Indianapolis General Attractions
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1909, this world-famous speedway is home to Indianapolis 500 Race in May and Brickyard 400 stock car race in August – these two racing events are two of the largest in the world. If you haven’t booked a room in advance during these events, don’t even think about coming to the what is affectionately called the “Brickyard”. The speedway is used for high-speed testing the rest of the year. In 1994, the Speedway hosted its first Brickyard 400 NASCAR Series race. The speedway includes a Hall of Fame of Museum with about 75 cars representing a diverse collection of early 20th century American and European sports cars, motorcycles and other special interest vehicles. Race fans will enjoy seeing 30 cars, trophies, photographs, helmets, uniforms, goggles driven by Indianapolis 500 winners on display. A historic video is shown every 20 minutes. Tour bus rides around the track available at a small fee when the track is not in use.
ADMISSION: Under $10, age 5 and under enter Free
DAYS & HOURS: museum March-October 9a-5p, November-February 10a-4p
ADDRESS: 4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
PARKING: read the extensive parking information on their website for big events
Indianapolis Arts Garden
DESCRIPTION: Operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the garden is an environment for 300 annual free performances and exhibits housed in a seven-story glass enclosure with good to the west. Arts Garden connects Circle Center Mall by and a couple hotels.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 9a-9:30p, Sun Noon-6:30p
ADDRESS: Washington at Illinois Streets, Indianapolis, IN MAP
City Market and Massachusetts Avenue
DESCRIPTION: City Market is a place of quaint and plentiful dining choices by local merchants and a charming Farmers Market in the 5-block Mass Ave Arts District. Fancy galleries, theatres, and restaurants along intermingle with a theatre district featuring American Cabaret Theatre, Theatre on the Square, and Phoenix Theatre among them.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 6a-6p, Sat 8a-4p
ADDRESS: 222 East Market Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
DESCRIPTION: On this beautifully preserved historic waterway, enjoy carefree walks, bridges, boats. Its great location for pictures. African-Americans lived along the canal in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Highlights along the canal include Bethel AME Church, White River State Park, IMAX 3D Theatre, Indiana State Library and the NCAA Headquarters.
DAYS & HOURS: sunrise to sunset
ADDRESS: next to White River State Park at 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Memorial
DESCRIPTION: Hailed as one of the world’s greatest monuments, it has become the most recognizable icon of Indianapolis and Indiana; made of limestone from local quarries, the monument stands 284 feet, 6 inches high. It cost $598,318 to build in 1902. Today, its estimated to cost more than $500,000,000 to build. Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is in the lower level of the monument.
DAYS & HOURS: Wed-Sun 10a-6p
ADDRESS: Meridian Street at Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Indiana War Memorial Museum & Plaza
DESCRIPTION: One of the nation’s grand plazas and highlighted by a neoclassical Indiana War Memorial that is square with Ionic columns and topped with a pyramidal dome. The upper level is the 110′ tall Shrine Room, symbolizing peace and unity is made of materials from all over the world, symbolic of the world wide nature of the “Great War”. The Military Heritage of Black Americans in National Defense collection includes photos and historical documents from the Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Vietnam, World War II, Korea, Spanish American, American Revolution and Civil Wars. The collection is located on bottom floor. The main floor houses exhibit space, the administrative offices, two meeting rooms, and the Pershing Auditorium. Listed on this level are the names of all Indiana residents who participated in WWI and all Hoosiers killed or MIA from WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. Military firearms, a Korean War era helicopter, a Navy Terrier missile and hundreds of other artifacts are present.
DAYS & HOURS: Wed-Sun 9a-6p
ADDRESS: Vermont, Meridian, Michigan at Pennsylvania Streets, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Indiana State Museum
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1869 as a diverse collection of artifacts, specimens, and Civil War memorabilia; in 1919, the museum became part of the Department of Conservation, now the Department of Natural Resources and broadened its collection and patronage. The 270,000-square foot facility hosts larger permanent exhibitions temporary exhibition galleries, an IMAX Theater, cafe, gift shop, state-of the art conservation labs, and collection management facilities; museum highlights include Freetown Village on 3rd floor and Museum of Sports on 2nd floor. Freetown Village is an interactive living history exhibit featuring characters representing Indianapolis life during 1870. Museum of Sports features great exhibit on Major Taylor and other Indiana native sports champions.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 9a-5p, Sun 11a-5p
ADMISSION: $10 and under, separate fee for IMAX
ADDRESS: 650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Indiana History Center
DESCRIPTION: A 165,000-square-foot venue that is headquarters for the Indiana Historical Society. Founded in 1830, the Indiana Historical Society is one of the oldest historical societies in the country and maintains one of the largest collections of material on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest. Explore numerous galleries and the William Henry Smith Memorial Library research library, where you will find a priceless collection of rare books, letters, diaries, business records, maps, architectural drawings, paintings, photographs and other research material calculated to shed light on the history and experiences of African Americans in Indiana and the Old Northwest. The society also publishes for its members a quarterly newsletter entitled Black History News & Notes, which provides information about the library’s holdings pertaining to Black Hoosiers. A gift shop and cafe are on the premises; the cafe closes 1 hour before the museum.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 10a-5p, Sun Noon-5p
ADMISSION: $10 and under
ADDRESS: 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial
DESCRIPTION: Situated along the canal walk in White River State Park downtown, the memorial stands in tribute to all who valiantly served our country and received the nation’s highest award for valor. It consists of 27 awe-inspiring 7 to 10 foot tall curved glass walls representing 15 military conflicts as far back as the Civil War. Read about each recipient of the Medal of Honor itself and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society via touch-screen monitor.
ADDRESS: White River State Park oposite Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, IN MAP
DESCRIPTION: A Historic commercial district that hosts more than 200 antique and art galleries among architecturally interesting buildings. Refurbished Fountain Square Theater reminds you of the 1940s era with classic soda fountains and the like. You can often hear live jazz playing at this venue.
ADDRESS: a few blocks southeast of downtown, Indianapolis, IN MAP