If you love sports, local breweries, party-people and good shopping, odds are you’ll like Indianapolis. Oh wait, do you like cold? If so, then maybe you should move there because they have it all!
Just before the holidays I went for a few days and stayed in the Keystone Area (about a $60 cab ride from the airport), full of shopping and restaurants. It was over the holidays, so it was an actual mad house, but very festive. I met a few people who lived a few hours away and drove in for the day – some even stayed overnight – because they could knock out all their holiday shopping at one spot – The Fashion Mall!
The Fashion Mall was connected to Sheraton at Keystone at the Crossing, which is where I stayed. The Sheraton also had a fabulous gym, which I appreciated. If you’re going to Indy for shopping, I highly recommend you stay there (pro tip: if you go over the holidays, you don’t have to deal with the cold as it’s literally connected by a hallway and of course you won’t have to park!). It has stores like C. Wonder, Saks, Nordstrom, Madewell, and my personal favorite lululemon!
In the midst of all my shopping I had to take a break and stop for lunch and bubbles at Napolese, which was perfection. Napolese has great pizzas and fantastic salads and a huge selection of wines and bubbles, not to mention very friendly bartenders who fill your glasses to the rim! No matter where I am, that will always be appreciated.
There is also Late Harvest, which is within walking distance from the Mall/Hotel and is one of the city’s best restaurants, which makes for a great girl’s night dinner spot (or a date spot!).
I also attended a Colts game, which definitely lived up to the hype. Their tailgating was sporadic, but the cold weather probably had a lot to do with it. Lucas Oil Stadium was more than I had hoped for – such a unique venue for a sporting event, although the fans were pretty silent. The scene after the game was definitely fun with people all trickling out the same exit and heading to a few local bars and restaurants.
During my visit I also fell in love – with a beer. The microbrewery scene in Indy was an unexpected one, but very welcome. The State of Indiana took home more gold medals than any other state at the Great American Beer Festival a couple of years ago, which turned heads and made Indy a prime spot for breweries to set their sights on. Their biggest (and my favorite) is Sun King Brewery. I had the chance to meet one of the owners and got a tour of their fun brewery and tasted them all – my favorite was the Osiris Pale Ale and they serve it at the stadium, so I got to enjoy it throughout my trip. I’ve never been a huge brewery tour fan, but they have a really unique concept and I highly recommend you check them out if you are visiting. For more info on what’s on tap in Indy, click here.
Had time permitted, I would have loved to check out Philippe’s and Woodhouse, which are well known spas in the Keystone area for a day of pampering. Who doesn’t love a day or even just a few hours of pampering?
Here are a few other activities I hope to try on my next visit:
– Wine Tastings by the taste, glass or bottle thru Enomatic Tasting Stations at Tastings, A Wine Experience
– Rent bikes and explore the Monon Trail, deemed one of the busiest greenways in the nation. Connects the northside to downtown Indy (of course if it’s not winter time!)
– Explore the Cultural Trail, an 8-mile urban bike trail that connects all six of the city’s Cultural Districts (also connects to the Monon Trail that takes you north).
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.