Top 10 Things for Active Travelers to Do in Indianapolis | Midwest Living

Top 10 Things for Active Travelers to Do in Indianapolis

Indianapolis offers plenty of activities for active travelers. Run in the nation's largest half-marathon, see the city by bike, or walk the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

1) Indianapolis Cultural Trail Getting around Indy has never been easier, or so much fun. This cool bike-pedestrian path connects five downtown cultural districts. Public art installations like Julian Opie’s Dancing Ann provide eye candy along the way, and you’ll even catch a potpourrilike whiff of flowers as you make your way through Chatham Passage. Walk, run or rent a bike at the Indy Bike Hub in historical City Market. (317) 454-8525; 

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Photo: Courtesy of Lavengood Photography

2) Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure On Indy’s west side, activities at woodsy Eagle Creek Park used to focus on the gorgeous reservoir that sets the scene for water recreation. Until now. This treetop adventure takes adrenaline levels to new heights. Literally. Brave rope ladders, zip lines and a Tarzan swing on the challenging course, and you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views at the top and the sense of accomplishment at the bottom. Once your heart stops racing, that is. (800) 971-8271; 

Go Ape Zipline and Treetop Adventure

Photo: Courtesy of Go Ape

3) 500 Festival Mini Marathon More than 35,000 people pack the nation’s largest half-marathon on the first Saturday of each May to launch the month-long Indianapolis 500 Festival. Walkers and runners of all levels make their way along the 13-mile course (including a lap around the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway track) while locals cheer them on. Slots fill up fast; if you want in, you’ll need to reserve your spot by mid-November. (317) 927-3378;

4) Wheel Fun Rentals The downtown Canal Walk that snakes through White River State Park is the place to go for some of the best Indianapolis skyline views and photo ops. It’s also the place to rent bike surreys, cruisers, tandems, pedal boats and kayaks. The pace is leisurely, and the scenery includes local landmarks like the White River, the modern Indiana State Museum building and the majestic USS Indianapolis Memorial. (317) 767-5072; 

Wheel Fun Rentals

Photo: Courtesy of Lavengood Photography

5) Monon Rail Trail This former railroad line is now one of Indy’s most popular exercise trails. Along the 10-mile greenway path between downtown and Carmel, you’ll see bikers and joggers of all ages, tattooed teens on skateboards and moms pushing strollers. Broad Ripple Village makes a convenient midway stop with rail-adjacent businesses like Brics ice cream, Perk Up Cafe, the Monon Food Company and the Broad Ripple Brew Pub. (317) 327-7431;

6) Active Indy tours These two- to three-hour tours reveal the personalities of Indy neighborhoods through insider info and history while you get a workout. Not in peak physical condition? Don’t worry. The terrain is fairly flat for walking, biking and running, and there are frequent stops for stories from enthusiastic guides who really know their way around Indianapolis. (317) 520-2914;

7) Pete Dye Golf Trail Legendary golf course architect and designer Pete Dye started his career in Indiana, making this a logical site for the stunning collection of courses that bears his name. Four of the trail’s seven courses are located right here in central Indiana, including the Brickyard Crossing on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (574) 933-1610;  

8) Action and Atomic Duckpin Bowling Never heard of duckpin bowling? You’re not alone; most people haven’t. This retro sport uses short, squat pins and handheld balls about the size of a grapefruit. The Historic Fountain Square Theater has two alleys for family-friendly fun; ask for a lane on the fourth floor to for views of the downtown Indy skyline. (317) 686-6006;

9) Fastimes Indoor Karting Indy Indianapolis is the racing capital of the world. What better place to get behind the wheel of a go-kart and put your pedal to the metal? Lapping this 900-foot indoor course at speeds approaching 40 mph is a rush. (317) 566-0066;

10) The Handlebar Pedal Pub If your idea of exercise is doing 12-ounce curls, the Handlebar is your kind of activity. Grab some friends and bring your own beer or wine for a laid-back two-hour cruise through downtown Indy on this mobile, open-air bike bar. A company driver called a bar handler steers the ship, but passengers pedal to supply the power.  (317) 620-1448; 

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