Beginning in downtown Chicago, get on to I-90 south. Follow this route to Gary, Indiana where you will take Exit 17 onto I-65 south. This exit makes a rather large loop, so do not be alarmed. I-65 south will take you right into Indianapolis. It should be noted parts of I-65 have tolls; be prepared with change for these toll booths.
An alternate route is to take Hwy. 41 along the shore of Lake Michigan; exit on to Hwy. 52. Hwy. 52 will meet up with I-65 in Stringtown which will take you the rest of the way to Indianapolis.
Before you head out of Chicago, make sure to see some of the sights that are available. The Navy Pier has a little bit of everything - shopping, dining, boat tours, etc. Another big Chicago hit is the Museum of Science & Industry. From bricks to brains; coal to chicks; subsea to storms; and trains to technology – this museum has fantastic interactive exhibits well worth a visit. Take in a ball game at the historic Wrigley Field; home of the Chicago Cubs. These attractions are just a fraction of what is available in the lovely city of Chicago.
As we head out of Chicago there are a few things on the way to Indy that may draw your attention. On the shores of Lake Michigan right near the intersection of I-90 and Hwy. 41 is the Horseshoe Hammond Casino where you can try your luck at any number of casino games. This venue also has a large theater that hosts many music acts.
If you have the time, as you come in to Gary, Indiana, exit on to Hwy. 12 and head toward the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; stunning views, spectacular trails, wildlife, picnic grounds, bird watching, camping and more. Even though this takes you off the path, it is not every day you get to visit a national dune.
Back on I-65 headed south, the highway crosses over the Kankakee River, near Forest City. There are several vacation resorts and camping grounds in this area: Sun Aura Resort, Ponderosa Sun Club and Lake Holiday Camping Resort just to name a few.
Continuing on I-65, the city of Lafayette, Indiana, has several interesting attractions. This might be a great place to stop and stretch your legs. Here is a list of what is available:
· Celery Bog Nature Area:
· Prophetstown State Park:
· Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Gardens
· Fort Ouiatenon Park
· Columbian Park Zoo
· Birck Boilermaker Golf Course
· Wildcat Creek Winery
Entering Indianapolis, you will pass by the Eagle Creek Park featuring swimming, canoeing, sailing, Dog Park, nature center, hiking trails, and cafe.
Probably the most iconic attraction is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Known as the "Racing Capital of the World" the speedway hosts several renowned races throughout the year including the infamous Indy 500. Also on the grounds of the speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. This is a chance to immerse yourself in all things NASCAR; enjoy a tour of the grounds, take a lap around the track, and see some historic cars. This is sure to be a thrill to kids young and old. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (March through October) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November through February). Admission prices start at $10/adult.
Your interests may lie elsewhere. How about a trip to the Indiana Medical History Museum? This is your chance to tour the two-story pathology building and the grounds of the Central State Hospital. The subject matter may not be appropriate for younger guests. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tours are by appointment only. Call 317-635-7329 to schedule your tour.
The Indianapolis Zoo is always a fun place to visit. The zoo features a variety of animal habitats from deserts to oceans, forests to plains, an orangutan center and the popular zoo babies. Adjacent to the zoo is the White River Gardens. Tickets start at $29/adult and $24.95/children.
Like most large cities, there is a vast variety of restaurants; ethnic to eclectic, bakeries to barbecues, pizza to pancakes, fast food to luxury fare - Indianapolis is no different.
If you like lodging with a homier feel, try out one of the many bed and breakfast establishments. Just off of I-65 are several B&Bs: Villa Inn, Stone Soup Inn, Old Northside B&B, The Looking Glass Inn, and Yellow Rose Inn just to name a few. Further south on I-70 are a few more: Nestle Inn, The Harney House Inn, and Shirley's B&B.
Just as with restaurants, so it is with hotels. Indy offers luxury hotels, family hotels, and budget hotels. No matter what your budget can handle there is a place for you in Indianapolis. Photo: Yasgosh/Fotolia
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