Downtown Indianapolis is beautiful at night, and what better way to see the Circle City at its best than in a romantic horse-drawn carriage. Especially popular during holidays, carriage rides are a great way to get a good look at downtown Indianapolis; in fact, most start or end at Monument Circle, the epicenter of Indianapolis where the 110-year-old Soldiers and Sailors Monument gave the city its nickname, "The Circle City."
While carriage rides are not cheap, they provide an unbeatable experience for visitors and residents. They can be both entertaining and educational since many drivers regale their passengers with stories and historical information about city sites.
There are two companies that offer carriage tours of the city and are also available for weddings, proms, proposals and other special events. Reservations are recommended, especially during the busiest times, such as Valentine's Day or the year-end holiday season—check with the companies about tours without reservations.
Locals report that the carriages take passengers all year long, except during extreme weather conditions. Carriages even operate in cold weather, but not to worry—drivers can pop up the carriage top if it snows; plus, you can snuggle up in the carriage's toasty warm blankets.
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Yellow Rose Carriages
Yellow Rose Carriages has been touring downtown Indianapolis since 1983, making it the older (by a year) of the two friendly rival companies. This company offers 25-minute, 45-minute and one-hour tours for up to six passengers for one set price—which you should check on the company website as pricing is subject to change—however, you should note that a gratuity for the driver is not included.
The carriages start their tours at Monument Circle, but it may be possible to get picked up at a downtown restaurant or other location; you'll need to request it to see if the company can accommodate you.
Rides can be scheduled for every evening of the week; check the company website for the most up-to-date hours of operation and for descriptions of possible tours.
To reserve, visit the website and book the tour online, or call the office to book. If you want to book a same-day ride, it's best to reserve by calling the office; it is staffed with a dispatcher during the evening for just such eventualities.
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Blue Ribbon Carriages has been providing private carriage tours of the downtown area since 1984 and provide visitors with rides and tours ranging in length from 25 minutes to a full hour.
Passengers with reservations can be picked up at locations throughout the Mile Square of downtown Indianapolis. An email confirming the reservation will specify your pickup location.
On Sundays, the office is closed, so please visit the carriages on the circle to take a tour. At some other times as well, carriages may be available without reservation before or after posted hours, on a first come first-serve basis, depending on weather and demand. You will find these carriages at Monument Circle across from Starbucks. In such cases, your driver will process your tour tickets on-site.
Rides, either reserved or walk-up, are available seven evenings a week. Consult the company website for the most up-to-date hours of carriage operation and for descriptions of possible tours.
To reserve, call the office Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m, or Saturday 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (To confirm office hours, consult the website.) Reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance; if you need a same-day reservation, call the office and inquire. Blue Ribbon accepts all major credit cards.