Summer here in Indy means heat, humidity, and some good ol’ fashioned sunshine. While we’re quite fond of a strong AC unit, there are plenty of other ways to beat the summer heat around Indianapolis.
Before you decide to stay indoors and dial down the thermostat, check out some of these favorite local venues. Our picks for 2016 have something for everyone. Whether you want to explore the great outdoors, find a great shopping deal, or sip on a great local brew, we’ve got the summer itinerary you need to keep cool around town.
Best Outdoor Activities:
Sahm Park & Aquatic Center in Castleton
Probably the easiest way to lower your core body temp is to take a nice dip in the pool. We love Sahm’s Park because it’s convenient to get to and has plenty of space for relaxing. Open swimming, water slides, and other water spray features can help you stay chill on the sunniest of days.
Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broad Ripple
If you want a quieter scene and want to soak up some nature, be sure to check out Rusted Moon Outfitters this summer. They’re the local, one-stop shop for everything outdoors! You can even rent a paddleboard or kayak and then head over to the White River just down the road. If you start working up a sweat while paddling, it’s easy to cool off with a quick splash of water.
Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence
Maybe shade is what you’re after? The trails at Ft. Ben can help you take cover. We like to take our pups hiking at this state park because their paths are fairly short and easy to follow. (Just don’t forget your doggie bag and a collapsible water bowl for them.)
BluePeppermint Boutique in Fishers
Some days are just too hot and stuffy to enjoy the outdoors. When that happens, consider getting out of the house for an afternoon shopping spree. That way, you still get a change of scenery, but you don’t have to sacrifice the AC. Located in a cute green house, BluePeppermint Boutique has a great collection of whimsy-chic clothing and accessories. We always find something fun!
Silver in the City on Mass Ave
There’s even more to love with local shopping at Silver in the City. This gift shop has some uniquely classy jewelry and loads of quirky items for anyone with a good sense of humor. Use your free time in July to get holiday shopping done early—who cares if it’s six months away? You might even find something special for yourself. (Also note: BRU Burger Bar is just around the corner. They’ve got a nice, big patio and unbelievable burgers!)
Dottie Couture Boutique at Keystone
There’s even more fashion trends at Dottie Couture Boutique to browse. They’re really good about keeping stocked with new styles and shipments, and the prices are great too. With other locations in Fishers and Greenwood, this is an excellent place to put on your list. A new dress for summer can help you cool off. It’s all about dressing for the season, right?
Best Food & Drink:
Sundae’s Homemade Ice Cream on 79th and Fall Creek Road
Sure, getting an ice cream cone is one of the most obvious ways to “beat the heat,” but if you haven’t had Sundae’s yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Over 30 years of ice cream crafting make them one of Indy’s best-loved venues. (A couple of our favorite flavors are Peanut Butter Pie and Sundaes Trax. Also love the Reese’s Mountain Sundae!)
Fire by the Monon in Broad Ripple
Fire by the Monon is just a half block off its namesake trail, so it’s easy to stop in and treat yourself to a drink or some dessert after a warm afternoon stroll. They have plenty of craft beers on tap, but we like to go because they have a great “Monon Mule.” So refreshing! (And even cooler—The owner’s wife even makes some of their scrumptious sweet-tooth offerings herself.)
Blind Owl Brewery off 62nd and Binford Boulevard
On mild nights we definitely recommend hanging out at Blind Owl. It’s a family-friendly bar and restaurant with a great patio space for outdoor games. Nothing quite says Indiana summertime like a game of corn hole! There’s also bocce ball, so be sure to bring your game-face.
Alibi’s Bar & Grill at Shadeland Station
After a long day at work, we think of Alibi’s as our local “Cheers” bar. Great company and awesome food—just what you want on a hot day. Plus they’ve got the best cheesy bread and pizza around. Try their BBQ Chicken. They make it with smoked Gouda and the flavor is perfect for both winter and summer. Yum!
What do you think of our 2016 list? Did we include some of your own local Indy favorites? Check these places out and leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!