Not more than 3 hours drive south of the Windy city is Indy City!! A lesser known haven for big town weekenders to get away from the crowded downtowns and hurried pace of life. Its hard to imagine but the short road trip to this small town still lets you relax, recover and revitalize.
By Geography and population, Indianapolis is definitely smaller and more compact compared to big neighboring cities, but has a curb side appeal which attracts out-of-towners not just for the weekend, but to re-visit it again. It has everything that one would seek in a big city minus the hassle, noise or traffic.
As many do, we chose to fly into Chicago (being that its a big hub and the frequency and flight availability superceeds flying direct into Indy, not to mention its lot cheaper flying into the smaller airport) and then drive down to Indianapolis. Chicago's Midway airport is often less talked about, as compared to its much favored humongous rival -O'hare...but landing at Midway is quite an experience by itself. You get the feeling of almost crashing into homes and buildings 2 seconds prior to touch down! Its quite un-believable. Makes you wonder about the dextirity of the pilots who land their planes here and about serious noise-proofing for homes and offices!
Chicago perpetually seems to be in construction mode. Be it roads, rail lines, building or stadiums. It felt like getting out of the city took longer than driving downtown in rush hour. But thanks to the clear and precise instructions called out by the GPS lady in the mini-van, we made it through! What with detours and blocked exits, we would have been circling Chicago for many hours, had it not been for the GPS system installed in the car. Much recommended when seeking out new places and destinations.
Once out of Illinois, driving on Hwy 65 was a breeze, hardly any traffic even though this was the Indy 500 weekend. Wide spread mustard fields lining the highway was a pleasant sight and kept us company thorughout. Due to the timing of our flight, we arrived in Indy late at night, but it was a very comfortable and do-able drive from Chicago...so I would recommend it, if you are patient enough to deal with construction for the first 30 minutes of your 3 hour trip.
Our weekend trip to sunny Indiana was truly an eye-opener and every bit refreshing as one could expect. There is lots more to this racecar-crazed city than just the Indy 500 and we are certain that one weekend, did not do it justice.