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A lineup of only-in-Indy experiences makes the city a must visit destination in 2016, but you didn't hear it from us as Travel + Leisure just named Indy one of "America's Favorite Cities."
In 2016, visitors to Indianapolis will encounter remarkable experiences that will inspire, thrill, captivate, and fascinate. From new neighborhoods and family activities to some of the biggest sporting events of the year, five new only-in-Indy experiences are sure to surprise.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art premieres its first ever Mini Golf Course, blending art, architecture, and family fun into the heart of campus. The holes will be designed, built, and installed by local artists while the theme will bring to life the culture of Indiana—celebrating landscape, landmarks, and history, as the state celebrates its Bicentennial. The course opens May 3 and will remain open until October 2, 2016.
With the city of Indianapolis as one of the country’s biggest family friendly destinations, this year will mark the roll-out of several new exhibits. The world’s largest Children’s Museum introduces a new, permanent $8.1 million outer space themed exhibit titled, “Beyond Spaceship Earth.” A massive LEGO exhibit takes over at the nation’s top ten zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, and a 10,000 square foot Treetop Outpost debuts at Conner Prairie, a Smithsonian-affiliated interactive history park.
Thanks to the opening of the Cultural Trail in 2013, new foot and bike traffic into Fletcher Place has allowed this area to expand into Indy’s up and coming niche neighborhood with the hottest chefs, local food markets, art installations, and shops in Indianapolis. Milktooth claims home to Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef, Jonathan Brooks. Residents and locals also enjoy Amelia’s Bread, which you can smell a mile away, Central Indiana’s first artisan distillery, Hotel Tango, a blue door that dishes out organic popsicles, a Vonnegut-inspired James Beard-nominated restaurant, and more.
It’s no secret that Indianapolis is a sports town, and this year might be one of the most action-packed sports years the city has seen, having already celebrated the 100th Running of the Indy 500 and the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which culminated with the Women’s Final Four.
Indy also welcomes the best swimming and diving athletes for their final attempt to make it on Team USA for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The BMW Championship is back in Indy for the second time at Crooked Stick Golf Club and the Big Ten Football Championship Game celebrates its appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium. And don’t forget to check out the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s line-up of races this year, including the Red Bull Air Race, where the world’s most elite master class pilots compete in the sky. This event will be the first time it has ever been held in Indy.
The so-called "Oscars of food" or the James Beard nominees have been announced. Indy is proud to call home to five of the James Beard Semifinalists (the most Indy has ever had). Café Patachou founder, Martha Hoover has been named for Outstanding Restaurateurs and Alan Sternberg from Cerulean landed a spot on the list for Rising Star of the Year. In the category of Best Chef: Great Lakes, Jonathan Brooks from Milktooth, Greg Hardesty of Recess, and Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard highlight the star-studded list. Check out these delightful Indianapolis restaurants and more, in a city that Condé Nast Traveler deems the “most underrated food city in America.”
About Visit Indy
The mission of Visit Indy is to increase Indianapolis economic growth by strategically selling the destination to conventions, meetings, events, and leisure travelers. According to Rockport Analytics, 27.4 million visitors provide $4.5 billion in total economic impact annually and generate 75,000 full-time equivalent jobs in Central Indiana. For more information, www.VisitIndy.com.