What I Loved About Indianapolis
When a blog opportunity popped up in Indianapolis, I jumped on it right away. Most of all, I wanted to improve my blogging skills and knew that Bloghouse would do just that. I also wanted to visit Indianapolis, “Indy”, a place that I had only read about and seen while watching NFL football games. I had no idea that I would fall in love with the city of Indy. What an easy road trip for a large part of the country.
Indianapolis proved to be a great vacation destination! It is one of the best cities that I have seen in the country for state-of-the-art museums, green-space, and family friendly activities. If you have not visited Indy, you are missing out. Here are the 7 things that I loved about Indianapolis, Indiana.
#1 JW Marriott
While in town, my daughter (Taylor) and I stayed at the luxurious downtown JW Marriott. We were fortunate enough to score concierge level access, serving several food and beverage presentations throughout the day. The hotel was lavishly decorated and I loved the romantic stone fireplace in the lobby. The JW Marriott had several on-site restaurants, plus business meeting rooms. One of those meeting rooms was used for our Bloghouse sessions. Our room had comfortable queen beds, a desk area, flat screen TV, spacious bathroom, and beautiful views of downtown Indy through the floor to ceiling windows.
As a side note, I am happy to report that the JW Marriott’s room service was quick, efficient, and darned delicious.
#2 Eiteljorg Museum
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art was a sophisticated contemporary museum housing West and Native American artifacts and artwork. Eiteljorg is well thought out and has two floors of exhibits and galleries. The Art of the American West Gallery had gorgeous paintings by artists such as Olaf Seltzer and the master himself, John J. Audubon. Grab lunch at the Cafe Terrace; it had a menu full of tasty items including Mole Chorizo Meatballs and Smoked Chicken Tostadas. Check online for the museum calendar of special events, spanning all year long.
#3 Indiana War Memorials
This was a big surprise! I had no idea how patriotic Indiana was, or that it had so many stately memorial offerings. Second only to Washington DC, Indy has the most monuments and memorials dedicated to veterans. Downtown’s Memorial plaza was home to the USS Indianapolis Memorial and the limestone Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The Memorial Museum displayed Indiana’s history through the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, and World War II. The four corner statues represented Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry, and Navy. The Memorials were highly impressive!
#4 Indianapolis Zoo
I loved visiting the Indianapolis Zoo! Between the fun selection of animals and dining options, this zoo has it all. You could easily make a whole day out of perusing the grounds and making memories with your family at this sustainable zoo that specializes in animal conservation.
The Walrus (only six zoos in America have one!) and Rhinos were my favorite animal displays. I even got to take home a piece of Walrus Art, which they paint with their whiskers as an activity. The Flight of the Magnificent Macaws was very cool. As I filmed, I got touched by their wings. The zoo also had babies—a lion, gibbon, and orangutan. Do not miss the cute Dolphin Show!
#5 Delicious Dining Options
St. Elmo’s Steakhouse ranks as one of America’s top 15 steakhouses, so I had to try it. My meal began with the Elmo Coke, a creation of maraschino cherry and vanilla infused bourbon with coke. Ordering shrimp cocktail here was a must; rumor has it this dish was invented here. Heads up, the horseradish is shredded daily and incredibly hot. For my entrée, I chose a Filet Mignon with a side of béarnaise sauce. The perfectly cooked filet mignon was definitely one of the best steaks that I’ve ever eaten.
Bloghouse took a field trip to Napolese Pizzeria one day for lunch. While pizza is never my first choice, Napolese’s was really good, but the salads and appetizers are what pleased my palate. The Baked Capriole Goat Cheese with homemade Focaccia was a tangy marriage of creamy goodness. The restaurant’s Double Chopped House Salad really wooed me. It was packed with fresh veggies and pork and tasted amazing!
#6 Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is continually ranked as one of the top children’s zoos in the country by Fodors Travel Guide and Parents website. The enormous dinosaur, visible on the outside of the museum, should give you an idea of how excellent this experience is going to be. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was impressive for both children and adults with their active theater, Beyond Spaceship Earth module, Take Me To China interactive exhibit, and incredible Dale Chihuly five-story blown glass menagerie. Taylor and I could have spent a whole day here exploring!
#7 Urban Greenspace
Indy was one of the “greenest” cities that I have ever been to. In fact, it was one of the things that I found so intriguing about Indianapolis. There was lots of space for visitors and locals to roam and enjoy the outdoors.
White River State Park, perfectly viewed from my JW Marriott windows, boasted 250 acres of green space. The space connected downtown to major tourist attractions, plus included a live music venue and the scenic Central Canal and zoo.
The Best Surprise of My Travels This Year
I definitely plan on re-visiting Indy! The city’s friendly people, great service, beautiful scenery, and top-notch attractions really dazzled me. Everywhere I looked, people were running, walking, biking, and skateboarding. Indy’s energetic vibe was contagious. These were the things that I loved about Indianapolis, and hope that you will, too!
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