Indiana, namely Indianapolis, is a hub for sports, outdoor rec, and metropolitan living. For these reasons and many more, Indiana is a popular destination for those looking for a relaxing getaway.
If you’re looking for things to do in Indiana near Indianapolis this summer, you’ve come to the right place Check out our selection of the best activities to enjoy if you’re in and around Indianapolis.
1. Monument Circle
Visiting Monument Circle (Soldiers & Sailors Monument) is a must when you are in Indianapolis. This stunning monument sits in the middle of the city center and is seen as a sort of hub for the city.
On the grounds, there’s also a civil war monument that details the heroic past of the brave soldiers and sailors who fought for the country. Some of the best times to visit Monument Circle are during the evening hours when the bright lights of the city help eliminate the monument. If you plan your trip during the holidays, you can enjoy the over 2,400 lights that are full display here.
2. White River State Park
One of the best parks Indiana has to offer is White River State Park. The sprawling industrial park is situated in downtown Indianapolis and consists of different trails you can stroll through. Visitors can go through the canal walk which takes you across the waterfront or enjoy a nice picnic on the 250 acres that make up the park.
The area also offers a great opportunity for photography lovers to capture some great shots. Throughout the year, there are different events hosted at the park, so play your event accordingly to catch one.
3. Indianapolis Zoo
The Indianapolis Zoo is another destination for visitors of all ages. The zoo features a botanical garden, an aquarium, and over 3,800 different animals across 320 different species. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the zoo as there are so many different exhibits to see. One of the most popular exhibits is the International Orangutan Center. Here, visitors can witness the beauty of these mammals as they swing through the ropes.
The aquarium is also pretty neat and features one of the coolest exhibits in the whole zoo, the Dolphin Pavilion. Here, visitors can walk through a viewing dome while these majestic creatures swim above. In all, the zoo features five different biomes to explore including Oceans, Deserts, Encounters, Forests, and Plains.
4. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Get your need for speed in by visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Aside from the speedway being the venue where the Indy 500 is hosted, the museum inside features some of the most amazing relics in speedway history. In fact, the destination also claims the title of a National Historic Landmark. Once inside, visitors can take a tour of the track, view some of the most notable speed cars in Speedway’s history, and learn more about the sport and the city that hosts it.
5. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
If you are traveling with children, then the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a destination you absolutely have to explore. Many consider this to be the largest children’s museum in the nation. In conjunction with the American Alliance of museums, the building offers 11 main galleries and a variety of other themed exhibits for children and their caretakers to enjoy.
From hands-on activities to amazing games and stations to enjoy, the fun is literally endless here. There are a ton of things to do and learn at the museum and you should certainly plan to spend no less than half a day here.
6. Eagle Creek Park
Outdoor lovers should plan out a day trip to Eagle Creek Park. This picture-perfect park is defined by the almost 4,000 acres of greenery surrounding the many ponds scattered throughout the area. Visitors can come out and enjoy the wildlife, kayak the beautiful lake, and much more. There are all sorts of trails paved out in the park perfect for visitors who want to hike or bike the grounds. There’s even a camping area for those who want to stay the night and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
7. Indianapolis Museum of Art
Celebrate great works of art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The museum features over 50,000 works of art, many of which belong to a permanent collection celebrating a range of different eras and cultures. The museum is notable for its collection of cultural Asian art and is regarded to be one of the biggest collections in the nation.
Within the grounds of the museum, visitors will find the 26-acre Oilfields-Lily House and Gardens next door. These grounds feature beautiful walking trails, stunning greenery, landscaping, and much more. Along with exploring the gardens, visitors will be allowed to tour the house of one of Indiana’s most philanthropic collectors, J.K. Lilly Jr.
8. Fort Harrison State Park
Fort Harrison State Park is another one of the best things to do in Indiana near Indianapolis. This beautiful park is located on the outskirts of Indianapolis and is home to a range of year-round recreational activities.
During the winter months, visitors flock to this part for cross-country skiing. During the warmer months, fishing and hiking are both popular activities. If you’re traveling through, this is a great place to set out a picnic and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery waiting for you here.
9. K1 Speed Indoor Go-Karts
The need for speed is very much alive at K1 Speed Indoor Race Track. This go-kart venue allows little kids to experience the magic of racing and allows adults to relive their younger years. Given the area’s roots in racing, if you’re here to explore the history of the town, then K1 Speed Indoor Go Karts is certainly a destination to check out.
10. Indianapolis Underground Market Catacombs
Explore the hidden history of Indianapolis by booking a tour through the City Market Catacombs. This underground labyrinth was a part of Tomlinson Hall, a building that opened its doors in 1886. After a fire destroyed Tomlinson Hall in 1958, the underground hallways which feature brick archways in limestone columns, remained behind. Today, guided tours take visitors into the history of the catacombs that were once used as a way to shuttle around goods underneath the city center. The catacombs span about 20,000 square feet underneath the northeast corner of downtown Indianapolis.
Explore Indiana and Nearby Indianapolis Today
Our list just scratches the surface of some of the best things to do in Indiana near Indianapolis. As you explore the area, you’ll find plenty more hidden gems to fall in love with.
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