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The ultimate road trip to Fort Wayne, IN

Hit the road and head to Fort Wayne — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

An alley with red lanterns in Fort Wayne

There’s no shortage of murals in Fort Wayne.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Table of Contents

Itching to get out of town, Hoosiers? Skip those pesky airport security lines and jump in your car for a road trip to Fort Wayne instead.

From a tropical paradise at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory to Bravas’ smashburgers — we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time in the 260.

📍 Essential info

Drive time: ~2.5 hours from Indianapolis
Year city was established: 1794
Est. population: 265,974

Inside the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory

This Conservatory has indoor + outdoor gardens to stroll through.

Photo by INDYtoday team

🎟️ Experience

Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
Catch the Botanical Speedway exhibit until Sunday, April 7, take a botanically-inspired class, or spin the oversized kaleidoscope at this kid-friendly oasis.

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
From an African safari to an Indonesian rain forest, there’s plenty to explore at this family destination. Don’t miss an opportunity to brush a goat, feed a stingray, or ride the Z.O.&O. Railroad.

Promenade Park
This one-of-a-kind park joins together recreation, arts, and culture along the water with a treetop canopy trail, kids’ canal, and a chance to take a riverboat cruise.

Parkview Field
Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack + watch a TinCaps minor league game while you’re in town. The award-winning stadium opened in 2009 as a pillar of Fort Wayne’s downtown revitalization.

Embassy Theatre
Plan your trip around one of the many performances on the schedule for the historic theater, which was built as a movie palace + vaudeville house in 1928.

A burger on a plate

We recommend the “Dave’s not here, man” burger from Bravas.

Photo by INDYtoday team

🍔 Eat

Notice the bowling alley lanes for countertops at this burger + tapas joint known for its Patatas Bravas + smashburgers.

Hoppy Gnome
You can’t talk about Fort Wayne’s food scene without mentioning Hoppy Gnome, which serves up inventive fusion entrees like the Thai meatball taco, tandoori cauliflower, and kimchi chicken fingers.

This scratch kitchen features flavors from Spain, Cuba, and Colombia — we recommend the guava glazed salmon paired with a specialty cocktail.

The Stand
Get some of the best coney dogs and ice cream in Fort Wayne at this family favorite that has been open since 2004.

Fortezza Coffee
Need a place to refuel after walking around downtown? Fortezza has a cozy atmosphere, caffeinated beverages, and cute merch to browse while you’re there.

Inside a Fort Wayne VRBO

It’s the four poster bed for us.

Photo via VRBO

🏨 Stay

Historic Sion Bass House
Check yourself into this cozy VRBO with classic decor and an old-timey letterbox outside.

Spacious Fort Wayne Condo
Have a porch to yourself with a fully equipped kitchen and free WiFi included.

Cozy Designer 3BR Home
Enjoy a professionally decorated home with a private backyard and a two-vehicle driveway.

The Bradley
The Main Street hotel loans out bikes for visitors and welcomes pets with water bowls, treats, and pet beds.

LaSalle Guest Houses
Just a five-minute walk from downtown, head to this quiet stay in the historic West Central district.

Wait a minute, Hoosiers. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank and stock up on road trip snacks from Just Pop In! and The Best Chocolate in Town.

Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Fort Wayne.

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