Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the renowned "Windy City" has been making a statement ever since its incorporation in 1837. Chicago is a cosmopolitan city that has always been on the cutting edge of technology, innovation and fine arts. About 185 miles south of Chicago is Indianapolis, Indiana's state capital and home of the famous Indianapolis 500. Its nickname is "Crossroads of America". There are many roads leading into Indianapolis. This article covers many of the possible ways to get to Indy from Chicago. What is the distance between Chicago is Indianapolis? About 185 miles. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Chicago to Indianapolis By Plane

Chicago to Indianapolis By Plane
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O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the nation. For example, ORD is home to over 120 food and beverage locations and serves . United Airlines offers non-stop trips starting at $132 round-trip. There are a variety of schedules from which to choose. Other airlines with flights to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) include Alaska, American, and Delta airlines.

Chicago also has another airport: Midway International Airport (MDW) is a much smaller airport. Delta and United offer service to Indianapolis International Airport. Neither airline offers a non-stop flight. Fares begin at $360.

When time is of the essence, a plane ride is probably the most efficient, but probably not the most scenic or exciting. This is a great option particularly for the business traveler.

How far is Indianapolis from Chicago? About 185 miles.

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2.Chicago to Indianapolis By Train

Chicago to Indianapolis By Train
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Amtrak has two trains that travel from Chicago to Indianapolis daily: The Cardinal and The Illini. The Cardinal is an evening route departing at 5:45 p.m. and arriving in Indianapolis at 11:50 p.m. This train features a café/lounge car and a dining car. As always free Wi-Fi is available. Prices for a reserved coach seat start at $20 and business class starts at $64. Other options on this train include the Superliner Roomette ($101), which is a cabin with two berths and a Superliner Bedroom ($302), which accommodates two adults having two berths and an en suite bathroom including a shower.

The other train is the Illini. This is an express train that departs Chicago at 4:05 p.m. and arrives in Indianapolis at 615 p.m. Reserved coach seats start at $43 and the business class at $66. The Illini features a café/lounge car and free Wi-Fi. In addition, checked baggage is not allowed on this route.

Traveling by train can be very restful. You can enjoy the scenery and not have the stress of driving intercity streets and highways. Everyone should ride the rail at least once in their lifetime; Amtrak can take the hassle out of traveling.

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3.Chicago to Indianapolis By Bus

Chicago to Indianapolis By Bus
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Hoosier Ride provides daily bus service between Chicago and Indy. Fares for the 7 hour ride start at $40 depending on the day of departure. The bus departs Chicago at 7:00 a.m. and arrives at Indy at 3:35 p.m. The amenities include reclining seats, air conditioning, and a bathroom.

Another bus option is Greyhound. Greyhound offers service between Chicago and Indy. Fares start at $20 depending on the day of departure. There are several routes from which to choose; the earliest departure is 7:00 a.m. and the latest is 11:50 p.m. The trip averages about 3½ hours. Features on the bus include leather reclining seats with ample legroom; free Wi-Fi; air conditioning with adjustable vents; personal power outlets; restroom; and overhead storage bins.

By Private Transfer Service

Stretch Limousine, Inc. offers service between Chicago and Indianapolis. The fares begin at $345 for a town car and go up to $914 for large passenger van.

Uber seems to be growing in popularity especially in larger cities. This author checked with Uber to see if there were any fares between Chicago and Indianapolis. The answer, yes. Fares are as follows: UberX - $214; UberXL - $401; Uber Black - $790; and UberSUV - $873. This may be a better option for some of the readers.

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4.Chicago to Indianapolis By Car

Chicago to Indianapolis By Car
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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.

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5.Chicago to Indianapolis By Bike or Walking

Chicago to Indianapolis By Bike or Walking
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There are a lot of bike trails within both Chicago and Indianapolis. There are also numerous bike trails in Lafayette, Indiana which is in between our two focus cities. This writer could not find a trail that went continuously from Chicago to Indy. Google Maps has two rides that come up on the search utilizing sections of established bike trails. The key points are to make sure you are physically and mentally prepared; have access to plenty of drinking water; plan where you will stay each night; and pack as light as possible so you are not loaded down. Also, pick the right month to travel. Summer months can be extremely hot, so it may be best to plan your trip for spring or fall.

Google Maps also shows a route for walking between the two cities. Again, make sure you are in excellent physical shape and have prepared for a trip of this length.

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Chicago to Indianapolis Distance: Driving, By Plane, Train or Bus

Attraction Spotlight: Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art strives to foster an appreciation and understanding of fine contemporary art. It is currently the only museum in Indianapolis that is dedicated to exhibiting and advancing contemporary works of art. Visitors will enjoy a vast collection of original pieces and are encouraged to engage in thought-provoking dialogue regarding contemporary visual culture.


The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 2001 by a group of like-minded enthusiasts whose mission was to display and advance an appreciation of contemporary art. Before the museum had a dedicated space, it operated as a “Museum without Walls” and mounted exhibitions throughout the Indianapolis area.

The museum found its first home in 2004 when it moved into the Emelie Building in the Indiana Avenue Cultural District. The museum moved into its current home in the Murphy Building in 2009. This location places it in the heart of the thriving Fountain Square art scene.

The museum has partnered with many local organizations to establish gallery space, present artist talks, and host workshops and other educational programs to foster a love of contemporary art throughout Indiana.

Past Exhibits:

There are a vast number of exhibitions coming and going at the museum, but typically, the museum only features one at a time. Some of the past exhibitions to be featured here in recent years include the following.

Museum of Real and Odd: This exhibit explores the existence of UFOs and other paranormal activity through contemporary artwork. Thirteen enthusiastic artists contributed to this exhibit: Nayda Collazo-Llorens in collaboration with Ander Monson, Scott Raymond & Heather Abels, Jennifer Scheuer, Ed Sykes, Robert Thurlow, Katy Unger, Alex Grabiec, Julio Orta, Pato Hebert, Cassandra Klos, Josh Haines, and Michael Jordan, aka Alkemi.

Benjamin Johnson: Spacetime This exhibit features textured prints that depict imagery of the moon throughout its lunar cycle. The local artist, Benjamin Johnson, has specially created these unique works by sand blasting glass panels and adding texture with diamond engraving techniques, making these glass panels truly unique and abstract.

Kate Carr: (Un) Folds The artist, Kate Carr uses materials such as felt and plywood to create her unique sculptures. Using simple geometric forms in a formal manner, her shapes and designs can be clearly seen and experienced.

James Wille Faust: Color Meditations This exhibit featured two years of work from James Willie Faust, including paintings, sculptures, and videos. He is known his use of color to convey meaning in his abstract work, usually combined with illusionistic effects. This exhibit featured those works and he implemented this technique heavily in the displayed pieces.

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Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E South St, Indianapolis, IN 46225, Phone: 317-634-6622

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Attraction Spotlight: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located approximately five miles away from the tourist hotspot of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. This museum is regarded as one of the top museums that is centered on auto racing and automobiles, specifically those involved in open wheel and IndyCar racing. This shouldn’t be a surprise because Indianapolis is renowned as the racing capital of the world.

In 1956 Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr. and Karl Kizer paired up to establish a museum that was dedicated to displaying the historical and cultural significance of the Indianapolis 500 Race. The museum was initially located where the current Speedway’s Administration Building resides in the Speedway’s southwest corner. Since the initial location was small, the museum could only display a few of the most classic and renowned race cars.

Currently, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is comprised of almost 36,000 sq. feet. Multiple gift shops, as well as a unique photography store, and offices lie among the museum’s official collection of artifacts and information related to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Museum gives visitors a chance to explore the rich history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and auto races in general. While the highlight of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is the dense collection of race cars from various series including NASCAR and Formula One, the museum has other attractions for visitors to explore.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame is one of the highlighted attractions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. This exhibit was founded in 1952 by the American Automobile Association to promote and preserve the memories, achievement, and influence of prominent members of the sport racing community. Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame was initially founded in Detroit, Michigan, Tony Hulman moved it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in 1962.

Every year, a committee full of highly respected individuals, such as racing historians, veteran auto racers, and the media, come together and decide who will be inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. After the committee decides, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame will honor these individuals in May of that year. Currently the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is working on an initiative that will allow visitors to access the extensive list of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame members, as well as their history and significance, from the museum’s website.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum strives to teach visitors about the history and significance of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the overall importance of auto racing. Visitors can seize the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s educational opportunities by taking their time and reading everything in each exhibit. Visitors also have the opportunity to take a specialized tour, which gives them a behind the scenes glimpse of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and the racetrack itself. Other than guided tours, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum regularly offers discussions and classes that are led by highly respected and influential people in the auto racing industry. It’s important to note that these special educational events are continuously changing, so check the museum’s website for more information if you’re interested in attending one of these programs.

Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has a variety of exhibits that entice and inform visitors, many people visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to experience their special events. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum works alongside their racetrack counterpart to provide visitors with an educational experience on days that there is a special race. Some of these specialized races include; Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis 500, and the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum also houses special events that are relevant to the season and holidays. One of the highlighted special events is the Lights at the Brickyard. The Lights at the Brickyard is a spectacular light event. Visitors have the chance of experiencing over 40 scenes that have over a total of over 2 million lights. These light displays are spread out among a 1.7 mile drive.

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4790 W 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, Phone: 317-492-6784,

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Attraction Spotlight: Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Located in Indianapolis, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is an institution that preserves information and educates people about the 23rd president’s life, values, and legacy.

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president of the United States and remains the only person who was elected as president from Indiana. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site encourages visitors to immerse themselves within Benjamin Harrison’s life, and learn about his triumphs, legacy, and overall patriotism.

This National Historic Landmark is based in the home that Benjamin Harrison himself built alongside his wife, Caroline Harrison, in 1874. Harrison lived in the Indiana home, except for his time as a U.S. senator and president, until he passed away in 1901. After Harrison’s death, his family stayed in the property for approximately ten more years. Then in 1937, Mary Lord Harrison, Harrison’s second wife, sold the home to the Jordan Conservatory of Music when they approached her with the idea of preserving the home and its objects forever. Although the Jordan Conservatory of Music initially designated the home as a dormitory, they sectioned off certain rooms to keep them in the best condition. Until 1966, the Jordan Conservatory of Music maintained Harrison’s home. Then, a non-profit foundation took over and officially established the home as an official historic site.

Although the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has undergone a few renovations, the enchantment and traditional architectural design still remains in its essence. Currently, Charlie Hyde is the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s president and CEO, and has initiated a 5-year plan that will make the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site the country’s most engaged and impactful site that honors a U.S president.

As the only institution in the U.S that honors our 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison, visitors can expect to see a wide variety of permanent attractions that showcase what Harrison’s life was life, and the legacy that he left. Some of the permanent collection includes china paintings from Harrison’s first wife, Caroline Harrison, as well as political artifacts. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site even has personal property and documents from Benjamin Harrison, and other influential people he corresponded with, that give historians and the general public a never before seen look into Benjamin Harrison’s life, and the general time period he lived in.

As well as Benjamin Harrison’s personal artifact collection, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has a permanent collection that is dedicated to women’s suffrage. When Harrison ran for presidency in 1888, women’s suffrage was an extremely important issue of the time. Harrison even ran against Belva Lockwood, who was one of the most influential people in the women’s suffrage movement.

Although the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has an extensive collection of permanent attractions from Harrison, and his family and friends, the museum houses traveling special attractions throughout the year. Every special attraction can be found within the museum’s ballroom that is located on the 3rd floor. Special attractions include special rotating collections from the museum itself, as well as exhibitions from other museums that are relevant to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Since the special attractions are continuously changing, check the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s website to see an updated version of the current special attractions.

President at the Crossroads is the main special attraction that is currently being displayed at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. This attraction features special accomplishments that Benjamin Harrison made while he was our 23rd president.

Education is extremely important to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site offers specialized museum tours for schools and adults. Schools have the option of crafting the tour to their specific lesson plan or interests. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site even offers fun interactive and educational activities for kids so they will remain engaged and enthusiastic throughout the tour of the museum.

Aside from the extensive educational opportunities for children, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site offers many educational programs for adults. These programs include; lectures, performances, and even a research library. While the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site offers a variety of educational programs to the general community, the best way to remain engaged with the museum is to sign up for their members program.

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1230 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, Phone: 317-631-1888

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