With its stately architecture, beautiful forestry woven throughout the suburbs, and a large movement supporting art and urban revitalization, the southern sector of Indianapolis has much to offer visitors. Home to many of the Midwest city's key focal points, like the State Capitol, and an escapist's dream of parks and green spaces, it’s a great pick for access to both the museums of Downtown and the rivers and lakes of rural Indiana.
Lily Recreation Park is one of the best recreational areas in south Indianapolis. Playgrounds, picnic areas and sports courts pepper the grounds, while the park also provides trails for hiking and jogging.
You'll find the White River State Park to the southwest of the center, the river snaking through green pastures with the backdrop of the Indianapolis skyline seemingly miles away. Now the location of the Indianapolis Zoo, the Historic Pumphouse and a range of museums, White River State Park can give you the perfect haven after a day at the nearby Indiana Speedway.
Canal Walk is a promenade close to White River, where locals get together and enjoy the revitalized walk along the canals that run through Downtown Indianapolis. Rent bikes and cruise down the Canal Walk, take the dog out for a stroll after a long trip, or simply go and enjoy a nice meal outside to take in the beautiful views. The corporate center is located nearby, making this is an ideal place to take a break and read a book.
The Indianapolis Zoo is one of the most amazing family-friendly venues in the state. With the newly established Orangutan exhibit, your kids can spend the day getting in touch with and learning about nature. A large portion of the animals that reside at this zoo are rescue animals, and a sum of the money collected for tickets goes toward rescue efforts for endangered breeds.
Dietz Lake is about one hour southwest of Indianapolis. For those staying in South Indianapolis looking for an alternative to the city, this lake is the ideal escape. With great fishing, swimming and hiking, Dietz Lake has plenty to occupy families for the whole day.
Southern Indianapolis is populated with some great golf courses for those looking for a break from business or sightseeing. The Sarah Shank Golf Course, Smock Gold Course and the Southern Dunes Golf Course are all located on the south side, with a scattering of South Indianapolis hotels nearby off Highway 65.
Book south of Downtown Indianapolis and you'll have a pick of well-known brands like Hampton Suites and Comfort Inn to choose from. Most are situated close to the University of Indianapolis, which is useful for those traveling for conferences, although there is also a cluster southwest in Perry.
Follow Route 65 and you'll come to the city of Greenwood, touching on the south of Indianapolis. A peaceful suburban area with plenty of playparks for kids and shopping facilities at Greenwood Park Mall, it's a good choice for families wanting something outside of the city bustle.
One of the best times to visit Indianapolis is in the fall, as there are fewer weather disruptions and mild temperatures, though the mercury can climb to 85 degrees in July if you're a fan of the heat. Never seen a firefly? Visit during the late spring and summer to find them at their most active in the evenings.