The Hoosier state is full of some of the most must-see historical places in the US. The state capital, Indianapolis is home to some of the most interesting historic sites in Indiana.
The best historical sites near Indianapolis include stunning historic landmarks, buildings, monuments, and more for history lovers exploring the city and beyond. Whether planning a Midwest road trip or looking for a quick day trip from Indy, you don’t want to miss these historic sites near Indianapolis.
Here are the top historical places near Indianapolis, IN, in no particular order:
The Indiana Statehouse Capitol Building
The Indiana Statehouse is a popular point of interest, welcoming over sixty thousand guests annually. As the capitol building of Indiana, it houses the three branches of the Indiana state government.
Visitors can bask in the 19th Century Neoclassical architecture, see the offices in action, and view over two dozen notable Hoosiers in sculpture. Guided and audio tours of various lengths are offered free of charge.
200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317-233-5293 | in.gov/idoa/statehouse
The Indiana State Museum
The Indiana State Museum exhibits the history of Indiana from prehistoric times to the present day. Located in downtown Indy, the State Museum is a must-see historic site for visitors of all ages.
The museum features carefully created exhibitions with powerful, hands-on stories that put visitors at the center of the action. Evergreen highlights include an Imax theater, The Indiana Store, L.S. Ayres Tea Room™, and the Farmers Market Cafe.
Open to visitors Wednesdays through Sundays, hours may vary when planned downtown events restrict traffic nearby.
650 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317-232-1637 | indianamuseum.org
Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum
A quick one-hour drive east of Indianapolis sits the Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum in Hagerstown, Indiana. The museum honors the Wright brother’s life work and celebrates one of the greatest early pioneers of flight.
Wilbur and his brother Orville were the first to accomplish the first sustained and controlled flight with a powered aircraft, clocking in over 12 seconds of flight time. While a bit off the beaten path, the museum offers one of the most authentic replicas of the Original Flyer and an adjacent model airplane field for model enthusiasts to take flight.
Open from April through October, with special events in the off-season (such as Homeschool Day, their Fall Festival, and the annual Christmas Walk).
1525 N 750 E, Hagerstown, IN 47346 | 765-332-2495 | wwbirthplace.com
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, Corydon
History lovers will be happy to make the two-hour drive south of Indy to Corydon, Indiana’s original state capitol. Many of Indiana’s most important historical events, including the creation of the first state constitution, are commemorated at the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site.
In 1816, delegates drafted the Indiana Constitution under an enormous elm tree to avoid the heat indoors. The tree’s stump remains preserved, named the Constitution Elm.
Visitors can tour the original state Capitol building, see The Governor’s Headquarters, The Porter Law Office, and The First State Office Building. See a copy of the 1815 Census, view the preserved Constitution Elm, and stroll through an heirloom herb garden.
The site is open Wednesday through Sunday (excluding major holidays), with timed tours scheduled on select days.
202 E Walnut St, Corydon, IN 47112 | 812-738-4890 | indianamuseum.org/historic-sites/corydon-capitol
Hook’s American Drugstore Museum
Located in the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Hook’s American Drugstore Museum sees over 50,000 visitors tour the museum annually during the Indiana State Fair. It continues to be a popular historic site since its opening in 1966.
Hook’s boasts one of the largest collections of authentic artifacts of its kind in the US, documenting an extraordinary period in the progress of medicine. The restored building displays authentic items commonly sold in a turn-of-the-century drugstore. From patent medicines and apothecary bottles to authentic advertisements and period-authentic candies.
Museum visitors can purchase sweets or an authentic old-fashioned soda fountain from the Hook’s Museum’s operational Victorian Soda Fountain. The museum is open daily during the Indiana State Fair. It also offers tours by appointment on select weekends throughout the year.
1202 E 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46205 | 317-924-1503 | hooksmuseum.org
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
One of the most impactful historic buildings in Indianapolis, the adult home of the twenty-third president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison is now a memorial and historic museum. Harrison launched his well-known Front Porch Campaign during his 1888 presidential campaign from the front porch of the home, frequently addressing his audiences on the street.
Visitors can tour the home room-by-room exploring original artifacts, photographs, documents, furniture, architecture, and more related to Benjamin Harrison’s story. Reviews boast of passionate tour guides and an abundance of original artifacts.
Guided tours are offered daily at varying times. Pre-Registration online is required due to the limited number of guests.
1230 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 317-631-1888 | bhpsite.org
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Crown Hill is the third-largest public cemetery in the U.S. Thousands of guests visit the peaceful architecture, view the sculptures, enjoy over 150 species of trees and plants on site, and study the history & heritage of the 215,000+ people buried there.
Crown Hill residents include President Harrison, several vice presidents, infamous bank robber, Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger, and everyday people. Crown Hill’s guided tours have been named ‘The Best Walking Tour’ by Indianapolis Monthly magazine (twice!) and featured as one of Midwest Living Magazine’s Terrific Tours.
Visitors can attend one of many guided tours including the Civil War Personalities Tour and Dillinger & Eastside Notables Tour from May through October. Most tours are held on Saturday nights, but the site also offers limited tours on Saturday mornings.
Tour group sizes are limited. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.
700 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208 | 317-925-3800 | dignitymemorial.com/…
Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District
A National Historic Landmark District also on the National Register of Historic Places, the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza is considered one of the best historical places in Indianapolis, especially for history buffs and military families. It shines as the largest war memorial project in America.
The Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District includes the Indiana War Memorial & Museum, several parks, fountains, and over twenty-five acres of monuments, including statues, and sculptures.
- American Legion Mall
- Cenotaph Square
- Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
- Indiana 9/11 Memorial
- Indiana War Memorial
- Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District
- Korean War Memorial
- Medal of Honor Memorial
- University Park
- USS Indianapolis CA35 Memorial
- Veterans Memorial Plaza
- Vietnam War Memorial
- World War II Memorial
In 2016, the Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District was expanded to include the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at Monument Circle. Open Wednesdays through Sundays except for all National and State holidays. They are open on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
55 E Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317-232-7615 | indianawarmemorials.org
Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Monument Circle
The Soldiers & Sailors Monument at Monument Circle is Indiana’s official memorial to the Hoosiers that served in their country in war. It is one of the most iconic historic landmarks in Indianapolis.
Built on Monument Circle in the center of downtown Indy, you can’t (and shouldn’t!) miss this nearly 300-foot-tall monument. Small groups (15 or fewer at a time) can experience breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline from The Observatory. Visitors are free to climb the 330 steps to The Observatory or ride an elevator for a small fee.
The Observatory is open to visitors Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays but if you are in Indy during the week, consider exploring the monument. Locals congregate at Monument Circle to sit and relax, have a meal, or explore the nearby local businesses.
1 Monument Cir, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317-232-7615 | in.gov/iwm
Conner Prairie, Fishers
A quick half-hour drive north of Indy to Fishers will take you to Conner Prairie. A Smithsonian Affiliated Museum that offers an extensive and immersive living history exhibit recreating life along the White river in the 19-century.
Conner Prairie includes the preserved William Conner home which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Favorite experiences of reviewers include the 1816 Lenape Indian Camp, 1836 Prairie Town, and the 1859 Balloon Voyage, including a real hot air balloon.
Visitors can purchase admission tickets online to access Conner Prairie Thursdays through Sundays.
13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers, IN 46038 | 317-776-6000 | connerprairie.org
Scottish Rite Cathedral
The Scottish Rite Cathedral is considered one of the most popular historic buildings in Indy. A historic building built between 1927 and 1929, the Scottish Rite Cathedral is considered one of the most exceptional examples of Neo-Gothic architecture in America.
One of the largest Masonic buildings in the world, the Scottish Rite Cathedral is filled with masonry symbolism and history. Reviews often mention the stunning stained glass and stunning museum-like displays.
Access is granted only by guided tours available by appointment on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
650 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317-262-3100 | aasr-indy.org
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located within the grounds of the beloved Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Museum showcases exhibits representing more than a century of Indianapolis 500 racing culture.
The Indy Motor Speedway Museum also exhibits vehicles representing NASCAR, Formula One, American short-track racing, drag racing, and motorcycles.
The Museum offers a variety of tours, including the Kiss the Bricks tour. Visitors can channel their inner race winner and kiss the 1909-vintage paving bricks that once made up the entire racing surface (depending on weather and track availability).
You can visit the Museum daily year-round, except it’s closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
4790 W 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46222 | 317-492-8500 | indianapolismotorspeedway.com
The Coffin House, Fountain City
The Coffin House is just thirty minutes east of Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum. It is ranked as “one of the nation’s Top 25 Historical Sites” by the History Channel and “one of 12 new museums around the world to visit,” by the Smithsonian.
The Coffin family were Quaker abolitionists who provided supplies and hospitality to people fleeing slavery. The Coffin house is located at the crossroads of three main escape routes used by the Underground Railroad, earning its name as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.
Visitors can explore the interpretive center to learn about history, participate in immersive exhibits, enjoy a guided tour of the actual Coffin home, and explore unique artifacts like false-bottom wagons.
The Coffin House is open Wednesday through Sunday (excluding major holidays) with timed tours available on select days.
201 US-27, Fountain City, IN 47341 | 765-847-1691 | indianamuseum.org/…
Indianapolis and the nearby areas have so much to offer for visitors considering exploring a location packed with historic sites. If you’re a local, enjoy some of the best historic places in the US that are right in your neighborhood. If you’re planning a visit, including some of the must-see historic sites we’ve covered.
Whether you’re a military history connoisseur, a political history buff, or enjoy an immersive pioneer experience, you can find the best historical places for your unique interests in Indianapolis.