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Birthday Trip Inquiries

Herradura, Costa...
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Birthday Trip Inquiries

I am planning a trip to Indy for my husband's birthday at the start of feb. I am looking for a lot of advice, as we have never been to Indy. We will be driving there from southern MI. Anyway, here goes...

1. Hotel. I have researched hotels some. Looking for a place in downtown, close to everything. Looking for an upscale place, but NOT snobby.

2. Looking for great places to eat dinner. We only eat seafood or vegetarian, and love Japanese, Indian, seafood places, etc. Like places that do not require a suit and coat, but have great ambience.

3. We may go to a Basketball game as the Pistons are playing that weekend. What areas are best to sit in the arena? Any good contacts on tickets?

4. What can we do in Indy? We love museums, history, photography, learning about the city we are visiting, etc.

5. Spas. I would like to schedule a couples massage or something at a spa for both of us. Any suggestions are spas in the downtown area that are nice?

Thanks in advance. I get a lot off great advice from Trip Advisor and appreciate any you all can give.

Edited: 22 January 2010, 03:43
noblesville, Indiana
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1. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

You may like the Conrad Hotel. It's upscale without being snobby & they have a spa. We combined an overnight there with a dinner at Oceanaire (walking distance from the hotel) & had a wonderful time. I'm sure others will have great advice. You will like it in Indy!


Herradura, Costa...
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2. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

Thanks for your suggestion on both things. I have looked at the Conrad and thought it looked super nice, and I read a good review on the restaurant and think it sound right up on alley. Thanks again.

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3. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

Ok here you go.

1. If you are looking for upscale and budget is not a concern, Conrad. Don't even look anywhere else but it is expensive.

2. For seafood: Oceanaire, I don't think there is anything comparable in Indy. My sister-in-law is a vegetarian and I will have to ask her if she would recommend anywhere in particular. Japanese and Indian: I cannot personally recommend for downtown locations on either (Ichiban on the southside is the best sushi in Indy) but here is a link that can give you some direction.


3. Tickets for a Pacers game should be fairly easy to come by. Try to sit in the lower level or club seats, they are worth the extra $$ IMO. But upper level seats are not bad as long as you aren't on the ends. Just go to the Pacers website for tix.

4. In February the weather could be a factor, although it won't be like MI. As long as it isn't bitter cold you will be able to walk around a lot of Indy (that's what visitors like the most). Walk to the circle for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. On the westside of downtown there are a cluster of really good museums. Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art, and NCAA Hall of Champions. It is not located downtown but if you want to learn about Indy you should go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum, very cool place. It is only 10-15 minutes from Downtown and easy to get to. Circle Center Mall is always brought up as well, especially in the winter. I don't really go to malls on vacation but some people do

5. As stated above if you stay at the Conrad thier spa is considered one of the best, again expensive but very popular. My wife LOVES Studio 2000 Salon and Day Spa which is just off the circle so convenient for you.

Hopefully this helps. If you decide the Conrad is too pricey I've stayed at the Canterbury, Hilton and they are nice. Westin should be nice too. Enjoy your visit to our city.

western WA
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4. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

Indianans / snobby / not!

I haven't met anyone in Indiana who would qualify as brusque, let alone snobby.

Bring good walking shoes because one of the most fun things to do in downtown Indy is walk around and explore. It is a very bright and clean downtown with a lively feel. To me, it seems like the first western style city. Cincinnati, not too far east, has an old-school eastern feel with narrow streets. Indianapolis streets are on a wide grid.

Be sure to stroll the neighborhood on Massachusetts Ave. There are several restaurants up there which meet your description, and it is a fun, arty area. Just south and east from the Rathskeller, which you should at least go have a glass of wine in, there is a historic neighborhood that is interesting.

The State Capitol building is worth a stop, and the Cafe Patachou (I think that is the name of that Patachou location) on the south side of the capitol is a place you'd like. It goes without saying that the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is worth seeing.

There's a mall downtown but I haven't spent much time there. If it is cold, there are skybridges. The City Market is a smile, not too large but interesting.

Lots of buildings and monuments with architectural character. If you have a car, go drive by the Motor Speedway. It is so huge it must be visible from space! I think there is a museum there (I haven't been to it though).

Edited: 22 January 2010, 16:12
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5. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

For Indian food I love Indian Garden on Delaware Street. If you're into Thai food, there's a funky little neighborhood about a mile south of downtown called Fountain Square. They've got a great place called Siam Square, right on Virginia Ave.

I really like the Omni or the Canterbury downtown in addition to the Conrad for hotels. They're both very nice. As someone mentioned before, you won't really get "snobby" in Indy anywhere.

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6. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

I think most of this has been covered but I'll toss out my thoughts anyway.

Among higher end hotels downtown are the Conrad, Marriott, Westin, Omni, Hyatt, Hilton, Canterbury, Embassy Suites, Sheraton, and Crowne Plaza. If you want to do something a little different, there’s also the Columbia Club, which is a nice old building directly on Monument Circle that is part private club and part hotel.

Since I live here, I don't exactly sleep in hotels in Indy, so I base most of my opinion on what I've been told and what I experience going to meetings and such. The Conrad, Marriott, Westin, Omni, Hyatt, and Hilton (in that order) would be what I would look at if I were you. I would also think about Columbia Club.

For a restaurant with ambience, you cannot beat Eagles Nest on top of the Hyatt Regency. You can look up their menu online to see if it fits your needs. Formal dress not required but I think they prefer no jeans and t-shirts.

Museums I think have already been covered by others but I'll reinforce it anyway. The Indiana Historical Society Museum, which is free, is very cool and often gets overlooked.

If you are the bookish type, the Indianapolis Public Library is also a nice place to visit. Pretty new with some cool stuff.

Other top downtown museum and historical attractions:

- Indiana State Museum

- Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Monument Circle)

- Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian Art

- Indiana War Memorial & Museum

- NCAA Hall of Champions

Indianapolis Museum of Art is great but not downtown.

Edited: 24 January 2010, 15:59
Bloomington, Indiana
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7. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries


As you're obviously more involved with Indiana now days, you do have to learn one thing. We're called "Hoosiers, " not "Indianans/" ; - )

Don't ask me the origin of the term. As unbelievable as some people find it, the exact origin has been lost to time (I personally know about 4-5 possible stories, and a few jokes on the topic, and am sure there are *many* more).

If anyone claims to have the definitive answer, don't believe them. (But do pass the story along so I can add it to my list!)


8. Re: Birthday Trip Inquiries

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