We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.

An Introduction to Indianapolis, Indiana

Where to Stay in Indianapolis

For a well worth it splurge, stay at the JW Marriott. Its downtown location allows for walking to big-name attractions while the hotel features several on-property restaurants and a lovely lobby with a focal fireplace. The rooms are savvy and have all of the comforts that you expect in a luxury brand. Floor to ceiling windows provide views of White River State Park, an outdoor area connecting many attractions.

A hotel with a unique experience is Crowne Plaza Hotel at Union Station. Here, you can opt to sleep in an original train car on its original tracks. The Holiday Inn Express downtown is a budget-friendly offering and within walking distance to attractions and Lucas Oil Stadium.

Where to Dine in Indianapolis

Indianapolis has incredible eats. No matter your budget, there are plenty of options to delight your palate.

Pizza and pasta lovers will be right at home at Napolese Pizzeria, but the Napolese Double Chopped Salad is just as fabulous as everything else on the menu. Bazbeaux Pizza, located at both Broad Ripple and Mass Ave (Indy’s most popular neighborhoods) has been the winner of “Best Pizza in Indianapolis” every year since opening. Don Shula’s is perfect for a delicious steak or heavily discounted appetizers during happy hour.

Families will enjoy the Bru Burger Bar which serves up fabulous milkshakes and boldly-flavored burgers. Foodies will drool over the tasty eats at Mesh, including the mouth-watering Kung Pao Calamari and spicy Chicken Bowl topped with a fried egg.

A visit to Indy would not be complete without visiting St. Elmo Steak House, a legendary old-world style restaurant and the home of Shrimp Cocktail. Warning: the cocktail sauce is the real deal. It is hot enough to bring tears to your eyes, so eat in moderation.

What to Do on Your Weekend Trip to Indianapolis

Families are first in Indiana and Indy does the family scene perfectly. The Indianapolis Zoo, a huge conservation zoo, is home to polar bears, penguins, orangutans, and African lions. The zoo also has a botanical garden and aquarium which are included in admission price. Make sure to see Pakak and Aurora, the walruses, found in only seven zoos across the country.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is a cultural offering with visual arts (relics and artifacts) by indigenous people of America plus an introduction to today’s Native American culture. Indy has several other museums and historic sites to visit, including the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site and House.

Trip Advisor’s most recommended thing to do is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Five floors of amazing exhibits are as much fun for adults as they are for children. Kids love the dinosaur peeking into the museum from outside and the collection of dinosaur fossils inside. Besides a fun space exhibit and National Geographic Treasures of the Earth, the Children’s Museum also has a moving tribute to three 20th century children who changed the world.

Sports enthusiasts may want to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This track hosts the Indianapolis 500, the largest single-day sporting event in the world, plus other events throughout the year. The track is so well-known that Indy is referred to as the “Racing Capital of the World”.

Lucas Oil Stadium is the city’s multi-purpose domed stadium that is home to the Indianapolis Colts professional football team plus concerts and other events year round.

Display Your Pride of America in Indianapolis

Did you know that Indy is second in the country to national monuments?

The Indiana World War Memorial & Museum honors the men of Indiana that served during World War I. Inside, the multiple floor museum honors those who have fallen since the Vietnam War. It houses the largest flag in the country, which is incredible to see in person.

Indy’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument is the spiritual heart of the city. Measuring 284 feet tall, is it adorned with a bronze statue of Victory (Miss Indiana) at the top. A Civil War Museum is in the basement of the monument. Two other points of interest are the American Legion Mall and Veteran’s Memorial Plaza.

Indianapolis, Indiana: You’re Going To Be Shocked

Once you visit Indianapolis, you will kick yourself for not visiting sooner. The amount of things to do is incredible and you won’t be bored for one single minute. Indy is well worth the visit and one you tell your friends about.