraft, Daredevil, Big Lug Canteen, and Round Town.
If beer isn't your thing, try Hotel Tango for award-winning spirits and a comfy atmosphere (AKA burning fireplace) to drink them in.
2. Explore a Monument
The hoosier state has a rich military history. Indianapolis, second only to Washington, DC, has more war memorials than any other U.S. city. The Indianapolis memorials and monuments along the American Legion Mall are placed in a way that resemble so closely to the long grassy National Mall.
NATIONAL MALL VS AMERICAN LEGION MALL
Soilders & Sailors Monument
This monument is the physical and spiritual heart of Indianapolis. A trip to Indianapolis isn't complete without a stroll around the circle. We are the circle city after all. At 284 feet tall you can either take the elevator for $1 or the stairs to a breath-taking view. The basement also contains a Civil War Museum if you're looking for more of a history aspect.
This memorial honors the Indiana men killed in World War I. Inside is the awe-inspiring Shrine Room which ascends almost 200 feet above street level where a large american flag hangs.
If you walk along the canal (mentioned later in this blog) you will also see the 9/11 memorial, USS Indianapolis Memorial, and the Medal of Honor Memorial.
3. Catch a Minor League Sporting Event
The Pacers and Colts are fun games to attend, but the minor league teams in Indy offer such a great experience for a lot less money! Our soccer team, the Indy 11, has some super fans known as The Brickyard Battalion who occupy one end of the stands ensure you will have a great night! (April-October)
Indiana might be known as a basketball state but don't tell that to the fans that pack the seats at Victory Field for Indians games. They're the Pittsburgh Pirates AAA team so there is always some serious talent rolling through. (April-September)
Last but not least is our hockey team, Indy Fuel. They are a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. The fans are rabid and the action is nonstop. The last game we went to featured 10 total goals and no less than 5 fights! (October-April)
4. Ride Cultural Trail
The Cultural Trail is a bike path that weaves it's way through downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods and is nothing short of spectacular. You can walk the trail but we love biking it best. If you don't have your bike on hand you can always rent one of the Pacers bikes that are located at convenient stops dotted along the trail.
The trail will take you all around the downtown area leading you right to many of the places we've talked about and countless other awesome stops. It rides along the Canal which provides access to many of our museums and is dotted with art.
If you brought your own bike and feel like going for a longer ride outside of downtown then the Cultural Trail is a perfect hub that connects you with several other greenways that offer miles and miles of great riding.
5. Explore One of the Funky Diagonal Streets
If you have never visited Indy, a stroll down Mass Ave or Virginia Avenue is a must. Mass Ave boasts public art, extraordinary restaurants, eclectic shops, and a vibrant night life.
Similarly, Virginia Avenue from, downtown to Fountain Square, has more than enough to keep you busy (and fed) for the day. Indy's bike path, The Cultural Trail, runs the length of the street. Also, three of the best restaurants in the city are all within walking distance of each other: Rook, Milktooth, Bluebeard. Chilly Water & Hotel Tango mentioned under our beer category are also conveniently located here.
We're honored to call Indianapolis our home base. It has provided us with so many ways to be a tourist in our own city.
Indy Love, Love Indy.