If you're driving from the north on I-65 south, avoid the construction to get to downtown.
Posted by aldctjoc

All the downtown interstate construction is on the east side of Indianapolis. If you're coming in from the north (Lafayette, Chicago Il., etc.) and using I-65 south, it's easy to avoid:


  • Just exit on the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. To West Street" exit. 
  • Stay out of the far right late. That forces you to turn west, away from downtown.
  • Keep going straight. Eventually you'll see the JW Marriott on the right, and the Convention Center is right after that on the left.

You can figure out your route to the hotel from Google or something else. But feel free to ping these threads if you have any questions! If I can't answer (and I'm actually not an Indianapolis resident, so I don't know as much as a local would), then I'm sure someone else in the forums can.

Posted by aldctjoc

"What if I miss the Dr. MLK Jr to West St. exit??"

Don't panic. The Meridian Street exit is just half a mile further and it gets you within 2 blocks of the Convention Center.

Heck for some hotels like Columbia Club (definitely!), Sheraton, Hilton, Conrad, Embassy Suites, etc. (arbuably), it's probably better.

It's just that lots of apps plus a small number of people who I've talked to about this have always routed away from Monument Circle. And that's because even just lightly moderate traffic can be maddening there. But Columbia Club is on the Circle, and Sheraton is just outside it. So it depends. 

Posted by theinitiativeinn

Thank you for writing up and sharing all these driving trips!  My hotel (Homewood Suites by Hilton) is 14mi out in Carmel, Indiana.  So it seems as if I'm posting in the correct thread: i.e. going down I-65 South.

Google has 03 options:


  1. via North Meridian St.
  2. via North Meridian St. & North Capital Ave
  3. via I-465 West & I-65 South

Any thoughts as to these choices?

Posted by aldctjoc theinitiativeinn

theinitiativeinn wrote:Thank you for writing up and sharing all these driving trips!  My hotel (Homewood Suites by Hilton) is 14mi out in Carmel, Indiana.  So it seems as if I'm posting in the correct thread: i.e. going down I-65 South.
Google has 03 options:

  1. via North Meridian St.
  2. via North Meridian St. & North Capital Ave
  3. via I-465 West & I-65 South

Any thoughts as to these choices?


Hi. Just to be clear, where are you coming in from again? If you're coming to Indianapolis from the north headed for a hotel in Carmel, I wouldn't even try to follow my directions above. Those are meant for people going downtown, and they'd just add miles and time to your trip, depending on where you're coming down from. 

----

Edit to add: Ok, if you're on I-65 south coming down from, say, Chicago, I would exit at the I-865 to I-465 East ramp, then go till you get to the US 31 North Exit. 

But if you're coming up from the south (like for example Louisville Ky.),  I'd take the I-465 East exit and just run that around Indianapolis until you get to the US 31 North Exit.

Either way, I'd recommend staying on I-465 rather than go through the city. It may be loooong, but the stop and go traffic within the city would drive you nuts. I've done it before, all the way from south of 465 to Kokomo, north of Indianapolis. That was no fun. It seriously added more than an hour (was during rush hour years ago, so everything was crowded). 

So, bottom line: Stick with I-465. Longer, but less time and saves way more sanity. 

Posted by theinitiativeinn

Thank you for the warnings!

To clarify, I'm coming from NY but staying in Carmel and doing Uber in and out each day.

So while my trip route brings me in from the East, my hotel is North of Indy which from a map seems to say that going I-65 South from Carmel is how to get to the ICC.

Right? lol

Posted by aldctjoc theinitiativeinn

theinitiativeinn wrote:Thank you for the warnings!
To clarify, I'm coming from NY but staying in Carmel and doing Uber in and out each day.
So while my trip route brings me in from the East, my hotel is North of Indy which from a map seems to say that going I-65 South from Carmel is how to get to the ICC.
Right? lol

Oh, *TO* the ICC from your hotel. Got it. My fault. 

Man, I don't know which route an Uber drive would take. There are times when staying on Meridian would be best because it's nearly a straight shot, not turning at all until you're just a couple of blocks from the ICC. But there are others when traffic will make it take longer. During those times I-465 to I-65 to West Street would be faster. 

So in sum, it's sort of a traffic-dependent toss up. 

Posted by fethbone

Thanks for this. Usually it's a straight shot south from 131 for me, but I am doing a side-quest in Chicago before arriving, so I will be taking 65 down.

Posted by aldctjoc fethbone

fethbone wrote:Thanks for this. Usually it's a straight shot south from 131 for me, but I am doing a side-quest in Chicago before arriving, so I will be taking 65 down.

65 south from Chicago is something I've done countless times. Yeah, just take the MLK to West, and your next turn will be to the ICC. Easy. 

Have fun in Chicago! I so need to get back up there.

Posted by aldctjoc

Just re-drove this today from the northwest side (I happened to be up on West 38th street tonight). Got reminded of something:

IF you decide to take the Meridian St. exit instead of the MLK to West St., you will come to a stoplight. Do not turn right at that first light. That is not Meridian Street, it is Illinois. And it is one way in the wrong direction. 

So yeah, turning right on Illinois will get you downtown, but I don't think you'll like the experience. And you might even get arrested. :D

Anyway, just remember that when you exit I-65, you turn right at the second stoplight. Turn too soon, bad things happen.

Posted by fethbone

Thank you thank you thank you for this. It was a great tip!!!

Posted by aldctjoc

No problem! Glad to help. 

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