As an incoming senior, I am not proud to say that I have fallen into the overwhelming majority of students that avoid venturing off Butler’s campus on the weekends. Broad Ripple aside, I can’t claim to have truly embraced Indianapolis for the fascinating city that it is. Last Saturday, four friends and I made the whopping 10-minute trip downtown. No schedules or itineraries – we decided to see where the day would take us.

Our afternoon began at White River State Park. We missed the Pacers Bikeshare station closest to the parking garage and ended up taking a long stroll up the canal. I’d like to point out that if you are a Butler student and you think you’ve seen the canal – you’re wrong. We found ourselves surrounded by charming apartments and little restaurants, watching families and couples pass by on their paddleboats.

Eventually we grabbed our bikes – a painless, simple process I might add, and set out on the Indianapolis Cultural Trial. The trail took us further south into the Mass Ave district. My friends enjoyed following the pathway, admiring the fun art, restaurants and social scene. We ended up taking a break on Washington Street and walked up to Monument Circle.

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Kendall Mason, second from left, and Butler friends explore Downtown.

It was here that we stopped at the South Bend Chocolate Café. I was immediately astounded that a chocolate fanatic like myself had never darkened this doorway. They even had my favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate cherry, which I ordered in a dipped waffle cone. Little fun fact – they add one of their famous malted milk balls to the bottom of the cone! I would highly recommend this place to anyone with a sweet tooth.

The trail then took us to Fountain Square where we parked our bikes again for more exploring. Our first stop was Thunderbird. Having just opened, the bartender was ready and willing to get some drinks started for us. He surprised us with six fun cocktails that ranged from a crisp mojito to a vodka-herbal tea mixed drink! I wish I could recommend a name – but I don’t even think these were on the menu.  We felt pretty special.

We then walked straight to dinner at La Margarita – across Prospect Street just a short walk up Virginia Avenue. Of course numerous House Margaritas were ordered along with a few taco salads. I ordered a popular dish called Chipotle, which was grilled chicken in a spicy cream sauce. It was phenomenal accompanied by guacamole, Mexican veggies, beans and rice.

The ride back to White River was lengthy but relaxing. Though we probably ate way too much food and pushed our tiny college budgets to the extreme, it was a day that none of us will forget! The weekend showed us that we not only have a beautiful campus to call home, but also a marvelous city with so much to offer.

Blog by Guest Contributor: Kendall Mason