Americas Heartland On A Budget Affordable Indianapolis Hotels Attractions

As the 13th largest city in America, a seemingly endless amount of arts, attractions, restaurants and historical sites await your arrival in Indianapolis. But how can you make the most of this exciting, diverse city while traveling on a budget? Check out some of the most popular places to stretch your dollar “ all located just minutes from affordable Indianapolis hotels:

- Indiana State Museum. This world-class museum is located in the heart of Indianapolis, in White River State Park. The building itself is impressive “ constructed from materials like limestone, sandstone, brick and glass “ all from Indiana. Once you walk through the doors, you'll experience scientific, cultural, historical and art exhibits that give you a hands-on overview of Indiana's past, present, and future. You could spend the entire day meandering through three floors of galleries, not to mention the traveling exhibits. Adult admission is just $7, children are $4 each.

- The Indianapolis Zoo. Also located in White River State Park near affordable Indianapolis hotels, this zoo is a unique, world-class facility that's also an aquarium and a botanical garden. It boasts approximately 360 different species of animals in its collection, including 14 endangered and three threatened species. For an experience unlike any other, check out the Dolphin Adventure. It's a unique opportunity to get up-close-and-personal Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and offers the chance to learn some of the training techniques used by the zoo's marine mammal staff. The zoo also is home to Pacific walruses, polar bears, California sea lions, harbor seals and gray seals. White River Gardens, also located at the zoo, is an amazing 3.3-acre landmark botanical attraction with over 1,000 plant varieties, plus special exhibits throughout the year. Be sure to stop and smell the roses as you stroll through the 1.5 miles of flowered pathways.

- The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. With more than 100,000 artifacts and cool hands-on exhibits, this children's museum is the largest in the world. You'll marvel at the main stairwell as you enter the building. The spiral ramp takes you to all five levels of the museum and features "Fireworks of Glass," a four-story glass sculpture installed in the central atrium by world renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. While at the museum, you can walk through an Egyptian "pyramid" and see amazing artifacts, including a replica of a real mummy. The museum is also home to the state's largest planetarium, as well as the impressive 3,000-square-foot InfoZone, a branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. There's too much to mention here, so be sure to visit the museum's website for information and special discounts.

- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Located on the grounds of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this National Historic Landmark is located just five miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis, near several affordable Indianapolis hotels. As you can imagine, this museum is devoted to all things "auto." On display at all times are approximately 75 vehicles, including The Marmon "Wasp," which won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and was featured on a postage stamp, four two-time winning cars: the Boyle Maserati (1939-40) and the Blue Crown Spark Plug Special (1947-48), not to mention a rare 1935 Duesenberg Model JN four-door convertible passenger car. You can also see an huge trophy collection and the equipment and methods the Indy 500 uses for timing and scoring “ from the first race, right up to the 21st century. Admission is a very reasonable $3 for adults, and $1 for kids. It's free for children six and younger.

- Conner Prairie. Step back in time to 19th-century America at this unique outdoor living history museum. Explore Conner Homestead, home to early fur trader and member of the Indiana legislature William Conner. It's believed to be the first brick home in central Indiana. You'll "meet" Conner's business partner and his hired help as they perform their daily chores. You can sign up for a free tour of the complete house, led by a costumed host who tells you about the home's history, architecture and owners. This outdoor museum also features Conner Barn, where you can pet and groom four-legged friends, learn how to milk a cow and see the constant influx of new additions to the barn, including baby calves, lambs, and chicks. Head to the candle dipping shed to create your own candle using beeswax and tallow “ you can even take it home with you! Admission is $12 for adults, but you can visit their website to print money-saving coupons.

With so many great things to do and see in Indianapolis, traveling on a budget is not a problem. Best of all, these attractions, and many more, are located just minutes from affordable Indianapolis hotels and restaurants.

By: travel insider