Indy’s beloved literary characters Hazel and Gus have forever uncovered some of Indy’s best under-the-radar attractions thanks to our hometown hero, author John Green. Read on as we share a few of the local hotspots featured in The New York Times best seller “The Fault in Our Stars,” along with our favorite nearby dining and entertainment options.
Located on the grounds at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Funky Bones is a permanent exhibition in 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Visitors are drawn to this oversized skeleton for picnics and climbing, much like Hazel and Augustus experience during their dutch lunch.
While you’re here: Dine at the International Marketplace. On the near northwest side of Indy (just minutes from the IMA) is a thriving immigrant community where over 70 languages are spoken and a variety of exquisite ethnic restaurants have set up shop.
The highest point in Indianapolis (and located across the street from the IMA), Crown Hill is a 555 acre urban oasis of peaceful beauty, abundant history, and one of the best views of Indy’s downtown skyline. Go on a guided walking tour as you pay respect to the final resting spot of Augustus Waters – or bad boy John Dillinger, President Benjamin Harrison, or other notable author Kurt Vonnegut’s family.
While you’re here: Visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (TCM), located just south of Crown Hill. TCM will leave you impressed with five levels of interactive exhibits exploring art, science, history and culture, a Dinosphere, and a planetarium.
We’re going to bet you won’t find any other city in the Midwest where you can visit “ruins.” You can also explore nature at this 94-acre park on Indy’s north side, complete with 3.5 miles of hiking trails, an elaborate playground for the kids, and some of the best picnicking around.
Head over to Broad Ripple High School (David Letterman's alma mater) every Saturday morning, May through November, and pick up some fresh, local offerings sourced directly from Indiana’s rich farmland.
While you’re here: Explore Broad Ripple Village, a hub of quaint boutiques and local cafes set to the backdrop of public art, graffiti murals, beautiful greenways, and parks. Shop at local favorites such as Addendum, Artifacts Gallery, and Broad Ripple Vintage.
Confession: This is the first time we’ve ever written about a gas station. Truth: It’s in a fun area so we’re going to tell you what to do after this checklist stop.
While you’re here: Dine at Oakley’s Bistro, Smee’s Place Bar & Grill, or Tulip Noir. All are equally delicious but for different reasons. Oakley’s is perfect for a romantic dinner. Smee’s is your go-to when looking for a Hoosier-esque pork tenderloin. Tulip Noir is a must if you’re dining a la Hazel and looking for vegetarian options.
Every teenage girl’s dream, Castleton is the largest mall in Indiana and it is conveniently located in what Forbes named as the 5th best shopping city in America. After a stop at the TFIOS-mentioned food court, shop at any of Castleton’s 130+ stores.
While you’re here: Test your lead foot in the Racing Capital of the World at Fastimes Indoor Karting, the Midwest’s only bi-level track where you can thread the needle as you twist through turns at speeds up to 40 mph.