This year’s tournament has given us buzzer beaters, upsets, Cinderella stories and the pursuit of the perfect season. After the cancellation of last year’s tournament, this year’s games have not only given fans the “madness” they have been craving, but a chance to experience true Hoosier Hospitality as well.
With just a few more games left in the tournament, fans and players will be packing up and heading back home. But you can’t leave the Circle City without getting the true Hoosier Experience. With that being said, here are the Final 4 things you need to do before leaving Indianapolis.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so for your first stop travel to the westside of the city to Long’s Bakery! Ask any Hoosier and they will tell you that Long’s donuts are the best in the Midwest, maybe even the country! Located at 1453 N Tremont Street, this bakery is a landmark and a must go whenever you’re in the city. They are cash only so be sure to make a stop at the ATM before you go. It’s always a sad time when you get to the front of the line and realize you don’t have cash.
I know what you’re thinking, “Goodbye beach body!” Don’t worry, we knew you couldn’t just have one donut, so for the next stop, or stops on the list not only will you see some great art, you will burn those calories. I’m sure you’ve seen the “ndy”sculptures throughout the city, and I promise we Hoosiers know how to spell. When you see these sculptures, stand beside and be the “I” in Indy. They are scattered throughout downtown Indianapolis so take a stroll and snap some pictures of some of the amazing March Madness artwork, the Reggie Miller Mural on Michigan Street or dance with Dancing Ann at the crosswalks on Mass Ave and spell Indy every time you get a chance.
I’m sure after all the walking you feel a little less guilty for eating that extra donut this morning and have worked up an appetite. Before you find yourself getting (h)angry, make a reservation at one of the top steakhouses in the country, St. Elmo. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, St. Elmo is the oldest Indianapolis steakhouse in its original location. This landmark has earned national recognition for its steaks, chops, professional service and of course their shrimp cocktail. So head back to the hotel, get dressed up and treat yourself to some fine dining. Your stomach and tastebuds will thank you!
Much like the teams in this year’s tournament, the last stop you want to make before leaving the city is Lucas Oil Stadium. If you’re not able to attend the championship game, you should at least stop by and check out the Peyton Manning statue. Lucas Oil is a beautiful facility and right out front is a 9 foot bronze statue of our hero and recent NFL Hall of Fame inductee, Peyton Manning. Stop by and take a picture with our beloved quarterback.
There are so many other amazing things to do, places and restaurants to visit while in the city. There’s the Children’s Museum, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Indianapolis Zoo, The Madam Walker Center, to name a few. We narrowed the list down to make sure you had enough time to enjoy the games and other activities that are here during the tournament. As things wrap up with the crowning of a new national basketball champion, and teams and fans start to make their way home, we hope that you take the time to experience some of the things that make us proud to call Indianapolis home. And next time you’re thinking of places to visit, remember to add Indianapolis to the list and experience some good old Hoosier Hospitality.
Aaliyah English is a staff producer/reporter for NextGen Sports. Reach her at email@example.com