Downtown's Old Northside Historic District is the kind of place you'd love to call home—even for a few days. Located about a (walkable) mile north of Monument Circle, it has long been established as one of the city's in-demand addresses (President Benjamin Harrison lived here before and after residing in the White House). Amid the rows of Victorian mansions, several B&Bs are located within blocks of each other.
Past the green exterior and stained-glass windows, Stone Soup Inn's four traditional rooms feature Mission-style furnishings, antiques and surprising pops of color, like the brightly painted ceiling in the Victorian room. Four spacious third-floor lofts include a tranquil blue-and-white room and a French-inspired chamber, and the carriage house-turned-modern-apartment grants visitors a rare vacation convenience: laundry facilities.
The Looking Glass Inn features a 900-square-foot suite and five bedrooms—most named for their rich color schemes and decorated with Willow china and 19th-century portraits.
Known for luxury, the Villa Inn has it all under one roof—a top restaurant, a spa and cozy rooms (add-on turndown packages range from $20 to $192 and include cheese and champagne). Modeled after a Florentine villa, the opulent building stops traffic with stone trim, trefoil window details and a rooftop terrace. Four of the six bedrooms take on unique identities with Mediterranean, tropical, Japanese or Art Deco decor.
The DeWolf-Allerdice House is also located in the Old Northside. The picturesque Italianate inn has been restored to its 1871 splendor, down to the curved wooden staircase. Guests here are swayed into spending most of their time outdoors: The relaxing veranda and immaculate backyard garden and greenspace are as inviting as the true-to-era rooms (each with a clawfoot tub), which are named for the home's original owners.
Nearby, guests at the Yellow Rose Inn, a meticulously restored Georgian Revival mansion, can take in the downtown skyline from the rooftop deck accessible from all four suites. Each boasts architectural interest, whether it's the Oak Room's Queen Anne fireplace mantle, porcelain sinks salvaged from a Meridian Street mansion and museum-quality gas chandeliers, or the 1873 Brunswick Monarch pool table in the 1,800-square-foot Ballroom Suite.
The Old Northside Bed & Breakfast Inn also looks younger than its 125 years, thanks to gleaming maple-slat flooring, hand-carved mahogany and cherry woodwork and the parlor's restored sculptured ceiling. The inn's rooms are a mix of authentic Romanesque Revival architecture—the Tiffany Room has an impressive stained-glass window—and fun, like the photo-filled walls of the Hollywood Room.
You can also enjoy the personal treatment while staying in the heart of downtown's action. Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast, a five-bedroom Victorian, is less than a mile from Monument Circle and just a block from the Mass Ave arts and entertainment district.
About a mile southeast of downtown, Fountainview Inn is located on the third floor of the historic Fountain Square Theatre Building, which also houses two duckpin bowling alleys, two restaurants and Friday-night swing-dance lessons. The inn's eight studio and one-bedroom suites are bright and airy, with hardwood floors, contemporary-classic furnishings, too cute kitchenettes and tiled bathrooms.
Guests are likely to encounter international travelers at All Nations Bed and Breakfast, a four-suite 1910 Victorian close to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Outside the metro area, enjoy a quiet weekend getaway in Zionsville at The Evergreen Cottage—a recent construction that feels like it's been around for years—or a day at the track capped by a stay at Brownsburg's Old MG Bed & Breakfast. A haven for car lovers, it's close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and boasts a collection of restored MG sports cars in the driveway and racing memorabilia on the walls.