Indianapolis Off The Beaten Path

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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Indianapolis

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    Center of Indiana's Government

    by Toughluck Written Feb 19, 2014

    Visit the the fourth statehouse of Indiana. The third statehouse was condemned in 1876. The General Assembly relocated to a large office building that had been built in 1865 and was already housing the Supreme Court. The Governor and the executive staff relocated to another office building. The office building was used as the statehouse during the interim period that the new statehouse was being built. In 1887, before the new statehouse had been completed, enough of the lower floors were usable for the government to move out of the cramped office space and begin holding sessions in the new structure.

    Statehouse Tour Office
    Jennifer Hodge, Coordinator
    Statehouse, Room 220

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    Monument Circle: Circle of lights Tradition

    by staindesign Updated Dec 15, 2013

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    The Festival of Lights is a yearly tradition. From 6-7pm is the preshow and then from 7-8pm is the actual show that is televised. At 7.50 the tree/monument is lite up, carrols are sang, and fireworks explode above. This city knows how to ring in Christmas. The crowds are large and it is best to arrive early and dress warm!

    It takes a lot to get the place decorated, more than 200 volunteer union electricians string 4,784 lights on 52 garland strands each 215 ft. long in November and then return in January to take them down. There are 6 huge lighted raindeer and about 25 lighted trees. Around the circle are 8ft. tall nutcracker soldiers and all of the trees are strung with lights. The surrounding buildings are light up with colored lights and in the windows they usually make an image of a green christmas tree.

    The monument lite up!
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    • Festivals
    • School Holidays

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    Side Trip: Exotic Feline Rescue Center

    by staindesign Written Oct 20, 2013

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    The Exotic Feline Rescue Center is a truly hidden gem in Indiana. It's unfortunate that the rescue has to even exist bc people here believe it's a good idea to make money by breeding or getting these wild animals as pets. I personally think a domestic cat can be pretty demanding, not to mention a 150+ wild cat.

    There are 226 rescued cats living at the center currently. There are tours Tuesday-Sunday. $10 for adults & $7 for children. There are lions, tigers, leopards, bob cats, etc. The donations are critical for the up keep at the center. They are very fortunate that since the surrounding farmers are very supportive by donating their dead livestock to the center for fresh meat for the cats. We were told that it takes about 3,000lbs of fresh meat daily to feed all of the cats. The enclosures are a bit sad looking, don't expect to see a space designed like the zoos. It is not luxury, but the cats are treated well and are living where they are not abused any longer. Caging these cats can seem like abuse, but the abuse from taking them from their natural habitat has affected them where they wouldn't be able to survive in the wild now. It seems it is the best scenario at this point and hopefully people are receiving education from this place to help prevent continual abuse of these animals in our state and our country. A final note, you are so much closer to these huge cats then you ever would be at a zoo.

    Also, I'd like to mention the staff. They are very hard working and caring for these cats and their cause. The founder is a very humble man. He works hard along side the keepers and volunteers. I was honored to meet a person with such a big heart.

    This pic doesn't do justice how huge this guy is! Leopard Leopard White Tiger
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    First Fridays

    by staindesign Written Nov 13, 2011

    First Fridays are popping up in cities around the country. But I'd like to point out Indy's for the small point of the new but steady food movement growing known as food trucks. This is really great fun! 15+ trucks gather in a parking lot in downtown and sere everything from chef inspired to carnival treats. This is really a community event that is growing up quickly and I'm proud Indy is discovering it's food culture. Id recommend the Groovy Guys Fries and Scout's Treats! This trucks can be found town daily as well.

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    A stop back in time in Lockerbie Square

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In the shadow of downtown Indianapolis, Lockerbie Square with its quaint cottages stand side by side among an eclectic mix of Italiante, Federal and Queen Anne houses of one of the nation's most resurgent cities.
    James Whitcomb Riley spent the last two decades of his life here over a century ago.

    A dedicated group of "urban pioneers" led the neighborhood's revitalization. Restoration of houses came one by one with vacant lots filled with either historic homes relocated from other, endangered locations, or from "in-fill" construction carefully designed to blend in with the neighborhood's Victorian ambiance.

    Lockerbie Square
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    Check out an architectural salvage store...

    by Cabana_Boy Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Check out an architectural salvage store. I love rummaging through these types of stores.

    In Indy, Tim & Avi's (whatever happened to Billy) is the best. They are located at 2442 N Central (SW corner of E 25th St and Central Ave) in Indianapolis, IN 46202.

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    Pres. Benjamin Harrison

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 16, 2007

    Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1963.1
    County: Marion
    Title: Brig. General Benjamin Harrison 1833-1901

    Marker Text: Entered the Union Army as 2nd Lt. of the 70th Indiana Regiment. He insisted on turning raw recruits into disciplined soldiers. He later was United States Senator from Indiana and the twenty-third President of the United States.

    Credit Line: Erected by the Indiana Civil War Centennial Commission 1963
    Directions: President Benjamin Harrison Home, 1230 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

    National Park Service (Old) Northside Historic District includes the Harrison Home.

    Courtesy of Hist Am. Buildings Survey (HABS) USDOI
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    Crown Hill Cemetery

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 16, 2007

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    Crown Hill
    Marker Text: Crown Hill Cemetery, founded in 1863, is the fourth largest cemetery in America. The history of Indiana and the United States is reflected in its monuments. Crown Hill is the only cemetery in the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    THE PEOPLE OF CROWN HILL
    Over 185,000 burials at Crown Hill. The following is a sample of those buried here.
    Lyman S. Ayres, 1824-1896, Section 11, Lot 11 Founded L.S. Ayres department stores in 1874.
    James Baskett, 1904-1948, Section 37, Lot 602. Black actor, best known for role of Uncle Remus in Disney's song of the South.
    John Dillinger, 1903-1934, Section 44, Lot 94. Notorious bank robber during the depression era.
    Charles Fairbanks, 1852-1918, Section 24, Lot 3. U.S. Senator, 1897-1904, U.S. Vice President, 1905-1909. Fairbanks, Alaska is named after him.
    Dr. Richard J. Gatling, 1818-1903, Section 3, Lot 9. Inventor of the Gatling Gun.
    Benjamin Harrison, 1833-1901, Section 13, Lot 57. U.S. Senator, 23rd U.S. President 1889-1893.
    Thomas A. Hendricks, 1819-1885, Section 29, Lot 2. U.S. Senator, 1863-1869; Governor, 1873-1877, U.S. Vice President, 1885.
    Etheridge Knight, 1931-1991, Section 62, Lot 173. A leading Black poet of the 1970s and 80s
    Col. Eli Lilly, 1844-1898. Section 13, Lot 19. Founder of Eli Lilly & Company.
    Thomas Marshall, 1854-1925, Section 72, Lot 1. Governor 1909-1913; U.S. Vice President, 1913-1921.
    James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916, Section 61, Lot 1. Famous Hoosier Poet.
    Samuel St. George Rogers, 1832-1880. Section 3, Lot 22. Confederate soldier and congressman from Florida. Over 1,600 Confederate POWs are also buried at Crown Hill.
    Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946, Section 13, Lot 56. Author/playwright, winner of two Pulitzers.

    National Park Serivce Crown Hill Cemetery National Historic Register Site

    Courtesy of HABS (DOI-NPS)
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    • Religious Travel

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    Toll House - Michigan Road

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 16, 2007

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    Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1961.3
    County: Marion
    Title: Toll House / Michigan Road

    Marker Text: Operated by Augusta Gravel Road Co., circa 1866-1892. First major state road, built in the 1830's, from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan.
    Credit Line: Erected by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Indiana, 1961

    Directions: 4702 N. Michigan Road/US 421, Indianapolis.

    National Park Service Toll House National Register Site

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    Lebanon Courthouse (Boone County)

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 5, 2007

    While I don't know for sure, most 'Boone' names west of the appalachian mountains are for Daniel Boone. Might not, but possible.

    If you're heading to Indy from up north or going that way as you're leaving Indy, you'll pass Lebanon. It's a major lodging and food stop a half hour to 45 minutes north on I-65. A few antique stores and a county courthouse. Indiana is known for it's square courthouses with central towers. Each is different, but they are alot alike. Some have lost the towers, many still have them. Some have domed tops, others are clock towers or steeples or flat topped. Lebanon is a domed tower.

    The Lebanon VT site doesn't have any tips (11/2007) but it does have a list of hotels (no ratings though). For a sample of County Courthouses, see my Courthouse travelogue

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    Charles Fairbanks

    by Toughluck Updated Aug 31, 2007

    Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1966.1
    County: Marion
    Title: Home of Charles Warren Fairbanks May 11,1852 - June 4, 1918

    Marker Text: Prominent lawyer of Indianapolis; Keynote convention speaker, 1896; United States Senator, 1897-1905; Vice-President of the United States, 1905-1909; and Vice-Presidential candidate in 1916.

    Credit Line: Erected by Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966
    Directions: 30th & Meridian Streets, front lawn of gated establishment, Indianapolis.

    Charles Fairbanks is buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jikan/1236727040/
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    The National Road

    by Toughluck Updated Apr 10, 2007

    The National Road was the nation’s first federally funded highway. It connected Maryland to the western interior in Illinois. Conceived by George Washington, it became a reality in 1806 during Thomas Jefferson’s administration.

    The road reached Indiana in 1827. It stretch across Indiana from Richmond to Terre Haute by 1834. Initially, all that was done was to clear a dirt path with trees cut low enough for Conestoga wagons to ride over them. Since it's initial construction, it has changed often. Railroads were built, automobiles were invented and I-70 was constructed.

    National Road Scenic Byway in Indiana
    Indiana National Road Association website.
    Wikipedia National Road Summary
    US 40 Golden Highway (modern Nat'l Road Route) website.

    Washington Street, Indianapolis
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    Sarah Bolton

    by Toughluck Updated Mar 28, 2007

    Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1960.2
    County: Marion
    Title: Sarah T. Bolton 1814-1893

    Marker Text: A pioneer poet of Indiana, author of "Paddle Your Own Canoe" and "Indiana," crusader for women's rights, lived here at "Beech Bank" from 1871 to 1893.

    Credit Line: Erected by the Society of Indiana Pioneers, 1960
    Directions: 107 E. Sherman Drive, west of Sarah T. Bolton Park, Beech Grove.

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    • Women's Travel

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    The Central canal

    by Toughluck Updated Mar 28, 2007

    ID#: 49.1966.2
    County: Marion
    Title: The Central Canal

    Marker Text: Part of a statewide canal system begun in the late 1830's. The Central was projected from Peru to Worthington via Marion and Martinsville. Twenty-four miles were completed in this region. Railroads soon replaced the canals.

    Credit Line: Erected by Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966
    Directions: Illinois Street & Westfield Boulevard, Indianapolis.

    Fountain, just north of West Street Central Canal looking east towards downtown Central Canal at State Museum
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    Civil War Camp in Indianapolis

    by Toughluck Updated Mar 28, 2007

    Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1962.1
    County: Marion
    Title: Camp Morton 1861-65

    Marker Text: Site selected by Lew Wallace as training camp for volunteers on old State Fairgrounds in 1861 and named for Governor Oliver P. Morton. Used as a camp for Confederate prisoners, 1862-65. Col. Richard Owen, Commandant.
    Credit Line: Erected by Indiana Civil War Centennial Commission, 1962

    Directions: 1900 block N. Alabama Street, Herron-Morton Place Historic Park, Indianapolis.

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