How to Spend the Perfect Weekend in Indianapolis


Indy Motor Racing Experience, Indianapolis

Visit Indy

Race around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a professional race driver from May through October at speeds of 180 mph. Two laps go by in a blur in these retro-fitted two-seat race cars – it’s hard to even turn your head with all that G-force. This is a must-do experience for NASCAR fans, and if you you feel particularly daring, you can follow a lead car and drive yourself. Good luck being brave enough to reach top speeds.

Also check out: if the race cars are a bit too extreme, rock climbing in North Mass Boulder is a great way to make new local friends and get some exercise. North Mass is the largest bouldering venue in the country, with a full gym, yoga studio and cafe as well. Color-coded routes are available for all levels; once a month they even have DJs spinning from the top of the rocks.

Exterior of Kan Kan

Exterior of Kan-Kan

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This laid-back brasserie inside an art house cinema is chef Abbi Merriss’ latest venture, a mix of European and American classics, all served with a playful twist. Homemade casarecce pasta with nutty mascarpone pesto and roasted wild mushrooms is a must, along with buttered snails served with toast from sister restaurant Amelia’s next door. For dessert, Merriss’ signature bread pudding — adapted from her mother’s recipe — is simple yet sublime.

See also: Don’t be hungry – start your day with a hearty breakfast. There’s Sidedoor Bagel for a to-go bagel and schmear and Leviathan Bakehouse for decadent croissant sandwiches, fresh breads and pastries. Gallery Pastry has three locations serving the best benedicts and omelettes in town, plus a life-changing croissant cereal – it’s the real breakfast of champions.

Interior bar one fourteen

Interior bar one fourteen

Visit Indy

This 16-seat high-fidelity listening bar is the most exclusive place to grab a cocktail in Indy. Request music when booking – there are 1,200 custom Klipsch records and speakers to enhance your listening experience. Sip a welcome cocktail in a delicate cup of tea while perusing the menu, heavily influenced by Japanese ingredients and spirits. Bar manager Daimien Weems is a magician and his presentations are unexpected and elegant. Highballs always pair well with oysters, and the fancy AF burger with shaved black truffle will brown your stomach for a second round. As the night progresses, the lights dim and the music gets louder.

duck skittles

duck skittles

Visit Indy

If you’ve never heard of duckpin bowling, it’s basically a miniature version of regular 10-pin bowling with smaller, lighter pins and balls. Bowlers get three pitches per frame, but getting a strike is much harder. There are only a few vintage alleys left in the country, and Action Duckpin Bowl at the Fountain Square Theater Building is a cornerstone of what is arguably Indy’s quirkiest neighborhood. Both lanes are 1950s and 1930s themed, filled with vintage bowling memorabilia from the owner’s private collection. Loser buys drinks at the Commodore, a new speakeasy downstairs.

Also check out: For more bowling shenanigans, try Fowling, a soccer and bowling combo where you toss a soccer ball to knock down the pins. You can bring your own food to Fowling Warehouse and try your luck at the Mystery Beer Machine or choose your favorite local beer on tap. Watch out for stray throws from nearby alleys.

Fountain Square Theater

Fountain Square Theater

Visit Indy

Right next to the Fountain Square Theater is this chic boutique specializing in leather goods, ranging from duffels, backpacks and briefcases to belts, wallets, whiskey flasks and other accessories. Colors change with each collection, including canary yellow and preppy pink, but their signature antique tan is what they’re known for. Everything is made in the store, and you’ll see people cutting, sewing, and building pieces as you shop. There’s even a hair salon upstairs.

Indy hotel exterior

Indy hotel exterior

Visit Indy

The brutalist concrete exterior of Indy’s newest boutique hotel hides a warm and inviting interior design, with soft mid-century modern furnishings and accents. Mad Men vibes. Originally built as an office building for State Life Insurance in 1969, the Indy Hotel is now part of Marriott’s Tribute portfolio and elite Marriott members are often upgraded to a handful of suites that cannot be reserved online. Plus, the Cannon Ball Lounge is one of the few rooftop bars in town with panoramic downtown views.

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