See how I celebrated turning 29 in Indianapolis!
One of my goals for 2018 was to visit five new states. After visiting Nevada, California, and Washington and moving to Ohio, I was able to check four states off. By the time my birthday came around, I figured it only made sense to spend it checking a fifth state off the list. I feel lucky in that Ohio is surrounded by or near quite a few states I’ve never visited before, so I had options as to where I wanted to ring in my 29th year. Ultimately, Kyle and I decided that Indiana made the most sense, so we quickly threw together an itinerary for Saturday and Sunday of my birthday weekend.
Kyle did an amazing job combining so many of the things I love into one weekend. Our first stop was to Easley Winery. As much as I love hanging out at breweries, I’m not a beer drinker, so I was super excited to start my birthday off with one of my favorite drinks.
You can take a tour of the winery for free, but be sure to call ahead to check when their tours are happening. As of this post, they have them at noon and 1 pm on Saturdays.
After our tour, we did a quick wine tasting for just $5, and we got to sample the majority of their vast collection. We ended up leaving with two wine bottles and an ornament to add to our travel tree.
Drinking always works up my appetite, so we decided we needed a little mid-day snack. We tried to go to the Indianapolis City Market, but it was during the middle of the day, and apparently most shops shut down during the late afternoon. By the time we got there, only one restaurant was open, so we decided to head somewhere else.
I was craving sushi, so we stopped at FortyFive Degrees for some drinks and snacks to hold us over until dinner. I asked the bartender for a sweet recommendation, and he suggested Sex on the Ave. If you’re a fan of sweeter, fruity drinks, you’ll definitely enjoy it. To eat, we shared pot stickers, two pieces of eel sushi, and a Salmon Diablo roll, and it was all pretty delish.
After checking into our hotel and getting all fancied up, we went to dinner at Brugge Brasserie. It was a bit of a drive from our hotel, but definitely worth it because the food was so, so good.
We shared a cheese board appetizer, which, of course, is my favorite. They have a nice variety of different cheeses and meats to choose from. You can also ask for a recommendation from the chef if you’re not sure what to order.
For dinner, I had the Moules Frites, which is a 2 pound bucket of mussels served with fries. They have a wide variety of different flavors for your mussels. I went with the Red Curry, and I was not disappointed. They were so good! You also get to choose sauces for your fries. I tried the roasted garlic aioli and the sweet chili. Both were amazing!
THE NUTCRACKER AT OLD NATIONAL CENTRE
Christmas shows are my favorite, and I hadn’t seen the Nutcracker since I was in elementary school. I was excited to get dressed up and see it performed live for the first time in years. It was performed by the Indianapolis Ballet, and they did such an incredible job. I’ll probably never understand why there are rats involved, but it was such a beautiful performance by everyone, and by the end of it, Kyle and I had already picked our favorites.
On a whim, we decided to go out for another drink, and Kyle found a place nearby called Bluebeard. After walking into the wrong building and busting into a private party, we found the right place and were sat in a quaint bar area with eclectic decorations including lots and lots of books (which I love). We shared another cheese and charcuterie board – two cheese plates in one day, basically my dream come true. They have a rotating, seasonal menu, so if you eat something there and fall in love, definitely get it while you can.
One thing I will say is that their menu is a bit pricey depending on what you get, but if you just want a place to relax with good conversation and enjoy some drinks and light appetizers (like a charcuterie board, perhaps), I would definitely recommend Bluebeard.
If you’re looking for a good brunch spot in Indianapolis, I highly recommend Milktooth. Even though we had to wait awhile, it was actually fine because you can order pastries and drinks at the bar while you wait, which makes the waiting a lot less painful. We ordered one of their veggie scones to share, and I also enjoyed a mimosa while we were waiting on our table.
We ended up getting sat at their community table with three other couples, which was totally fine. Unlike the community table we sat at in Nashville though, no one actually talked to each other.
For brunch, we shared six oysters because I freakin’ love oysters and try to eat them as often as possible. I also had the Anson Mills Native Blue Corn Grits and added an egg, scallions, and bacon to it. I ate all of it rather quickly, and would definitely recommend it.
One of the centerpieces of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, home to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. During Christmastime, they create a giant Christmas tree around the monument, hence the lights hanging down from the top. We didn’t go inside to go to the museum, but we did stop to take a look at the monument and walk around.
INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART
If you’ve read about any of my trips with Kyle, you probably know by now that it’s rare that we stop in a city without going to a museum or art gallery of some kind. Indianapolis was no exception to that. Our last stop before heading home was to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
We also took some time to walk around the garden outside and visit the Lilly House and the greenhouse. If you’re visiting during Christmastime, they have a nightly light festival called Winterlights where the garden is lit up beautifully with Christmas lights. We didn’t get to see the lights at night, but we still enjoyed seeing the Christmas decorations at the Lilly House and stopping to kiss under the mistletoe.
We had such a fun time during our first visit to Indianapolis, and we hope to do even more exploring on our next visit (maybe we’ll actually make it to the City Market on time). It was definitely the perfect way to start the last year of my twenties.
Have you ever visited Indianapolis?