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An Indiana street
The Shrine Room inside the Indiana War Memorial is a must-see hidden gem Indiana War Memorials Foundation

Top Ten Hidden Gems in Indianapolis

A David Letterman-esque Guide to Ten of the City's Top Spots for Relaxation

In honor of one of Indy's most famous natives, here is your list of the top ten places off the beaten path in the Circle City. Every city has an off-the-guidebook, hidden side. Let's explore the underexplored.

  1. Axum Ethiopian Restaurant: Experience a taste of Africa right here in Indy with traditional Ethiopian cuisine. 

  2. Slippery Noodle Inn: Known as the oldest bar in the state of Indiana, live blues music seven days a week.

  3. Crown Hill Cemetery: Ranked as the third largest cemetery in the U.S., enjoy fall foliage hikes and tours that showcase the burial plots of Indiana's most famous residents like John Dillinger and James Whitcomb Riley.

  4. Madam Walker Theatre: Named in honor of Madam CJ Walker, the first female millionaire in the U.S., the venue hosts more than 150 performances annually, from Jazz on the Avenue to dance performances and guest speakers.

  5. Indiana War Memorial Museum (pictured):  A free military museum that portrays the history of Indiana's gallant veterans from the Battle of Tippecanoe, through the several wars in which we have been engaged, to the present. Fan favorite exhibit includes the USS Indianapolis Gallery, featuring numerous military firearms and uniforms, an AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter, and hundreds of other artifacts, photos and documents.

  6. Indiana Medical History Museum: As the nation's oldest surviving pathology laboratory, this state-of-the-art facility from the late 1800s and early 1900s holds more than 15,000 artifacts from the study of mental and nervous disorders.

  7. Plump's Last Shot: This restaurant is owned by Bobby Plump, the person who actually hit the shot that inspired ESPN's #1 Sports Movie, "Hoosiers."

  8. City Market Catacombs: A vast expanse of brick barrel arches, the catacombs are all that remain of Tomlinson Hall, which burned in 1958 and was torn down by the city. Visitors can see the huge limestone pillars that supported the hall, explore the network of arches, and learn the history of the underground labyrinth

  9. Garfield Park Conservatory: Home to over 10,000 square feet of indoor tropical plants in full bloom and a European-style garden that has three different season displays each year.

  10. Southwestway Park: Including baseball, shelters, concession stand, soccer fields, hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and playground, this south-side park along the White River is a hidden oasis for outdoor exploratioin.

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