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Best Downtown walking tours for the family

Called “the most walkable Downtown in America” by Sports Illustrated, everything is within reach in Downtown Indy. In fact, WalkScore.com ranks Downtown the most walkable neighborhood in Indianapolis.

Spring is the perfect time to bring the family downtown for a walking tour and learn insider facts about our fun city. So without further ado, here are 5 ways to take a walking tour in Downtown Indy:

1. The Cultural Trail

While most urban greenways lead traffic away from the city to riverfronts or other areas, the Cultural Trail serves as a gateway into the heart of the city. From Mass Ave to White River State Park and Fountain Square, the Cultural Trail is a safe, healthy and convenient way to explore Downtown. Don’t miss the public art {including everyone’s favorite Ann Dancing located on Mass Ave}, restaurants and shops along the way. And when you need to give your feet a break, stop and check out a book at the artistically designed Public Collection. Each book-share station contains a varied selection of books for diverse audiences and age groups. Books are stocked by the Indianapolis Public Library and can be returned at your leisure.

2. The Canal Walk

Wide paths as well as a secluded promenade behind the Indianapolis Zoo provide walkers with a picturesque setting.
Wide paths as well as a secluded promenade behind the Indianapolis Zoo provide walkers with a picturesque setting.

Go technology free and explore the Canal Walk.The three-mile Canal Walk stretches north starting at White River State Park up to 11th Street and serves as the Downtown community’s waterside promenade for walkers, runners and bikers. Along the way, check out the beautiful sculptures, landscaping, outdoor gardens near the Eiteljorg Museum and memorials. The Canal is home to the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial where you will find names of each medal recipient and – if you listen closely – you can hear their stories. Looking to spend a little more time Downtown? The Eiteljorg Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions and Indiana State Museum are conveniently located alongside the Canal; the Indianapolis Zoo is just steps away.


RELATED POST: 5 ways to do Spring Break in downtown Indy

 3. A walking tour on your schedule

Be a tourist in your own city. The Walk Indianapolis website offers self-guided audio tours of Indianapolis architecture and local landmarks. Just put on your walking shoes, log into the website and play on your smart phone or mobile audio device. Tours include locations such as the Mile Square, Indiana State House, Soldiers and Sailors Monument and many more. Or listen to tours of venues such as White River State Park, Victory Field, Union Station, the Indiana State Museum and more.

4. ActiveIndy tours

ActiveIndy offers daily guided walking, running and bicycle tours of Indianapolis. And their guides know where all the cool stuff is!
ActiveIndy offers daily guided walking, running and bicycle tours of Indianapolis. And their guides know where all the cool stuff is!

ActiveIndy Tours offers daily, guided tours throughout Downtown at a “human pace.” Tours offer frequent stops where storytellers share the history of our city. Take the White River State Park and Central Canal tour and explore one of the largest urban state parks in the U.S. Learn about the Park’s history, public art and war memories. The Lockerbie and Mass Ave Tour showcases the history of Lockerbie, the oldest surviving neighborhood in Indianapolis, along with eclectic shops, gallery and art installations along Mass Ave. Learn about Downtown’s many war memorials in the Indianapolis War Memorial Trail tour. Only second to Washington, DC in our number of memorials and monuments, Indianapolis has many iconic landmarks.

5. Monument Circle Walking Tours

Indiana Landmarks’ tours of Monument Circle take place every Friday and Saturday and are free.
Indiana Landmarks’ tours of Monument Circle take place every Friday and Saturday and are free.

Take a guided tour around the physical and symbolic heart of Indy and learn the intriguing story of the Circle during one of Indiana Landmarks Monument Circle Walking Tours. Learn about the Monument and the surrounding buildings, with interesting pointers from Indiana Landmarks’ expert guides. Tours are free and depart from the South Bend Chocolate Company every Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. (pending inclement weather).


Amanda Dorman - Indy's Child MagazineDuring the day, Amanda Dorman works as communication manager for Downtown Indy, promoting Downtown events and happenings on media outlets throughout the city. She serves on marketing teams and committees for Indiana Sports Corp, Dig IN and the Indianapolis Zoo Associate Council and is the PR lead behind one of Indy’s coolest yoga events: Monumental Yoga on Monument Circle. By night, Amanda enjoys practicing yoga, teaching spin classes, attending concerts and exploring Downtown Indy (especially through food and especially at Bluebeard!). Find Amanda on Twitter and by email at [email protected].

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