Nestled on the banks of the White River, Indianapolis, popularly known as Indy or Circle City, is popular globally as the home of the biggest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500, the annual car racing tournament. If you are traveling with kids, the city is home to the largest children’s museum – the Children Museum of Indianapolis.
If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from the city, we have put together a list of the top 5 weekend destinations from Indianapolis.
Popularly known as the “Athens of the South”, Nashville is known majorly for its world-class universities and colleges as well as its music scene. Often named the “Capital of Country Music”, the city’s famous Music Row District set around Music Square is among the most visited places in Tennessee. Other places of interest here include the Nashville Parthenon (the most iconic landmark in the city), Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, and of course, the Grand Ole Opry.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit the city is between April and October when the warm weather brings this music city to life. If you would like to enjoy Christmas though, come here during the winters.
How to Reach: While the cheapest method of travel between Indianapolis and Nashville is via a bus that costs between $35 to $70, the fastest method would be to catch a flight which may cost up to $500.
Regarded as one of the most quintessential cities in the United States, Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. The city is popular among tourists for its vibrant cultural scene as well as for a wide number of internationally acclaimed museums and other attractions. Being the birthplace of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Estate is one of the most prominent sights here. Other important places include the Wisconsin State Capitol, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, and Chazen Museum of Art.
Best Time to Visit: Madison can be visited throughout the year. However, if you are not a big fan of snowfall and freezing temperatures, come here between May to August and September to November.
How to Reach: You can either take a direct flight between the two cities that will take around 3 hours and up to $470 or a train or bus to Chicago Union Station and take another bus to Madison.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago is one of the most famous weekend getaways from Indianapolis as well as other parts of the country. Also famed as “the Windy City”, Chicago is known for its rich cultural scene, brimming art scene, amazing shopping opportunities, and thought-provoking architecture. While here, do not miss a chance to visit Millennium Park and witness the iconic 110-ton Cloud Gate sculpture that you may have seen a hundred times in photos. The Navy Pier, the Water Show at Buckingham Fountain, and 360 Chicago are a few other important places, know top weekend getaways from Chicago.
Best Time to Visit: The most preferred time to visit the Windy City is from April through May and between September and October when the temperatures are pleasant, crowds are few, and a lot of festivals unfold.
How to Reach: You can either take a bus, train, or flight to Chicago from Indianapolis. Of course, the cheapest is the bus that costs between $21 to 55 and the fastest is to take a flight for $65 to $260 and get there just in an hour. Alternatively, a train takes around 5 hours and up to $55.
Indiana Dunes, Indiana
Towering dunes, calming waves, and well-defined hiking trails are some of the things you can enjoy during your visit to Indiana Dunes on the weekend. Home to a massive National Park that is spread across 15,000 acres of mind-blowing wilderness which is packed with beaches, wetlands, bogs, rivers, and prairies. Camping, Sailing, and Swimming are some of the popular activities to be enjoyed here.
Best Time to Visit: To avoid the madness of the summer crowds, it is best to visit here during Spring and Fall.
How to Reach: The fastest and the most convenient way to get to Indiana Dunes from Indianapolis is via a self-driven car. The drive would take slightly under three hours and costs between $16 to $24.
An off-beat weekend destination near Indianapolis, Valparaiso has a lot to see and do irrespective of when you plan on visiting. Events and festivals take place throughout the year here, including but not limited to Summer Rhapsody Music Festival, Popcorn Festival, and Central Park Plaza Market. Apart from these, several attractions that you can visit here include Gabis Arboretum, 49-er Drive-in Theatre, and Chicago Street Theatre.
Best Time to Visit: You could visit Valparaiso at any time of the year but it is best to avoid the months of June, July, and August as the heat could get a bit too much.
How to Reach: Take a bus from Indianapolis to Chicago. Head over to 350. S Clark Street and get a bus to 260 Brown for Valparaiso. The journey takes under six hours and costs between $22 to $43. Or you could drive to the location in under three hours and spend only $16 to $23 on fuel.