In the heart of the heartland, Indianapolis mixes a big-city arts and cultural scene with small-town charm. Known for the Indianapolis 500, held every Memorial Day, the city pulls in millions of visitors every year for the famous car race and other diversions.
The gay scene in Indianapolis is fun, and folks here aren't timid about walking up and saying hello. Most of the gay bars and restaurants are scattered around a 10-blocks area just north of downtown, so it's easy to visit them all.
Bloomington, home to Indiana University, has another lively gay community. It's just 52 miles to the south, so it can be an entertaining side trip.
Next time your travel plans call for visiting Indianapolis, look forward to enjoying some Hoosier hospitality.
Indianapolis International Airport has a shuttle bus service to downtown, as well as Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington and Lafayette.
IndyGo's Green Line express buses run between 5am and 9pm from the airport to most major hotels. Tickets are $7. Bus 8 provides slower local service for $1.75.
IndyGo, the area public transportation, is handy for getting around the city with single-trips for $1.75 and daily bus passes for $4.
Local media & resources
The Word is an excellent gay newspaper serving Indiana and neighboring states. Nuvo is the local alternative weekly. Blooming Out , a weekly gay radio show, can be heard from 6 to 7pm every Thursday on 91.3 FM.
See IndyPride for info on June festivities and other goings-on, year-round. The Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival takes place each November. Pride of Indy Bands performances take place throughout the year.
Visit Indy is the useful general information site of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Indianapolis listings pages.
Stone Soup Inn (1304 Central Ave; 866- 639-9550) lovely Victorian home guesthouse near gay clubs, gorgeous decor, in-room massages.
Villa Inn Restaurant & Spa (1456 N Delaware St; 317-916-8500), elegant luxury eight-room guesthouse, boutique dining, rooftop terrace, en suite kitchen, cable TV, DVD players/ library, spa massage, men’s facials, sport manicure/pedicures. Fourth Friday guest chefs; second Saturday Mad Hatter Tea Parties.
The Westin Indianapolis (50 S Capitol; 317 262-8100), large, gay-friendly downtown hotel, hot breakfast, concierge, heated pool, gym, business center, steakhouse dining, coffeeshop/lounge, WiFi access throughout.
Bars & clubs
501 Eagle (501 N College), men's cruise bar, underwear and uniform nights, topless Tuesdays, pool tournaments, bare-chest contests.
Downtown Olly's (822 N Illinois), mostly men, video and sports bar, big-screen TV, friendly crowd, food service 24/7, Sunday brunch.
English Ivy's Restaurant (944 North Alabama), charming pub, stools around long bar, lively conversation, full restaurant, meat or veggie, late night menu 'til 3am nightly, Saturday/ Sunday brunch, WiFi access.
Gregs (231 E 16th), dance club, country music and hi-energy nights, pool tables, darts and games, outdoor patio, Friday nights country dancing, Saturday drag and talent shows; draws cowboys, leathermen, bears.
Metro Nightclub & Restaurant (707 Massachusetts), grand bar, affable locals' crowd afternoons and evenings, flat-screen TVs, poker, karaoke, lottery games.
Talbott Street (2145 N Talbott) big weekend gay dance club, young crowd, cocktail lounge, guest DJs, drag cabaret shows, theme nights.
Unicorn Club (122 W 13th) - CLOSED - young male strippers nightly, Sunday amateur try-outs, Tuesday through Thursday Divas & Dancers, DJs.
Varsity Lounge (1517 N Pennsylvania) local pub, food, friendly bartenders and patrons make you feel at home.
White Rabbit Cabaret (1116 E Prospect), mixed crowd, cabaret acts, burlesque shows, performance groups, live bands.
Zonie's Closet (1446 E Washington) drag shows, local and national entertainment, buckets of beer daily.
Club Indianapolis (620 N Capitol Ave) modern, immaculate steam and dry saunas, fully equipped gym, outdoor patio, and video lounge, near downtown gay clubs. Open 24 hours daily for 18+ men, secure parking, in/out passes and special events. tanning beds, hot tubs, clothing- optional heated pool, personal trainer.
Amici's (601 E New York St), tasty Sicilian/Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, patio tables, wine list.
Barcelona Tapas ( 201 N Delaware), Spanish tapas evenings, sharing of plates, wine and conversation; Sunday Sangria brunch buffets.
Cafe Zuppa (320 N Meridian), good food, breakfast/lunch, art, historic building location, author book signings, Sunday brunch buffet,
Creation Cafe (337 W 11th St) coffee and espresso bar, large assortment of pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
Downtown Olly's (822 N Illinois) gay Indy's most popular Sunday brunch 11am to 2pm, gay sports bar and restaurant.
English Ivy's Restaurant (944 N Alabama) American cuisine, late menu, weekend brunch, nightly specials like pot roast, popular bar.
Forty Five Degrees (765 Massachusetts), stylish restaurant bar/club, lunch/dinner, small plates, sushi bar, full entrees, wraps/burgers, cocktails.
Henry's Coffee Bistro (627 East St), a coffeeshop with homemade desserts, breakfast sandwiches, lunch, weekend brunch, free WiFi, patio seating and they display the work of local artists.
Mass Ave Wine Shoppe (878 Massachusetts), gourmet sandwiches, soups, pizzas, tasting platters and small plates, 100 craft beers, wine by the glass.
Metro Grill (707 Massachusetts), restaurant in gay nightclub, daily specials, Sunday buffet brunch, dinner nightly.
Santorini Greek Kitchen (1417 Prospect), Fountain Square Greek/American lunch/dinner, falafel, humus, baba ganoush, chicken, turkey wraps/gyros, kebabs, house speciality potatos.
Varsity Lounge (1517 North Pennsylvania) friendly long-time gay/lesbian locals' bar and restaurant with booths, weekend buffet brunches.
See these and more restaurant/cafes on our map/listings page, with website links to each.
Circle Center Mall (49 West Maryland St) shops, restaurants, cinema under one roof, downtown Indy.
Metropolis Gift Shop (6929 Hawthorn Park Drive) leather and club wear, erotic clothing, lubes, cards, magazines, open nightly.
Toolbox (853 E 65th St), men's gear and accessories, top brands: Nasty Pig, Rufskin, Andrew Christian, etc.