An Indy State of Mind This Weekend

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View from the Skyline Club in Indianapolis

Where to stay, what to visit while in Indy.

If you’re a fan of the Michigan State Spartans, West Virginia Mountaineers or the Duke Blue Devils and are headed to Indianapolis to watch the Men’s Final Four action at the Lucas Oil Stadium, you’ll be joined by thousands of local Butler Bulldogs fans. Crazy Dawgs!

Indeed, the Bulldogs are an Indy team so their fans are likely to be in abundance throughout the city and in numbers far greater than had the tournament been held in, let’s say, Atlanta. Expect the Butler team to realize some sort of edge with its fan base being local, but don’t expect that Blue Devil, Mountaineer or Spartan fans to allow that to bother them.

In any case, it is going to be a crazy time in Indy as March Madness becomes April Angst for all.

Visiting Indy

For Indy visitors wanting to know more about the city, a visit to visitindy.com can give you a good glimpse of what to do around town when basketball isn’t being played. Two games are on Saturday and one is on Monday, leaving a full day of activities for you to take advantage of on Sunday.

As of April 1, the following hotels within fifteen miles of the stadium still had rooms available. We’re not recommending one particular place over the other and we’re not going to publish rates as these are likely to change. Instead, check out what is available to ensure that your trip to Indianapolis is a good one:

Embassy Suites Indianapolis – North
3912 Vincennes Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-7700
embassysuites1.hilton.com/en_US/es/hotel/INDNHES-Embassy-Suites-Indianapolis-North-Indiana/index.do

Notes: This all-suite hotel is located near the Indianapolis Speedway and is 15 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium. Rooms feature two double or one king bed with sleeper sofa, two televisions with games, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, alarm clock with MP3 player and a wet bar. Hotel amenities include made to order breakfast daily, manager’s reception in the evening, fitness center, indoor pool and business center.

Clarion Inn & Suites Northwest
7001 Corporate Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46278-1938
317-298-3700
clarionhotel.com/hotel-indianapolis-indiana-IN433?promo=gglocal

Notes: This 67-room Choice Hotels property is located ten miles from Final Four action. Hotel amenities include lobby coffee services, free daily breakfast, business center, fitness center and indoor pool. Guest rooms feature two double/queen or one king bed, Internet access, coffee maker, cable television, work desk, hair dryer and separate sitting area.

Baymont Inn & Suites Greenwood
1281 South Park Drive
Greenwood, IN 46143-9061
317-865-0100
baymontinns.com/Baymont/control/Booking/property_info?propertyId=20553&cid=carat_search-Baymont

Notes: Hotel is 30 minutes from Final Four action. Amenities include coffee in lobby, free breakfast daily, indoor pool, spa tub, wireless Internet access and business services. Guest rooms feature two double or one king bed, coffee maker, hair dryer, microwave, refrigerator and cable television.

Check the tourism site for hotel availability or hotels.com for prices and related information.

Keeping Occupied

In addition to finding a place to stay, you’ll need something to do. Luckily, Indy is a happening city as far as culture, places to eat and other fun stuff go. We’ve added links to places where you might want to eat at this end of this article; if you’re looking for other stuff to do, then here are some suggestions:

Eiteljorg Museum-American Art
500 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2775
317-636-9378
eiteljorg.org

Notes: Located downtown, two blocks from the convention center and across the street from the Indiana State Museum, this facility features Native American and Western Art. Learn how a new nation spread and what that meant to its long time inhabitants.

Indianapolis Zoo
1200 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
317-630-2001
indyzoo.com

Notes: Located in White River State Park downtown, the Indianapolis Zoo opened in 1964 and welcomes more than one million visitors annually. Lots of different species are featured including lions, tigers and giraffes. On site 3.3 acre botantical garden may inspire you in your efforts to redo your yard!

NCAA Hall of Champions
700 Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46201
317-916-4255
ncaahallofchampions.org

Notes: Your trip to Indianapolis will be complete if you include the “NCAA Hall of Champions” among your favorite places to visit. Check out the place featuring everything about NCAA college sports including sports other than basketball.

Hinkle Fieldhouse
510 West 49th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208-3480
317-940-3647
butlersports.com/information/facilities/hinkle_fieldhouse

Notes: Home to the Butler Bulldogs and the site for the filming of the 1986 classic movie, Hoosiers, the aged Hinkle Fieldhouse stands as a memorial to Indiana high school basketball as well as a shrine for the Butler team.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
800-822-4639
indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Notes: This famous speedway is a must even when a race isn’t going on. The Indy 500 is held on Memorial Day weekend, but a museum and grounds tour makes this venue a worthwhile stop.

Fine Dining

Naturally, you’ll get hungry and want to check out some of the better restaurants in the area, including the following within blocks of Lucas Oil Stadium:

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
45 S. Illinois St. (Circle Centre Mall)
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-633-1313
ruthschris.com/Steak-House/5000/Indianapolis/Downtown

Oceanaire Seafood Room
30 South Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3510
317-955-2277
theoceanaire.com

Palomino
49 West Maryland St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-974-0400
palomino.com

St Elmo Steak House
127 South Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225-1079
317-635-0636
stelmos.com

14 West
14 W Maryland St. # 1
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-636-1414
14westindy.com

Bosphorus Cafe
935 S East St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-974-1770
bosphoruscafe.com

Barcelona Tapas
201 N Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-638-8272
barcelonatapas.com

Favorite Venue

That’s it! And, of course, you’ll want to head over to the home of the Indianapolis Colts and Final Four too:

Lucas Oil Stadium
500 S. Capitol Ave·
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-262-3389
lucasoilstadium.com

Photo Credit: Rob Tello

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