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Indianapolis itinerary for out-of-town visitors

Want to make sure you’re the best host + show your friends and family what Indy has to offer? Here’s an itinerary that’s sure to create some good times for out-of-towners.


A miniature replica of the Indianapolis skyline is just one scene you can see recreated in Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum. | Photo via INDYtoday team

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The holidays are almost here and if you’re hosting out-of-town guests in Indy but aren’t sure where to take them or what sights to see, we’ve got plenty of recommendations for you to build the perfect itinerary for your visitors.


If your visitors are looking for hotel recommendations, here are some INDYtoday-approved places to stay:

Ironworks Hotel, 2721 E. 86th Street | $199+
An industrial-inspired 120-room boutique hotel on Indy’s north side, located in an area with good shopping — like the Fashion Mall — and not far from Carmel Christkindlmarkt.

Bottleworks Hotel, 850 Massachusetts Ave. | $209+
Where history meets modern, this hotel is located at the heart of Mass Ave with a lot to see, do, and eat.

Hotel Indy, 141 E. Washington St. | $179+
This Marriott boutique hotel is located across from Gainbridge Fieldhouse and its new Bicentennial Unity Plaza where you’ll find an ice rink to enjoy.

Exterior of the Bottleworks Hotel at night

The Bottleworks District looks pretty magical in the moonlight.

Photo by INDYtoday team


Is it even a trip to the Circle City without seeing the Circle of Lights? You can also take your visitors to any of the Hoosier murals around downtown for the perfect family photo. If you’ve got any literature buffs in the group, head to the Kurt Vonnegut Museum + Library.

Food + Drink

If your guests need coffee to get going in the morning but you’re not exactly a baristaParlor Public House, Blue Mind Coffee Roasting, and Coat Check Coffee all offer a range of seasonal drinks.

The Hoosier state is home to 100+ breweries. Sun King Brewery, Upland Brewing Company, and Guggman Haus Brewing Co. are some local favorites that also serve lunch + dinner. If beer isn’t their thing — try cider instead at Ash + Elm Cider Co.

Need plans after sunset? See the city from a rooftop bar at The Cannon Ball Lounge, Pins Mechanical Co., or 3Up Rooftop.

As for food — our personal favorites include Nesso, BODHI : Craft Bar + Thai Bistro, Bluebeard, and brunch at Cafe Patachou. Brunch in Indy is an absolute must.

We love Modita, Public Greens, Taste of Dubai, and Livery and recommend satisfying your sweet tooth at any of Gallery Pastry’s locations — downtown, SoBro, or Old Northside — with filled croissants or macarons.

And if you’re gluten free, we’ve got you covered there too. Gluten Free Creations + Native Bread are a couple local gluten-free options.


Nicole loved the tangerine chicken dish at Modita | Photo via INDYtoday team

For the whole family

Let the kids — or grandkids — run around + explore the world’s largest children’s museum or plan your escape with the whole family at The Escape Room.

See a kid-friendly show at the Old National Centre — Frozen (Touring) is here until Sunday, Nov. 26 + Straight No Chaser’s Sleighin’ It Tour is here Dec. 21-23.

Load up the car and spend the afternoon exploring Christmas at the Zoo — nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Zoo Lights — or take the family bowling at Royal Pin Western.

Outdoor activities

If your visitors are ready for some outdoor fun, we have a variety of parks to explore. Walking the trails at Eagle Creek Park or along the Canal Walk is the perfect way to get some fresh air while taking in all of the beauty Indy has to offer.

One of the best things about our city is our proximity to some amazing trails. Here is our guide to a range of hikes in the area.

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The Canal Walk near the Indiana State Museum is decked out for the holidays | Photo via White River State Park

Indoor activities

Temps this time of year can get pretty low, so spend a day exploring Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum or Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum to stay warm.

Indy also boasts an excellent theater scene. Catch a touring Broadway show at the Indiana Repertory Theatre or check out the upcoming productions at Phoenix Theatre, District Theatre, or Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

If you’ve got any sports fans in the group, here is the Pacer’s winter home game schedule.

You can also send your visitors our events calendar in advance to get a feel for what kinds of things they’ll want to see + do while in town.

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