Things to Do in Indianapolis for Spring Break
Things to Do in Indianapolis for Spring Break

Things to Do in Indy for Spring Break Vacation

It’s that time of year again. Spring break is almost here. As students and families get ready to plan their vacation, we are here to help you plan a unique Spring Break getaway.

Downtown Indianapolis offers all the same types of party spots that South Beach features, but Indy has so much more (and may be easier on your wallet). There are tons of things to do in Indianapolis that make it a top Spring Break vacation destination.

For the Cultural Collegiate

  • Cultural Trail – Links all 6 cultural districts of Indianapolis. Walk or ride using the Pacers Bikeshare
  • Open artist studios and galleries of Fountain Square (The first Friday of every month)
  • Monument Circle – The Soldiers & Sailors Monument is only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty. It offers a breathtaking, Instagram-worthy picture of downtown.

For the Musically Inclined

  • Howl at the Moon – Dueling piano bar
  • Concerts at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
    • March 11th – Ariana Grande
    • March 22nd – Bon Jovi
    • March 29th – Stevie Knicks
  • Friday Swing Dance at Fountain Square Theater – Take lessons and dance to live big band music an hour later!

For the Sports Nut

  • High Velocity – JW Marriott’s own sports bar; home of the 24-ounce draft special on Indians game days
  • Comedy Sportz – Competitive improv comedy
  • NCAA Hall of Champions
  • Pacers games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Indians Games at Victory Field starting in April

For the Party Animal

  • Slippery Noodle Inn – Indiana’s oldest bar with live music every night!
  • Plat 99 of the Alexander Hotel – Both a mixology lounge and a work of art. Mixologists will create a unique cocktail tailored to your individual personality
  • Tastings – A wine experience like no other. They have over 200 wines in stock, the largest in the world! Their entire selection is available by 2-ounce tastes so you can try them all (Just not in one night!)
  • Rathskeller – An authentic German beer hall experience
  • Indy Brew Bus – Visit multiple craft breweries

Stay Downtown at JW Marriott

One of JW Marriott’s double rooms would be perfect for you and three friends to share during Spring Break. Each spacious room features:

  • Two queen-sized beds
  • High speed internet so you can post pictures from your previous night out on the town
  • Coffee maker to help you wake up in the morning
  • Work desks for any last-minute studying
  • Luxurious terry bathrobes to lounge in before going out
  • 24-hour room service
  • Valet laundry service

Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, JW Marriott is in the perfect spot to quickly access all your spring break activities. Additionally, the hotel connects via sky bridge to downtown’s enclosed skywalk system. Make JW Marriott and Indy your pick for Spring Break and a vacation you’ll never forget.

Indianapolis Bike Share | Getting Around Downtown Indy

Indianapolis Bikeshare Program

Cruise ahead with the Indianapolis bike share system. Across from our Downtown Indy hotel you’ll find one of the 29 bikeshare station kiosks where you can rent a public bicycle for as low as $8 per day.

Experience Pacer Bikes in Downtown Indy

The Indianapolis bike share program lets you enjoy Downtown Indy’s world class urban and pedestrian path.

How it Works

  • Purchase a day or annual pass from any of the kiosks and hop on. There are 250 public bicycles in the program
  • Each kiosk is located on or near the Indianapolis Cultural Trail that winds through downtown Indianapolis and the city’s 6 cultural districts. Pedal a little further and connect to the Monon Trail, a path that allows residents and visitors easy access to Broad Ripple Village and Carmel from downtown.
  • Pedal your way along the 8-mile path from station-to-station and enjoy beautiful landscaping, public art, and entertainment amenities along the way
  • The cultural trail is more than a bike path, it’s an experience. Dock your bike at any of the 29 stations for 30-minutes, explore the area, and when you’re ready, simply hop back on one of the bikes
  • Best of all, your day pass includes unlimited check-outs!

More About the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Explore Indy’s 6 cultural districts:
From Mass Ave to White River State Park and Fountain Square, the trail path is a safe and convenient way to bike, walk, and jog across town. The paths are also wheelchair accessible.

Guided Tours
 Tours of the Cultural Trail are offered every Saturday morning April through October. Tours are and upon request only and are just $35 person and that even includes the bike rental!

Lost your Way?
Don’t worry. The trail is easily identifiable. Look for hexagonal pavers in green and terra cotta colors. You’ll also notice custom-designed lighting and signs along the way. Snow is removed during winter, so the trail can be used year-round.

Trail Attractions:

  • The Indiana State Museum
  • Eiteljorg Museum
  • NCAA Hall of Champions
  • The pedestrian mall on Georgia Street
  • JW Indy! Osteria Pronto, High Velocity and TGI Friday’s are all just steps from the cultural trail

Public Art Displays:
The trail’s design includes a variety of integrated art displays that showcase diverse materials and displays, all created by artistic professionals.
Some notable displays include:

  • Care/Don’t Care by Jamie Pawlus
  • Talking Wall by Bernard Williams
  • Poet’s Place
  • Swarm Street by Acconci Studio

 

Photo courtesy of Visit Indy. 

Plan a Vacation

Did you know that February 1st is National Plan for Vacation Day? In recent years your fellow Americans have let over 600 million paid vacation days go unused. Don’t be a statistic, use those hard earned vacation days! Go ahead and count up the hours and days you have to use this year, we’ll wait… Now that you’ve tallied up all those vacation days it’s time to plan how  you’re going to use them.

Start with picking a destination. Luckily, we just so happen to have some great tips and tricks for making the most out of a vacation in Indy. Before you throw up any objections to planning a vacation in the Midwest, remember Vogue Magazine said not to call us a flyover city anymore and Travel + Leisure named Indianapolis as one of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017.

Now it’s time to book your flight. There are tons of airlines to choose from and the options can feel a bit overwhelming. The Indianapolis airport can help alleviate some of that stress. For the 3rd year in a row the Indianapolis airport was named the No.1 airport in the US by the Reader’s Choice Surveys in Conde Nast Traveler. Unlike other cities, the Indy airport’s security checkpoints were designed to help travelers on the go breeze through TSA procedures.

Here’s the easy part. Choose a hotel (we happen know where you can find one of those). The JW Marriott Indianapolis stands proud in the heart of downtown as the No. 25 Best Hotel in the World, No. 5 best hotel in the US and, last but definitely not least, No. 1 Best Hotel is the Midwest by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards. Why would you stay anywhere else?

Now that we have the basics, it’s time for the fun stuff. Packages like Architect Your Evening allow you to explore our award winning city with the assistance of  a personal concierge or Shopper’s Indulgence  giving you some extra buying power with a gift card to Circle Centre Mall. Getting hungry? Zagat pointed out that the Indy food scene has evolved and the culinary momentum has taken to new heights around the city. Looking for more? Head over to VisitIndy.com for more ideas on how to make the most our of your vacation!

 

Happy Planning!

 

 

 

We’re the Best in the Midwest

Condé Nast Traveler Readers have Spoken

Condé Nast Traveler has revealed the winners of the 2016 Readers Choice Awards and we were voted the one of the best in not one … not two … but THREE categories!

  • #1 Hotel in America’s Midwest
    No other Midwest city had more hotels on this list than Indy
  • #5 Best Hotel in the U.S.
    The only hotel in Indy on the list and one of only 3 in the Midwest
  • #25 Best Hotel in the World
    Rounding out the top half of the list beating out some incredible hotels in exotic locales

These awards are an amazing honor and we have YOU to thank. Without clients and planners like you casting your vote, we wouldn’t be here today.

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In Good Company

Sure big cities like New York and L.A. are doing things right, but have you visited Indianapolis lately? Indy is easily accessible from the JW Marriott Indianapolis, a premier luxury hotel in the heart of all the award-winning action.

Award-Winning Eats:

Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Condé Nast, and the James Beard Foundation have all taken notice of Indy’s rising food scene. Café Patachou’s Martha Hoover, Milktooth’s Jonathan Brooks, Recess’s Greg Hardesty, Cerulean’s Alan Sternberg, and Bluebeard’s Abbi Merriss are among the city’s top chefs earning national recognition.

Don’t forget Osteria Pronto, JW Indy’s authentic Italian Restaurant. It was included in a list of best Italian restaurants in Indy on Thrillist.com. High Velocity was also included on Thrillist.com on a list of the best hotel bars that locals should check out!

Up in the Air:

For the third year in a row, travelers have selected the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) as the top U.S. domestic airport in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. IND continues to add nonstop flights, raising airlift to the highest levels in more than a decade.

America’s Favorite Cities:

Our city impressed the readers of Travel + Leisure by offering an affordable getaway, a welcoming place for sports fans and a cerebral and vibrant museum scene. Indianapolis proves to be more than part of a ‘fly-over’ state beating out destinations like Savannah, GA and Boston, MA.

Hotels Near Lucas Oil Stadium for Big Ten Championship

Experience the Thrill of College Football at the Big Ten Football Championship

Saturday, December 3rd is game day at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 2016 Big Ten Football Championship Game kicks-off at 8pm ET and will be broadcasted nationally on FOX. Division winners go head-to-head for a chance to win the Big Ten Championship and a year of bragging rights.

Arrive at the stadium comfortably thanks to Indy’s skywalk system that connects JW Marriott to the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium. Don’t worry about lugging your winter gear around as the skywalk, connecting 12 hotels to the convention center and over 200 businesses, is climate controlled!

Big Ten Championship Tickets include complimentary access to The Big Ten Fan Fest presented by Dr. Pepper

  • December 2nd and 3rd (Friday and Saturday) at The Indiana Convention Center
  • From JW Marriott, take the sky bridge and walk over to the convention center – only 5 minute walk away
  • Participate in games and enjoy interactive exhibits
  • Watch the marching band and cheerleaders on Saturday during the pep rally

JW Marriott Indianapolis is Less than 1 Mile from Lucas Oil Stadium

With so many hotels near Lucas Oil Stadium, you’re probably curious about which option has the best amenities suited for your needs.

Offering a winning lineup of benefits and comforts –

  • Superior Location: Skywalk to the convention center and take the tunnel directly to the stadium. We’re also within easy walking distance of Circle Centre Mall where you’ll find some great places to eat, shop and hang out, like Granite City Food & Brewery. Enjoy delicious American fare and sample a flight of handcrafted brews
  • Outstanding Guest Rooms and Suites: Room amenities include all the conveniences of home—and more: Terry bathrobes, 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping and complimentary newspaper delivered to your room. Traveling with a group? Our suites are ideal for social gatherings. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame provide spectacular views of downtown Indy
  • On-Site Dining: High Velocity sports bar features a state-of-the-art audio system, over 60 plasma TV’s and amazing food and drinks. Osterio Pronto crafts delicious Italian favorites. Our Lobby Lounge is perfect for grabbing a quick drink and bite to eat before or after the game (open until 1am)
  • On-Site Fitness Center and Indoor Pool: Overindulged a bit at Fan Fest? Burn off the excess calories with our impressive selection of cardio equipment and then relax in our indoor pool

JW Marriott welcomes all fans to our award-winning hotel and the #5 best hotel in the U.S. by Condé Nast. Earn and redeem Marriott Rewards points and enjoy the lowest rates when booking direct. Not a member? Sign up Today!

Fall in Love with Indy this Fall

Summer serves as peak tourism season for Indianapolis just as much as the next city. But September and October just may be the most beautiful months to visit Indy. The humidity subsides, making way for crisp fall air. Leaves start to turn, painting the city’s parks and greenspaces with hues of red, orange, and yellow. Festivals pack the calendar, performing arts open their seasons, and the Colts get back to the field.

Here are some of the best places to take in the fall foliage in Indy:

  • Fort Harrison State Park: golfers should book a tee time at The Fort Golf Course, part of the Pete Dye Golf Trail that honors Indy’s world renowned golf course architect. Hike, bike, ride horseback, and fish.
  • Eagle Creek Park: At one of the largest city parks in the country, Go Ape Treetop Adventure combines a rope course and ziplines. Take to the lake on a kayak, canoe, or sailboat. Bird watch, or simply stroll the hiking paths.
  • Virginia B. Fairbanks 100 Acres: Art & Nature Park: On the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, this urban oasis combines scenery with large-scale, site-specific works of art. Find Funky Bones, where Augustus and Hazel have their first date in The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Crown Hill Cemetery: The final resting place of President Benjamin Harrison, notorious bank robber John Dillinger, acclaimed poet James Whitcomb Riley, the family of author Kurt Vonnegut, and several U.S. vice presidents offers guided tours, or explore on your own.
  • White River State Park: The nation’s largest urban state park is perfectly situated in the heart of downtown Indy, offering 250 acres of green space, major attractions, and a scenic Central Canal. Hop in a kayak, gondola, or pedal boat, or rent a bicycle and cruise the Canal Walk lined with art and monuments. The path connects to other popular greenways, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

After an active day, refuel at one of the city’s top restaurants that earned Indy “The Most Underrated Food City in the U.S.” status from Condé Nast. Mass Ave, Fletcher Place, and Fountain Square neighborhoods offer local favorites and award-winning chefs. No matter where you go in the city, you won’t be far from a craft brewery, distillery, or meadery.

Round out the evening with a fabulous production of “The Three Musketeers” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ™ In Concert or Cirque de la Symphonie with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, or live music at The Chatterbox and Slippery Noodle.

Fall means festivals, and Indy comes alive with Irish Fest, Jazz Fest, Oktoberfest, and more. It also means Andrew Luck and the Colts begin their journey towards the Super Bowl, and the Indy Eleven get back to the soccer field, both with huge fan bases beside them.

Our Hotel is in the heart of White River State Park

It’s all in Indy and easily accessible from the JW Marriott Indianapolis, a premier luxury hotel in the heart of the action.

With our downtown location your entertainment choices are endless within walking distance: museums, restaurants, shopping centers, and theaters. Just steps away is the 250-acre, White River State Park, a beautiful park for biking, walking, picnicking, or just enjoying nature.

Embrace the end of summer and discover why fall is the perfect time of year to get away to Indy.

JW Marriott Indianapolis Awarded Multiple Distinctions in Meetings & Conventions 2016 Gold Key Awards

All We Do Win! 

We did it again! For the sixth year in a row the JW Marriott Indianapolis has been recognized by readers of Meetings & Conventions (M&C) as a 2016 Gold Key Elite Award winner in the multiple categories in the Midwestern region. Awards include:

  • 2016 Gold Platter Award – Best in F&B
  • 2016 Gold Key Award – Best Green Initiatives
  • 2016 Gold Key Award – Best Onsite Support Staff
  • 2016 Gold Key Elite Award – Best overall Hotel/Resort
  • 2016 Gold Key Elite Award – Best Décor/Design.

“We are honored and delighted to have received these esteemed accolades,” said Anne Dunlavy, Indianapolis market director of sales and marketing, Marriott Place Indianapolis. “This honor, along with the No. 1 ranking in the Event Satisfaction Survey from Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network prove that our team works hard to be one of the best Marriott convention hotels and these awards certainly prove our efforts have not gone un-noticed. We have received the Gold Key award every year since our opening in 2011 and plan to continue providing the highest level of service to our guests and meeting planners for many years to come.”

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What are the Gold Key Awards? 

For over 35 years, M&C’s Gold Key Awards have recognized leading hotels that have excelled in servicing meeting and event professionals, as voted on by the readers of M&C. This year, hotel chains were recognized nationally, while leading hotel properties were recognized in several categories regionally in the US and worldwide. The top vote-getters in each category in each region earned the Gold Award Elite distinction.

M&C’s readers , relying on their extensive industry experience in both corporate and association markets, voted for their favored hotels in nine categories – Best Hotel/Resort; Best Décor/Design; Best On-Site Support Staff; Best Green Initiatives; Best Gaming Properties; Best Boutique Property; Best Renovation; Best Overall Hotel Chain; and Best Overall Boutique Hotel Brand.

M&C’s Gold Platter Elite Award recognizes hotel properties that have excelled in providing excellent food and beverage services, as voted on by meeting and event professionals who read M&C. Relying on their extensive industry experience in both corporate and association markets, M&C’s readers based their selections on seven important criteria: enthusiasm and professionalism of catering staff; quality of food presentation; creativity of menu; originality of theme-party concepts; overall helpfulness and budgeting considerations; excellence of staff service, and ambiance of dining rooms. This year 40 hotel properties were voted the Gold Platter award distinction.

About the JW 

Located in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis, IN, JW Marriott Indianapolis is the largest AAA Four-Diamond hotel in Indiana and the largest JW Marriott in the Midwest and features more than 103,000 square feet of meeting space, including the beautiful 40,500 square foot JW Grand Ballroom, one of the largest Marriott ballrooms in the world and the largest hotel ballroom in the Midwest.

To book your next event for a Gold Key experience, contact the sales office at 317.822.8554 or request information here.

Experience the Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis

Celebrate with us in sophistication and luxury, and still be in the middle of all the jaw-dropping fun! For the first time ever, Indianapolis welcomes the world-renowned Red Bull Air Race. We would like to invite you to experience all of the excitement from the JW Marriott Indianapolis, in close proximity to all the festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Watch 14 world-class pilots from all over the globe race around the track at extreme speeds. At an altitude of just 60 feet, you won’t miss a thing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hold onto your seats, because these planes go so unbelievably fast, the pilots can experience a g-10 force!

The thrills start on Saturday, October 1st with race day on Sunday, October 2nd.

Our Hotel is Conveniently Near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Book your stay with us and find convenient access to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and much more. If you’re here to relax, why not enjoy some of our amazing amenities and have a dip in our indoor pool? There’s a state-of-the-art Fitness Center so you can maintain your workout routine as well as an on-site Starbucks for your convenience and 24-hour room service.

With our downtown location your entertainment choices are endless within walking distance: museums, restaurants, shopping centers, and theaters. Just steps away is the 250-acre, White River State Park, a beautiful park for biking, walking, picnicking, or just enjoying nature.

Don’t forget, though, we have awe-inspiring views right here at the hotel. After an exciting day at the Red Bull Air Race, why not catch a game or have a casual drink at our High Velocity sports bar? For upscale Italian fare don’t miss our award-winning restaurant within the hotel, Osteria Pronto.
Since we’re so close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we’ll book up fast for this exhilarating experience, so don’t delay. Come make long-lasting memories with us at JW Marriott Indianapolis.

1st Inaugural Griffin Games

What does pie eating,  making beds, riding tricycles and obstacle courses have in common? Seemingly nothing. But on July 8th, 2016 at 3pm in the afternoon pie eating,  making beds, riding tricycles and obstacle courses were all events in the 1st Inaugural Griffin Games. Associates from all departments of the hotel formed teams to go head to head with each other to win the coveted Griffin Spirit Award and of course, bragging rights!

Ready … Set … GO!

Sales Manager Maddison dug in and devoured the competition in the Pie Eating contest where the Front Office and Loss Prevention Team took home the bronze, the Banquet culinary and Stewarding Team the silver and the Engineering Team took home the gold!

The Event Services Team and the Housekeeping and Laundry team showed their spirit by presenting their team flags during the opening ceremonies.

events housekeeping

The Sales Team taking a quick break for a photo-op and getting pumped up for the Obstacle Course where they took home the bronze, Osteria Pronto took home the Silver and the housekeeping and Laundry Team took home the gold.

sales team

The Engineering team pulled out all the stops and in the end took home the gold medal and coveted Griffin Spirit Award as the Overall Winners, with The Housekeeping and Laundry Team right behind them for the silver and Event Management taking home the bronze.

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Congrats to all the winners of the first ever Griffin Games, we will see you all in 2017 for a rematch!

JW Marriott Hotel Near Circle City Classic

Experience Circle City Classic

The hum of your alma mater’s fight song and a rising cheer from the pep squad bring back memories of some of the best days of your life. It’s a time of year to surround yourself with friends and participate in a healthy rivalry while taking in the festivities all for a good cause. The Circle City Classic in Indianapolis draws the eyes of the nation in a celebration of the rich heritage of America’s historically black colleges and universities with the goal to help future generations succeed in academic and professional endeavors.

This is a unique event born from the collaboration of the Indiana Black Expo and Indiana Sports Cup that brings more than 175,000 people to Indianapolis. The tradition features a football game, concert, and exciting parade. One of the most exciting parts of the Circle City Classic is the scholarships awarded to talented youth from all backgrounds.

Among the unique scholarships given out is the Miss Circle City Classic Coronation that focuses on leadership, community service, and academic achievement. Contestants participate in workshops and are narrowed down to 10 finalists who give a judged oral presentation. The winner is crowned Miss Circle City Classic.

A week or two before the big game is a football and cheerleading clinic where local youth get instruction from professionals with the Colts team and cheer squad, followed by the Miss Circle City Classic Coronation the following weekend. The day before the big game, a coaches’ luncheon, pep rally, and concert is held to kick-off the excitement. On the Saturday of the game there is the Fan Fest tailgate party, Circle City Classic Parade, and the football game featuring two historically black college teams going head-to-head at Lucas Oil Stadium.

JW Marriott is Conveniently Nearby

The JW Marriott Indianapolis is just minutes from the action at Lucas Oil Stadium and in a prime location to attend all of the Circle City Classic events, making it the perfect choice when looking for hotels near Circle City Classic. Our luxurious rooms and ample amenities allow for some rest and tranquility between all of the excitement. In addition to comfortable beds and high-speed Wi-Fi, we have an on-site Starbucks, state of the art fitness center and indoor pool. When you’re ready for a bite, take advantage of delectable offerings from our on-site restaurants High Velocity and Osteria Pronto . Our outstanding staff is ready to make your visit to the Circle City Classic truly memorable.

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