7 Things To See and Do While Visiting Fort Wayne, Indiana
Indiana prides itself on being the Heartland of America. On my first visit to Indiana, I met up with nine other travel writers for a familiarization trip in Fort Wayne, the state’s second largest city. Our itinerary was across the board; we went to a baseball game, Vera Bradley sale, and some incredible restaurants. Here are seven things that I recommend doing while visiting Fort Wayne, Indiana.
#1 Attend a Tincaps Baseball Game
The Tincaps, Fort Wayne’s minor league baseball team, is the Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Their stadium’s (Parkview Field) downtown location has been attracting visitors and locals since 2009. In May of 2017, TripAdvisor named Parkview Field the “Best Minor League Baseball Park”. You will adore the Tincaps’ Johnny Appleseed mascot. Opt for box seats as you will have access to a private lounge.
#2 Eat a Yummi Bunni Ice Cream Bun
These genius ice cream creations are sliced donuts (glazed or not) filled with a huge scoop of ice cream and covered in outrageous toppings. The finished product creates an Instagram-worthy photo that your friends will go crazy for! Yummy Bunni’s ice cream specials change weekly, but a few options are the Mint Oreo (mint ice cream with baby Snowcap candies) or Cotton Tail (cotton candy ice cream with spring sprinkles).
#3 Feast on Casa Ristoranti’s Italian Grub
Casa Risoranti treat their guests like family from the moment that they walk through the door. The restaurant’s Italian dishes include Pasta con Verdura (mushrooms and veggies in and a delicious cream sauce), Polpette (homemade meatballs in meat sauce with Parmesan cheese), and Garlic Knots. There are four Casa Ristoranti locations in Fort Wayne. It is definitely a local fave.
#4 Explore “Science on a Sphere” at Fort Wayne’s Science Central
At first glance of the Fort Wayne Science Central Building, the whimsy of the colorful crayon looking pieces sticking up through the roof instantly make you want to visit. This hands-on museum encourages visitors to fully engage with their more than 130 experiments/displays that foster learning. Science Central is doing big things with cutting-edge technology, most apparent by their Science on a Sphere special exhibit. Try to take a tour with the museum’s Executive Director, Martin. His passion for all things science is contagious!
#5 Attend the Annual Vera Bradley Sale
Fort Wayne is home to the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. This highly anticipated event take place once a year, over a four day period at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. During this sale, nearly 700,000 pieces of Vera Bradley are marked down 40-60%. “Organized madness” best describes this event.
A VIP ticket is required to shop the first two days of the sale. Purchase yours in advance as they sell out quickly. A ticket is not required to shop on the last two days, but be prepared to wait in line for hours to enter or checkout. This annual Vera Bradley sale contributes $5 million to Fort Wayne’s economy.
#6 Learn About & Photograph Plants at the Botanical Conservatory
Nature lovers will enjoy visiting downtown’s Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. It is bursting with an oasis of blooms and seasonal displays. It is impressive to see this extensive selection of Southwest plants in the heart of Indiana. 25,000 square feet house the Botanical Conservatory’s gardens and exhibits. Visit this summer to see “Perspectives”, a Live Butterfly Display. Enjoy walking through an enclosed structure filled with butterflies and learning about each species.
#7 Get Your Ancestry On!
Fort Wayne’s Genealogy Center is on the second floor of the downtown public library. Do not be deceived by its location; this is the second largest database of public records in the world. Experienced staff members will help you trace your family heritage using 500,000 books, microfilm, and online resources. Tourists are visiting Fort Wayne just to visit this Genealogy Center; it is that impressive.
#8 Brush Up Your Art Education at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMOA) has a gorgeous focal piece of hanging Chihuily glassware. The museum is home to both permanent exhibits (American Brilliant Cut Glass items) as well as changing ones. The photography exhibit “Sharon”, taken by the father of a girl with disabilities, is sure to invoke strong feelings. There is even a Sensory Friendly Space with the “Sharon” exhibit. While small in size, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art packs a powerful punch with their wide offerings.
#9 Indulge Yourself in Decadent Chocolates
DeBrand Fine Chocolates is a tasty Fort Wayne staple. This gorgeous jewelry store looking eatery serves everything chocolate: decadent handmade truffles, classic chocolates, ice cream desserts, and cookies. I recommend the Very Cherry Tasting Bars and Hot Chocolate on Spoon & Marshmallows. Pure heaven! No room in your suitcase to take some chocolates home? You can shop DeBrand Find Chocolates online.
Delighted with My Visit to Fort Wayne
Where to Stay in Fort Wayne: The Holiday Inn (IPFW-Coliseum) is the perfect home away from home while visiting Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is located adjacent from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Their staff is friendly, rooms are comfortable, and the location is ideal for the Vera Bradley sale. It is across the highway and shuttle service is provided.
I was hosted by the Fort Wayne CVB for this familiarization trip. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. As with all posts on this site, all opinions and conclusions are 100% my own and unbiased.
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