Updated: May 17, 2019
Every year for our Anniversary, Thomas and I go on a 1-2 day trip within 6 hours of our current hometown of Richmond, Kentucky.
After many hours of searching for a new city to explore, my mom suggested we check out Indianapolis, Indiana which is a little over 3 hours from us. Surprisingly though, when searching for what there is to do in the city of #Indy, my normal google search didn't give me much to go on besides things you can ONLY do in the Summer, Fall and Spring. Unfortunately, our Anniversary is on New Years Eve, and we usually celebrate the week before, so we had to take a leap of faith when it came to planning our trip!
First, let's start with the #hotel we chose:
If your like me, you like to get the biggest "bargain for your buck". Personally I like to stick with #Hilton Hotels, which for the most part I've found gives you the best features (room space, bed comfort, breakfast, etc..) for your money. For this particular trip, we wanted to stay in the #downtown Indianapolis area, so we chose the Hilton Garden Inn #Downtown, which was in the center of all of the action AND had been newly renovated.
Upon arrival at the hotel, the outside and inside of the lobby, looked like one of those extremely fancy (and expensive!) hotels that you would see in movies about New York City. The lobby was large, and was complete with a fireplace sitting area, valet parking, restaurant, and bar. After checking in (did you know you can do that online now?), we took the old fashion gold elevators up to the 15th floor where we walked into our room. Let me just say, shocked isn't the right word for how I felt about this room. I was in awe of its size, it's "modern" feel, and the absolutely incredible view from the gigantic windows which looked out onto the town's center monument, which was decorated for Christmas.
Next, let's talk about my favorite topic..food! One of my absolute favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to try a local #restaurant, a best rated "fancier" restaurant, and if they have one, a Hard Rock Cafe (I've been to Hard Rock's in 6 states and 3 countries so far). So here's a list of restaurants that we tried and their reviews:
1. #Giordano's (The Local Restaurant)- If your looking for incredibly hot and cheesy "by the slice" pizza, you will LOVE this pizzaria. They have many different kinds of pizza, calzones and breads to choose from, my personal favorite being a slice of pepperoni pizza and a side of pepperoni bread and marinara sauce. (Total bill for 2 slices of pizza, bread and drinks $26.00)
2. Fogo de Chao (The Fancy Restaurant)- There is not enough good things that I can say about this incredible Brazilian Steakhouse. You start out by visiting the "salad" bar which has all kinds of cold meats, cheeses, salads, fruits and cold side dishes, my personal favorite, the chickpeas. After you finish with the salad bar, you turn a circular piece of cardboard over which signifies that you are ready for them to bring the hot side dishes (Mashed Potatoes, Fried Bananas and Bread) and the meats...oh the many, many kinds of delicious meats, possibly the most delicious meats you'll ever eat, and best of all it's unlimited! There is everything from filet mignon, pork chops, roasted chicken legs, sausages, brazilian steak and more! (2 people, with tip $125)
Another great fact: If it's your Anniversary, they'll give you a free dessert!
3. Indianapolis Hard Rock Cafe- This #HardRockCafe was definitely the smallest of the Hard Rock Cafe's I've been to, and unfortunately had the worst food and not great service. We ordered Nachos, which were tasteless, and my husband and I shared the Trio Fajitas (Beef, Shrimp, and Chicken) was dry, and even with 2 of us, we didn't finish it because honestly it was not good. The service was far and in between. We never got drinks refilled, and it took us 20 minutes to get our check. (2 people, sharing a meal, 2 drinks and an appetizer $60.00)
Now onto the "extra" fun things to do downtown!
The first day we were there, two of the first things we did after we checked in, and started exploring was go to two local stores right outside of our hotel.
1. South Bend Chocolate Company- I had previously read on other blogs and vlogs that South Bend Chocolate Company had the absolute BEST hot chocolate in Indiana, so of course being a lover of all things chocolate, I just had to try it! I definitely was not disappointed! Not only was their hot chocolate incredible, super chocolatey and creamy, BUT they had so many different flavors to choose from. So, once again me being me, I decided to try as many flavors as I could white I was there! I tried the dark chocolate (my favorite!), the regular, the Mexican Hot Chocolate, and the Mint! Of course, you can't leave there without trying one of their delicious treats. We tried the peanut butter chocolate fudge, and seasonal white chocolate mint dipped cookies (SO good.)
2. Rocket Fizz- This novelty/old fashioned candy shop is a must see if your a candy lover, or just love to look at hilarious signs, and funny named sodas. Over the last year or so, I had given up eating a lot of candy, but fortunately for me they had an "imported candy" section, where I found my favorite candy bar in the entire world, Crunchie (chocolate covered honeycomb). My husband also found his favorite treat there, taffy! It came in SO many different flavors.
After visiting these two places, I sat inside South Bend Chocolate Factory's sit down area, and had just the perfect view of the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the center of the downtown area. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Now after eating as much as our hearts desired (and then some), we decided on my last favorite thing to do in the area, Circle Centre Mall, which we visited multiple times while we were staying in Indy. It isn't your typical mall that you'd normally see in a large city as its connected to many different restaurants, businesses and even a school! But it has all of my favorite stores, and even some local stores that you wouldn't normally see in a mall closer to home. I picked up many different items including a large Aladdin Disney Painting (If you've heard of me, most likely you realize I have a #Disney addiction), and a few cute items from my favorite plus size store, #Torrid. I'd highly recommend seeing this mall at least once on your stay, even if it's just to chill and window shop. It's a very interesting place, I promise!
In conclusion to this blog, I have to say that we have never had a "good" anniversary trip. Most of our 1-2 day trips that we've taken alone have cost us way more money than they're worth, left us bored out of our minds, or the things that sounded like fun, ended up being an awful experience. This trip however, was very different! There is so much to do, and we did everything by foot! We seriously never got our car out of the parking garage to do any of this. I highly recommend #Indianapolis to anyone and everyone, as there is truly something from everyone.