If you're in the mood for an adventurous trip off the beaten path, then start your weekend off right by stopping into Fortezza Coffee on S. Calhoun Street. Grab a freshly brewed cup of joe and a pastry made in-house before sitting down at any of the tables to listen to live music, poetry or the simple sounds of the café. Located in the heart of downtown, this café offers something for everyone from coffee and teas to delicately designed lattes with creative art expertly drawn into the foam.
Once you've welcomed the day, head a few blocks south on Calhoun Street towards the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory for a tour of one of the area's most beautiful indoor gardens. Enjoy the current special exhibit, or simply walk through the gardens and see all of the various species that live in the botanical gardens.
In the afternoon, visit Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot where you can rent canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards for an afternoon moseying down the St. Mary's River. See the downtown Fort Wayne skyline from a whole new perspective and pass the old historic fort on your way. Water not your style? Fort Wayne Outfitters also has bikes available to rent that puts all of Fort Wayne's bike trails at your disposal for exploration and excitement. Ride on down to any one of the nearby parks and wind your way through the trees and waterways as you discover the natural side of Allen County.
Fort Wayne is also home to many parks and nature preserves that include miles of trails for both hiking and biking. Franke Park, located just behind the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo has over 300 acres of winding trails and paths. A lake in the front of the park offers fishing and picnic areas as well as a children's playground and pavilions for any occasion. Fox Island County Park and Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve are both about 20 minutes west of downtown and has everything from trails, historic sites and even a beach for families!
When the time comes to wine and dine, Fort Wayne is home to countless restaurants and bars that open up the nightlife to a world of possibilities. While downtown itself offers over a dozen hotspots for every appetite and diet, visitors can venture to any of the surrounding neighborhoods and find unique and delicious cuisine. Newly opened and already famous Bravas Burgers, located just south of downtown on Fairfield offers unique and locally produced options that are sure to dazzle your taste buds. Further south, Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center touts eateries like Flat Top, Eddie Merlot's and Tucanos Brazilian Grill for more exclusive dining.
Your day shouldn't end with dinner and there are plenty of nightlife attractions, bars and clubs that call Fort Wayne home. Summit City Brewerks is the newest addition to the growing microbrew industry in Fort Wayne and is located five minutes from downtown in the historic railroad district and is fast becoming one of the city's best places to grab a pint. Irish pub JK O'Donnell's is a Fort Wayne staple and offers a wide variety of beer, wine, spirits and food and constantly entertains patrons with live music and sports viewings. The Brass Rail on Broadway is a music lover's paradise as there are nightly shows featuring some of the best local and national musicians. Snickerz Comedy Bar offers good drinks, great laughs and has hosted some of the nation's top comedians. Their ranking as one of the top five comedy clubs in the United States by Comedy USA has cemented the club as a must see for visitors.
The next morning, recover from the night before on Broadway at The Phoenix, where the Sunday brunch is legendary. This Jazz fusion bar has one of the city's best weekend brunches and offers a very modern and blues-y atmosphere that you can't get anywhere else in the Fort. The Dash-in, located across from Fortezza, also hosts a fabulous breakfast menu with classic dishes each with their own Dash-in twist.
Later, folks can visit the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, which is home to many local and national artists. This year, the museum is showcasing the American Brilliant Cut Glass exhibition where visitors can view various pieces of beautifully hand-crafted glass.
Continuing in the art scene, visitors to Fort Wayne are encouraged to visit the Wunderkammer Company. This local art gallery located just five minutes south of downtown features local artists and designers and even hosts performing artists and groups. The diverse and individualistic spread of art lining the walls pays homage to the areas creative minds and shows just how artistic Fort Wayne residents can be. Just off of Main Street in downtown Fort Wayne lies Mercantile on Main, an antique and vintage store that sells old lamps, furniture and art along with collectibles and retro style clothes.
Before heading out of town, visitors are strongly encouraged to visit DeBrands Fine Chocolates and the Vera Bradley outlet store, both of which are located at Jefferson Pointe. Both DeBrands and Vera Bradley are Fort Wayne originals and since their inceptions these two company's influence has spread nationwide. DeBrands fine chocolates are a great gift for any occasion and will satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.
When planning your trip to Fort Wayne, be sure to check out our hotel package for great hotel deals.