Check Out These Cool Off-The-Beaten-Track Things to Do in Indianapolis

in Indianapolis

If this is not your first visit to Indianapolis, or you like to look beyond the main tourist attractions, you might be in the mood for something a little more obscure and interesting to enjoy on your trip. Go beyond the cliche attractions and enjoy some of the odd and intriguing aspects of the city. 

If you’re eager to explore some of the obscure corners of the city during your stay in Indianapolis vacation rentals, here are some great places to check out.

Gravity Hill

Just outside of Indianapolis in Mooresville, you’ll find Gravity Hill - one of the strangest stretches of road in the world. It’s an odd natural phenomenon that you simply have to experience yourself.  

If you park your car in just the right place and switch it into neutral, your car will start to roll uphill, backwards. It’s an uncanny sensation and sometimes your car will travel backwards at up to 50 miles per hour, without you touching the gas pedal.  

Why does this happen? Some say it’s because the spirit of a Native American Witch Doctor haunts the hill and his powerful energy is pushing your car away. Others say a school bus once stalled in this spot and was struck by a train, and the ghosts of the children are pushing you out of harm’s way.  

However, the scientific explanation is that the road actually creates an optical illusion. Although it looks like you are being pushed uphill, the slope is actually on a decline. Whatever the reason, it’s a pretty odd and intriguing thing to experience!

Who North America Museum

If you’re a passionate Whovian, you’ll fall in love with this huge store packed to the rafters with geeky Dr. Who paraphernalia. It’s located in Camby, Indiana - only a short drive from Indianapolis - and it’s the largest retailer of Doctor Who merchandise in the country.  

It’s owned by husband and wife team Keith and Jany Bradbury. They started importing the merchandise because it was so different for fans to find it in the USA. Plus, the store is about much more than just merchandise. They also have a theater room where they feature screenings and special viewing events, as well as a multi-purpose room and an arcade featuring a vintage Doctor Who pinball machine.  

Even if you are only a little bit of a fan of the show, this 5,000 square foot warehouse full of police boxes, Daleks and sonic screwdrivers is truly a sight to behold. (I guess you can say it’s bigger on the inside!)

Indiana Medical History Museum

This creepy and fascinating Indianapolis attraction is located within the old pathology building of the Central State Hospital for the Insane. The medical school as been preserved exactly as it was over 100 years ago.  

It’s the oldest pathology facility in the country and it was established before scientists really understood germ theory. Therefore, it’s quite primitive compared to modern pathology labs.  

You can take a guided tour of this museum, one of the most fascinating and odd museums in the country. Don’t miss the teaching amphitheater from 1896, where it was said many students fainted in their chairs during the autopsies.

Duckpin Bowling

Have you ever tried duckpin bowling before? This type of bowling is similar to candlestick bowling, featuring fatter, shorter pins and a bowling ball only slightly larger than a softball. It was popular in the 1920s-30s and legend has it Babe Ruth was a huge fan.  

You might find it a little bit more difficult than the usual variety - but it’s a lot of fun. Where’s the place to try duckpin bowling in Indianapolis? The beautifully restored Action Duckpin Bowl. This vintage bowling alley has all wood furniture, 1930s decor, elegant lanes and a full bar. There’s also a cafe area, where you can grab a bite to eat between games.

The Indianapolis Moon Tree

There’s a very special tree on the front lawn of the Indiana Statehouse. This tall Sycamore tree that was planted more than 30 years ago came from a unique seed. This particular seed was taken to the moon and back during the Apollo 14 lunar mission. It is one of the few trees still left alive from the original set of 500 seeds that made the journey.  

Do trees end up growing differently if their seeds have been to space? That’s what this experiment was designed to figure out. So far, the tree looks just like all its other earthly cousins and there’s nothing too different about it.

Tibbs Drive In

Have you ever been to a classic, vintage Drive-In movie theatre? If you haven’t, this is your chance to experience a bit of cinema history. Tibbs Drive In has been open since 1967 and it is a landmark in Indianapolis.  

The theater started out with just one screen, but more screens have been added over the years. These days there are four screens and every screen shows a double feature. You’re allowed to bring in your own food and drinks - and there are also snacks available for purchase onsite. Tibbs is open every day except Tuesdays and it also hosts a fun flea market on the weekends.

Have fun at these unique and strange off-the-beaten-track attractions in Indianapolis!

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