Indianapolis Gay Guide and Photo Gallery

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    Indiana State House, downtown

    photo by Andrew Collins

    Indianapolis gay gallery

    Built in 1888, the Indiana State House presides over an extensive swath of lawns and trees on the west edge of downtown, just two blocks west of Monument Circle and close to White River State Park. Tours of the building are given on weekdays.

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    Traders Point Creamery, Restaurant, and Farm, in Zionville

    photo by Andrew Collins
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    Downtown skyline at night, viewed from canal at White River State Park

    photo by Andrew Collins

    A nighttime view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline, looking east along the canal in White River State Park - to the right, along the banks of the canal, are the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

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    Conrad Indianapolis Hotel, on West Washington Street

    photo by Andrew Collins

    One of only four of the Hilton's luxury Conrad brand in the United States, the downtown Conrad Indianapolis (50 W. Washington St., 317-713-5000) is the city's classiest accommodation. The sleek, contemporary 23-story tower has 241 rooms (including 23 swanky corner suites), all with plush Anichini linens, marble bathrooms with flat-screen TVs, CD-DVD players, free Wi-Fi, the city's top spa (Spa Chaka) and an extensive fitness center, and two restaurants, the clubby Capital Grille and the more casual Tastings, a wine bar featuring more than 100 wines-by-the-taste as well as light tapas and bistro fare. The gay-friendly hotel is in the heart of downtown, with a skybridge that leads into Circle Centre Mall and Artsgarden performance center. Just around the corner are Monument Circle, the Indiana State Capitol, and the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

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    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

    photo by Andrew Collins

    The outstanding Eiteljorg Museum (500 W. Washington St., 317-636-9378) is located on the west side of downtown near several other prominent Indianapolis cultural institutions, including White River State Park and the Indiana State Museum.

    The collection in this striking contemporary building focuses on the American West as well as Native American culture - you'll find collections specializing in paintings, textiles, and basketry among Native tribes across the U.S.; iconic paintings and sculptures by legendary Western artists like Frederic Remington, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Charles Russell, and Albert Bierstadt; and a terrific collection of contemporary - and often quite thought-provoking - pieces. In 2014, the museum hosted the first-ever exhibit on gay rodeos.

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    Mass Ave Arts District

    photo by Andrew Collins

    On the northeastern edge of downtown, the Mass Ave Arts District is not only the heart of Indianapolis's gay and lesbian community but one of six distinctive, revitalized neighborhoods that have been linked together via the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. From about New York Street northeast to Bellefontaine Street and I-70, Massachusetts Avenue (along with its cross streets) is lined with cool boutiques, gay-popular lounges and restaurants, theaters, and historic buildings. This photo is facing northeast, around the intersection with Walnut Street, right by the Metro gay bar.

    The Cultural Trail is an urban bike-and-pedestrian path that runs throughout downtown, connecting the Mass Ave Arts District with five other districts: Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, the Canal & White River State Park, and the Wholesale District. The first phase of the trail went through the Mass Ave neighborhood and included innovative public art installations (like a LED "Dancing Woman" sculpture along Mass Avenue). Here's a map of the entire Cultural Trail network.

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    Monon Trail biking and pedestrian pathway

    photo by Andrew Collins

    Extending 10.5 miles north from downtown Indianapolis and the gay-popular Mass Ave Arts District through Broad Ripple Village and up to 96th Street, the Monon Trail is a classic rails-to-trails project. Bikers, bladers, walkers, and joggers utilize this scenic paved pathway (pictured here is a section that crosses the White River in Broad Ripple Village). The trail links to downtown's comprehensive Cultural Trail.

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    Talbott Street, a popular Indianapolis gay dance club (closed)

    photo by Andrew Collins
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  • 09 of 15

    Circle Centre Mall, downtown

    photo by Andrew Collins

    A Simon Mall in downtown Indianapolis, close to the Conrad Hotel and Artgarden, the Circle Centre Mall (49 W. Maryland St., 317-681-8000) comprises about 125 shops and dining venues, with anchors that include Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott. Other notable retail includes H&M, Lucky Brand Jeans, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Forever 21, and many others - there's also a huge United Artists cinema.

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    Greg's Indianapolis, a gay bar on the North Side

    photo by Andrew Collins
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    Naked Tchopstix sushi and Pan-Asian restaurant, Broad Ripple Village

    photo by Andrew Collins
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    Soldiers and Sailors Monument, in Monument Circle

    photo by Andrew Collins

    The most distinctive structure in downtown Indianapolis, the 284-foot-tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument presides over Monument Circle - from its base you can see the Indiana State Capitol down West Market Street, and several prominent hotels, cultural and arts venues, and shopping centers lie within a short walk of this stunning monument. It was designed by Bruno Schmitz and completed in 1901. Visitors can take an elevator (or huff and puff their way up stairs) to an observation deck, and also check out the Colonel Eli Lilly Museum, in the basement of the tower.

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    Club Indianapolis gay sex club and bathhouses

    photo by Andrew Collins

    You'll find one very very popular gay bathhouse in the city, Club Indianapolis. Read more about it in the Indianapolis Gay Bathhouse Guide.

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    Abbey Coffeehouse, on Pennsylvania Street (closed)

    photo by Andrew Collins
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  • 15 of 15

    Out Word Bound gay and lesbian bookstore (closed)

    photo by Andrew Collins

    Note: Out Word Bound is no longer in operation.

    The city's de facto queer community center, Out Word Bound (625 N. East St.) is a superb, independent GLBT bookstore in downtown vibrant Mass Ave Arts District, by Mary & Friends hair salon and Henry's on East coffeehouse. In addition to books, Out Word Bound carries all kinds of Pride items, videos, CDs, and other GLBT gifts.