City Lights

One of the city’s best sights is its own skyline. Best seen as dusk rolls in, here are some of the best places around town to get the most spectacular views.

Rooftop Garden
Fountain Square is the coolest neighborhood in Indy, so it makes sense that it is also home to the city’s coolest rooftop bar, an open-air perch atop the historic Fountain Square Theatre Building in the shadow of the structure’s vintage Coca-Cola billboard. Take the elevator all the way up for spectacular views of downtown’s distant towers. 1105 Prospect St., 317-686-6010

JW Marriott
If your out-of-town visitors want a gorgeous view of the city, tell them to book an odd-numbered room on the upper floors of this hotel. If that’s not doable, guests can check out the executive lounge on the 31st floor, where drinks and hors d’oeuvres are served 5–10 p.m. Just keep in mind that the JW is a business hotel, with overhead lights that require sticking your face up to the glass to avoid the glare. 10 S. West St., 317-860-5800

Photo courtesy Bryan Plata

Highland Park
The park on this hilly patch of the Holy Cross neighborhood closes at 8 p.m., which means enjoying nighttime views of the city from one of its grassy rises is technically illegal. Hence we are definitely not telling you that sitting on a blanket enjoying some chilled wine (again, not allowed in a city park) while watching the city lights is, err … or rather would be, a very romantic way to while away an evening. 1100 E. New York St.

Victory Field
You’re sitting on the third base side of the diamond, surrounded by 3,000 conversations occasionally punctuated by the pop of a 98-mph fastball hitting the catcher’s glove and the crack of solid ash absolutely demolishing a sphere of leather, lace, and rubber. The crowd cheers when the ball rockets toward left-center field. Just beyond that, the city twinkles with offices still lit up while stressed-out workers finish their TPS reports before the fiscal quarter’s end. You can’t help but wonder if some of the excitement in the stands has to do with that spectacular view from the Vic. Throw in some Friday Fireworks for added ooohs and aaaahs. 501 W. Maryland St., 317-269-3545

Indiana State Museum’s Canal Entrance
You can walk the length of White River State Park and stare at the city lights the whole way, but the lower-level waterside entrance to this landmark has its own special glow. Buildings reflect off the dark canal water as the Medal of Honor Memorial gives off a peaceful radiance. Though the setting is breathtaking, you might want to just sit and blissfully take in the serenity of it all. 650 W. Washington St., 317-232-1637

Photo courtesy Stacey Able

Tinker House
This eastside structure has all the trappings of an event space that came of age during the recent industrial-chic era. Its exposed brick walls and original wood floors provide a sweetly scruffy backdrop for special events. If you attend one, step onto the second-story balcony for some fresh air and one of the most interesting perspectives of downtown Indy peeking over the highway. 1101 E. 16th St.

Eagle’s Nest
In the 1970s, rotating rooftop restaurants were the best way to see any U.S. city’s lights at night, but these days, the once-trendy venues are rare. This fine dining spot (and slightly more casual bar) offers an unobstructed view out its 360-degree set of windows. 1 S. Capitol Ave., 317-616-6170

Photography by Tony Valainis/Indianapolis Monthly

Cannon Ball Lounge
High atop downtown’s new Hotel Indy, Cannon Ball Lounge is named after the legendary racer Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker. The decor has a slight Art Deco feel with a classy but casual ambiance. Sipping a craft cocktail, you can look over the railing and see Washington Street stretching out forever—or at least to Irvington—making it a great spot for an evening nightcap. 141 E. Washington St., 317-735-2592

Irsay YMCA
Members know that what is arguably the city’s glitziest gym also offers a nifty display of the near south side. Hop on a treadmill or stationary bike to enjoy a view that stretches across the Eli Lilly campus to Fletcher Place. 403 S. Alabama St., 317-955-9622

Skyline Club
Think of the members-only policy as a mere hiccup in scoring a ground-zero view of Indy’s urban sightlines from the OneAmerica Tower. Stationed 36 floors above the downtown streets, the Skyline Club delivers on its name, towering over the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, sharing airspace with the Salesforce Tower, and offering an unobstructed view of the city’s far-off horizon line. 1 American Square, 317-263-5000