INDIANAPOLIS — The author Ann Patchett once said, “Never be so focused on what you are looking for that you overlook what you actually find.” Her advice was especially appropriate when our family made an extended visit to White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis.
Focused on the prospect of seeing an IMAX movie and having some family time, we also found unexpected treasures along the way. Staying in an on-site hotel, we simply left the car in its parking space. Everything was within walking distance, which allowed us to appreciate the downtown sights, specifically the calm water of the canal that winds throughout, with the occasional ducks swimming by.
Once we got the memo that varied offerings known as White River State Park collectively form a “cultural urban state park,” our mindset shifted to tourists instead of day trippers. The 250-acre park, located at 801 W. Washington St., boasts six attractions and you can buy a park pass and get up to 25 percent off at each place. The pass includes coupons for other activities like boat rides, bicycle rides and Segway tours. An attractive new cultural trail unveiled this summer and set aside just for bicycling tempted us to come back with our bicycles another time.
Two weeks prior, our friend Wendy posted on Facebook that she enjoyed a Segway tour there, or I might not have donned the helmet and mounted the thing. Balance and coordination are not always my strong suit. But my two teens and husband were all in. Thankfully, the staff was extremely patient because guiding the machine with your feet takes a little practice.
Moving forward is easy. Coming to a standstill is the tricky part. And going in reverse is a no-no, we were told. Training complete, we all whizzed off at up to 9 miles per hour, the wind blowing through our hair, as we zipped through downtown with a few stops so our tour guide could share interesting facts. Yes, we would all go again.