Road Trips

Indiana to New York City Road Trip Itinerary

Written by Town & Tourist

Indiana is known as “the Hoosier State” or the “Cross roads of America“, it is located in the Great Lakes region of Midwestern North America.

An interesting state with many interesting quirks & fun facts!

Fun Facts about Indiana?

  • Michael Jackson, James Dean and even David Lettermen were all born in Indianapolis. 
  • Indiana has produced more NBA players per capita than all the other states in the country!
  • The first ever long-distance auto race in the U. S. was held May 30, 1911, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Indiana is one of the biggest producers of Ice Cream in the USA, and produces 87 million gallons of Ice Cream per year in its nineteen factories.
  • Indiana is known for its local foods including sugar cream pie, persimmon pudding, pork tenderloin sandwiches,

With all those interesting facts and many more! Its an ideal place to start on a Midwestern road trip to New York City!

New York City Is vibrant, bustling city, a true melting pot for culture! After exploring its sights & attractions its the perfect end location after an epic road trip.

So start your engines, roll down the windows and lets hit the road!  

How long will a road trip take between Indiana & New York?

Driving directly between New York & Indiana will take you approximately 11.5 hours and you will cover 738 miles via I-80W.

How long a road trip will take depends upon, how many stop offs you take en-route and the number of miles you cover per day!

For example, averaged approximately 100 miles per day it will take you 7.38 days to arrive in Indiana.

We averaged 200 miles per day and thus did the road trip in 3.5 days. (Always give yourself longer in case you wish to stop at more places, stay longer at places you like or just hit bad weather or traffic!

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Monument Circle.

Which is the best driving route?

I have outlined two routes which we did, you can take both if you do a round trip!

Scenic Route 1: Indianapolis to NYC via Niagara Falls, Fingers Lakes & Cooperstown! 

This is my favorite route, its a scenic showcase of mother nature and rolled in with the quaintness of cooperstown & Ostego county.

The only negative is this route is longer then driving direct, but its so worth it!

City Route 2: Indianapolis to NYC via Philadelphia,  Baltimore & Washington D.C 

This route offers more city stops enroute which is great for those who love the urban jungle, still not direct although it is faster then route 1. Minus the traffic in & around the major cities!

philadelphia-road trip

philadelphia-road trip

Direct Route 3: Indianapolis to NYC

If you just wish to “get there” then take this route, places you can stop include Harrisburg, NY and Columbus,Ohio as you get closer to Indiana.

Tip: After the road trip you can carry on till Chicago, Detroit or Louisville, See: New York City to Chicago Road Trip: Itinerary/Map

Road Trip Map (Indiana to New York):

Dive into our Interactive Map below!

User guide: Use the +/- buttons to zoom in and out of the attractions.

Top Tip: Many visitors choose to share the post on Facebook to inspire friends and help plan their road trip.

Hit the link below to share!

Road Trip Itinerary (Indiana to New York): 

Scenic Route 1: Indianapolis to NYC via Niagara Falls, Finger Lakes

  1. Indianapolis, IN
  2. Columbus, OH
  3. Cleveland, OH – Optional
  4. Buffalo, NY
  5. Niagara Falls, NY
  6. Niagara Falls, ON, CA  – The better side of Niagara!
  7. Finger Lakes, NY 
  8. Cooperstown, NY 
  9. New York City
Buffalo New York train journey

Buffalo New York train journey

City Route 2: Indianapolis to NYC via Philadelphia & Washington D.C

  1. Indianapolis, IN
  2. Columbus, OH
  3. Washington D.C
  4. Philadelphia, PN
  5. Baltimore
  6. New York City
Blossom Kite festival Washington D.C

Blossom Kite festival Washington D.C

For more info see: 20 Best Kite Festivals in America: State by State Guide.

Road Trip Highlights – Indiana to New York:

A. Indianapolis 

Indianapolis, is home to everything from sliced bread to one of the largest sporting events in the world.

Things to do in Indianapolis:

1. White River State Park

White River State Park is spread over 250 acres on the western edge of the downtown area at 801 West Washington Street. The White river is 500 feet deep and is a popular attraction along with many activities going on in the area.

2. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, classic racing events which have inspired generations. If your a petrol head you should try the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program which gives each visitor the chance to learn what it is like to drive a real NTT IndyCar Series car which has competed in the famed Indianapolis 500.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Source: www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

4. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest children’s museum!

 This is a great place for the family, the Museum offers plenty of interactive exhibits for kids (and adults). In addition to a Q&A with real life scientists.

Where to Eat?

Bluebeard is a Trendy New American kitchen which serves sharing plates & craft cocktails in a renovated 1924 warehouse. If you want upscale comfort foods and fresh local ingredients you should definitely drop by here.

Address: 653 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203, United States

Ali’i Poke – Downtown Indy, brings Hawaii to Indianapolis here you will find Hawaiian poke rice bowls with a variety of toppings to eat in or take away.

Address: 910 W 10th St #4, Indianapolis, IN 46202, United States

Where to Stay?

For a great selection of our recommended Hotels in Indianapolis, follow the link HERE

B. Niagara Falls – New York

Niagara Falls, is a raging wonder of the world! A must visit on any road trip in New York state.

Fun facts about Niagara Falls:

  • Niagara Falls is over 15,000 years old, formed just the last Ice age
  • 600,000 U.S. gallons / 2,271,247 litres per second flow over Horse shoe falls.
  • The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher.
  • 30 Million Visitors come to Niagara falls each Year
  • 20% of the worlds freshwater lies in the Great Lakes and most flows over Niagara Falls.
  •  In 2012 Nik Wallenda was the first person to cross the Niagara Falls by tightrope in 116 years. (He even had to present his passport at the border despite being on a tightrope!) 
Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls. Source: www.niagarafallstourism.com/

Insider Tip:

Be sure to visit the Largest Fall (Horse shoe falls) which is on the Canadian side! It is 176 feet / 53.6 meters high.

C. Finger Lakes

Take the short drive to the Finger Lakes Regions where I suggest you spend a few days.

Fun Fact: The name “Finger Lakes” comes from the finger shape of two lakes Seneca and Cayuga, which are some of the deepest in the US.

Finger Lakes New York

Finger Lakes New York

The area is also famed for its wine vineyards, with over 100 in the area! You will also find boat cruises, farmers markets and a variety of Museums.

If you need some driving inspiration head to Watkins Glen International racing circuit

D. Coopers town (Otsego County)

Cooperstown in Ostego County is a quaint village area which packs a big punch in New York state. Baseball fans will know the town as home of National Baseball Hall of Fame which celebrates the legendary players & managers from yesteryear.

National Baseball hall of fame

National Baseball hall of fame is a great place for families! Source: Thisiscooperstown.com

Many choose to head down to Doubleday Field, to watch a ball game!  Head along the charming main street to find plenty of quaint shops & great restaurants.

If your into some culture why not check out the world renowned Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. 

E. New York City

Welcome to the big apple, due to the size of New York you should really spend at least 3-5 days here to experience the city!

Things to do in New York City?

  • Walk over Brooklyn Bridge
  • Check out Times Square – Free Activity!
  • Visit Ground Zero – 911 Museum 
  • Visit Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • View the city from atop the Empire State Building
  • Check out Central Park – Look for the area where John Lennon’s ashes were scattered. 
brooklyn-bridge-1791001_640

brooklyn-bridge-

Rooftop Cocktails at Pod 39 – Empire State Alternative! 

Wrap up your day with some rooftop cocktails at Pod39, this terrace offers tasty tacos and breath taking views over New York city.

Address145 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016, United States

Pod39 rooftop Bar

Pod39 rooftop Bar. Source: The rooftopguide.com

Chinatown & Little Italy – Is it worth it?

Chinatown and Little Italy are worth a visit for entertainment value, but to to be honest you will get better food in Queens (Flushing area) or

Bronx (Arthur Avenue for Italian dishes!) – New Yorker Tip! 

Sunnyside, Queens National Millennium route. Line 7.

Sunnyside, Queens A great stop on the National Millennium route. Line 7.

Should you book a tour in New York City?

This all depends upon personal preference but if you wish to experience all the major sites & attractions in one go its a great idea!

It can also work out cheaper with many tours including admission fees and local “New Yorker” knowledge.

For a list of my favorite tours in New York City, Follow the link HERE

Where to Stay?

For a great selection of our recommended Hotels & a comparison of the best prices in NYC, follow the link HERE

5 Essential Road Trip Tips:

(You HAVE to know before planning!)

5. Book Your Hotels in Advance!

To avoid having to drive around looking for hotels when your tired (My wife hates this!)

& to get the best prices, Check out our: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Jefferson Hotel Richmond Virginia

Jefferson Hotel Richmond Virginia

4. Get the Best deal on Car Rental 

For some vital tips to know before renting a car & to get the best deals check out, Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

car rental travel hacks

car rental travel hacks

3. Need an RV?

If you fancy an RV adventure, you have to check RV Share

It’s an RV share platform, like airbnb where you can rent someones RV at a fraction of cost compared to normal!

RV motoring show, Auto show USA

Bring your RV to Tiden Park.

2. Bring a Great Travel Camera!

Want to capture those vacation memories? For friends, Facebook or even Instagram!

A phone just doesn’t compare with a high quality travel camera, they are well worth the investment!

Check out our Recommended Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

1. Need Help Planning!?

Do you find planning a trip time consuming and stressful?

An organised tour or vacation could be a great option for you!

They organize Flights, Hotels, Car Rental, Activities and much more!

With expert local travel knowledge & bespoke vacation planning you can’t go wrong.

Check out our reviews here: Which are the Best travel Tours?

Orlando Tours

Orlando Tours

About the author

Town & Tourist

Town & Tourist is a Travel Blogging community dedicated to providing Inspiring, Informative and INDEPENDENT Travel Guides!

We specialize in Travel Guides for the USA, Asia & South America.
We also offer a range of unique travel budget calculators & tips for Europe!

Click "Contribute!"on the top toolbar to find out how YOU can join our travel community!
Click "about us" for further info & advertising enquiries.