Indiana

In January 2016, my friend from high school, Saeef, graduated from college, and wanted to travel for his break. I used this excuse and my free time to plan a grand trip to LA and Las Vegas.

Indianapolis is $20 and a 2 hour bus ride away. Might as well. — Saeef

That seemed reason enough to book an overnight Megabus trip for two.

The next morning, after a quick breakfast we packed our essentials into our daily backpacks and arrived at Indianapolis by 1 p.m. I was surprised the bus was pretty full in cold, cold January. I guess for a $30 round trip, there’s not a lot to think about.

Tip: If you’re taking a morning bus, the front row seats on the upper deck are your best choice.

City Market, Indianapolis, IN

The bus pickup/dropoff is in front of the indoor public City Market (pictured below), which had a great variety of food stalls for lunch. If you’re visiting Indy this should be one of your stops. The prices were reasonable as well. We bought two cheeseburgers from a stall next to the main entrance, which turned out to be some of the best we’ve had in a while. Apparently, the the market hosted a few Super Bowl 2012 events and is a national historic landmark!

The center of Indianapolis is a huge war memorial honoring World War I veterans. They’ve made a big effort over the last year to add more events in the circle around it, so if you are in the area it’s worth walking by to see what’s going on. Unfortunately, we went in the middle of winter so the museum underneath the circle was closed.

The dome behind it is the city hall.

However, the largest building in the downtown area was the JW Marriott hotel. It’s comical how imposing this building is on the small skyline.

The bus driver was really nice.

I have to shout out the bus driver above who stopped the entire bus to direct us to the correct route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. Unthinkable in Chicago or New York City!

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum entrance. It’s in the middle of the racing track!

Once we got on the right bus, we got off and walked to the biggest attraction in all of Indiana: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race track (above). They were setting up for the 100th anniversary of the historic Indy 500 race so most entrances were closed off, but a bunch of garage owners spotted us confused at the side of the track and happily drove us in their pickup to the correct entrance.

People in Indiana are crazy nice.

The museum in the middle of the track costs $10 and showcases the history of the track and the evolution of cars that raced at Indy; people call this track the birthplace of auto-racing.

NCAA Hall of Champions (left) and N Pennsylvania St (right).

We spent the last few hours of the night roaming around downtown, and finally crashed in the warm JW Marriott lobby after dinner with free wi-fi. After midnight, the town is pretty much dead.

I loved this place because I experienced what it’s really like to be around nice, truthful, and kind people that are ready to help you with anything that you need.