Why Should You Come to Indianapolis?

Mar 28

Holly Barrett

Why Should You Come to Indianapolis?

By: Holly Barrett

There are so many great reasons to visit Indianapolis.

Over the past few years, Indianapolis has managed to climb its way to the top of several “best food cities” lists in the United States, including being named one of the 26 hottest food cities of 2016 and 2017 by national restaurant guide Zagat, one of Food & Wine’s Favorite Food Cities in America, and America’s Most Underrated Food City by Condé Nast Traveler. In 2017 alone, nearly 30 restaurants opened in downtown Indy — and there’s been a lot more since — which has meant enhanced experiences for large groups who meet there. Take a look at some things to do while in Indy. Top 10 things to do in Indy


Indy has Great Food!

Indianapolis offers over 300 diverse dining and nightlife options for all palates and price points. With its rich soil and surrounding agriculture, Indy has been supporting farm-to-table restaurants for decades, with local farmers providing the freshest in produce and protein to menus. International fare, world-famous steakhouses, and sports bars with plenty of televisions for viewing the big game are also just around the corner.

milktooth-waffle-001-small.jpgZagat added Indy to its “Hottest Food Cities of 2016” list, noting Vida, Bluebeard, Milktooth, Pioneer, and Marrow among must-tries.

Condé Nast Traveler claimed Indy as the “Most Underrated Food City in the U.S.,” highlighting Black Market and Rook. They also named Milktooth one of the “Best Restaurants in the World.”

Thriving neighborhoods like Mass Ave, Fletcher Place, Fountain Square, and SoBro are experiencing renaissances heavily uplifted by local, chef-driven dining concepts.

Café Patachou has won legions of followers with award-winning gourmet breakfasts and healthy lunches served up in an energetic, metropolitan setting. It got noticed by Gourmet.com, who placed it on their “Top Ten Healthiest Restaurants in the Nation” list. (Don’t miss the cinnamon toast!)

And no foodie visit would be complete without a trip to Traders Point Creamery, an urban organic dairy farm. This 150-acre farm raises and serves grass-fed beef, crafts custom cheeses and serves up the best in ice cream. Their products can be found nationally on the shelves of Whole Foods but are best sampled on site.

Check out this list of Indy top 25 Restaurants.

Indy Has Some Interesting Spaces

Downtown Indy has thriving Cultural Districts, each offering a distinct mix of shopping, dining and entertainment. From Mass Ave to Fountain Square, the internationally-acclaimed Cultural Trail connects visitors with these unique neighborhoods. Hop on one of the 250 bikes from the Pacers Bikeshare to explore the city, and dock the bike at one of the 26 stations once you are done.

Wholesale District: Welcome to the Main Event

Entertainment is front and center in the Wholesale District, set in the heart of the central business district. Here you will find your favorite hotel brands surrounded by the retro-style Bankers Life Fieldhouse – home of the NBA Pacers and concerts by big-name acts, Lucas Oil Stadium – home of the NFL Colts and Super Bowl 2012, and the versatile Indiana Convention Center. Circle Centre Mall, a four-story shopping hub, and Georgia Street, a unique outdoor event promenade, connect these major event venues. Just steps away are attractions such as Monument Circle, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indiana Repertory Theatre, comedy clubs, steakhouses, sports bars, and more.

Mass Ave: 45 Degrees from Ordinary

Known for its art galleries and theaters, this free-spirited, five-block avenue is lined with boutique shopping, independent restaurants, traditional pubs, and public art. An array of theaters offer visitors their pick of traditional plays and musicals, off-beat productions, edgy and adult-oriented drama, improve, and stand-up. Before the show, visit the Kurt Vonnegut Museum + Library or grab your locally handcrafted Indy souvenir from one of the boutiques.

Fountain Square: Funky. Artsy. Retro. Anything but Square.

Experience vintage charm, shop galleries of talented local artists, take swing dancing lessons, and try your hand at duckpin bowling all in this funky neighborhood. Visitors can also dine at an assortment of locally-owned restaurants, enjoy a honey wine flight at Indiana’s only meadery, and tour a microbrewery where scientists create the recipes.

market-east-district-29-small.jpgMarket East: An Emerging District

This up-and-coming district has grown into a popular location with many new developments and accommodations. Located in the heart of the district is City Market, a historic market with 36 artisan food vendors and a farmer’s market every Wednesday. More than $225 million in investment is bringing retail, residential, and new office towers online. Access to the district has become easier than ever before with the recent opening of the state-of-the-art Julia M. Carson Transit Center, home of the city’s public transit.

Fountain Square: Funky. Artsy. Retro. Anything but Square

Experience vintage charm, shop galleries of talented local artists, take swing dancing lessons, and try your hand at duckpin bowling all in this funky neighborhood. Visitors can also dine at an assortment of locally-owned restaurants, enjoy a honey wine flight at Indiana’s only meadery, and tour a microbrewery where scientists create the recipes.

Indiana Avenue: Rhythm. Reborn.

Indiana Avenue celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the African-American community in Indianapolis. The cornerstone of this neighborhood is Madam Walker Theatre Center, a great place to hear jazz on an historic stage that has seen the likes of Wes Montgomery and Louis Armstrong. The theatre stands in honor of America’s first self-made female millionaire and hosts an eclectic line-up of performances.

broad-ripple-cake-bake-shop-04-small.jpgBroad Ripple Village: We’re Open if you Are.

Just north of downtown is a lively neighborhood with a mix of one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, innovative chefs, and popular nightlife spots. This trendy village is also highlighted by the popular Monon greenway and known as where “Mr. Top 10”, David Letterman, grew up.

Indy Has Some Wide Open Places

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

City planners from Portland to Paris have traveled to Indy to see how the city managed to take away a lane of car traffic to make way for a $63 million, 8-mile bicycle and pedestrian-friendly Cultural Trail. The decorative brick path connects visitors to hotels, restaurants, attractions and cultural districts. Also lined with art and landscaping, it has garnered international attention as a model for urban revitalization.

The Canal & White River State Park: Discovery Runs Through It.

Located in the heart of downtown, White River State Park offers 250 acres of green space and attractions all connected by a glimmering canal walk and art-lined pedestrian pathways. Bicycles, kayaks, Segways, pedal boats, and Venetian gondolas activate the Central Canal that is also home to three prominent memorials. Colorful murals and giant sculptures decorate paths leading to an outdoor concert venue, top-10 zoo, award-winning baseball stadium, towering IMAX theater, and world-class museums.

Indy is Easy to Navigate!

Traveling to and around Indianapolis is easy, convenient and affordable. Known as the Crossroads of America, Indy is within a day’s drive of over half of the country’s population. For those arriving by air, the LEED-certified Indianapolis International Airport is a short, low-traffic 15 minutes from downtown. To learn more about getting around Indy, click here.

Walking & Biking

National journalists have proclaimed Indy to be one of the most walkable cities in the country. On foot, visitors can reach hundreds of restaurants and attractions from hotels and major meeting venues. An expansive network of climate-controlled skywalks connect the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium with 4,700 hotel rooms and a four-story mall with hundreds of specialty shops and dining options. When visitors want to be outside, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail offers a safe and scenic greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians to reach hotels, dining, shopping and entertainment in the city’s cultural districts. Bicycle rentals are available at the White River State Park, the Indy Bike Hub, or a Pacers Bikeshare location.

Indianapolis International Airport

One of the country’s most environmentally friendly airports is the most passenger-friendly as well. Air travelers receive a rousing greeting to the city when they arrive at Indianapolis International Airport. The $1.1 billion Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal opened in 2008 as the first airport terminal designed after 9/11. It combines state-of-the-art security measures with soaring, smart design and public artwork. The Indianapolis International Airport has been consistently named the best airport in North America and is is located an easy 15 minutes from the central business district.


Known as the Crossroads of America, Indy is within a day’s drive of over half of the country’s population. Traffic congestion is a rarity in Indianapolis, and visitors find the city’s street layout straightforward and easy to navigate. Downtown features over 70,000 parking spots.

Additionally, visitors can rent an electric car through Blue Indy, which has up to 200 stations all around the city where a car can be rented or returned. Customers can even reserve cars and parking spots online and there is even a station at the Indianapolis International Airport. 

Indy so close to so many great Midwest coffee cities.

  • 316 miles from Cleveland, OH
  • 289 miles from Nashville, TN
  • 288 miles from Detriot, MI
  • 280 miles from Milwaukee, WI
  • 266 miles from Grand Rapids, MI
  • 243 miles from St. Louis, MO
  • 184 miles from Chicago, IL
  • 176 miles from Columbus, OH
  • 126 miles from Ft. Wayne, IN
  • 117 miles from Dayton, OH
  • 114 miles from Louisville, KY
  • 113 miles from Cincinnati, OH
  • 63 miles from Lafayette, IN


There's so many great reasons to visit Indy. Visit www.visitindy.com to start planning your trip to Coffee Fest Indy today!