One of the most beloved characters in movies, TV shows, and books is not a person at all, but the multi-faceted personality that is New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker used to famously refer to it as the fifth lead on Sex and the City. It’s romantic and mysterious, yet familiar and welcoming. Although nothing compares to the Big Apple itself, there are plenty of gems in Indianapolis that can give you a similar experience without a trip to the airport.
With it’s midwest charm and modest prices—Indy is the perfect place to plan your next staycation. Check out our picks for below for a two-day metropolitan experience in and outside of the city’s center.
Stay: The Alexander, a boutique-style hotel in a great location with impeccable service allows you to begin to relax from the minute you arrive. With a super cool restaurant and bar and walls filled with gorgeous art, you won’t even need to venture out—even though you should.
333 S. Delaware St., (317) 624-8200, www.thealexander.com.
Breakfast: Start your weekend with a breakfast that not only tantalises your tastebuds but showcases local ingredients with big city flare. Elevated avocado toast, fresh brewed coffees, kombuchas, and smoothies await you at Rize. Or put your name in at the city’s most nationally-acclaimed foodie spot: Milktooth.
Excursion: After breakfast, spend the day at Newfields. Check out the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s vast collection that includes traveling exhibitions, architecturally designed grounds, the preserved Lilly House, and the Funky Bones installation depicted in the film, The Fault In Our Stars. The art museum serves as the perfect backdrop for photos to document your Indy trip. They even have a cafe where you can grab a quick bite for lunch.
4000 N. Michigan Road, (317) 923-1331, discovernewfields.org.
Dinner: After getting your steps in at Newfields, you’ll have worked up an appetite. The perfect spot for dinner that feels like you’ve stopped into Little Italy is Broad Ripple’s own Mama Carolla’s. It’s always bustling at Mama’s, so expect a wait. But it will be oh-so worth it. Wait it out
in the bar area—with the city’s most charming bartenders! Voted the most romantic restaurant in Indianapolis year after year it will not disappoint. While everything on the menu is amazing – don’t leave without ordering the mussels with extra bread to soak up all the insanely flavorful broth.
1031 E. 54th St., (317) 259-9412, www.mamacarollas.com.
Morning Coffee: With a plethora of amazing coffee shops in the city, it won’t be hard to find something local and delicious. One of the most aesthetically pleasing shops, located in the Fountain Square neighborhood, is Bovocanti Coffee. The service is stellar and the decor rivals some of the most famous places in NYC. One of our favorites is the trendy oat milk latte. Take a stroll with your fresh cup and check out all of the vintage shops within walking distance.
1042 Virginia Ave., (317) 222-1855, www.bovaconticoffee.com.
Workout: Squeeze in a workout at one of the many boutique fitness studios. From Invoke and Orangetheory to Pure Barre and Club Pilates, there’s something for everyone. And if you’d like a traditional gym, visit the Irsay Family YMCA for a big city gym feel with state-of-the-art amenities.
Invoke Studio, 970 Fort Wayne Ave., (317) 631-9642, invokestudio.com; Orangetheory, 91 N. New Jersey St., (317) 912-1515, downtown-indy.orangetheoryfitness.com; Pure Barre, 209 W. Michigan Road, (317) 503-8049, www.purebarre.com/location/downtown-indianapolis-in; Club Pilates, 530 Massachusetts Ave., (317) 643-5330, www.clubpilates.com/location/downtownindy.
Lunch: Who says you can’t have an entire charcuterie board for lunch? Head to Gallery Pastry Shop in Broad Ripple for the freshest French-style pastries and more. With an open concept kitchen, you can watch classically trained chefs creating the perfect macarons while sipping on bubbles and nibbling on cheeses and meats galore.
1101 E. 54th St., (317) 820-5526, www.gallerypastryshop.com,
Dinner: Right outside of Indianapolis, in the city of Carmel, head to Anthony’s Chophouse for a big city dinner. With a grand and modern designed interior, a huge shiny bar, and a delectable menu this is a go-to for sure. With the ambience of a place that would require reservations months in advance in a city like NYC, take advantage of its midwest location while you’re here.
201 W. Main St., Carmel, (317) 740-0900, anthonyschophouse.com.
Nightcap: Cap off your night with drinks at Plat 99, the bar back inside The Alexander. With stunning art installations throughout it’s eye catching and has great libations to help celebrate the end of the perfect two-day vacay in Naptown.
Club Pilates and The Alexander Hotel are Indy Maven partners.