Three Fun Ways to See Indianapolis
Leah Walker July 26, 2013

I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Indiana’s capital city, Indianapolis. I was fortunate enough for my visit to coincide with Indy’s most famous event—the Indianapolis 500. During my trip, the city was a buzz with celebrities, racing fans from around the world, and locals who eagerly anticipate this storied event each year. Although I was stoked to experience “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” I also was excited to see more of the city.

White River State Park Indy

During my time exploring Indy, I also experienced a few firsts in the process. I’m a big believer of taking off on foot in a new city, but I was thrilled to mix things up a bit and add an element of speed to my touring. What better place than Indy to do it?

Bicycle

Indy Bike Trail

I’ve written about Indy’s new, eight-mile Cultural Trail that loops around the city. The bike and pedestrian trail is a great way for visitors to get a feel for the city and hit the high points in a little amount of time. Although, it also lends itself to a leisurely day of exploring the museums, parks, monuments, art, restaurants, and shops that line the trail. The route connects Indy’s five cultural districts: Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave, the Canal and White River State Park, and the Wholesale District. Cruising on a bike along the Cultural Trail ranks as my #1 must-do when visiting Indy. Rent a bike at Indy Bike Hub and go!

Indy Cultural Trail

Segway

Most folks tend to have a strong opinion when asked the question: To Segway or not to Segway? I, however, was sort of ambivalent. I’d never tried riding one, but I certainly wasn’t opposed to the idea either. So when Visit Indy suggested I go on a Segway tour around the city I was willing to give it a shot.

Indianapolis Segway Tour

After being equipped with a helmet and a brief demonstration by the guides at Segway Tours of Indiana, I was on my way to exploring parts of Indy that I hadn’t seen along the Cultural Trail. With little effort I glided through the White River State Park, by the Elephant Habitat of Indy’s zoo, NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum, various works of art, and around the Canal, Indy’s waterside promenade. Throughout the tour, my guide didn’t overload me with tons of information and instead just gave me brief bits of information about what I was seeing. Lasting a little over an hour, I was pleased with the Segway experience and would totally do it again.

IndyCar

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ride along

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a speed demon. I love going fast. When I saw that I was getting to do a ride along in an IndyCar I was totally pumped. Since it was the weekend of the Indy 500, I didn’t actually get to go 225 miles per hour around the giant Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but I did get a taste of what it would be like by riding in a street-legal IndyCar at the Dallara IndyCar Factory. The Dallara car has been stretched to accommodate two people and zips around like I imagine a real IndyCar does. Climbing into this car was so surreal—never mind the roar of the engine and the acceleration speed. Perhaps it’s not the ideal way to see the city, as it only goes around a few city blocks, but it’s a unique experience and one to have when visiting Circle City. Plus, it’s just tons of fun!

Dallara Indianapolis

My time in Indianapolis passed far too quickly. I can’t wait to go back and explore some of the museums, restaurants, and shops that I didn’t have time for. Plus, I’m totally going to a Colts game and doing a ride along on Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What can I say? I have the need—the need for speed!

I was a guest of Visit Indy, but in no way was I swayed to write a positive review by providing me with the most comfortable bicycle I’ve ever ridden, the perfect weather conditions, or the adrenaline rush at the hands of a real IndyCar driver. As always, opinions are my own.

Leah Walker

Leah’s a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that’s in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah’s thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don’t extend to speaking French. Yet.

27 Comments

    1. It really was cool, especially since I was a bit tired from cruising around via bike the day before. Indy is a great city to see this way.

  1. Nice working your way up to a racing car! Glad you got to explore a place I would not think of checking out normally. Maybe it’s time ilivetotravel makes it to Indy??

    1. I can’t really see you on a Segway, but you’re right about the IndyCar. It’s easily the coolest transportation around.

  2. Look at you rocking that segway! I would actually love to see Indianapolis all of these ways, especially the IndyCar though, what a cool experience!

    1. Helmets were the theme of my trip in Indy. I did refuse to use one on the bicycle, but it was offered. My head is hard enough. 😉

    1. Come on, Ted. I think you’d make that Segway look good. I think you need to schedule a stop in Indy next time. I found a few good drinking spots, too.

  3. Sounds like a busy time in Indy town! Getting out on the track sounds like a rush! Didn’t know that was an option…should add that to my adrenaline bucket list! 🙂

    1. Indy was non-stop fun and excitement. I seriously had a good time. The people are awesome and the IndyCar was the coolest. Definitely add it to your list.

  4. So glad to here that you like the Segway tour! I felt exactly the same way when my inlaws set up a tour of our own city for my husbands birthday. I was take it or leave it, but after the tour I thought it was so so much fun! I would definitely do a Segway tour in another city!

    1. It does take a little getting used to, but the Segway is tons of fun. I’m glad you had fun riding one as well. There are some cities I wouldn’t do it in (Prague, Rome, Paris), but for places with wide sidewalks it’s perfect.

  5. my former co-worker’s bf lives in indy, and i always tease her when she has to go visit him. she swears she really loves it, though!

  6. If you are ever there on Labor day weekend check out MotoGP , the F1 of motorcycles. The U.S. failed to host a single event ten years ago and hosted 3 this year alone. Got to see the GP in 08- to bad it ended with Hurricane Ike… lol.
    Great track! Rich in history

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