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Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

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Hondo, Texas
posts: 14
reviews: 18
Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

They have us booked at the Courtyard Indianapolis near the JW Marrtiott. So while the guys are in meetings another lady and I will be on the loose. What kind of shopping and lunch spots are near our hotel? Our group will be going out to dinner in the evenings, any suggestions? My husband and I are staying over a day to take in the NCAA Hall of Fame. Would appreciate any Indi specialist opionions.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 5,757
reviews: 20
1. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

First, just want to confirm you're talking about the Courtyard by Marriott DOWNTOWN and not the Courtyard by Marriott CAPITAL (presuming that's the case based on being near the JW, but want to be sure), all my comments are based on this being the case. On the other hand, these hotels are too far from each other (maybe 3-4 blocks).

Here's a few general comments (about all I can do, can you supply any more details? more on this later):

1. Shopping. Besides just stores on the street (which you'll find scattered around within a few blocks of the Circle, more on the south than north side) there are two main shopping clusters in the downtown area. First (and closest) is the Circle Center Mall located about about 5 (mostly short) blocks from your hotel. This will have the usual selection of national chains, a few regional chains and a smattering of local (non-chain) stores. Pretty much what you'll find in most malls now days.

The other area (and I think more worth checking out) is Massachusetts Avenue (or "Mass Ave") which is located in the NE quadrant of downtown (I guessing it starts ~1 mile from your hotel, walkable but a bit of a hoof especially if you've got stuff to carry.) This is *much* more of a local area, you've about a mile of shopping, restaurants, bars, etc. That may sound like a lot, but the reality is it is mostly concentrated on the the SW end - maybe a 4-5 blocks (the street is diagonal running to the NE).

In a thread somewhere is a link to a website that shows the various shops, restaurants & stuff you can find there. (If you can't find it - google "mass ave indianapolis" or something like that - it should pop right up.

2. Eating. There are literally hundreds of restaurants in the downtown area, even more if you're willing to take a short drive. They cover just about every budget, cuisine, and ambiance you can name; so, I'm going to skip making any specific suggestions right now.

3. Details? Can you give us any more information about your likes/dislikes, etc? We'd much rather give specific suggestions that *you* are likely to enjoy rather than to give a laundry list of the usual suspects that you might/might not like. (What's the point of suggesting a steakhouse to a vegetarian or a vegetarian place to a meat lover?)

I'm mainly talking here in terms of eating options (cuisines, budget, ambiance, chain v. local and that sort of stuff). That said, the same can apply to any other suggestions/details you might want (do you like/dislike: museums, history, nature/outdoor stuff, just walking around, and/or . . . and for many of these a "what kind" can help too).

4. Last general suggestion. This is really a rather low traffic forum on TA. It would probably be worth your time to to look at a few screens worth of forum topics. Odds are you'll find threads that will answer some of your questions, give you ideas, etc.

Phew - that's all for now - hope it helps and looking forward to making specific suggestions,

hlo

Hondo, Texas
posts: 14
reviews: 18
2. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

Yes it is the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown. JW Marriott was full for the convention. We like the local shops better than the chains. The Mass Ave place sounds good. We like to listen to the Blues and heard of a place called The Slippery Noodle Inn. Is that a good place? The guys like their steaks and seafood, moderatly priced.

Thank you from Texas.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 5,757
reviews: 20
3. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

If you like the Blues the Slippery Noodle Inn should definitely be on your short list; it is an Indy institution.

It's located just south of the RR tracks on Meridian, guessing 15-20 minutes walk from your hotel. So you are aware these are *major* RR tracks and there is a real "tunnel" aspect to them. Not really anything to worry about, but it does create a bit of a mental (if not physical) barrier separating a few things (like the Slippery Noodle) from the main part of downtown (at least for some people).

And indeed, it sounds like Mass Ave is pretty much what you're looking for re: shopping and there might be a restaurant/bar or two there that appeals as well. Had the time to look up the website I mentioned, here's the link:

www.discovermassave.com/

That's all for now, will try to get on in the next day or so and give some specific restaurant suggestions. In the mean time you might look over the forum, downtown dining is a semi-regular topic. Also might want to check out Urbanspoon, Indianapolis (and Indiana) in general has provided it with the critical mass necessary for crowd sourcing; in this case restaurant information. Then there is also Yelp which some swear by, but I generally avoid, and Chowhound (to name a few more). Here's a link to Urbanspoon's page for Indy:

urbanspoon.com/c/40/Indianapolis-restaurants…

And, so you're aware the "Wholesale District" is probably the better neighborhood to look at rather than Downtown, just the way the boundaries have been drawn and where the restaurants are located.

Glad to help,

hlo

Hondo, Texas
posts: 14
reviews: 18
4. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

Two of our group, me included have problems with their feet. We will be taking a taxi for sure to the Slippery Noodle. Thanks for telling us about the tracks.

Checked out the websites you sent. Thanks.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,507
reviews: 14
5. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

My favorites are the Rathskeller, Shapiros Deli, and Maxines Chicken & Waffle.

Love them all.

Downtown Indy has lots of very cool monuments. Have the taxi driver take you for a spin around and a few blocks north of the Soldiers and Sailors monument. The State Capitol and Eiteljorg museum are well worth a visit. You need to see the State Theater and the Murat Theater too.

You can tell I'm more into buildings than being a foodie.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 5,757
reviews: 20
6. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

Don't think I mentioned it (and too lazy to re-read my postings), but there is now a flat fare for cab when the trip starts/ends within the "mile square" of downtown (boarded by North, South, East & West Streets) which should include just about every where you want to go. (Ohhh, just checked the Museum Row is *just* outside of this, but not by much and it's *really* close to your hotel).

I could never remember what it was, but on another recent thread a local chimed in that it's $5.

That's all for now,

hlo

Indy
posts: 193
reviews: 8
7. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

I'll throw in a few more suggestions as well... Not necessarily in order, but it should help you plan what is doable in a day.

Day 1: Check out the Eiteljorg museum, located near your hotel. If you are interested in Western/American Indian Art, it's worth the stop. There is also a great little cafe - Sky City Cafe - that is within the museum. It has great food, and one of the best outdoor eating areas in the city overlooking the canal. It's only open for lunch, sadly. You also do not need to visit the museum to eat there. Just walk to the front desk and they will point you to the cafe. A short stroll down the canal will take you to the Indiana State Museum. There's an IMAX theater as well as a unique gift shop that sells Indiana made goods. If that's not your thing, the White River Gardens is a bit further west (connected to the Zoo). Spend several hours there walking through the garden and the indoor exhibit.

Day 2: A short cab ride north (about 6 miles from your hotel) is one of the hidden secrets of Indianapolis, in my opinion. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is a nice day trip diversion from downtown. The museum has wonderful art exhibits. If you are not interested in the exhibits, the grounds are gorgeous. Beautiful gardens and unique sculptures (have you ever seen the LOVE sculpture - the original is here.) There is also a restaurant and gift shop on site.

Day 3: If this happens to be a Wednesday, you must check out the City Market Farmers Market. It's located just east of Monument Circle on Market St. Lots of vendors here, where you can sample many items from our local farmers, or pick up a nice bouquet of flowers to brighten up your room. Inside the City Market main hall, you will find one of the best bakeries in town, Circle City Sweets (try the macaroons!) Also, Chocolate for the Spirit is a bit hidden in the back, but it's worth the effort to find. Some of the best chocolate you will ever have. Just 3 blocks away is Mass Ave. as HLO mentioned there are unique shops and local restaurants here.

Day 4: If you are interested in a day of relaxation, check out the Conrad hotel spa. You can book a service and spend the entire day at the pool and fitness center. If you are a wine drinker, there is a wine bar, Tastings, where you could end your afternoon.

Here are links to each mentioned above:

Eiteljorg: http://www.eiteljorg.org/

Indiana State Museum: http://www.indianamuseum.org/visit/exhibit/

White River Gardens: indyzoo.com/SitePages/WhiteRiverGardens/welc…

Indianapolis Museum of Art: http://www.imamuseum.org/

City Market: http://www.indycm.com/

Conrad hotel spa: …hilton.com/en/…spas-fitness.html

8. Re: Four days in downtown Indi for meetings.

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