Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Indianapolis

by  Darren Murph | May 13, 2013
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana / Sean Pavone/iStock

Each year, the sporting world turns its eyes to the Indianapolis 500 – widely seen as the world's most popular race in terms of absolute global interest. But there's a lot more to Indy than a single race, and if you're headed there soon for business or pleasure, it's our goal to help you experience as much as possible of the city. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into Indy, here are two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

St. Elmo is a downtown tradition in Indianapolis (they've been serving meals since 1902!), and while it's technically a steak house, there's plenty of other options for those who'd prefer to dodge the house specialty. Seafood, chicken, and salad are equally outstanding.

If you're in a hurry, Tavern on South is within walking distance of the Indianapolis Convention Center. There's a light and open atmosphere that makes it ideal for drinks or a quite bite, but it's certainly capable of hosting a client dinner as well. Burgers, fish, salads, and pizzas abound, and if that's the kind of fare you're in the mood for, you really can't go wrong.

I'm a big fan of city parks, and Indianapolis has one of the better ones. White River State Park is a quick 15 minute stroll from the convention hall, and as the state's only urban park, there's gobs to do. You can cruise the green area on a Segway, pedal a boat down the 1.5 mile canal, visit a zoo, or refresh your memory at the NCAA Hall of Champions Museum. Regardless of whether you've just got an hour to clear your head or a solid half-day to enjoy things, you'll find a lot of interesting options here.

If you do happen to be in town surrounding a race, you'd obviously be doing yourself a favor to find a ticket. But, in the event that prices are too rich for your blood, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers grounds tours that sate the appetite for most. There's also a Hall of Fame Museum to visit once you're inside, and it's likely that even non-racing fans will find plenty to appreciate. There's oodles of history to be soaked in here.

A visit to the New Day Meadery serves two main purposes. One, there's an outstanding tasting bar here that should please just about any wine connoisseur. Second, it's located in the historic Fountain Square district, which is a joy to walk around in. So, feel free to enjoy your final evening in the city by shopping and enjoying a glass. You've earned it.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

What are some of your favorite things to do in Indy?

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