If you have read some of my blog posts before, you may have noticed an ongoing theme of my love for Indiana (check out this old post). Without a doubt, I’m definitely a proud Hoosier.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to re-explore downtown Indianapolis with my parents. I say re-explore because this is a place that I have visited countless times. I even spent one summer working in an office on the corner of Georgia and Meridian Street. However, there is still so much I haven’t seen and don’t know about that place. I love traveling and exploring, even if it’s in my hometown. You can never know too much.
What I love about Indianapolis is that it’s big city with a smaller town feel. Yes, downtown Indianapolis it not as large or amazing as other downtown cities like Chicago or New York, but it is still wonderful in it’s own way. The city has so much more to offer than people may believe.
While I may not have been an actual resident of Indianapolis for 8 years or so now, I live just right outside of the city, and Indianapolis will always be the place I was born and spent a large chunk of my childhood. In lieu of this, I have decided to compile my top 5 favorite Indy spots.
- Monument Circle: Of course, this is a “monumental” feature of downtown Indianapolis. In more ways than one, it has come to represent both Indianapolis and the entire state of Indiana. Interestingly enough, it was built in the exact center of Indianapolis and is dedicated to the “common soldier”, the first of it’s kind in the United States. When I was younger and I would go to Take Your Daughter To Work Day with my mom, we would meet my dad on the steps of the circle and the three of us would each lunch together. That was always one of my favorite memories there. This past weekend, while exploring with my parents, we went up to the top of the monument for the first time. It’s 330 steps to the top (not going to lie, we took the elevator to step 290) but the view is incredible!
2. Banker’s Life/Lucas Oil Stadium: What would be a list of Indy spots without mentioning the homes of Indy’s beloved teams? First, there’s Banker’s Life, which is honestly so much more than just the home of the Pacers. I’ve been to several events though including games and some really great concerts, but in more recent years, I’ve definitely enjoyed all of the Pacers games I’ve been able to go to with my sorority sisters. Not to mention, freshman year when I won row 13 tickets for Katie and I and we fan-girled over Larry Bird (sitting only a few seats away from us) all night. Lucas Oil is a different story. It’s been awhile since it was built, but it’s still considered fairly new. It’s massive and incredible, with a retractable roof (much like a convertible). Last May, I went to a Kenny Chesney concert there and was even able to snag backstage passes and meet him! I’ve been to a few pre-season Colts games and other special events. But most importantly, I graduated from high school there. Yep, you heard me right. I graduated at Lucas Oil. Actually, the first class to ever do so. My high school has since stopped having graduation there, but it’s definitely a memory I will always cherish.
3. Lincoln Square Pancake House: This one is for the huge foodie that I am. This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants of all time, and definitely my favorite place to eat in Indy. There are 10 locations throughout the city, although my favorite one being the closest to my home. Although the restaurant has other food, they are most known for their breakfast, which is quite honestly the only reason I go there. I love everything about that place. The food, the coffee, the employees. If there’s one place I recommend going to in Indianapolis, its Lincoln Square.
4. Indianapolis Zoo: There’s so many reasons to love this place, I mean who wouldn’t want to be where 3,800 animals are? When I was younger, my Girl Scout Troop had an overnight in the dolphin exhibit. Nowadays, one of my favorite parts of the Indianapolis Zoo is their annual “Christmas at the Zoo”. It’s such an incredible experience getting to see all of the beautiful lights, seeing the animals and of course, the hot chocolate. I think we even had a few breadsticks in there this year. Moral of the story is summer or winter, the Indy Zoo is a great place to go. After all, it is ranked one of the top zoos in the country.
5. Children’s Museum: Hands down, this is one of my favorite places that I have ever been. Between field trips and family trips, I went to this place countless times growing up. Not to mention, when I went to Fishers High School prom senior year, it was at the Children’s Museum. That was definitely an unforgettable experience. I also spent a lot of Martin Luther King, Jr. Days there, as my mom typically always took my siblings and I that day, as it is free each year. What I love most about this place is how much it brings together learning and interaction. All of the stories are hands-on and undeniably interesting, despite your age. One of my favorite exhibits the museum ever had was the Barbie exhibit, which I visited during my sophomore year of high school. I also have always been drawn to the exhibit featuring extraordinary people, like Ruby Bridges (in my picture below). When I was in elementary, I had the opportunity to meet her and hear her story. It was great having the opportunity to go back when I was older and learn about her heroism all over again. So there you have it, 5 amazing Indy places. Why wouldn’t you want to visit?