Things to see and do in Indianapolis

Speedway Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Will you have some downtime during this year’s Congress & Expo? If so, there’s plenty to explore in Indianapolis, including beautiful parks, museums and a zoo. Weather-wise, average low temperatures at the end of September in Indianapolis are in the mid-50s, so bring a jacket for the evening.


Do you enjoy wandering through museums? Check out the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where you can explore the “Chemistry of Color” exhibit that “charts the relationship between chemistry and art over a period of more than 4,500 years by exploring a selection of natural and synthetic colorants used to create pigments and dyes that color our world.” After that, take in artwork from Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia and Europe.

4000 Michigan Road
(317) 923-1331

Calling all car enthusiasts! Head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, a National Historic Landmark devoted to automobiles and auto racing that includes the Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The museum’s collection comprises race cars from a variety of series, including IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One, Sprint, Midget, and motorcycle and drag racing.

4790 W. 16th St.
(317) 492-6784

If you’re bringing your family with you, be sure to stop in at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which features exhibits on dinosaurs, “Hot Wheels” toys, trains, the International Space Station, and the history and culture of China.

3000 N. Meridian St.
(317) 334-4000

Pay your respects to the nation’s veterans at the Indiana War Memorial. According to its website, “The Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District contains two museums, three parks, and 24 acres of monuments, statues, sculptures and fountains in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, making the state’s capital second only to Washington, DC, in acreage and number of monuments dedicated to veterans.”

51 E. Michigan St.
(317) 232-7615

Who doesn’t love animals? Explore simulated natural habitats, including deserts, forests, oceans and plains, at the Indianapolis Zoo – home to roughly 1,400 animals and 31,000 plants. Watch as orangutans swing over your head at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, known as “one of the most significant zoo exhibits anywhere in the world.”

1200 W. Washington St.
(317) 630-2001

Are you a history buff? If so, head to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the 1875 Italianate Victorian family home of President Benjamin Harrison. The mission of this memorial to the only president elected from the state of Indiana is to “share the life stories, arts and culture of an American president to increase public participation in the American system of self-government.”

1230 N. Delaware St.
(317) 631-1888

Get your need-for-speed fix at Speedway Indoor Karting, a karting facility that features a two-level track course and a mini superspeedway. All skill levels are welcome, but children must be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall.

1067 Main St.
(317) 870-3780


If you’re in the mood for a good, old-fashioned steakhouse experience, look no further than the acclaimed St. Elmo Steak House – the oldest Indianapolis steakhouse, in its original location. Offering steaks ranging from porterhouses to filet mignon, and seafood, including the establishment’s famous shrimp cocktail as well as South African lobster tails, you won’t leave hungry. But don’t forget to save room for dessert. The steakhouse sells seasonal pies, baked locally by My Sugar Pie in the nearby town of Zionsville. Reservations are recommended. Closed on Sundays.

127 S. Illinois St.
(317) 635-0636

Pizza is always a good decision, so give Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza a try. Options include the roasted potato pizza, which features skin-on roasted potatoes, tomato, green onions, cheddar and bacon; the Shipwreck, with lump crab, shrimp, red pepper, green onion and Old Bay seasoning; and the Thai, with sweet-spicy peanut sauce, chicken, carrots, green onion, red pepper and smoked gouda. What’s not to like?

Multiple locations in Indianapolis

If you’re looking for drinks, blues music and bar food – including wings, nachos and burgers – check out the Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis’ oldest bar. The bar’s website includes fun facts about the inn, as well as a list of live band performances.

372 S. Meridian St.
(317) 631-6974

Originally established in 1930, Iozzo’s Garden of Italy in downtown Indianapolis is the perfect dinner choice for Italian food lovers. Among the restaurant’s signature dishes are lobster ravioli, pork chop Milanese and the ZoZo shrimp.

946 S. Meridian St.
(317) 974-1100

(Information gathered from TripAdvisor and Thrillist.)

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