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what to do in indianapolis

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Indianapolis, IN

What to Do in Indianapolis Stroll along the Canal Walk, a 3-mile loop running through the heart of downtown, between 11th Street and the White River. On leisurely tours of the area, gondoliers serenade photo-happy passengers while plying the waters of the 1830s Central Canal. If you're feeling energetic, rent a bike or kayak and do a bit of exploring on your own.

Spend the afternoon at White River State Park , one of the focal points of the Central Canal. Here are urban lawns, walking paths, cultural and sports museums, a zoo, a baseball stadium—plenty to entertain the whole family, rain or shine. Don't miss the Indiana State Museum , jam-packed with fun exhibits ranging from a hands-on naturalist lab to a re-created pioneer log cabin.

Pay tribute to Indiana's veterans at the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument , the centerpiece of Monument Circle. Check out the Civil War museum on the lower level of this imposing structure completed in 1901, then climb 330 steps (or take the elevator) to the observation deck.

Step into the past at Lockerbie Square, the oldest surviving residential district in downtown. The seven-block district, with its cobblestone streets, brick sidewalks and charming Victorian houses, is a mile northeast of Monument Circle. James Whitcomb Riley, who wrote such poems as “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man,” lived here at the height of his career; the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home and Visitor Center is the preserved Italianate-style edifice in which the Indiana-born writer resided for 23 years.

See the city by night on a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride. Companies are stationed along Illinois and Maryland streets, or you can arrange for hotel pickup.

For a shopping bargain, look for fresh produce, flowers, cheese and pastry at the historic City Market, open since 1886. If designer labels are more your style, the glass arcades of Circle Centre enclose department stores, movie theaters, restaurants and the Indianapolis Artsgarden, a showplace for live performances and exhibitions.

Take a grounds tour of Indianapolis Motor Speedway . Get your adrenaline pumping on a bus ride around the famed 2.5-mile oval, then make a pit stop at the Hall of Fame Museum, where everything from equipment to winning Formula One cars to racing trophies are displayed. If you won't be in town for the celebrated Indianapolis 500 —a Memorial Day weekend event first held in 1911—don't rule out that trip to the grandstand yet. Two other exhilarating annual races take place here, too: NASCAR's Brickyard 400 in late July and MotoGP's Red Bull Indianapolis GP in August.

Explore The Children's Museum of Indianapolis , the largest of its kind in the world and one of Indy's most fun places to go with kids. Dinosaur bones, a giant water clock and a vintage 19th-century carousel are a few of the highlights at this 400,000-square-foot playground.

Admire the genius of Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe and Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Indianapolis Museum of Art , which has a permanent collection of more than 50,000 treasures. Situated on the former estate of J.K. Lilly Jr., a pharmaceutical industrialist whose family started Eli Lilly and Company, the museum complex includes the 100-acre Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park as well as Lilly's 22-room mansion, built in the early 20th century.

flickr/Andy Perkins
Find some perspective at Crown Hill Cemetery, where such notables as James Whitcomb Riley, Depression-era gangster John Dillinger, President Benjamin Harrison and three vice presidents—Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Hendricks and Thomas Marshall—are buried.

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Indianapolis, IN

AAA Inspected & Approved TOP Hotels

In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.

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Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

1 S Capitol Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204

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Members save 5% to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Best Western Plus Anderson

2114 E 59th St. Anderson, IN 46013

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Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

120 W Market St. Indianapolis, IN 46204

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Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

350 W Maryland St. Indianapolis, IN 46225

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Travel Information

City Population

852,866

Elevation

708 ft.

Sales Tax

Indiana's statewide sales tax is 7 percent. Counties may impose a 1 to 2 percent food and beverage tax. Restaurant tax is 9 percent, lodgings tax is 3 to 10 percent and rental car tax is 6 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(317) 327-3811

Time and Temperature

(317) 635-5959

Hospitals

Indiana University Hospital, (800) 248-1199; St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, (317) 338-2345; and Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital, (317) 880-0000.

Visitor Information

200 S. Capitol Ave., Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46225. Phone:(317)262-3000 or (800)323-4639

Air Travel

The city is served by

Rental Cars

Hertz, (317) 243-9321 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Passenger train service is available through Amtrak, which departs from Union Station, 350 S. Illinois St. For details phone (800) 872-7245.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc. bus connections can be made at 350 S. Illinois St.; phone (317) 267-3074 or (800) 231-2222.

Taxis

The major cab company is Yellow Cab, (317) 487-7777. The average fare is $3 per pickup and $2 per mile.

Public Transportation

IndyGo operates 29 city bus routes serving downtown and most of Marion County. The fare is $1.75; 85c (ages 0-18 and 65+). A day pass is $4; $2 (ages 0-18 and 65+). Multiday and multi-trip passes also are available.

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