This is written with the intention of preparing those coming to Indianapolis for the Superbowl 46. It’s a really great city, and now that I’ve lived here for a couple days over 2 years, I’m pretty much an expert!
1. Nobody can drive. Like nobody. Seriously though, many people run red lights around here. Definitely look both ways before driving through an intersection. There are lots of impatient drivers that will go in the off-ramp to pass you, that will cross over double-yellow lines to pass you, and go through an intersection although your light is bright and green.
2. Remember how to get to I-465. That’s one of the things that makes Indy the “Circle City”. It’s the main freeway that is close to everything, yet close to nothing. You can get anywhere in the circle in 20 minutes. If you’re anywhere outside of that, give it 30 minutes.
3. Don’t be fooled by the JW Marriott. It is gorgeous, a good place to meet up and socialize, and the staff is really great. However, the food and drinks are awful. Just really, don’t even risk it unless you are really just going to chill or get a cup of cafe americano (espresso and water) because they don’t have coffee at the bar 🙁 Which leads me to #4.
4. The private/non-chain restaurants are awesome! My favs are: Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles (near downtown) – only get the chicken and sweet potato waffle even if it sounds scary. You can also branch out with the sides of Fried Green Tomatoes and Grits. Papa Roux (east side/downtown) – I always get the Smoked Sausage Po’Boy. The east side location has bottomless sides. I always get the bread pudding and red beans and rice, but you can taste all of them free of charge. Monon Food Company (north side) – the BEST (strong statement) mac and cheese I’ve EVER had! You have to get the side of it. I pair that with the Chipotle Fish tacos. They also feature Micro brews along with Imports, Domestic Beers and Wine.
5. Alcohol is not sold in stores on Sunday. Not a fan of the hard stuff, but I do like a fine wine with my Sunday dinner. Shoot, you have to plan dinner and all beverages ahead of time so you won’t be stuck out in the cold. For those that really need that fix, most restaurants do serve liquor, but you just can’t go to the stores or gas stations for your libation.
6. The downtown mall has the best parking, but nothing inside. I’m not sure why the Circle Centre Mall was designed the way it is, but the aisles are small with a huge opening in the middle where you can see to the floor below. It’s nice looking, but it is always packed on the weekends. It’s not because there are that many people, but because there is no space to walk. Event Parking is usually $20, but if you can find $20 of stuff to buy in the mall (mine is usually spent at Chick-Fil-A), they charge you the normal rate of $1.50 for 3 hours.
With all of that being said, it is really a great city. My favorite pastimes include the museums and the parks. There is so much information and they are beautiful. Welcome to my new city, have a great time, and come back soon!