Since most vacations were canceled this year due to the pandemic and the summer is now almost over, your urge to explore new places and see new things may be feeling a bit stifled.
Have you considered taking on Indy as if you were a tourist?
Sounds crazy, right? Why would you bother to walk around the city like a tourist when you live here? Well, when you live and work in a location, it’s easy to get absorbed in the mundane and lose any sense of appreciation for all the beauty and adventure that surround you. Lots of folks think of Indianapolis as the perfect place for a getaway — and you may, too, once you learn to look at the city with fresh eyes.
Feed your wanderlust. Keep your passion for new experiences alive. Explore Indy like a tourist with these tips:
Do a Little Research
Just like you would before heading someplace unfamiliar, spend a little time pouring over guides to the city and look up events and things to do in the area. Make a list of the places you’d like to visit. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, as long as it sparks your interest.
Since the goal is to see new sights and try new things, leave any of your familiar haunts off the list. If you’ve already explored the Indianapolis Museum of Art more than once, for example, this isn’t the time to go back. Indy’s full of fun things to see and wild, wonderful things to do, so step out of your comfort zone and look for something less conventional. If there’s someplace around that you’ve always wanted to visit but shied away because it was “too full of tourists” now’s your chance!
Book a Staycation
There’s something instantly transformational about checking into a hotel or a small bed-and-breakfast. It thrusts you out of your routine and eliminates the usual distractions (like dishes, laundry and yard work) that can wear you down and dull your spirit when you’re at home.
Indy has plenty of swanky luxury accommodations that happily pamper their guests, so it won’t take long before you get into full “tourist” mode. If luxury hotels aren’t your thing, however, don’t be afraid to check into a cozy little bed-and-breakfast, instead.
Book a Tour (or Two)
You can’t be a proper tourist without taking at least one tour around the city. After all, that’s often the best way to see some of a city’s most significant historic locations and loveliest spots — and the tour guides usually have a wealth of knowledge that they’re willing to share.
If you’re looking for a standard experience, look for a guided tour that will take you around Monument Circle, the Indianapolis Zoo or the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art. Even though those are some of the most beloved spots in Indy for tourists to visits, many locals have left them off their list.
You may also want to consider taking a specialty tour, like the Taste Indy Food Tours. That may help awaken you to some of the hidden culinary delights that the city has to offer.
Take Plenty of Photos
What’s a vacation without photos, right? Go on a treasure hunt for the best selfie collection you can gather. With the camera as your guide, you may gain a whole new appreciation for the artistic and architectural elements of the city that you never noticed before.
If you’re not sure where to start taking photos, let Instagram be your guide. Indy has a lot of photo-tastic locations that appeal to tourists (for good reason), and the odds are high that you’ve overlooked many of them in the past. Make sure that you remember to upload your own photos and tag the city so others can see through your eyes!
Dine out Someplace New
Sure, your favorite coffee shop and restaurant are your favorites for a reason: You know exactly what you like and what to order. But being a tourist is all about adventure, so try something new — and give your tastebuds a new reason to be excited.
Dig through those city guides, get out of your rut and go looking for the most touristy restaurant you can find. It’s time to find out why so many people are raving about the places that the locals avoid.
Go ahead and splurge a little while you’re there: Don’t be shy about ordering the house’s favorite beer or dessert (this is, after all, your vacation). If you’re so inclined, remember to leave a review when you’re done — just like any good tourist.
Go for a Walk
When you’re in a car or on a bus, you can’t really take the time to look at much of anything. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and take a walking tour through the heart of the city to see what you’ve been missing.
Not sure where to start? GPSmyCity is an app you can download to your mobile device and use as your guide. You can take a micro-tour of White River State Park, see the most beautiful religious buildings and more. The app also comes complete with all the detailed information that any tourist would want to know about the places they’re seeing.
One of the nicest things about being a tourist in your own city is that you may find yourself falling in love with Indy all over again — because it’s easy to do.