Historic Grandeur and Elegant Dining in Circle Centre
The town of Canterbury in England dates back thousands of years; you can get an idea of how old it is in Chaucer's story collection The Canterbury Tales, which references ancient Roman walls and a medieval cathedral. Compared to Canterbury, England, The Historic Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis is a spring chicken—it's 150 years old—but it has a bit of the same appeal and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Uniformed bellhops usher you into the lobby, which boasts Queen Anne–style carved chairs and a grand piano. If you want to escape to the modern world, the hotel also has a private entrance to the adjoining Circle Centre Mall.
In keeping with Anglophile traditions, the hotel holds high tea each afternoon (reservation required), an evening gathering where you can enjoy loose-leaf teas with fresh scones and finger sandwiches; a live pianist accompanies the event Tuesday–Saturday. Standard queen rooms often feature a desk or vanity, and queen suites add enough floor space for your most loyal court jesters to sleep.
Come dinnertime, head to Turner's Cocktails and Cuisine, which is named after the hotel's current owner, Turner Woodard. It's lined with carved wooden panels and a nice, elegant setting to enjoy steak and seafood. Mr. Woodard has also helped contribute to the building's original art collection, which features both classic portraits and abstract canvases.
Indianapolis: Bustling Downtown with Celebrated Museums
A series of skywalks connects the hotel to the Circle Centre, a four-story mall crowned by a glass atrium, as well as to the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. You can shop for designer brands, attend trade shows, or cheer on the Paceers, all without letting your feet touch pavement.
The city's dense downtown also features a number of noteworthy museums. A few blocks west of the hotel, the lush lawns at White River State Park neighbor the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum, which displays Native American and western artwork. However, the city's most famous museum lies further north: the Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest of its kind worldwide, and welcomes more than a million visitors a year. Inside, you can check out a 1917-era carousel or imagine what house pets might look like if they had dinosaur bones.