top Indianapolis attractions to enjoy on your next trip

top Indianapolis attractions indiana travel guide tips mccall writes

Indianapolis, the capital of the state of Indiana, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. From museums and parks to sports and entertainment venues, there is something for everyone in Indianapolis.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a sports fan, you’ll find plenty of things to do in this bustling Midwestern city. In this article, we’ll explore the top eleven things to do in Indianapolis, so you can plan your trip and make the most of your time in this exciting city.

Table of Contents

Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world. It was built in 1909 and is home to the famous Indianapolis 500, which is considered one of the biggest auto races in the world.  It also hosts other major events, such as NASCAR races and the Brickyard 400.

Visitors can take a tour of the facility, which includes the 2.5 mile track and the Hall of Fame Museum. The museum showcases a collection of racing memorabilia, including vintage cars, photographs, and artifacts. 

Hang Out at Tapper’s Arcade Bar

Tappers Arcade Bar in Indianapolis is a unique and exciting destination that offers a perfect mix of nostalgia and entertainment. This classic arcade bar is the ideal spot for those looking to unwind, have fun, and enjoy some delicious drinks. The bar boasts over 60 classic arcade games, including favorites like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Mortal Kombat. 

Apart from the arcade games, Tappers Bar also serves a range of tasty food and drinks. The bar has an extensive selection of craft beers, wine, cocktails, and spirits, which can be paired with their signature pub-style food such as burgers, fries, and wings. This makes Tappers Bar an ideal location for groups looking for a fun night out or a casual date night.

One of the best things about Tappers Bar is its unique atmosphere. The dimly lit space, combined with the glow of the arcade games, creates a cozy and inviting ambiance that is perfect for a night out. The staff at Tappers Bar is also incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the games and drinks they serve, making it a fun and interactive experience. 

Explore the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum in the world, featuring over 120,000 artifacts and exhibits. It offers a variety of interactive experiences for children and families to explore science, technology, culture, and history.

Visitors can climb aboard a virtual space shuttle, learn about the world’s ecosystems, experience a dinosaur exhibit, and much more. The museum also has an outdoor sports experience zone where children can try their hand at various sports and activities.

Check out the Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is a popular attraction in the city, known for its wide range of animals and interactive experiences. The zoo is home to over 1,200 animals from around the world, including elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes, and more.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibits, such as the Plains, Oceans, and Forests biomes, as well as special events and programs throughout the year. The zoo also has a petting zoo area, where guests can interact with domestic animals like goats and sheep. 

Walk around the Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. It is one of the largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States, featuring over 54,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of history. The museum’s collection includes a diverse range of art forms, from ancient pottery to contemporary sculpture, and from European paintings to African textiles.

Visitors can explore the galleries and immerse themselves in the world of art, learning about different cultures and time periods through the lens of artistic expression. The museum also hosts special exhibitions, lectures, and events throughout the year, making it a dynamic and exciting destination for art lovers of all ages.

Visit the Indiana State Capitol Building

The Indiana State Capitol Building in Indianapolis is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture. Completed in 1888, the building is one of the tallest statehouses in the United States, standing at 242 feet tall.

Visitors can take free guided tours to learn about the building’s history and architecture, as well as the legislative process in Indiana. The interior of the building features ornate marble floors and columns, as well as stunning murals and artwork. The building is also home to a number of important government offices, including the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Indiana.

Tour the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is a must-visit attraction for those interested in exploring the culture and art of Native Americans and the American West. The museum is located in downtown Indianapolis and is one of only two museums east of the Mississippi River dedicated to Native American and Western art.

The museum’s permanent collection boasts over 6,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts from Native American cultures and the American West. And it also hosts a variety of rotating exhibitions and educational programs that showcase the rich history and diversity of the region. 

Stroll through White River State Park

White River State Park is a scenic urban park located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The park stretches over 250 acres and features numerous attractions for visitors of all ages.

The park is home to several museums, including the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful gardens and water features, as well as take a stroll along the scenic walking trails. The park also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, art fairs, and food festivals.

Additionally, the park is adjacent to the Indianapolis Zoo, providing visitors with easy access to even more attractions.

Catch a game at Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. It is the home field of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and also hosts college football games, concerts, and other events. The stadium has a retractable roof that can be opened or closed in approximately 11 minutes.

The stadium can accommodate up to 70,000 spectators and features a state-of-the-art sound system and video screens. Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted several major events, including the 2012 Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament.

Visitors to Indianapolis can take a guided tour of the stadium to see the locker rooms, field, and other areas behind the scenes.

Visit the Indiana War Memorial

The Indiana War Memorial is a stunning monument dedicated to the memory of Indiana’s war veterans. The memorial was built in the 1920s to honor Hoosiers who served in World War I, but later expanded to include those who fought in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The centerpiece of the memorial is a 210-foot-tall obelisk made of Indiana limestone that is visible from miles away.

Visitors can take a tour of the memorial and learn about Indiana’s contributions to the wars, as well as view artifacts from the wars. The memorial also features a museum with exhibits on military history, as well as a shrine room that honors Indiana’s fallen soldiers.

Experience the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

The Indiana Cultural Trail is a unique and innovative addition to the city of Indianapolis. This eight-mile urban trail runs through the heart of downtown and connects five cultural districts, offering visitors a safe and scenic way to explore the city. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling and features public art, beautiful landscaping, and numerous attractions along the way.

Highlights include the historic Fountain Square neighborhood, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indianapolis Zoo. The trail also provides easy access to restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Are You Heading to Indianapolis Soon?

Indianapolis is a vibrant city with a variety of attractions and activities that are perfect for travelers of all ages and interests. If you’re headed to the city soon for a day trip or a weekend getaway, make sure to check out some of these great spots! 

For more day trip recommendations, drop a comment or shoot me a message on Instagram!

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