If you’ve been to downtown Indy, there’s a good chance you’ve at least walked or driven by White River State Park. White River State Park connects the Indianapolis Zoo to the downtown canal, the Indiana State Museum, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. It also stretches south toward Washington Street and Victory Field.
White River State Park is an iconic part of downtown Indianapolis. As an Indiana native, I’ve watched the park make major upgrades over the years. Today, it is a great destination for anyone planning to spend a day in downtown Indy.
Whether you’re headed to the zoo, state museum, baseball field, or J.W. Marriott, you’ll likely be around White River State Park. Why not start or end your downtown Indy adventure at this free Indiana park?
How Do I Get to White River State Park?
You can access White River State Park from Washington Street. If traveling west on Washington Street, the park will be on your right-hand side immediately following the Indiana State Museum.
Note: There is very little parking available to the public in this area. The best option is to try using the parking garage at the entrance of the Indiana State Museum. Named after the park, it’s called the White River State Park Parking Garage. The rate is reasonable, and even cheaper if you plan to visit the Indiana State Museum! And it’s literally under the park!
What Does White River State Park Have to Offer?
Take a few minutes to enjoy the water! This is a great, relaxing option, perfect for a date or a quiet stroll (unless a concert or large event is in progress)! You can take the walking bridge over the water toward the zoo or relax on the lawn next to the river.
White River State Park Art Pieces
A number of permanent art pieces now reside at White River State Park. As you stroll through the park, enjoy the artwork and the history behind the pieces.
The TCU Amphitheater has been one of the best improvements to this park in recent years. With this new addition, the park now hosts many popular concerts in the summer months. The TCU Ampitheater contains a covered canopy, though lawn seats are available. Check out a list of their upcoming concerts and ticket options here!
Bike Rentals at White River State Park
Looking for a fun, outdoor activity? Bike rentals are a great option! Located next to the Children’s Maze (an elaborate circle of stone benches, perfect for kids to enjoy), the park offers rentals of 2 and 4-seater surrey cycles and an array of single-seaters.
Take the bikes down by the canal for a fun day exploring the city! (Here’s our post on other great things to do around town!)
If you’d rather not rent bikes but still want to explore the park, you can walk across the bridge toward the zoo and take the zoo trail. This is one of our favorite parts of White River State Park because it is so quiet and peaceful in this area!
After heading toward the zoo, turn right before getting to the zoo entrance. The public trail runs between White River and the zoo. We love to walk that trail around sunset. It’s just beautiful!
What Can I Do Near White River?
There is so much to do within walking distance of White River State Park!
Here are a few of our favorites!
- Take in a baseball game at Victory Field
- Spend the day enjoying the animals at the Indy Zoo (Here‘s our post)
- Enjoy the Indiana State Museum, known for its impressive science exhibit (our favorite part)!
- Check out the Eideljorg Museum, a museum that highlights Native American culture
- Walk the canal or even rent paddle boats on the canal
- Get your picture taken in the Indy sign where you become the “I” in Indy! There are a few around the city, but the closest one is located on the canal at the back of the Indiana State Museum.
- Explore the NCAA Hall of Champions
Any Restaurant Suggestions for Those (Like Me!) Who Are Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free?
Yes! We have found some great allergy-friendly restaurants in downtown Indianapolis! Cafe Patachou (mentioned first) is probably the best option if you are around White River State Park.
Summary of White River State Park
There is so much to do in Indianapolis! Located in the heart of the city, White River State Park is a perfect place to embrace the city. Start or end a fun day around downtown Indy at White River State Park!