Layover In Indianapolis (IND)
Indianapolis – the name means Indiana City – has been the state capital of Indiana since 1820. It’s the largest city in the state, one of the largest in the US and is best known for hosting the Indy 500 race and other sporting and musical events such as the Indy Jazz Festival.
If you’re planning a trip to Indianapolis, you will soon be lucky enough to fly into the new Indianapolis International Airport (IND) passenger terminal which will open within the month. This is part of an airport redesign which has been underway since 2002. There’s also a brand new Indianapolis airport parking facility to go along with the rest of the planned improvements.
So aside from checking out the spanking new facilities, what else can you do on a layover in Indianapolis? Since Indianapolis International Airport isn’t far from the city, why not take the 15 minute ride to see what’s on offer downtown?
White River State Park
If you only have time to visit one place, make it the White River State Park, the only urban state park in Indiana. Where else could you see a game, visit the zoo or check out a museum in a single trip? Attractions in the park include:
- the Indianapolis Zoo, where you can touch a shark, see a tiger and visit the African plains.
- White River Gardens – more than three acres of exquisite gardens and plants; in spring, the Hibbert Consevatory plays host to thousands of butterflies, which is a wonderful sight.
- Indiana State Museum, which features exhibitions covering the period from the beginnings of the Earth to the future. Look out for the sculptures built into the museum building itself.
- Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art – where you can experience the diversity of artistic and cultural artifacts from these groups.
You can also visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, see the Indianapolis Indians play or tour the whole park by Segway.
Don’t ignore the city’s racing history. If you visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you can take in the Brickyard 400, Indy 500 or some Formula 1 racing. The Hall of Fame Museum shows Indy 500 highlights on a large screen and has a great exhibition of winning race cars. It’s only five miles from downtown Indiana, so there’s no reason to miss it.
Also in downtown Indiana is Monument Circle, which commemorates Indiana’s veterans for all wars from the Civil War to before World War 1. The iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument rises 284 feet in the air. While you’re there, the Col Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is also worth a look. For another peek into history, visit the historic home of President Benjamin Harrison, which is furnished with period furniture. Most of the artifacts and books in the home belonged to the Harrison family.