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. With a population of around 260,000 in the city and 615,000 in the metropolitan area, it's Indiana's second largest city.
Fort Wayne is a metropolitan city with a small community feel. It provides the rush of urban activity while never losing an intimate personal connection with those who live or visit here. Fort Wayne is the second largest city in the state of Indiana, located in Allen County, the largest county in the state by geography. It is the regional commerce and industry center for Northeast Indiana and also impacts the economies of Southwestern Michigan and Western Ohio. Fort Wayne has been and is a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and high tech industries.
The city has many historical buildings that usually offer regular tours. The city itself has a long history going back to the 1700s, but has lately succumbed to the urban sprawl so widespread in the Midwest. It is nicknamed the "Summit City" because, even though the surrounding area seems completely flat, it is on the high point of the old Wabash-Erie canal.
- 1 Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA IATA). Recommended to passengers looking for the convenient and friendly way to travel. Recognized as "the nation's friendliest airport" by USA Today. FWA's airlines offer daily direct flights to/from Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, and Dallas-Fort Worth. With free wireless internet throughout the terminal, ample parking, short security lines and access to hundreds of destinations worldwide.
Fort Wayne International Airport operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.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. It is recommended that you 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.
There is a shuttle bus service between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne run by Hoosier Shuttle.
- Interstates 69 makes Fort Wayne easily accessible by car from the north and south. It connects to Indianapolis, in the south and Lansing, to the north.
- I-469 is an southern and eastern interstate by-pass of Fort Wayne that connects with I-69 at both ends.
- U.S. 24 is an important expressway and connects to Toledo, Ohio in the northeast and Lafayette, Indiana, to the southwest.
- U.S. 27 is an important highway, providing access primarily from places to the south and is the main north-south highway through downtown.
- U.S. 30 is an important expressway, providing access primarily from places to the west and east. It connects to Lima, Ohio in the east and Valparaiso, to the west.
- U.S. 33 is an important highway, providing access primarily from places to the northwest and south. It connects to Columbus, Ohio in the south and Goshen and Elkhart, to the northwest.
Fort Wayne is not directly served by passenger rail, but Amtrak has several daily services to nearby Waterloo, half an hour north of Fort Wayne. Be prepared to phone for a cab or have someone meet you because transportation from the station to the city is limited. The station is served by Capitol Limited between Washington D.C. and Chicago as well at the Lare Shore Limited between New York, Boston and Chicago.
There is a municipal bus system that can get you around called Citilink. The system has limited routes and hours of operation.
To get into downtown US 27 would be the main route from north or south and Jefferson Boulevard from the west. From the east the route to downtown Fort Wayne Washington Boulevard and would pass through New Haven. 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.
Museums and History
- Allen County Public Library Genealogical Collection. It is the largest public genealogical collection in the United States. 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.
- 1 The Fort Wayne History Center, 302 E Berry St, ☏ . Is a museum with many interesting displays about the area, from the days before Europeans came, to modern times. Even the castle-like building is worth a careful look. Among the stories to be read there are the afternoon that hi fidelity sound (from separating the frequencies and routing them through different speakers) was invented at the local Magnavox plant. They had settled on the term "tweeter" for the small speaker, but rejected a number of other suggestions before settling on "woofer" for the big ones.
- 2 Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum (Engine House No. 3), 226 W Washington Blvd, ☏ .
Outdoors and Landmarks
- 3 Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St, ☏ . Three indoor gardens with over 500 species of plants and 72 different cacti. They even have a children's area with human sized worm holes and a talking tree that is quite cute. $2-$4.
- 4 Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd, ☏ . Voted one of the top ten 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 sky ride, zoo train, carousel, canoe ride, and pony ride. Really nice zoo! $10-$14.
- 5 Johnny Appleseed Park, 1500 E Coliseum Blvd, ☏ . Great public park along the St Joseph River. It is also the location of John Appleseed Chapman's grave. A marker and memorial exist to make finding it easy. Free
- 6 , 300 E Main S, ☏ . Non-profit art gallery that celebrates modern visual art from the region. They also offer classes and workshops.
- 7 Fort Wayne Museum of Art, 311 E. Main St, ☏ . 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.
- 1 Sky Zone Fort Wayne. Located in Fort Wayne.
- 2 The Embassy Theater, 125 W Jefferson Blvd, ☏ . An old movie palace that opened in 1928. It is a rare find, most grand movie palaces like this have been torn down. The theater was finally renovated and returned to its original shine in the early 80s and reopened as a performing arts venue. It has a huge balcony. The symphony performs here as do occasional travelling Broadway shows and performers. There is a large variety of acts that perform, ranging from ZZ Top to Jerry Seinfeld. They also show classic movies on the 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 Wabash 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. Stroll along Forest Park Boulevard or take a drive down Old Mill Road if you'd like to see these mansions from the outside.
- 3 Science Central, 1950 N Clinton S (Drive north from downtown on Clinton S, or take bus 8), ☏ . A few minutes' drive north of downtown is Science Central, a hands-on science museum particularly well suited for children. There are many mechanical, optical, and industrial exhibits to explore, including a more-or-less working grain elevator inside.
- Fort Wayne Komets. Fort Wayne's minor league hockey team that plays in the International 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 TinCaps, ☏ . Play at the Parkview Field located downtown. Seats over 8,000 and provides a "big city" feel. The Tincaps are the Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. 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 per cup. $6.50-9.
- 4 Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave. The Summit City's NBA G League team, owned by the Indiana Pacers; the name recognizes the general and statesman Fort Wayne was named after, General "Mad" 'Ant'hony Wayne.
- 5 Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, Hilliard Gates Sports Center, ☏ . Sports teams of Purdue University Fort Wayne, created in July 2018 when the Indiana University and Purdue University systems dissolved their joint Fort Wayne campus. The teams had represented the joint campus, but now represent only the Purdue portion. The Mastodons play NCAA Division I sports in the Horizon League; they don't have a football team (and only two of their conference mates even have football teams). The central ticket office for all Mastodons sports is at the Gates Sports Center, home to basketball and volleyball for both men and women. The men's basketball team occasionally plays at the much larger Memorial Coliseum.
Fort Wayne has great shopping. 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 at 4201 Coldwater Rd, is a legacy-type enclosed mall. It is always busy, has many stores, three big department anchors, and a really nice food court.
- 1 Asakusa Japanese Restaurant, 6224 Lima Rd, ☏ . A little bit expensive, however the sushi is great. Better sushi than you would expect to find in the Midwest.
- 2 Buffalo Wings & Ribs, 4636 Coldwater Rd, ☏ . A favorite wing restaurant among the locals since the '80s. As the name implies, the specialties are buffalo wings (available in 16 signature sauces) and baby back ribs. Also serves French fries, poppers, chicken sandwiches, pitas, wraps, burgers, and other American classics. A popular hang-out among area high schoolers (especially athletes) and for families. Dine-in and take-out.
- 3 Casa! Ristorante, 7545 W. Jefferson Blvd, ☏ . Many locals laude this Italian restaurant's signature salad as the best salad in Fort Wayne. Menu includes veal marsala, quattro formaggio pasta, lasange, Chef's salad with Genoan salami and parm, tilapia and other fish, pizza, and a host of other Italian favorites. Full bar. Reservations are recommended, as the place can get pretty busy. A three-course meal here will cost around $30 per person.
- 4 Cindy's Diner, 230 W Berry St, ☏ . Cindy's is a traditional 1950s-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 any time 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 50s and 60s 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. Closed in evenings.
- 5 Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island. A wiener 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.
- 6 Don Hall's Prime Rib Restaurant, 2005 East State Blvd (Just across the street from Parkview Hospital), ☏ . A family-friendly place to dine out!
- 7 Don Hall's Old Gas House Restaurant, 305 E Superior Street, ☏ .
- 8 The Italian Connection, 2725 Taylor St (West Side), ☏ . This is one of the best kept secrets in Fort Wayne, most of the locals don't even know about it. It is a quaint Italian restaurant located in a small two story house. There is a large factory across the street, and a plain looking neighborhood surrounding. If it weren't for the small neon sign in the window you'd never look twice. It seats less than 50 and I've never seen more than three employees working: a host, a server, and the cook. The food is simple home-cooked Italian, and it's definitely worth the trip. Be sure to call ahead to make sure they're open.
- 9 The Lucky Moose, 622 E Dupont Rd (North Side - Near Coldwater Rd), ☏ . Formerly Munchies at Dupont Crossing - It's fairly cheap.
- 10 Mad Anthony Brewing Company, 2002 Broadway, ☏ . MABC 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. They have a very eclectic menu, ranging from their plethora of delicious sandwiches to salmon to homemade pizza. Their beer, made on location, is some of the best in Fort Wayne. Their beer is also sold at several other locations, including Parkview Field and in bottles at local stores. It is fairly cheap and always a good meal!
- 11 The Oyster Bar, 1830 South Calhoun Street (South Downtown), ☏ . There are two Oyster Bars in Fort Wayne. The original Oyster Bar downtown used to be an 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 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 747-400s. Ergo, the fish you eat in Chicago is the same stuff. In the summer you can eat outside. The north-side Oyster Bar is now closed. Steve Gard is the owner of both and a cool dude. Foodie to the max.
- 12 Paula's On Main, 1732 W Main St, ☏ . 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.
- 13 Power's Hamburgers, 1402 S. Harrison St (South Downtown, 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. Real cheap and real fun!
- 14 Sakura Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, 5828 West Jefferson Boulevard (In Time Corners Shopping Center), ☏ . Serving fresh sushi and sashimi. Also available are various bento, tempura, meat dishes and more, along with a Japanese beer and sake selection. Be sure to check out the lunch specials! A bar and tatami room are also available.
- 15 Ziffle's Rib Bar, 6340 E State Blvd (Northeast Side), ☏ . A fantastic rib joint located in Georgetown Square.
- After Dark 112 E Masterson Ave - LGBT nightclub open every night 6-3am. Sunday, Monday, and Wednesdays are kinda quiet, with karaoke going on. Tuesday nights are often busy, featuring male strippers that are usually pretty good. Thursday through Saturday offer drag shows that feature great local talent (with some not-so-great ones as well) and the best visiting queens from around the midwest. Dancing is always going on in-between and after the shows. Crowd is fairly eclectic; lesbian, gay and straight - young and old - trendy and traditional.
- 1 Club Soda, 235 E Superior St, ☏ . Like Ruth's Chris - only much hipper in an authentic 125 year old building. Very cool and hip place. Known for its signature martinis and live music, especially jazz. Outdoor seating also available.
- 2 Piere's Entertainment Center - Live Music and Entertainment, Marketplace of Canterbury, 5629 St Joe Rd, ☏ . On the northeast side of town, just north of the Indiana University Fort Wayne and Purdue University Fort Wayne campuses is the Midwest's largest nightclub, featuring five different atmospheres in one building. The Hub is open seven days a week until 3AM, and serves 120 different bottled beers from around the region and around the world.
- 3 Dash-In, 814 S Calhoun St, ☏ . 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.
- 4 Firefly Coffee House, 3523 North Anthony Blvd, ☏ . The Firefly is perennially voted the best coffee house in town. It's just a block or two south of the Fort Wayne campuses of IU and Purdue (which had been a joint campus before summer 2018). The drink theme is insects, and they have many good smoothies and other offerings with bug-like names. There is free wireless internet access, and usually exhibits of local art on the walls. In the evenings, there is often live music.
- Higher Grounds Coffee House. Downtown (Corner of Calhoun and Wayne St.), Many other locations Phone: 485-0100.
- 5 Old Crown Coffee Roasters, 3417 N Anthony Blvd, ☏ . Near IUFW and PFW 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.
- 1 Courtyard at Grand Wayne Convention Center, 1150 South Harrison Street, ☏ . This brand new downtown hotel is a prime option in the newly designed Harrison Square
- 2 Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 1020 S Calhoun St, ☏ .
- 3 La Salle Downtown Inn, 517 W Washington Blvd, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. The La Salle Bed & Breakfast offers traditional B&B accommodations at an affordable price. Located one block from the Allen County Genealogical Library and just two blocks from the Grand Wayne Centre and Embassy Theatre. Amenities include homemade French Breakfast, Hot Tub, Expansive decks with city view, cable TV, telephone with voicemail, wireless Internet access, bathrobes, and private baths. Four suites are available with full kitchens and separate living area and bedroom. 65-90.
- 4 Staybridge Suites - Fort Wayne, 5925 Ellison Rd (Exit 102 from I-69), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. The Staybridge Suites Fort Wayne is located off I-69 and US 24 in the upscale Village of Coventry - SW Fort Wayne. Easy access to the Interstate 69 , Highway 24 and all major attractions and businesses in the area. ~$100.
Like many cities, Fort Wayne has some trouble spots. To be safe, lock your vehicle when you plan to leave it unattended anywhere in the city, but especially in a parking garage or low lit area after dark. Places to be careful during the day and not walk through after dark include areas on the southeast side of downtown. Take care as you would in any major city after dark.
One natural threat to be aware of are tornadoes: if you hear a siren or there is a tornado warning issued, take it seriously.
- WANE 15 CBS
- WPTA 21 ABC
- WPTA 21.2 CW
- WISE 33 NBC
- WISE 33.2 My Network
- WFWA 39 PBS
- WFFT 55 FOX
- Journal Gazette. Fort Wayne's daily morning newspaper.
- News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne's weekday afternoon newspaper.
- 1 Allen County Public Library (ACPL), 900 Library Plaza, ☏ , email@example.com. Free wi-fi, internet terminals available. The ACPL has the second largest genealogical collection in the U.S. (second only to the Mormon Church Archives in Salt Lake City). Of course, there is a coffee shop, wifi connection, used book store, and such to visit too. The library is enormous, by the standards of mid-sized cities, and claims to have a larger circulation figure than Denver's public library. $1 per hour for parking max of $7.
- YMCA Downtown - If you are a member of a YMCA anywhere you can work out here. Also, if you stay at the downtown Holiday Inn or Hilton, you can work out here (both 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.
- Kachman Mind Body 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. +1 260-420-9642. Drop-ins welcome!
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum - About 30 minutes' drive north of Fort Wayne, in Auburn, is the famous Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It harks back to Fort Wayne's earlier glory days as part of the automobile industry. (The gas pump was invented here.) Apart from the exhibits, they have an elaborate souvenir shop, conference center, and other facilities. In the same area and within a few minutes' drive are several other substantial museums, including one with a very large collection of WWII land vehicles.
- Black Pine Animal Sanctuary - An non-profit exotic animal sanctuary located about 45 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 offer guided tours 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. Visitors must be on their best behavior for the comfort of the animals at all times.
|Routes through Fort Wayne|
|Lansing ← Auburn ←||N S||→ Huntington → Indianapolis|
|Jct N S ← Huntington ←||W E||→ Maumee → Toledo|
|END ←||N S||→ Decatur → Richmond|
|Valparaiso ← Plymouth ←||W E||→ Van Wert → Lima|
|Elkhart ← Goshen ←||N S||→ Wapakoneta → Columbus|