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Big City, Tiny Guide: Outdoor Entertainment

There’s more to Indianapolis than race tracks and skyscrapers. Indy’s home to some of the best trails and parks in the state, including one of the largest city parks in the country. It’s time to put on some comfortable shoes, grab your sunscreen and get to Indianapolis.

Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, golfing or paddling, there are plenty of ways to explore. Here are seven ways you can get outside in Indy:

The Monon Trail

Named for the Monon Railroad, which ran the length of Indiana to connect Indianapolis with Chicago, Louisville and the small towns in between, the Monon Trail is a paved path for biking and walking that stretches over 20 miles through downtown Indy, Carmel, Broad Ripple and Westfield. There are several places to park and access the trail and plenty of jump-off points will put you near food, drink and shopping destinations. No bike? Try Pacers Bikeshare. Photo courtesy of The Monon Trail

Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park

Explore over 100 acres of woodlands, wetlands, meadows and the shoreline of a 35-acre lake when you visit Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. It’s one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and it’s always commissioning temporary, site-responsive artwork.

Eagle Creek Park

One of the nation’s largest city parks is only a short drive from Ironworks Hotel Indy. Explorers can hike the many trails. Thrill seekers can check out Go Ape’s treetop adventure, featuring zip lines, rope ladders and tarzan swings. Sunbathers can hit the beach. Golfers can make a tee time at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Dog lovers can bring their four-legged friends to the Bark Park. And there’s still more to do at Eagle Creek Park.

Fort Harrison State Park

This year-round state park offers the perfect mixture of nature and history. Fort Harrison State Park once housed a former World War II prisoner-of-war camp, but is now home to biking trails, walking and jogging trails, horse trail rides and hayrides, picnicking, a nature center, and more.

Coxhall Gardens

You can discover this unique, 125-acre park only 15 minutes from Ironworks Hotel Indy. Wander or bike some of Coxhall Gardens’ trails to see the twin 90-feet bell towers, the recreation lake and even the Children’s Garden, which features village stores, a sundial and Tiki huts.

Courtesy of Coxhall Gardens

Farmers Markets

There are a couple of outdoor farmers markets in the area to take your pick from, Broad Ripple Farmers Market and Carmel Farmers Market. Both offer fresh produce and a variety of locally sourced goods, so you can visit one or both during your Saturday stay. Both have summer and winter markets, which means you can take the flavors of Indy home with you all year round.


Throw your clubs in the trunk and make a tee time for a couple of our favorite golf courses, Sahm Golf Club and Crooked Stick Golf Club. You’ll get a taste of the outdoors while playing a round of great golf. And if you want to play an iconic Indy course, make a tee time at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, which is located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo courtesy of Crooked Stick

After a long day of exploring Indy’s great outdoors, Ironworks Hotel Indy is the perfect place to relax. Reserve your stay today!


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