If you visit

super bowl XLVI

Helloooo there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Today I’m going to brag on my hometown a bit…cause this is the biggest week of the year for us here in Indianapolis. You may have heard of a little thing called the Super Bowl? ;)

I’m a born and bred Hoosier and I SO love this state. I think the general thought when people think of Indy is that it’s may not have much to offer, but oh ho ho, you’d be so wrong.

I’ve traveled a lot in my 36 years and there is still no place I’d rather call home than in central Indiana. We’ve got the best of everything – although this time of year you won’t see much of the natural scenery. ;) (Visit southern Indiana during the fall for an especially spectacular show courtesy of Mother Nature.)

Indy knows how to party, and how to party with large crowds – we host the largest sporting event in the country every May. The Indy 500 attracts about 300,000 – the Super Bowl doesn’t even touch it.

I wanted to share some of the highlights of our city, the shops and restaurants and spots that we love then most. So if you are planning on visiting this week, consider this a possible itinerary. If you aren’t, this will help you to plan a trip. ;)

First up, the shopping. I don’t know what I like best – the food or the shopping. But I’m a girl so we’ll start with shopping.

If you fly in, you may want to skip these first two, just cause if you go, then you’ll find something and then you’ll be mad cause you won’t be able to take it home. I’m just thinking about you. (Not that it would be left for me or anything…)

I’ve declared my love for Midland Arts and Antiques a few times:

midland arts and antiques

It’s HUGE and it’s got plenty of every style – vintage to midcentury modern to industrial. You can see more of my Midland finds here and here.

Docs Architectural Salvage is another one of my favorite spots:

docs architechural salvage

This place doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it’s a feast for the eyes inside. It is a true salvage experience – they have some of the most spectacular chandeliers I’ve ever seen. (I talked about one of my favorite finds from Docs in this post.)

Silver in the City is another fun spot downtown, with all kinds of unique jewelry, funky gifts and cool home decor items:

silver in the city indy

And Mass Ave Toys is the coolest toy store I’ve ever visited:

mass ave toys

It is just fantastic!

If you venture north a few miles, you’ll reach Broad Ripple Village:

broad ripple village

It’s an eclectic mix of nightlife, eateries, shops and art. It’s also where we partied in college. ;) It’s fun at night or during the day – tons to look at and do! I grew up visiting this area as a kid, since I had so much family nearby.

Of course there’s a huge mall downtown, but if you head even further north, you’ll get to what I like to call the fancy mall, with stores like Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Urban Outfitters and Saks.

If you have the kids, you MUST visit our Children’s Museum (consistently voted as the best in the nation). And if you have a little sports fan, you’ll want to check out the NCAA Hall of Champions along the downtown canal.

Now, let’s talk FOOD. Oh, the food.

Downtown Indy is home to the best steak I’ve ever eaten, at St. Elmo Steak House:

st. elmo steakhouse

I warn you –- it’s pricey. But fantastic. And I’m not a shrimp cocktail fan, but St. Elmo’s is known for it’s shrimp cocktail – make sure you have a pitcher of water nearby. ;)

One of our very favorite downtown spots is Bourbon Street Distillery:

bourbon street distillery

The food leans toward Cajun, but everything there is amazing. And if you go, make sure you go upstairs to eat --  it’s just a super cool atmosphere. (At night a little jazz trio or band may show up to play for you.) We love this place so much, we had one of our wedding receptions there. :)

A few of my other favorite downtown restaurants are along Massachusetts Avenue – if you love pizza, you MUST go to Bazbeauz Pizza (the quatro is my fave), Yats is another yummy Cajun restaurant (I love the jambalaya), and finally, MacNivens is great for pub food with a Scottish flair (try the scotch eggs!).

And no one plans a party like Indy – if you are visiting this week, you’ll want to check out the festivities downtown. One of my BFFs and I were able to get away to check it all out Sunday night:

indy circle

If you have the kids, you can’t miss the NFL Experience:

indy zip line

And if you are brave enough, try the zip lining outside. I was SO ready to do it but we didn’t want to wait. It looked SO FUN!

Georgia Street is completely blocked off for the Super Bowl Village:

There’s tons of heat lamps, plenty of heated tents (serving drinks – from hot chocolate to beer inside), and bunches of restaurants and bars line the street. An empty spot in the mall is opened up for a spot to warm up, eat, and shop for all kinds of football gear. (The Huddle – and you can leave your cell to charge for free – they babysit it!)

At the end of the Georgia Street, in front of Conseco Fieldhouse, there’s the biggest of two stages:

The concerts have been going since last Friday, and Fuel will be there Tuesday night, Darius Rucker and Edwin McCain on Thursday night, and LMFAO will be there Friday. (We may try to make it down again for that one – it will be a (crazy) blast!)

And of course, Madonna herself will be performing at the big game. :)

So there’s Indy in a nutshell – a few of my favorite shops and eateries if you visit this week, or anytime. And if you come to town, give me a holla!!

So, the big question is…who will you be cheering for?

giants vs pats

Are you surprised that this Indy girl will be rooting on the Manning team? I don’t think I’m allowed to cheer any other way. I’d get kicked out of the state or something. ;)

Which team will it be for you? Do you watch football? Have a Super Bowl party every year? Our city is buzzing – what a great experience!