may sound like an odd destination for a weekend escape. Why head for an urban landscape when you already live in one? Because Indianapolis offers a lot of the perks of city life with none of the hassles. In about three hours you can put yourself squarely in a place that offers an incredible amount of variety at a very affordable price—and you’ll never have to search for a parking place. The latest addition to the city is the NCAA’s Hall of Champions, located in White River State Park, which opened in March 2000. This interactive, multimedia museum celebrates intercollegiate athletics and the spirit of competition. More than seventy cities campaigned for the facility, but the NCAA chose Indianapolis because of the city’s love of sports, both amateur and professional. Elsewhere you’ll see the civic pride Hoosiers take in preserving their old landmarks. One of the most eye-catching is the 284-foot-tall Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which was built in 1902 but updated into a lovely downtown plaza. Its lower level recently became home to the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, highlighting the Hoosier war experience. In the summer it is the perfect place for a carriage ride, picnic, and people-watching. In the winter the monument is draped in thousands of tiny lights, while carolers and brass ensembles usher in the holiday season. What else is new in Indianapolis? Insiders say that the dining renaissance that started in the mid-1990s continues with very un-Hoosier offerings, from sushi to shish kebab. If it’s been awhile since you’ve dined here, you’ll be delighted to discover that the city has definitely acquired a more cosmopolitan palate. Insiders say that the most interesting ethnic spots can be found in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, just north of downtown. In addition, if it’s been awhile, check out the Conseco Field House, home to the Indiana Pacers and White River Gardens, a lovely 3.3-acre landmark botanical garden that opened in 1999 and has just been getting better with each season. Highlights include: Museums, sightseeing, speedway, theater, ballet, and amateur and professional sports. The detailed itinerary in this chapter is a driving tour that features extensive recommendations for sightseeing attractions, recreational activities, lodging, restaurants, shopping, and more.
© Copyright Bonnie Miller Rubin, Marcy Mason published by The Globe Pequot Press all rights reserved.
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Quick Escapes: Chicago Guide Book