White River State Park is an unique Indiana State Park that within the heart of Downtown Indianapolis and is the nation’s only state park that lies in an urban area. The 250 acres park hosts many of Indianapolis’ special events. It’s considered one of the six cultural districts in the downtown area. There is so much to see and do at the White River State Park that visitors cannot possible do it all in one day.
The White River State Park is home to several major attractions. The major attractions include the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, IMAX Theater, Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Indians Baseball at Victory Field. The park also has a historic military park. The area of the historic military park was once used as a Civil War Encampment from 1861 to 1865.
Parking can be a nightmare downtown if you don’t know where to look. Indianapolis has several lots and meters on the street level but they aren’t the only place to park in the city. Most of the places to park are underground or in parking garages. You have to be careful when looking for a parking garage. Most of them are well hidden between the buildings. If you are looking for parking that is close to the White River State Park I would highly suggest trying the White River State Park underground parking garage. It can be accessed the Eiteljorg Museum or from the Indiana State Museum. Parking rates vary depending upon how long your car is parked there. Frequent visitors may want to obtain a monthly parking pass. Monthly parking rates start from $80 per month. The parking lot tends to fill up quickly early in the morning but is usually quite empty as the day progresses. Visitors may reach street level or gain access to the museums via the elevator.
Once you are in the park you have your choice of how you can explore the park. Visitors can tour the park by renting a Segway or bicycle. The rates are per hour. Another place to explore in the park is the White River Canal. The White River has played a large role in the founding and development of Indianapolis. The first steamboat to arrive in Indianapolis via the White River was the Robert Hanna. It arrived in 1831 and ran aground on its first trip. Thus proving the White River was not navigable enough to be used as a resource for a major trade route. Five years later, the city began to develop the Central Canal, hoping it would be a trade route for commercial goods. The construction of the canal was halted and only nine miles of it are built heading out of the city. In 1971, the American Water Association dedicated the canal as an American Water Landmark. Today visitors can rent paddleboats and explore the canal.