Your downtown tour starts at noon. Follow our guide of stops to help you visit all 12 sites in five hours. This guide allows for walking time in between sites. Of course, you could give yourself more time if you decide to cut time off of some visits and add to other stops.
1 Science Central – 20 minutes
1950 N. Clinton St.; 424-2400
Science Central’s more than 130 hands-on exhibits are a great launching pad for families with young children. If it’s been a while since your last visit, check out the “Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think” traveling exhibit, which will end today.
2 Historic Fort Wayne – 15 minutes
Spy Run Avenue at Superior Street (park in the Headwaters Park lot and take the bridge across); 437-2836
You can take a walk through the replica of the fort occupied by Major John Whistler and his men from 1815 to 1816. Not all the rooms will be open to visitors, but there will be a bake sale on the grounds.
At this juncture, most of the remaining places are within minutes of each other, so there’s no need to drive. Metered parking spaces (and a few garages) are free on the weekends, so find a spot central to most of the venues, or stay parked at Headwaters Park and head south on Clinton Street to reach Main Street if you’re coming from Historic Fort Wayne.
3 Fort Wayne Museum of Art – 20 minutes
311 Main St.; 422-6467
Check out the “Secret Garden” exhibit featuring glass pieces by world-famous artist Dale Chihuly before it closes at the end of the month. Then, take a hyper-realistic trip through the retrospective “Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism” exhibit.
4 Artlink – 15 minutes
Auer Center for Arts and Culture, 300 E. Main St.; 424-7195
If you’re still in need of an art fix after the museum, cross Main Street to check out the “Great Outdoors” exhibit that is focused on the Maumee River in Artlink’s main gallery. Save some time to check out Robin Dluzen’s installation exhibit of industrial and everyday materials and paintings by local artist David Buenrostro.
5 The History Center – 25 minutes
302 E. Berry St.; 426-2882
Walk a block south on Barr Street to get to the museum. Explore the region’s tradition of entrepreneurship in the “Allen County Innovation” exhibit; it’s the History Center’s first new permanent exhibition gallery since the museum opened in 1980. Don’t forget to take a snapshot inside the museum’s largest artifact: a temporary jail cell used in the late 1800s.
6 Lincoln Tower – 45 minutes
116 E. Berry St.; 427-3700
Filled with 1930 Art Deco elements and 500 tons of marble, the Lincoln Tower is worth a time splurge. Standing at 22 stories, the building was once Indiana’s tallest building, and the sky view of Fort Wayne from the observation deck is second only to that of One Summit Square. The elevator will take you most of the way, but be prepared to trek a few more flights of stairs to make it to the top. It’s probably a good idea to leave older guests and those with a fear of heights or narrow spaces on the ground level – they can enjoy a beverage from the building’s original soda fountain.
7 Allen County Courthouse – 30 minutes
715 S. Calhoun St.; 449-4246
Constructed with limestone, granite columns and white Carrara marble staircases, the Allen County Courthouse will open all three floors to visitors. Take the 30-minute guided tour of the four grand courtrooms to learn more about the murals created more than a century ago. The murals created by renowned artists Charles Holloway, Carl Gutherz and Florian Pixetto, were restored in 2002. This may be the only time you’ll be excited to take someone to court.
8 Visitors Center – 5 minutes (optional)
927 S. Harrison St.; 424-3700
If you didn’t pick up a passport at the Visitors Center earlier, take a quick break and find all sorts of city guides, maps and information. Shop the Fort Wayne merchandise including T-shirts, mugs and magnets. Just because you didn’t leave the city doesn’t mean you can’t bring home souvenirs.
9 Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory – 15 minutes
1100 S. Calhoun St.; 427-6440
Continue south on Calhoun Street to visit Fort Wayne’s urban oasis. Take a quick stroll through the conservatory’s seasonal “Gardens of New Orleans” exhibit, and let younger visitors try their hand (or at least a green thumb) at horticulture with activities throughout the three gardens.
10 Embassy Theatre – 30 minutes
125 W. Jefferson Blvd.; 424-6487
Head west on Jefferson Boulevard to follow in the steps of Doris Day, Bob Hope and Bill Cosby by taking the stage at the historical Embassy Theatre. The 1928 Grand Page Pipe Organ will fill the venue with music as guests take a self-guided tour of the backstage tunnels. Check out the adjoining Indiana Hotel Lobby, and be sure to ask someone about Bud Berger – the Embassy’s (alleged) friendly ghost.
11 Parkview Field – 30 minutes
1303 Ewing St.; 482-6400
Sports fans will enjoy the 30-minute guided behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark’s suite level and the Fort Wayne TinCaps Clubhouse. With concession stands and kids zone activities, younger visitors can tucker themselves out with snacks and the climbing wall.
12 African /African-American Historical Museum – 20 minutes
436 E. Douglas Ave.; 420-0765
Exit on the south side of the ballpark and take Douglas Avenue to the African/African-American Historical Museum as your final stop. Boasting the city’s largest public collection of African art, the museum currently has three exhibits celebrating African-American achievements in athletics, civil rights and Allen County history.