The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

If you go: Indianapolis


From LAX, nonstop service is offered on Delta, direct service (stop, no change of planes) on Southwest and US Airways, and connecting service (change of planes) on Southwest, Delta, United, American, Frontier and Continental. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $478.


Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle; (317) 767-1361, Elegant private club with traditional and remodeled rooms available to public. Rooms start at about $110, but you can save $20 by booking through the visitors bureau website,

Conrad Hotel, 50 W. Washington St.; (317) 713-5000, Luxury downtown hotel with great location. Double rooms from $179.


Capital Grille, 40 W. Washington St.; (317) 423-8790, Friendly bar and restaurant draws lawmakers from nearby capitol and pro athletes for postgame meals. Try the perfectly peppered rib-eye with the cognac sauce (listed as steak au poivre on menu). Dinners from about $30.

St. Elmo Steak House, 127 S. Illinois St.; (317) 635-0636, Landmark steak joint has been feeding locals and visitors since 1902. The famed shrimp cocktail ($14.95) will blow your socks off. Dinners from about $30.

Weber Grill Restaurant, 10 N. Illinois St.; (317) 636-7600, As per the famous kettle, everything (except ribs) is cooked over charcoal, making for some outrageously good, thick burgers. Good chili too. From about $10.

What to do

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th St.; (317) 492-8500, Must-see landmark, race day or not. Check out the museum for past winning vehicles. Four holes of the Pete Dye-designed public course next door wind into the infield. Indy 500 tickets start at $30. The best views: Paddock, C Stand.

White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St.; (317) 233-2434, Home to Indianapolis Zoo, summer concerts and several first-rate museums.

Rathskeller, 401 E. Michigan St.; (317) 636-0396, Part of the vibrant Mass Avenue scene. Go for the music, go for the German food, go to just hang out in the beer garden in the summer or sweeping restaurant in the winter. Just go. Dinners from about $25.


Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Assn. has a great website with activities, and a booking option for discounted rooms; (800) 323-4639,

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