A surprising and inspiring city, Fort Wayne is home to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, one of the top zoos in the U.S.; world-renowned Vera Bradley bags and DeBrand Fine Chocolates; the largest public genealogical collection in America; and world-class arts and theatre.
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. Fort Wayne is the second largest city in the state of Indiana, located in Allen County, the largest county in the state. It is the regional commerce and industry center for northeast Indiana and also impacts the economies of southwestern Michigan and western Ohio.
Sights and Activities
With so much to see in Fort Wayne, it's hard to decide which attraction to visit first! If you're looking for fun with the family, you'll have a dream trip to Fort Wayne.
- Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory - Surround yourself with nature at an oasis in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. Visit the Showcase Garden with its lush seasonal displays, wander through the Tropical Garden where orchids and palms thrive in the shadows of a cascading waterfall, or retreat to the quiet beauty of the Desert Garden.
- Fort Wayne Children's Zoo - Rated one of the top ten zoo's in the nation for children in Child Magazine! Come and enjoy 42 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and find out why 500,000 annual visitors call it the world's finest children's zoo.
- Fort Wayne Firefighter's Museum - Located in historic Engine House No. 3, this museum showcases artifacts used by some of the city's earliest heroes - the firefighters.
- History Center - An interactive museum that highlights the history of Allen County, from Little Turtle and Anthony Wayne, to inventions that originated in this area.
- Science Central - Have hands-on fun at Indiana's interactive science center for children!
Museums & Historical Attractions
- African/African-American Historical Museum - In a historic Queen Anne building, exhibits include Coming to America, African Village, Music of My People, and Underground Railroad Room. Only museum of its kind in Indiana!
- Allen County Courthouse - Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the recently restored Allen County Courthouse was built at the turn of the century and reflects Beaux-Roman architecture.
- ARCH - Fort Wayne's historic preservation organization. Advocacy for historic and architecturally important structures.
- Artlink - Artlink is a visual art gallery sponsoring 9 annual exhibitions, which originate with Artlink.
- Arts United - A local arts agency and united arts fund supporting nonprofit arts groups throughout northeast Indiana.
- Castle Gallery - A unique art gallery featuring local and international artists set in a historic mansion.
- Cathedral Museum - A classic example of Gothic architecture, with exceptional wood carvings, Bavarian stained glass windows are said to be the finest of their kind in all the Western Hemisphere, housing religious artifacts dating back to the mid-13th century.
- Chief Richardville House - This Greek Revival house was built in 1827 for Miami Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville. The house's architecture is as stunning as it's Miami and French heritage.
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art - This contemporary museum offers artworks from its own permanent collections as well as national traveling exhibitions, classes, lectures, and a museum gift shop.
- Jack D. Diehm Wildlife Museum of Natural History - An educational look at North American Wildlife mounted in realistic settings.
- Swinney Homestead - The homestead includes the 1844 Swinney House, the 1849 log cabin and the herb garden.
- The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department at the Allen County Public Library - Trace your family roots at the largest public genealogy collection in the United States.
- Bower North Productions - Audience-participation mystery entertainment with a comic flair for banquets, conventions, fundraisers, and private parties.
- First Presbyterian Theatre - A church that produces community theatre-an eclectic seven-show season including musicals, comedies, and thought-provoking dramas.
- Fort Wayne Area Community Band - An adult band that performs at concerts and community events. New members are always welcome.
- Fort Wayne Ballet - Fort Wayne's preeminent dance organization with an affiliated academy providing training for the pre-professional to adult student.
- Fort Wayne Children's Choir - The Fort Wayne Children's Choir is an educational, nonprofit choral organization divided into six different choirs.
- Fort Wayne Civic Theatre - The Civic Theater performs a wide range of scripts, from Shakespeare to contemporary comedy.
- Fort Wayne Dance Collective - Committed to promoting human creativity, FWDC is a diverse, non-judgmental, not-for-profit organization.
- Fort Wayne Philharmonic - The Fort Wayne Philharmonic strives to sustain its musical tradition by presenting musical and educational programs of the highest quality. Ticket office: 260.481.0777
- Fort Wayne Youtheatre - The third oldest youth theatre in the United States, the Fort Wayne Youtheatre is celebrating its 68th year.
- IPFW Department of Music - Featuring performances in the Faculty Artists Series, the Student Ensemble Series and the Student Recital Series, as well as guest artists and ensembles.
- IPFW Department of Theatre - IPFW's own theater group, composed of students and community residents.
- Summit City Barbershop Chorus - This is the performing chorus of the Fort Wayne Chapter of The Barbershop Harmony Society, dedicated to performing the very best of "all-male" four part harmony in the barbershop style.
- The Heartland Chamber Chorale, Inc. - The Heartland Chamber Chorale is Indiana's premier professional vocal ensemble and serves as a community resource and advocate for the art of choral music.
Pro Sports Leagues
Fort Wayne was named the #1 Best Minor League Sports Market by Street & Smiths Sports Business Journal in 2007!
- Fort Wayne Fever Soccer - The Fever is a semi-pro sports organization providing top-notch soccer for fans of all ages.
- Fort Wayne Flash - The Fort Wayne Flash is a women's football team in the National Women's Football Association.
- Fort Wayne Freedom - Watch the hard hitting, high flying, helmet popping action of indoor football with the Fort Wayne Freedom. Catch the excitement starting in March at the Memorial Coliseum. The Freedom are Fort Wayne's team, don't miss a hit!
- Fort Wayne Komet Hockey - The longest continuously running sports franchise in Fort Wayne. Winner of the 2008 Turner Cup!
- Fort Wayne Wizards Baseball - This professional baseball team is the Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres in the Midwest Baseball
Events and Festivals
Beginning with German Fest and the Three Rivers Festival, and ending with the Festival of Trees, Fort Wayne rocks with year-round celebrations that showcase culture, cuisine and creativity. Fort Wayne residents celebrate eight (count ‘em!) major annual festivals (and a handful of smaller ones), golf classics, trade shows and a county fair thrown in for good measure.
Festival goers can experience the ethnic flavor of Fort Wayne at several local festivals in fun ways by dancing the polka at German Fest, savoring the baklava at Greek Fest and dancing to the music at the Hispanic Heritage Festival.
- Johnny Appleseed Festival (9/20/2008 - 9/21/2008) - Since the first gathering on the river bank in 1976, the Johnny Appleseed Festival has embraced the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the early 1800's
- Fort-4-Fitness Health Festival (9/26/2008 - 9/27/2008) - Whether you're a couch potato, casual runner or serious marathoner, you'll enjoy the activities at the initial Fort-4-Fitness health festival.
- Embassy Festival of Trees (11/26/2008 - 12/2/2008) - The Festival of Trees at the historic Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel is a traditional and highly anticipated annual event during the holiday season!
- New Haven Canal Days (6/2/2009 - 6/6/2009) - Enjoy food, entertainment, kids activities, and more at the New Haven Canal Days in New Haven, Indiana!
- BBQ Ribfest (6/18/2009 - 6/21/2009) - Enjoy four days of unbelievably delicious, mouth watering barbecue!
- Greekfest (6/25/2009 - 6/27/2009) - Share in Greekfest 2009! Enjoy food, festivities, kids activities, and more!
- Arcola Tractor and Truck Pull (7/10/2009 - 7/12/2009) - Enjoy the Arcola Tractor and Truck Pull sponsored by the Arcola Volunteer Fire Department!
- Three Rivers Festival (7/11/2009 - 7/19/2009) - Indiana's second largest festival offers 9 days of fun for the entire family!
- Allen County Fair (7/20/2009 - 7/26/2009) - The fair offers music acts, fine arts, crafts, food, and events for all ages!
- Harambee Festival (8/1/2009) - Enjoy this community festival featuring family entertainment, a basketball tournament, children's storytelling, and a stage filled with events from music to poetry and dramatic skits.
- Muddy River Run (8/1/2009) - Enjoy a swap meet, car corral, craft bazaar, car judging, poker run, adult games, driving events, kids games and more at the 35th Annual Muddy River Run!
- Indiana Black Expo (8/16/2009 - 8/22/2009) - A celebration of black heritage where you will enjoy entertainment, arts, crafts, food and much more!
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival (9/3/2009 - 9/7/2009) - Enjoy a memorable Labor Day in Auburn, Indiana while participating in the festivities of the ACD Festival, the World’s Greatest Classic Car Show and Celebration!
- Grabill Country Fair (9/10/2009 - 9/12/2009) - Enjoy Grabill's country-style fair that highlights the area's Amish heritage!
Fort Wayne, like most of the Midwest, has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
The National Weather Service, which maintains an observation station in the control tower of Fort Wayne International Airport (elevation 791 feet), reports the record highest temperature in the city was 106 °F on July 14, 1936, and June 29, 1988, and the record lowest temperature was -24 °F on January 12, 1918. The wettest month on record was 11.00 inches in July 1986. The greatest 24-hour rainfall was 4.93 inches on August 1, 1926. The snowiest month on record was 29.5 inches in January 1982. The greatest 24-hour snowfall was 12.6 inches on March 10, 1964.
The average annual precipitation (based on the period 1971-2000) ranges from 36.55 inches at the airport to 37.90 inches at the Fort Wayne Disposal Plant (elevation 740 feet). Comparison of observations at the "official" stations with those taken at local television stations (WANE-TV and WPTA-TV), as well as volunteer observers and National Weather Service "spotters," has shown that rainfall can vary dramatically during summer thunderstorms because of typically scattered precipitation throughout the city.
Fort Wayne International Airport:
Lt. Paul Baer, Terminal 209; (260) 747-4146
Passengers looking for the convenient and friendly way to travel need to look no further than Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA). 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, it's easy to see that travel is more enjoyable when you fly FWA!
Fort Wayne International Airport operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
415 Emerald Avenue
Amtrak links the Greater Fort Wayne area with the U.S.A. via convenient daily passenger trains. Station is located in Waterloo - just North of Fort Wayne off I-69. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL for information and reservations.
Getting to Fort Wayne by car is very easy. Fort Wayne is connected to I-69 on the west side and has a bypass freeway, Indiana 469 surrounding the city. Other highways running through the city are U.S. Hwys 24, 27, 30 and 33.
Fort Wayne Station
929 S Lafayette St.
Traveling Fort Wayne by car is extremely easy. Most roads are four lane and the traffic is not too heavy. There is some minor congestion on the intra-city streets at commuter hours. Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
By Public Transport
Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (Citilink) provides service to downtown, urban shopping centers and area employment locations.
The suburban feel of the outer areas of Fort Wayne, make it difficult to walk around the city. Fort Wayne encompasses 79.12 square miles. For outdoor leisure walking there is an extensive River Greenway system.
Biking for recreation is easy in Fort Wayne due to the extensive River Greenway system, for more information and maps on the River Greenway International Telephone Calls
Whether you crave Coney dogs or choice steak, Fort Wayne has the recipe to please any palate. Looking for a spicy plateful of Mexican or a savory Italian feast? Fort Wayne's got you covered. Have a hankering for ribs, wings and beer? It's on the menu here. How about a romantic dinner for two, complete with cool jazz and warm candlelight? Your table's waiting.
After touring some of our finest eateries, you'll understand why Fort Wayne has long been known as the "City of Restaurants." While there is some serious local fare you won't want to miss, you can also find all your national favorites here in Fort Wayne.
- Casa Restaurant Group - You'll find five Casa Italian Restaurants around the Fort Wayne area. These local restaurants were voted Fort Wayne's Best Italian Restaurant!
- Chappell's Seafood Restaurants & Seafood Markets. Established 1985. "Local & Visitors' favorite". Enjoy the freshest of seafood & hand cut steaks. Fresh seafood market.
- Cindy's Diner is an authentic '50s diner, serving the "WHOLE WORLD" 15 at a time! Breakfast served all day.
- el Azteca Mexican Restaurant is a casual full service restaurant featuring original recipe Mexican food since 1973.
- Joseph Decuis, just 10 minutes outside of Fort Wayne, provides award-winning cuisine, distinctive ambiances and one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world according to Wine Spectator Magazine.
- Mad Anthony Brewing Company. Fresh, natural handcrafted ales, lagers available for carryout in 6pk, 1/2 gal, growler or keg. Gourmet pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and munchies.
- Takaoka of Japan. Showmen chefs create your meal tableside!
- The Oyster Bar provides serious food in a casual atmosphere. The Oyster Bar has two locations. They specialize in steaks and seafood with a variety of serving styles. If you go, order the calamari as an appetizer!
See also International Telephone Calls
The US Postal Service is very good and well priced mail system. UPS stores can be found dotted throughout the city and will accept packages to be shipped by other carriers as well. Though you may pay a premium there, there is usually little or no line in these stores. This is a good alternative since, depending on time of day and the season, post offices can become fairly crowded. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS and DHL.