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Fort Wayne, Indiana

Local Details

Learn more about Fort Wayne, Indiana using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Fort Wayne, Indiana so great!

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City Guide

Fort Wayne is a city in the northeastern part of Indiana a state of the United States of America. It is 30 minutes from the western Ohio border and 70 minutes from the southern border of Michigan. The population is 248,341 (circa 2005) people.

If you are going to Fort Wayne, it's probably for a wedding, funeral or to visit someone who lives there. In short, it's not much of a tourist destination. The town actually has some interesting things that could be developed, but the city officials view much of the historic past as something to be ripped down to replace with "modern" buildings. There are still a number of historic buildings and houses throughout the area.

Get in

By plane

  • Fort Wayne International Airport. No joke; it's an "international" airport. There are no international passenger flights, but Kitty Hawk Aviation operates a cargo hub at FWA and they have a customs station. Theoretically, you could land here from another country and go through customs. The airport is outrageous for a city this size. The size is greater than many larger cities and there is federal funding to expand the size of the runways and add additional runways. It's served by commuter and regional jets from most of the major hubs in the country. The airport has free internet (wireless or in carrels upstairs on the secure side).

There is a cookie factory right across the street from the airport, and you can tell what they're baking that day by smell. Volunteers meet you when you arrive and give away free cookies as you come through security.

For flights to Chicago, expect to pack your hand luggage into a small cargo hull. Avoid packing anything fragile in your carry-ons. The smaller lines operate tiny planes in between FW and Chicago and there is little room for even ladies' purses.

By bus

  • Greyhound Interstate Bus Service - there is a downtown bus station (929 S LAFAYETTE ST Ft Wayne, IN 46802, Telephone Numbers

Main: (260) 423-9525). With reasonable bus service...as bus service goes.

Get around

There is a municipal bus system that can get you around called Citilink (http://www.fwcitilink.com). The system has limited routes and hours of operation.

All major Rental Car Companies have franchises are at the airport, but don't rent here. The airport branches are much more expensive. Call the Enterprise Car Rental location on the SW or NE side and have them pick you up. They have a weekend rate for $9.95 a day, from Friday morning through Monday morning. Reserve other rates online for the best rates.

If you get into the airport on a late flight, don't assume there will be taxis waiting. Call ahead and arrange one on A-1 taxi at 260-478-9910 or 800-871-0518.

See

  • The Lincoln Museum. This is located downtown and is the world's largest collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. It was endowed by the Lincoln Museum and is really first rate. Allow 90 minutes.
  • Allen County Public Library Genealogical Collection. It is the second largest in the U.S. behind the Church of Latter Day Saints. The library offers special classes and has librarians there to assist you in your search. One night a year, they keep the room open until midnight. It is usually around Halloween.

Outdoors and Landmarks

  • Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory 1100 S. Calhoun St. +1 260 427-6440. Three indoor gardens with over 500 species of plants and 72 different cacti. They even have a childrens area with human sized worm holes and a talking tree that is quite cute. $2-$4.
  • Fort Wayne Children's Zoo 3411 Sherman Blvd. +1 260 427-6800. Voted one of the best zoos for children by Child magazine. With over 1500 animals, from lemurs to dingo dogs, orangutans to tigers. Themed areas like the Indonesian Rainforest and the new African Journey. They also have a zoo train, carousel, canoe ride, and pony ride. Really nice zoo! $5-$8.

Fine Arts

  • Artlink 437 E. Berry Street. +1 260 424-7195. Non-for-profit art gallery that celebrates modern visual art from the region. They also offer classes and workshops.
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art 311 E. Main St. +1 260 422-6467. Focusing on American art, permanent pieces by William Forsyth, Janet Fish and more, and a collection of 56 Indiana Amish quilts. Furniture collection, modern and traditional art, Indiana artists, African American art, and more. $3-$10.
  • Kachmann Gallery. +1 260 424-3581. Kachmann Gallery is a unique experience and resource in downtown Fort Wayne. A celebration of life and wellness; fine and commercial art; communication and media, the gallery is a beautiful and innovative focal point for cultural enrichment, personal development, events and entrepreneurship. Gallery Hours Thursday - Saturday 12-4 or by appointment.

Do

  • Toast and Jam is a funky old Victorian coffeehouse on the East Side of downtown. On Fridays and Saturdays there is live acoustic music in a cool parlor venue/format. It's great if you're into acoustic music.
  • The Embassy Theater - An old movie palace that opened in 1928. It is a rare find. Most grand movie palaces like this have been torn down. Similar to the Fox Theaters I've seen in Atlanta and Detroit. In 1972, the Embassy Theater Foundation purchased the theater to save it from demolition and conversion into a parking lot. The theater was finally renovated in the early 90's for stage shows and returned to its original shine. It reopened in 1996 as a performing arts center and venue for travelling broadway shows. It has a huge balcony. The symphony performs here as do occasional travelling broadway shows and performers. Some of the acts are lame (Donny Osmond, Toni Tenille), but some are cool (Cosby, Seinfeld, and Willie Nelson have performed in the recent past). They also show classic movies on the big (I mean real big!) screen in the winter.
  • Architecture Tours- If you are into architecture, pick up the self-guided tour booklets at the downtown public library or look online and bring printouts of the tours. There was a rich culture in Fort Wayne until the 1950s when a number of major companies left the city or went bankrupt. The town was built on the junction of three rivers and has a French, English and American heritage. The Washbash and Erie Canal ran through the center of the downtown. FW has a number of mansions built for railroad and canal executives still standing. Some have been restored, but are not open to the general public.
  • Allen County Public Library- The ACPL has the second largest genealogical collection in the U.S. (second only to the Mormon Church Archives in Salt Lake City).

Sports

  • Fort Wayne Komets. Fort Wayne's minor league hockey team that plays in the United Hockey League. Founded in 1952, the Komets have won five league championships and have played every home game at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
  • Fort Wayne Wizards 1616 E. Coliseum Blvd. +1 260 482-6400. The city's class-A professional baseball team. Tickets are cheap and games are fun. The best night to go is "dollar night" when hot dogs, soda and BEER (yes beer) is a mere $1 each. $6.50-$9.
  • Ft. Wayne Fusion. The Summit City's professional af2 team. Formerly the Fort Wayne Freedom, the Fusion have been in Fort Wayne since 2005.

Buy

If you like chocolate, there is a great store in the airport called Debrand's (on the non-secure side, across from security) that sells some of the best chocolate you will taste anywhere. It is made in Fort Wayne. They supply the TV show "The Apprentice" with the gold coin chocolates in the executive suite. The chocolate ain't cheap, but splurge and buy a couple of pieces - you will not regret it!

Fort Wayne has great shopping for a mid-sized Midwestern city. Visit Jefferson Pointe on the southwest end of town for the up-scale department store Von Maur, a DeBrand chocolate shop, Barnes & Noble bookstore, Rave movie theater, restaurants (including the excellent Eddie Merlot's and popular Biaggi's) and mall stores (Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works). What makes it fun, especially in warm weather, are its wide concourses for strolling and window shopping, with beautiful garden areas, potted plants, and fountains. Live music on Friday nights during the summer is especially fun. Look online for a listing of summer music acts.

Glenbrook Square Mall, located on the north end of the city, is a legacy-type enclosed mall. It is always busy, has many stores, three big department anchors, and a really nice food court.

Drink

  • Club Soda - Like Ruth's Chris - only much hipper in an authentic 125 year old building. Live Jazz. Very cool.
  • Columbia Street West - Downtown. Good live rock and ok food.
  • Dash-In - Downtown on Calhoun is a cool coffee house in a 100+ year old building that also serves great lunches at a reasonable price. Good soups. They also sell beer by the bottle. The walls are lined by local artists' work that are also for sale.
  • Old Crown Coffee Roasters - Near IPFW on North Anthony (3410) - It's the best coffee in Northeast Indiana. Fresh roasted beans every day with an emphasis on high quality. If you want great coffee, from India to Colombia, this is the place to go.

Eat

  • Coney Island - A weiner stand that likes their buns steamed since 1924. Huge during the Three Rivers Festival and the Lighting of the Santa Claus the night before Thanksgiving.
  • Paula's on West Main - Great seafood and a very cool music bar called the Mangy Moose. It's in an old house. Very cool. Not cheap, but the food is great.
  • Munchie's Emporium- several locations- Munchie's is an old staple in Fort Wayne. The original is located downtown on the corner of Broadway and Taylor. This particular location is the most nostalgic, decorated with political paraphernalia dating back to the early 1930s. Munchie's has a very eclectic menu, ranging from their plethora of delicious sandwiches to salmon to homemade pizza. Their beer list is one of the best in Fort Wayne- also serving Fort Wayne's Mad Anthony's Beer. It is fairly cheap and always a good meal!
  • Ziffle's Rib Bar - a rib joint located in Georgetown Square.
  • Cindy's Diner - Downtown - Cindy's is a traditional 1950's-style diner loaded with charm. It's one of those stainless steel prefab buildings that used to be all over but disappeared with the onslaught of the chains. Those in the mood for breakfast can find it here anytime of the day. It seat about 15 people. You sit at the counter and chew the fat with the staff. They have those little juke boxes every few seats with old 50's and 60's hits. They make their own donuts with an antique donut machine that came from old downtown Murphy's store. 830 S. Harrison Street. Cheap and a great value for breakfast or lunch.
  • Power's Hamburgers - South Downtown - 1402 S. Harrison across from Lincoln Green. This place was built in the 1940 and hasn't changed. It is the prototype for White Castle but the burgers are bigger and everything is fresh. The chili is also great. A picture of it is at http://www.hollyeats.com/Powers.htm. Real cheap and real fun!
  • The Oyster Bar - South Downtown - 1830 South Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802-5258 ph: 219.744.9490. There are two Oyster Bars in Fort Wayne. The original Oyster Bar downtown used to be a honest to goodness speakeasy, tradition has it that soda was served in front and cards & booze were the staple of the back room during prohibition. The original OB is in just south of downtown in a 100+ year old brick building. You almost sit in the kitchen and have to walk through the kitchen to reach part of the seating. Small and very cool. You can see your dinner made and talk to the cooks. The food is really good too. You might think, Oyster Bar = Sea Food in Fort Wayne, Indiana = Huh? But this is the age of flash frozen Sashimi grade tuna air Fedexed via 747-400's. Ergo, the fish you eat in Chicago is the same stuff. In the summer you can eat outside. The other Oyster Bar is in a strip mall up north in suburbia on Dupont. This is where they used to have a microbrewery. It won both national and state awards- the most of any Indiana brewery in 2003. The owners decided that a banquet room could better serve the customer base (the old downtown operation is so out of code that they can't upgrade it without destroying it so it is what it is). The food is good up there too, but there is a certain J'en es'esque ce quai in the old downtown operation. Steve Gard is the owner of both and a cool dude. Foodie to the max.
  • Higher Grounds Coffee House - Downtown (Corner of Calhoun and Wayne St.), Many other locations Phone: 485-0100.

The original and best coffee shop in town.

Sleep

  • Hilton Downtown
  • Comfort Suites Ft. Wayne Hotel, 5775 Coventry Lane, (260) 436-4300, Located at the intersection of I-69 and US 24, exit 102 in the Village of Coventry - within walking distance of many shops and restaurants.
  • Comfort Suites North Fort Wayne Hotel; 3302 E. Dupont Rd; (260) 480-7030.
  • Econo Lodge Fort Wayne Hotel; 2908 Goshen Rd; (260) 484-6262.
  • Quality Inn Fort Wayne Hotel, 3330 W. Coliseum Blvd, (260) 484-7711,
  • Sleep Inn Ft. Wayne Hotel, 2881 East DuPont Rd, (260) 490-8989. 5 miles from the Ft. Wayne Coliseum, Spiece Fieldhouse, the combined Ft. Wayne campuses of Indiana University Purdue University, and 8 miles from downtown Ft. Wayne.
  • America's Best Inn, 3017 W. Coliseum Blvd., +1 260 483-0091, Fax: +1 260 483-1591.
  • Best Western Luxbury Inn-Fort Wayne, 5501 Coventry Ln, +1 260 436-0242, Toll-free: +1 800 223-5615, Fax: +1 260 436-2256.
  • Candlewood Suites, 5251 Distribution Drive, +1 260 484-1400.
  • Courtyard Fort Wayne, 1619 W Washington Center Road, +1 260 489-1500, Fax: +1 260 489-3273.
  • Fort Wayne Marriott, 305 E Washington Ctr Road, +1 260 484-0411, Fax: +1 260 483-2892.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 5915 Ellison Rd, +1 260 459-1888.
  • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 300 E Washington Blvd, +1 260 422-5511.
  • Residence Inn Fort Wayne, 4919 Lima Road, +1 260 484-4700, Fax: +1 260 484-9772.
  • Residence Inn Fort Wayne Southwest, 7811 West Jefferson Boulevard, +1 260 432-8000, Fax: +1 260 432-8407.
  • AmeriSuites Fort Wayne;111 W. Washington Center Road ; (260) 471-8522. Less than one mile from Interstate 69 in northeastern Fort Wayne.

Cope

  • YMCA Downtown - If you are a member of a YMCA anyhere you can work out here. Also, if you stay at the downtown Holiday Inn or Hilton, you can work out here (both are are a short walk). They have 4 fullcourt basketball courts, and indoor track (1/8 mile), 5 racquetball courts, an aerobic room, a machine area (new Cybex machines) and a serious free weight room in the basement. They also have "Health Clubs for members of Y's that have that option that includes sauna, steam, whirlpool and a TV lounge.
  • Workout Room Yoga Studio -

Honor your mind body and spirit at Fort Wayne's premier yoga studio. Offering Yoga, Pilates, Personal Training, Nutrition, Thai Yoga Massage and Corporate Wellness Programs. Located in Downtown Fort Wayne on the corner of Lafayette and Douglas. Tour studio, meet the instructors and learn about daily classes at http://www.workoutroom.net/ or call 260-420-9642. Drop in's welcome!

Get out

  • Black Pine Animal Park - An exotic animal sanctuary located about 35 minutes north of Fort Wayne in Albion. Albion's a quaint small town with a beautiful courthouse. Black Pine is 1.5 west of town on Main Street (1426 W. 300 N.), and is home to lions, bears, chimps, tigers and other exotic animals. All their keep are rescued pets or retired performers, and their volunteer staff loves to show you around, are very friendly, and very knowledgeable. If you love animals, this is the place to see them really up close. Not great for little kids, but great for older kids and adults.

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