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Experience the very best of the Indianapolis area with our Staff Picks blog, where you’ll find tips and tricks for discovering all of the local favorites, from exciting upcoming events to must-see nearby attractions.

  • croissants

    Baked Delights for Breakfast

    May 06, 2019

    There’s something so sweet sounding about an easy Indianapolis summer morning that starts off with the perfect pastry. From the buttery, flaky beauty of a French croissant to the glorious glaze on an orange scone (pair it with a cup of English Breakfast tea for a proper British feel), baked goods and pastries are one of life’s best reasons to wake up in the morning, and Indy is experiencing a surge in the sweet — and savory — patisserie treats from the area’s experts. 

    Circle City Sweets and Rene’s have you covered with all the cookie, croissant, and cake offerings you could imagine. At Amelia’s, it’s the large, oven-fresh loaves that will leave you salivating — from their classic country loaf to their cranberry walnut, you can’t go wrong. But when your breakfast calls for something above and beyond, the definitive answer is Gallery Pastry Shop. Don’t stop at the brunch menu or the charcuterie board when you can opt for their Ultimate Dessert Board: every pastry in the shop carefully plated and decorated with 24-karat gold leaf.

  • ropes park adventure

    Take to the Trails this Spring

    April 01, 2019

    Take advantage of warmer temperatures and Indy’s adventurous side on the area's trails. When the sun is shining once again, it’s time to head back into the great outdoors. Indianapolis is full of parks, hills, and trails perfect for day trips, light hikes, and family fun. Eagle Creek, nestled in Indy’s Westside, has plenty of miles to explore by foot. 

    But if you’re looking for something a little different, there’s also the Treetop Adventures, complete with zip lines and a treetop obstacle course. Opened in 1916, Holliday Park is one of the oldest parks in the state. It’s been drawing visitors ever since with its 94-acres of green space, wildlife, 3.5 miles of trails, the Holliday Park ruins and playgrounds for the kids. Fort Harrison State Park is great in all seasons with sledding in the winter, but summer is ideal here for the aquatic activities. Rent a canoe to cruise down Fall Creek and cool off as temperatures creep up!

  • colorful paint brushes

    Ignite the Senses at the Indy Art Center

    March 04, 2019

    Spring brings new life, warm weather, and bright colors. Perhaps there’s no better time to appreciate the vibrant art scene of Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Art Center is an ideal place to start your Indy art experience. The center’s rotating exhibits are always free for the public to peruse. Now through April enjoy the Winter Exhibition Series. The series puts artists who focus on paper as their medium—such as Kaylee Dalton, Mark Rospenda and John Manicke—in the spotlight. 

    Not only can you take in exhibits, but the center also hosts events and classes. This season, the center seeks to highlight the audio arts as well as the visual with Music on the Monon—a series of classical and instrumental performances. In March shows include the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra with “Intimate, Classic, Original” and Echoing Air performing “With Rival Notes.” For a hands-on take, hop into one of the center’s classes for every medium from ceramics to textiles and painting.

  • couple eating and laughing

    Show Love Your Way this Valentine's Day

    February 01, 2019

    Whether venturing out with your friends or your favorite someone, the month of love is alive and thriving in Indy. They say couples that sweat together, stay together, so grab your special someone and head over to The Yoga Studio where the scene is perfectly set at their Candlelight Yoga class. Then refuel with a romantic dinner for two at Oakleys Bistro or Meridian where you’ll enjoy a four-course meal with options like fried oysters, crab-stuffed flounder and chocolate profiterole. 

    Take your love to new heights with a scenic view of the city through the window of a chopper tour. Catch sight of Indy standouts such as the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Victory Field and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If you’re planning a day more along the lines of Galentine’s, head over to the White Rabbit for the city’s only live dating game show—Let’s Make a Date. Audience members are contestants competing for the hearts of the “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette.” Who knows, you may walk away a winner!

  • man pouring beer

    Bring in the New Year with the Perfect Brew

    January 01, 2019

    Perk yourself up and prepare to face the New Year head on and full of energy with a cup of caffeine from one of Indy’s top coffee shops. Hubbard and Cravens, the father of Indy’s caffeine scene, has crafted the finest beans sourced from the furthest reaches of the globe since the early ‘90s. With a specialty in seasonal blends, there’s an abundance of options. This year try the Krismasi—a Swahili holiday blend with notes of berries and cocoa. 

    From Guatemala to Myanmar, Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company believes in brewing a conscientious cup. The Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance blends include blends such as grapefruit, berry and cocoa or melon, berry, tobacco, and pepper. Try a special espresso drink with a sweet pastry on the side. Bee Coffee Roasters is all about crafting the cup of perfectly roasted, expertly brewed joe. Try a brew of Sweet Blue, Artemis Espresso or Ruby Slippers.

  • christmas cookies

    Holiday Wrappings and Trappings

    December 03, 2018

    It can be a challenge to find the perfect gifts to put under the tree for our loved ones. Luckily, Indianapolis has mastered holiday markets for you to find inspiration and handcrafted treasures. For the gingerbread village all-out Christmas experience check out Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt. The Old World German market not only has you covered on shopping—there are 47 vendors—but be sure to take a circle ‘round the skating rink, make crafts of your own, sample traditional German fare, and sip a bit of Glühwein—mulled wine—from the 33-foot tall, German-built pyramid. 

    For a hip and unique twist on the holiday market head to Yelp’s Totally Bazaar! With more than 120 local businesses and a pet rescue benefit, it’s the perfect blend of Christmas spirit and holiday love. The annual Indiana Handicraft Exchange has a festive lineup of vendors for the color-themed show and open studios. Be sure to grab your free raffle ticket and a bite from one of the on-site food trucks.

  • Indy's Haunted History

    November 05, 2018

    Halloween may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the haunting has to stop. Here are some of Indianapolis’ best historic spooky spots. Masked beneath the bustling streets of City Market lies the Catacombs—a vast network of miles-long tunnels dating back to the 1800s. Though no bodies were buried here, the maze is the only bones remaining of Tomlinson Hall. As the third largest cemetery in the country, it’s no surprise that Crown Hill is possibly one of the haunted spots, too. 

    Hop on one of the tours to learn about the cemetery that serves as the final resting place for Civil War soldiers, leaders, presidents, and even notorious bank robber John Dillinger. The oldest surviving pathology facility can be found in Indy, and today it’s open to the public as the Indiana Medical History Museum. Get an inside look at the early days of psychiatry and modern medicine with exhibits like preserved specimens, a teaching amphitheater, and autopsy room.

  • A Perfect Day in the Park

    October 01, 2018

    The feel of fall is in the air, but that just means it’s the prime time to get outside and partake in the city’s parks. With a bird sanctuary, treetop adventure course, dog park, trails, hayrides, a golf course, fishing and more, Eagle Creek Park is one of the most diverse in the area. It isn’t difficult to spend the day. Bring a picnic, enjoy the environment and try some new things. There’s plenty for the kids too!

    Head to Holliday Park where you can walk among vibrant blooms in the Arboretum, join an environmental education group or test your stamina at the annual Trail Run. But the true jewel here is The Ruins. Originally serving as the entry to New York City’s very first skyscraper, the massive pillars and three statues on top—named “the Races of Men” by the sculptor—found a new home in Indy where you can interact with a remnant of national history.

  • Creativity, Cuisine and Cycles on the Cultural Trail

    September 03, 2018

    Indianapolis is a city chock-full of art, food, creativity, and culture galore, and there’s a trail that connects it all. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail includes 8 paved miles that pass by seven public art projects throughout Indy’s six cultural districts. The art installations include pieces such as the Glick Peace Walk, Looking Through Windows by Michael Kuschnir, Talking Wall by Bernard Williams and Care/Don’t Care by Jamie Pawlus. 

    Explore further with the city’s food scene—named by Food & Wine and Zagat as one of the best food cities in the country. Join a Cultural Trail Food Tour, such as Fletcher Place Foodie or the ICT Bicycle Food Tour, which include stops at local joints like Wildwood, Saffron Café, and Three Carrots. If you want to explore the trail on your own, get on board with Pacers Bikeshare program. Enjoy the city and hop on, hop off at any of the 80-plus bike racks along the trail!

  • The Circle City's Creative Craft Brew Scene

    August 06, 2018

    If the best way to experience a country is through the food, the best way to take in a city is through its craft brew scene. There’s no better time than the present to bounce between Indy’s booming out-of-the-box breweries. A great collaboration was born when two law students met in class and discovered a common interest in home-brews. 

    The result, Black Acre Brewing Company, is known for its specialty and seasonal suds, such as their Guava Llama Ding Dong and their Bingo Bango milkshake IPA with coconut and key lime. Find your way to Flat12 Bierwerks for their inventive limited release series. Keep an eye on Woodwerks—rare wood-aged brews—and the 12 Gallon series—an ever-changing selection of experimental beers, such as Cotton Candy Tripel and a squid ink infused black gose. This month, Flat12 is co-hosting the First Annual Dorman Street Block Party, complete with a BBQ competition, live music, local beer and more!

  • A Historical Jaunt Through the 4th of July

    July 02, 2018

    Celebrate patriotism with all the pomp you can conjure at one of Indy’s many 4th of July parties. Spend the holiday immersed in history at the History Center’s Free on the Fourth where you can make a campaign button, design your own flag, sing along to patriotic songs, and pass a citizenship test. Pass back in time at 1836 Prairietown

    Join the Coleman Company of Players in songs and games, test your smarts with history quizzes, show your strength in the strongest farmhand competition, and listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Put your own Hancock on the Declaration at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s Independence Day Social. Get the kids involved with the Social’s Passport to History or play historic Victorian games on the lawn. Wrap it up at the Indiana War Memorial and Museum where Freedom Fest brings family fun, local brews and fireworks shot off from Regions Tower.

  • Relax on the River with Music, Museums and the Minor League

    June 04, 2018

    Relax on the riverbanks in downtown Indianapolis at White River State Park. The city established this 250-acre area of trails, waterways, culture, and attractions in the late 1970s as a space for visitors and locals alike to engage in everything the city has to offer. Make your way to the Indiana State Museum for exhibits of art and science. Current exhibits include painter Lois Main Templeton: A Reinvented Life and 100 Years Later: Indiana in the First World War.

    For live entertainment, lounge on the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn for the summer concert series. This year’s lineup features artists such as Bon Iver, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ray LaMontagne, Portugal the Man and Jason Mraz. If that’s not what your night calls for, check show times at the IMAX Theater, visit Victory Field for a minor league baseball game, or explore the art and history of Native Americans and the West at the Eiteljorg Museum!

  • Take to the Track for the 102nd Indy 500

    May 07, 2018

    In 1936, Louis Meyer—a three-time winner of the Indy 500—drank a glass of milk in Victory Lane and the picture landed in the sports section of the next morning’s paper. Since then, it has been a tradition for the winner to down a glass of cold milk. Well, it’s that time of year to hit the track again for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Come and witness this annual event and watch 33 drivers tackle 200 laps, or 500 miles, as the name suggests.

    Tickets are available for this exciting event, which begins May 11 and continues throughout the month of May. From practice runs and qualifying races to a rookie run for kids, and the highly anticipated moment when you hear “drivers start your engines” at the end-all event everyone is waiting for, it’s a month of fun you won’t want to miss!

  • A Day in the Life of Benjamin Harrison and family

    April 05, 2018

    Indiana is the proud home of one U.S. president—Benjamin Harrison. Though born and raised on Ohio, Harrison and his new wife Caroline Scott settled in Indianapolis at the ripe age of 21. It's the house the couple built together that remains as a National Historic Landmark and memorial to our 23rd president. The 16-room, 3-story, 10,000-square-foot Italianate home was built in one year, and, from lot to wall paint, cost $29,000 (somewhere around $630,000 today).

    Take a docent-led tour of the home to see rotating exhibits about the president and our country's history, and what daily life was like for the Harrison family. Or, come by after hours for a production by the Candlelight Theatre. The period setting will positively put you in the mood for these plays, which are all set in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now showing, Murder in Triplicate—a trilogy of one-act plays.

  • Family Fun at the Indianapolis Zoo

    March 07, 2018

    Looking for something fun to do with the whole family? Then round up the troops and get ready to learn, laugh, and explore as you experience over 1,300 animals and 30,000 plants from all different environments, including deserts, forests, oceans, and plains. Whether you’re going on five or fifty, you’re sure to love the Indianapolis Zoo, and here at Indianapolis Airport Suites, you’re less than a twenty-minute drive away.

    From Flights of Fancy, a collection of five aviaries featuring hundreds of exotic birds, to the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, which houses one of the biggest groups of orangutans in any American zoo, the Indianapolis Zoo is packed with plenty of visually stunning, educational, and memorable exhibits. Watch penguins play in an Antarctic setting or hear a lion roar in the African desert. There’s truly something for everyone at this award-winning attraction.

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