CITY GUIDE: Indianapolis

Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Kelley Heneveld of Indianapolis!

I’d like to show you the lovely city of Indianapolis, “Crossroads of America.” Since biking is my main form of transportation and the best way to get around, we’ll see Indy by bike.

1. Let’s start with breakfast at the City Market. The market is housed in a beautiful historic building established in 1886. Not only does it hold the local farmers market (summer and winter) but also numerous restaurant vendors.  I suggest getting a crepe and coffee at Three Days in Paris, a “pain au chocolat” at Circle City Sweets, or a fresh squeezed organic juice at Natural Born Juicers. If you forgot to bring your bike along, let’s walk next door to rent one at BGI’s Indy Bike Hub.

2. Over the last few years, the city of Indianapolis has been constructing the Cultural Trail, a path that gives you a great tour through different areas of town. From the City Market, the trail will take us to White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo, and Indy Slow Food Garden. We can visit any of these places and then continue along the canal, passing the State Museum along the way. When the trail comes off the canal, we’ll visit the Central Library. It a beautifully renovated library with one of my favorite views of the city from the sixth floor. The landscape includes the War Memorial Historic District- second only to Washington D.C. in acreage and number of monuments dedicated to veterans. You’ll notice “The Monument” as the city’s center point down the way.

3. We’re probably getting hungry for lunch, so we’ll get on the Monon. This rail trail extends north as far as Carmel (more than 16 miles total). Our destination is Goose the Market, a charcuterie that sources only local meats and specialty foods.  Featured in Bon Apetit and voted “Best Sandwich” by the people of Indy, the Batali is always a great pick. We can sit at the community tables downstairs, drinking a craft beer or wine with our meal, or at the counter upstairs with a specialty soda and bag of locally made potato chips.

4. The Monon will take us back to the heart of the city.  Let’s lock up our bikes and stroll around Mass Ave. We’ll definitely stop in Silver in the City, one of the hottest shops that carries many locally made products and art. If we’re in the mood for an afternoon cocktail, we’ll visit Ball & Biscuit, a prohibition style lounge. If yogurt sounds better, it’s definitely Yogulatte; or beer, Chatham Tap.

5. Let’s grab our bikes and follow the Cultural Trail to Fountain Square for dinner and late night activities. Fountain Square is a growing attraction as a hip art scene- one of the most colorful, exciting districts in Indy.  We can dine on anything from Thai to Mexican, local to greasy diner fare. Afterwards let’s imbibe! Locally made meads at New Day Meadery or beer at Fountain Square Brewery are my suggestions. We can see a show at White Rabbit Cabaret or Radio Radio, go duck pin bowling at the historic Fountain Square Theatre, visit IMOCA, or finish the evening with a few more drinks at Brass Ring Lounge. It’s been a lovely day.

A big thanks to Kelley of Kelley Jordan Photography for sharing her favorite Indianapolis spots and photos. You can follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook!

Featured image by House of Hall.

February 9, 2012