Where to Run, Bike, and Get Active in Indianapolis
You may hear Indianapolis and think of the world’s most largest single day sporting event, the Indy 500, where over 300,000 people watch “Indy cars” zoom across the tracks at over 200 miles an hour. However, the country’s 16th largest city also offers a wide range of active adventures. Bike the city trails or strap up your laces to run the serene, man made canal, which is dotted with artwork and romantic benches. Or for those that like to "zen", unwind with yoga classes sprinkled around downtown Indy. Here’s why if the next time you find yourself in the Midwest, you must put Indianapolis at the top of your list.
Stay smack dab in the middle of downtown Indy at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. For gym buffs, this property is a treat: as you burn calories on one of the many ellipticals and treadmills in the 24 hour fitness center, take in the 360 degree views of the downtown cityscape from the floor to ceiling windows. If you were to take a left from the hotel and walk towards the Eiteljorg Museum of Native Americans and Western Indian Art, you could enter a three mile loop for a run along the peaceful canal. Artwork commissions; luxurious condos; and intimate benches flanked by fragrant florals encircle the entire pedestrian-only path. Afterwards, swim laps in the hotel pool, and massage soreness away in the spacious Jacuzzi.
Garden Table’s brunch menu is all about pleasing the healthy and hearty diner: you can go as far as satisfying a carb fix with their blueberry pancakes and stuffed French toast packed with fruit of the day. Lighter options are also plentiful, like acai bowls, mixed green salads, and cold pressed juices with ingredients like beets, carrots, cilantro, and turmeric- combined into flavorful and energetic drinks.
The new restaurant in the Windsor Park neighborhood, Beholderopened this year to offer savory dishes like the Slow Roasted Ora King Salmon with sweet corn and sea beans; BBQ Octopus with baby scallions; and Two Whole Grilled Quail with habanero lapsang tea salsa-all meant to be shared.
Ex-WNBA player and Olympian, Tamika Catchings her and her sister grew up drinking tea. A year ago, she fulfilled her dream of opening a tea shop. At Tea(s) Me Café, you can order all types of tea, from black, green, to red teas. Timers delivered with your clear pots holding the loose tea will buzz when ready. Be sure to try some of their healthy lunch fare like the hummus and fruit or smart salad with soy bacon.
Stretch your muscles and joints at the Tinker House Events, which has a biweekly Sunday yoga class held in a beautifully repurposed building created by husband and wife team, Nabeela Virjee and Brian Willsey. The previous use of the building- a mid-1900’s laundry facility for auto manufacturers- begs you to stroll the space before class and take in the relics like an old conveyor belt; love seat converted from a dryer tumbler; and light flooded windows and industrial fixtures.
For bike enthusiasts, book the Indianapolis Cultural Trail & Historic Neighborhoods Active Indy Tours, which covers 10 miles over the course of 3 hours with several stops, like the Kennedy King Memorial, which marks the location of Kennedy’s 1968 speech after MLK was assassinated. After snapping a photo under the outstretched hands of Robert F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr, bike with your guide to places like O'banan Park and the Indianapolis Public School 22, where they grow their own garden to supplement school lunches. The ride is quite relaxing (barely any hills or strenuous parts), and the route covers a portion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail; a couple miles of the 35 mile long Monan Trail; as well as city streets lined with quaint, historic homes from the late 1800’s.
After a day of getting more steps in than anticipated, treat yourself to a massage at the Evan Todd Spa & Salon at the Conrad Indianapolis, like the calming, 70 minute Hot Stone Massage. Your therapist will ask you to choose from a range of oils (like “Intention” a mixture of lavender and lemon), and pick a scent that satisfies your mood that the moment. Before the treatment begins, while face down and inhaling the fragrance under your nose, the therapist will read its meaning, urging you to succumb to your senses.