Fringe Benefits: Indianapolis showcases this vibrant midwestern city and its seemingly endless options for visitors – from sports events to cultural outings and a blossoming food scene to abundant park space.
The largest city in Indiana, Indy – as it’s affectionately known – is bustling with activity. There’s a downtown canal, bike paths, a cultural trail linking museums and galleries, and numerous monuments and memorials located in public green spaces. More and more people and moving back downtown, and the neighborhoods are responding with shopping, dining, event space and sports venues easily accessible for pedestrians.
Indy is perhaps most famous for the Indianapolis 500 – an annual May car race that began more than 100 years ago! Katie gets into the action – and into a race car – with a trip around the track with the Indy Racing Experience. We also meet CEO Doug Boles who describes – with excitement – the mood at the track on race weekends. Even on a non-race day, it’s a thrill to be on the track and to visit the racing museum.
From the track, we head to Connor Prairie, an immersive 19th-centruy living history museum depicting life in early Indiana history. The costumed guides create roles of living, working, and playing in the village, and interact with guests to create an engaging history lesson! Katie even gets a chance to go up in a tethered hot air balloon, and take a tomahawk throwing lesson!
In Bloomington, Indiana, Katie takes a day trip to the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center – an interfaith center designed for peaceful meditation and prayer. What a surprise we have when we are invited to see the Dalai Lama’s private apartment – his only residence in the west is at the center. We are welcomed by center director Arjia Rinpoche, one of the most prominent Buddhist teachers in the world. Katie and a friend have an incredible experience talking with him and themonks, and chanting at the temple.
The episode closes with a cooking lesson at Chef JJ’s, just north of downtown. Here, everything – from appetizers to dessert – is cooked on grills! Katie enjoys a unique cooking lesson with Chef Steven, cooking a spicy monkfish, with an apple galette for dessert.
For more information on Indianapolis area lodging, dining and attractions, visit the Destination Guide.
For more photos from our visit to Indianapolis, visit the Gallery.
And to learn about other cities featured on Fringe Benefits, visit the Episode Guide.