A few years ago, one of my dear friends moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. Finally, another girlfriend and I were able to make the super short trip to visit her. We only had 1 day, but we made those 24 hours count!
We hit the road first thing in the morning, fueling up with some caffeine.
The total drive to Indy is just under 3 hours. However, we wanted to take full advantage of the trip so we decided to stop at this fantastic place called Choo Choo McGoo’s in Kokomo. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you walk in, the charm of the decor makes you fall in love. The awesome music selection that played in the background including James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Creedance Revival made us feel right at home.
But what’s decor and ambiance if the food is no good, right? I’m happy to report that the food was phenonenmal! I had the French toast with sausage patties and E had biscuits and gravy with hasbrowns. Both our plates were clean when we left and with a total tab of $11, I would recommend this place to anyone traveling through Kokomo.
Once we arrived at A’s, we took a few minutes to relax and wait for her hubby to come home so her adorable son could nap while we explored a bit of downtown.
A took us to White River State Park. We were blessed with a gorgeous day, but this park was more than what she ever could have described. We walked along the canal that is littered with museums, restaurants, and a gorgeous view of downtown. Here you will find the Indiana State Museum which houses the IMAX Theater, concerts at the Farm Bureau Lawn, the Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum, Victory Field, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. You can rent paddle boats or kayaks to venture through the canal or tour the area by segway if walking around isn’t your thing.
We covered a lot of ground in the few short hours we were at White Water State Park, but at the same time, we didn’t even big to scratch the surface of what this beautiful area has to offer.
After the park, it was time for lunch! A suggested Slippery Noodle Inn. Considering it is the oldest bar in Indiana, that historical fact alone drew me in. There were indoor and outdoor seating, so we opted for a table outside to enjoy more of the sunshine. Because E and I had a late breakfast, we decided to split a grilled cheese and A ordered the cheese fries. Overall, the food was good. There is also a full bar which was nice to quench our thirst. The service was alright, nothing to write home about, but it didn’t make for a negative experience either.
One tip I would suggest is to take advantage of the FREE parking lot located right next to the restaurant. We totally missed this and ended up paying $8 in the parking garage down the road. The parking lot is only for Slippery Noodle Inn customers so if you’re planning on spending more time downtown, I don’t suggest leaving your car parked there all day.
At this point, it was late in the afternoon so we headed back to A’s house to spend some time with her family and change for the evening.
A’s husband was kind enough to drop us off downtown so we didn’t have to worry about a vehicle, but leaving this little guy was tough.
We started out our night at Claddagh Irish Pub. This place was pristine from beginning to end. The service was impeccable, the food was delish, and the atmosphere made us want to stay all night. Really. We seriously contemplated just parking it here for the remainder of the night. I enjoyed some of the best cheese curds I have ever had and we topped of the meal with an Irish Pancake Breakfast shot (Jameson, butterscotch schnapps, and orange juice for a chaser).
To get in a few more steps for the day, we walked to Monument Circle. In the center, you will find Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This is the largest outdoor memorial and first monument in the United States to be dedicated to the common solider.
Our next watering hole was picked purely on the fact 1. the name is great and 2. E had been there before, but we were told it was closed. To our surprise, as we walked by, it was open and so in we went. Being from a small town, this bar made us feel right at home. Rustic furnishings, the restrooms identified as crappers, if you’re looking upscale, keep on walking. But for us, Wild Beaver Saloon was right up our casual ally.
We met some interesting people from Boston and before we knew it, a few hours had gone by and we were off to our next, and final destination of the night, Tin Roof. There was a live 80s cover band which instantly made me happy, but a few drinks and a couple of shots later, it was time for home.
The next morning, we set out early again, hoping to have the majority of the day to recoup from our whirlwind adventure in Indy. With another spectacular day of blue skies, I was able to really appreciate just how special this “fly over” state is.
Tell me what’s your favorite midwestern city or state and be sure to check out my other bucket list travels here!