With tons of local breweries, world-class sports facilities, and tasty food, Indianapolis, Indiana should be on your shortlist for a weekend getaway...
For many years now, the standard “Guys Weekend,” getaways have been places like Las Vegas or big cities like New York City or Chicago, but what if the perfect escape was right under your nose- just a few hours from home? We hit the road for Indianapolis to see if this midwestern metro could be a suitable candidate. What we found was a cornucopia of sports, craft beer, and good ol’ comfort food- all served up with midwestern friendliness.
Your weekend escape to Indianapolis could look a little different (and VisitIndy can definitely help plan your trip), but here’s our guide to an Indianapolis Guy’s Weekend Getaway… (Loads more pictures in each of the articles linked)
Breakfast: Oasis Diner
Located just west of Indy, Oasis Diner is a true delight. While every meal they serve is fantastic, we happened to stop in for a little breakfast at this beautifully restored vintage diner. With its shiny chrome and neon, it screams old-school cool. (More about our trip to the Oasis Diner)
Morning: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
If you’re not impressed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I just don’t know what to tell you. It’s huge. It’s historic. It’s awesome. Of course, there isn’t always a big event or race to take in, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a stop at their impressive museum on your weekend getaway to Indy. Coming to Indianapolis and not going to IMS seems somewhat criminal to us.
Lunch: Workingman’s Friend
Just a few minutes from the speedway is a little greasy spoon so endearing you just can’t pass it by. Nearly 100 years old, the Workingman’s Friend is a cash-only burger joint with a history of generosity and damn fine food. Blue collar, white collar, no collar- they’re all welcome at the Workingman’s Friend. Get yourself a double with onion rings and send us a thank you note later. (More on Workingman’s Friend)
Afternoon Beer: Daredevil Brewing
While Indy’s craft beer scene has exploded over the past few years, arguably none of the new breweries have made quite as big of a splash as Daredevil Brewing. Brewing for less than 5 years, they’ve already had to expand and move to a new, bigger home just steps from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This Speedway location’s taproom is clean, crisp, and perfect for grabbing a beer from Indiana’s 2017 “Brewery of the Year.” (More about Daredevil Brewing)
Evening: Indiana Pacers or Indianapolis Indians then Downtown
Indians game at Victory Field
Depending on the time and season you visit Indy, there are several different options for a pretty awesome guy’s night out. During the summer months, a nighttime game at Victory Field is a surefire good time. Affordable, casual, and fun, we’re big fans of minor league baseball, and you’d be hard pressed to find a finer venue for it than Victory Field. Catching an Indianapolis Indians game is a perfect dude outing.
Pacers game (or concert, Fever game, etc.)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a busy place pretty much year-round. From big name concerts to WNBA games to NCAA tournament games to, of course, Indiana Pacers games, hardly a week goes by without something big happening in this top-notch arena.
Designed to pay homage to the Indiana fieldhouses that gave the state its rich basketball heritage and decorated with little nods to the state’s great hoopers, Bankers Life captures Indiana’s love for basketball and is a must-visit for any sports fan.
Of course, after catching a game, downtown Indy offers all sorts of nightlife and dining options to make your night as late as you’d like.
Breakfast: Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles
Hiding just on the edge of downtown Indianapolis is one of the best dang breakfasts we’ve ever had… It’s the chicken and waffles at the appropriately named Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles. The restaurant pays homage to Maxine, a 30-year cook for St. Francis Hospital. Over the years, Maxine perfected comfort food cooking, especially chicken & waffles. Her (numerous) children and even grandchildren carry on her legacy with their restaurant that bears her name. (More about Maxine's)
After breakfast at Maxine’s, your options for the morning are pretty endless. We’d suggest spending some time exploring downtown, particularly White River State Park where you can stop by one of several museums including the NCAA Hall of Champions. Your walking tour of downtown should also include historic City Market, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (Monument Circle), and the Indiana War Memorial.
Obviously, if you can't be in town for a Colts game, you should do the next best thing... Take a tour of Lucas Oil Stadium! Tours (90 minutes) are held Monday-Friday for a whopping $10. Learn more about that here.
Lunch: Steer-In or Rock Cola
After working up a hunger downtown, hop in the car and head to one of a couple different spots for an Indiana delicacy- pork tenderloin.
Anytime a restaurant is featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” it kind of puts it “on the map,” but truth is, the Steer In has been an Indianapolis favorite since it first opened in 1960. Using many of the original recipes, the Kehrer family keeps the original traditions alive while adding a few of their own special additions. Frequently awarded and widely popular with locals, we chose the Steer In’s breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, and we were not disappointed. (More about the Historic Steer In)
If you’re really looking for a blast from the past, Indy’s Rock Cola Cafe fits the bill. Full of 1950s nostalgia and even serving the once beloved “Choc-Ola” again, Rock Cola Cafe is small-diner awesomeness. Order their massive and famous grilled pork tenderloin sandwich, but be prepared… This thing is HUGE! (More about Rock Cola Cafe)
Afternoon: Fountain Square Theatre Building
With multiple entertainment districts, it’s hard to pick just one to spend your time while in Indy, but we have to give a shoutout to Fountain Square and its cornerstone gem, the Fountain Square Theatre Building.
Wait, you’re suggested a historic theatre for a guys’ weekend? Oh, are you in for a surprise. The Fountain Square Theatre Building is actually home to a diner, bar, game room, rooftop patio with downtown views, and 2 “duckpin” bowling alleys. (And a boutique hotel if you need to crash). It’s honestly one of the coolest buildings we’ve ever toured in all our years on the road. (See more of the Fountain Square Theatre Building here)
Evening: Beer and more beer.
After a few cocktails and a whole lot of duckpin bowling, get your brewery tour on by walking down the street to your first stop, Fountain Square Brewing. This brewery combines expert science in the brewing room with awesome artistic touches in the tap room to provide great beer in a hip setting.
Let your significant others back home know just how sweet a bunch of guys you are by grabbing beers at Metazoa… For every beer you knock back, they kick back a percentage of the profits to animal-focused non-profits. That’s right, you get brownie points just for drinking beer. Need we say more? (We did say more… Read about Metazoa here)
The Indiana craft beer standard-bearer for several years now, no trip to Indy would be complete without a few beers at Sun King Brewery. While they have a few different locations, the downtown Indy location should be where you start. Kick back and play Mario Kart or grab a table and start telling lies. Either way, it’s a fun-loving tap room serving up Indy’s most well-known local brews. (More on Sun King)