Whether it's your first time traveling to a new city, or you’re returning for another visit, soaking up local culture is a great way to spend your time.

And this can be difficult to plan. With so much information out there, how do you pick your destinations? How do you select your must-visit restaurants, bars, and museums?

Start with a journey.

I love visiting cities that provide the opportunity to start with a broader view of what the city has to offer. Many times, these opportunities come in the form of walking tours, bike shares, and online guides and collections. Luckily, Indy has all of these ways to explore our beautiful city.

ActiveIndy tours at a “human pace”- or moving from one place to another at a speed that allows you to see and find things you wouldn’t have found otherwise. ActiveIndy offers walking, biking, and running tours- their daily tour covers Mass Ave, the Wholesale District and the Central Canal at White River State Park. It lasts about 3 hours. This 10-mile exploration is perfect for any visitor wishing to see the diversity that Indy has to offer, and it is great for locals, too.

Imported ImageThere is always something new to learn and explore.

For visitors and locals looking for something extra special, check out ActiveIndy’s collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis. New this fall, ActiveIndy now offers public art bike tours, and I had the chance to drop in the inaugural tour. It was a blast!

I pride myself on “knowing” Indy, and even I learned some new, fascinating bits of knowledge. The ride was very casual and lasted about two hours.

The next opportunity to participate in a public art bike tour is on October 24, 2015 at 10 am- it will highlight IUPUI (our downtown university) and the Canal District. Tour participants will be guided by an expert from the Arts Council of Indianapolis who will share stories about striking architecture, green spaces, and art on the Canal in White River State Park and on the IUPUI campus.

“We are always excited to work with new partners to develop tours that get our guests out exploring Indy and learning more about the city,” said Nathan Smurdon, Chief Exploration Officer of ActiveIndy Tours. “We can't wait to share the stories behind so many pieces of public art.”

Need more convincing? All proceeds from this series of tours are donated to our friends at the Arts Council.

Imported ImageDetails: 10/24 IUPUI & Canal District Tour Schedule

  • 9:30 am – Rider check in begins at the Indy Bike Hub on the east side of historic City Market.
  • 10:00 am – Tour departs from the plaza in front of the Indy Bike Hub
  • 12:00 pm – Tour returns to the Tomlinson Tap Room at City Market for post ride beverages & conversation

Advance Registration is $25 if you bring your own bike and $35 including a rental bicycle provided by Bicycle Garage Indianapolis. Tour capacity is limited so on-site registration is not guaranteed.