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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Downtown Indianapolis
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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Downtown Indianapolis

Picture of Anna T. Wilson
Updated: 9 February 2017
As the capital, and therefore the largest city of Indiana, Indianapolis is also the 14th-largest city in the US. This culturally rich area plays hosts to many sporting events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and the largest half-marathon in the US. As a result, many visitors and tourists flock to the downtown area of Indianapolis each year. Check out the list below of what there is to do and see.

Fountain Square

Fountain Square is a vintage hub of antiquated stores, local artists, live performances, and comic stores. It has annual events like Santa on the Square, Scare in the Square, and the Fountain Square Music Festival, which attracts many people from different backgrounds to enjoy food, free music, and to partake in wonderful community events like these. There are also many places to eat, like El Ardo Mexican Grill which serves its famous chimichangas, Mama Irma Restaurant that features Peruvian foods, Red Lion Grog House that serves British food, and more.

1104 Shelby Street, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 236 7400


Mass Ave

Mass Ave, which is short for Massachusetts Avenue, is a street with a vast amount of food, bars, shopping centers, and art. The street’s attractions includes more than 15 retail shops, such as Mass Ave Toys, which has been named Indy A-List’s ‘Best Toy store’ from 2011-2014 by WRTV6. Also, the many restaurant choices include a unique spot called Natural Born Juicers, which serves gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options.

Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN


Indianapolis City Market

If there was ever a place to buy fresh trustworthy foods and unique and cultural merchandise from close to 30 vendors in the same place, the Indianapolis City Market would be it. This market prides itself on the authenticity of its products and guaranteed freshness. You will also find locally made jewelry, accessories, and coffees and teas at some of the vendors to help power your way through every single booth before closing time.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat 8am-9pm

222 East Market Street, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 634 9266


Indy Reads Books

Indy Reads Books is an independent bookstore and the only bookstore in downtown Indianapolis. The bookstore’s earnings actually supports and supplies money for Indy Reads non-profit organization. Indy Reads Books powers Indy Read’s mission to improve literacy among children and adults whose reading is below sixth-grade level. The prices of books are very reasonable, and both used and new options are available to buy, as well as special orders for any book you may need. So stop through and buy a book because one purchased book means more resources for someone else to gain much-needed skills.

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-7pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

911 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN


Indianapolis Colts

For the football lovers, seeing an Indianapolis Colts game is an absolute must. The Lucas Oil Stadium is famous for its retractable stadium roof and picturesque views of the Indianapolis skyline come with it. It is the home of Super Bowl XLVI, Big Ten Football Championships, NCAA Men’s Final Four and many more nationally watched events. An advantage of purchasing tickets for any event is that the website provides a 360-degree view of the stadium and a perspective of the section you choose so that there is no surprise upon entering or dissatisfaction.

500 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN


Downtown Indy Canal Walk

In downtown Indianapolis, there’s the opportunity to sail down a canal while someone paddles the kayak onwards for you at the Downtown Indy canal Walk. Pedal boat and kayak rentals are available to float along the waters and travel from one side to another to get a view of the city that many people do not see. An unsuspected 17-ft waterfall also awaits visitors, as well as historic churches and some of the best architecture in Indianapolis.

310 W Michigan St., Indianpolis, IN, +1 317 233 2434

Indy Brew Bus

The Indy Brew Bus is a rarity because it can pick a group up from a hotel, a business, a restaurant or bar, or from a house. From there, it will venture through Sun King Brewery, Flat 12 Bierworks, Fountain Square Brewery, and many more. The bus is able to hold up to 14 people and if need be, guests can rent the entire bus for a private party. Because of the operational hours of the tour and of the breweries, the destinations may change on occasion and each tour you take can lead you to a different brewery with new histories in a different part of downtown Indianapolis or the south side.

Indy Acres Paintball

Located right below Indianapolis is a place of wondrous adventure and high-action sport. Indy Acres Paintball uses 60% less impact; instead of .68 cal paintball, they use .5 cal paintball equipment to ensure the safety of the players is a priority and that more people can enjoy the fun. The general admission price includes the gun, mask, 505 paintballs, rental of camouflage jumpsuit, and all day CO2. There are even choices of add-ons that you can access throughout the reservation process.

Opening hours: Fri 4pm-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-4pm

7225 E Raymond St, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 356 4639


The Indianapolis 500

A seasonal activity for those traveling during summer or spring, or for those living in Indianapolis, is to join thousands of others at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for heart-pumping, nail-biting, exciting races like the Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, or the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard. There are also opportunities like the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program, which gives visitors the chance to experience driving in an actual Verizon IndyCar Series car and reach speeds and G-force that is usually exclusive to a few elite drivers.

4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 492 8500


Indiana State Capitol

Downtown, there’s the opportunity to take a tour of the Indiana State Capitol building. On the tour you will see the Indiana government at work, learn about the history of Indiana, the renovations of the State Capitol building throughout history and the most recent project of helping the building survive for 100 more years. To get a visual of what is sure to be said on the tour, there are online galleries that show the construction in the 1870s on the building, the 1888 office, the renovations, and the metamorphosis it went through over hundreds of years.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-4:30 pm, Sat 10am-2pm

200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 233 5293