For the Love of
The Indy 500 isn’t the only attraction
awaiting you in Indiana’s capital. Race there
for a long weekend to discover the rest.
BY TRISHA BRAND
Indianapolis, the 13th largest city in the U.S., is known to many out-of-towners simply as the Racing Capital of the World. It makes sense, considering the city has annually hosted the world’s largest single one-day
sporting event, the Indianapolis 500, for over a century. But
even if you never make it to the race, there is still plenty of
adventure to be found.
The city now boasts a burgeoning arts and culinary scene with
a revitalized downtown corridor. In Indianapolis, everything you
discover around the brick-lined Circle in the heart of the city
feels fresh and unexpected. And it’s all underscored by a friendly
Midwestern vibe that will make almost anyone feel at home.
Art & Park
The city’s arts scene revolves in part around the impressive
Indianapolis Museum of Art (4000 Michigan Rd.), one of the
10 largest universal art museums in the country. If it’s a gorgeous
day, there’s plenty to convince you to keep the visit outdoors.
Also on the museum’s campus, The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art &
Nature Park: 100 Acres includes ongoing installations lining the
property along the woodlands, wetlands, meadows and 35-acre
lake. Be sure to Instagram yourself in front of the famous (and
original) four-letter LOVE sculpture by pop artist Robert Indiana.
There are also six distinct cultural districts, five of which are
connected by a gorgeously landscaped eight-mile walking
and biking trail known as the Cultural Trail. The pathway
provides views from a variety of perspectives including large,
wide-angle downtown skyline views and up-close, intimate
stretches through tree-lined neighborhood streets. And art
installations—like an LED-lit-cubed sculptural passageway
with ornate grasses—complement the street’s historical surroundings. The trail both contrasts with and enhances the
city’s landscape in the style of Manhattan’s elevated High Line
and Chicago’s Millennium Park, but it’s far less trafficked, and
much easier to navigate and enjoy.
Rent a cruiser bike from Wheel Fun Rentals in downtown’s
White River State Park (801 W. Washington St.) and explore.
Take in Massachusetts Avenue (or “Mass Ave” in local parlance), a five-block stretch of galleries, restaurants, bars and
independent stores including Stout’s (318 Massachusetts Ave.),
the nation’s oldest shoe store, and Silver in the City (434 Massachusetts Ave.), an unconventional gift store with jewelry, housewares, and hip locally made apparel.
Along the energetic strip, take notice of a four-story mural
of Indianapolis native and author Kurt Vonnegut and the
ARTS & CRAF TS
of Art. Below: Osiris
beer from local Sun