The Top 10 Things To See And Do In Indianapolis, Indiana

Downtown Indianapolis I
Downtown Indianapolis I | © Intiaz Rahim/Flickr
Christina Nhu

Indianapolis is the largest city in the American state of Indiana, a bustling area brimming with museums, galleries and sporting attractions. Home to the biggest cemetery in America, the largest Christmas tree in the country and the venue where Elvis played his last ever concert, this place is full of exciting and unusual places and activities just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Read on to find out more about the 10 best things to do and see in Indianapolis.

Downtown Indianapolis I

1. Indianapolis Zoo


First opened to the public in 1964, The Indianapolis Zoo is the home to many animal species including elephants, zebras and giraffes. Interestingly, the world’s first successful artificial insemination of an African elephant took place here. The recently constructed Orang-utan Center here is being praised as one of the most significant zoo exhibits in the world, a venue which has been created to further the physical, social and intellectual abilities of the primates.

2. Indianapolis Museum Of Art

Museum, Art Gallery

Indianapolis Museum of Art
© Serge Melki/Flickr
Visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art to behold an array of work illustrating the talent of many American and international artists. The venue is split into four sections, the Krannert Pavilion, specializing in pre-Columbian American and Asian art, the Hulman Pavilion, with Baroque and Neo-Impressionism paintings, the Clowes Pavilion, housing Medieval and Renaissance art, and the Lilly Pavilion, exhibiting British and American furniture and silver, as well as a wealth of intriguing German porcelain items.

3. The Children's Museum Of Indianapolis

Museum, Theater

The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis | © Sarah Stierch/Flickr
© Sarah Stierch/Flickr

The Children’s Museum Of Indianapolis

A top spot for some family bonding and educational learning, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis houses one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world, as well as North America’s largest water clock and a majestic, working carousel. With exhibitions covering topics such as transportation and archaeology, this is both a fun and beneficial day out for kids, with costumed actors performing short sketches throughout the venue to really bring the history to life.

Address and Telephone: 3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208, (317) 334-4000

Colorful blown glass ceiling at The Children’s Museum I © clarkmaxwell/Flickr

4. White River State Park

Memorial, Museum, Park, Theater, Zoo

4. White River State Park
© Greg Wagoner/Flickr

White River State Park

Wanting to escape from the hubbub of Indianapolis’ urban life” Then look no further, because White River State Park is a sprawling green space offering a bit of peace and quiet away from the bustle of the city. The aforementioned zoo forms part of the park here, and it also houses the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, an Imax Theater, the NCAA Hall of Champions and the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial. One thing’s for certain, a day spent here will offer a wide variety of things to do, and with incredible views of the Indianapolis skyline available here too, this park really should not be missed when in the city.

Address and Telephone: 801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, (317) 233-2434

Wishard Slow Food Garden at White River State Park I © Greg Wagoner/Flickr

5. Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Indianapolis is the home of the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, and his house is officially a National Historic Landmark. The site boasts genuine Victorian furniture including an original cradle, and visitors can take tours every half hour to peruse various exhibits and learn about Harrison’s career in law and his expansion of the U.S Navy. Special events occur here throughout the year, including a vibrant and popular President’s Day celebration.

Address and Telephone: N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, (317) 631-1888

Benjamin Harrison’s house I © Jim Bowen/Flickr

6. Central Canal

Central Canal

Originally constructed in the early 1800s to facilitate interstate commerce, although it was halted before its completion due to financial difficulties, the Central Canal now provides a pleasant waterside promenade for walkers, runners, bikers and sightseers. A beautiful three mile stretch which winds alongside the waterway, it was designated an ‘American Water Landmark’ in 1971 by the American Waterworks Association thanks to its immense historical significance.

Address: Downtown Indianapolis

7. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Lewis Hamilton at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway I © Chris Richards/Flickr
© Chris Richards/Flickr

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The famous Indianapolis 500, renowned as the most celebrated car race in the United States, takes place here, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This coveted site is reserved for three races only, the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 NASCAR and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and is thus a must-see spot for fast car lovers around the world. The track is monitored and upgraded continually to keep up with the constantly advancing technology of the industry, and the spectator area here can hold up to 400,000 people.

Address and Telephone: 4790 W 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, (317) 492-8500

Lewis Hamilton at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway I © Chris Richards/Flickr

8. Soldiers' And Sailors' Monument Circle

Soldiers’ And Sailors’ Monument Circle

Designed by Bruno Schmitz, Germany’s leading national monument architect of 1902, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in the center of downtown Indianapolis is an emblematic symbol of the city. It commemorates the bravery of Indiana’s military men and women in wars prior to World War I, and was built not only to remember the past, but to inspire a better future. It is also the only civil war monument of its size in the USA. Don’t miss the spectacular light show held here during every holiday season.

Address and Telephone: 1 Monument Cir, Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 232-7615

9. Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the home of the Indiana Pacers, and regularly hosts sell-out, energetic games throughout the year. This place also see rodeos, concerts, parties and ice-skating spectacles taking place within its walls.

Address and Telephone: 125 South Pennsylvania Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, (317) 917-2500

© Wiki Commons

10. Lucas Oil Stadium


Lucas Oil Stadium
© SAB0TEUR/Flickr
Another sporting spectacle, Lucas Oil Stadium is the home of NFL team the Indianapolis Colts, and is a major spot for conventions, exhibitions, trade shows and NCAA basketball competitions. Construction here was finished in 2008, and the venue boasts 63,000 seats as well as a retractable roof to protect sport lovers from undesirable weather conditions. There are also tours available which allow visitors and in-depth look at the place and its history.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article