About This Place
Indianapolis, Indiana, is a Midwestern metropolis that has much to offer in the way of history, culture and sports. The nation’s 12th-largest city frequently lands on “best of” lists for its quality of life, affordable housing, plentiful jobs and abundant things to do. These factors are driving more and more tourists to the Hoosier capital.
Among Indianapolis attractions, the very center of the “Circle City” draws crowds coming to see the 284-foot-tall Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Take the stairs or elevator to the observation level for a bird’s-eye view of downtown. Back at ground level, dig into Indiana’s role in the Civil War at the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. The museum is part of the Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District, a 24-acre campus comprising three parks and the stately Indiana War Memorial Museum, a neoclassical landmark commemorating military veterans.
Downtown Indianapolis is home to an attractive inventory of one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Circle Centre, a four-level shopping mall and entertainment complex, anchors the commercial district. The mall connects to area hotels and the sprawling Indiana Convention Center via climate-controlled walkways.
North of downtown, the tight-knit Broad Ripple neighborhood is home to a large population of college students and artists. Murals and galleries are prominent here, and the streets are lined with eclectic cafes, bars and shops that sell vintage clothing, exotic jewelry and original artwork.
Arts and antiques seekers are drawn to the revitalized Fountain Square, a funky neighborhood known for its restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues.
The bustling "Mass Ave" area offers a dense collection of architecturally diverse buildings, many of which date from the 19th and early-20th centuries. The eye-catching Murat Shrine Building, built in 1909, is a recognizable figure in the Indianapolis skyline.
The city’s wholesale district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Among many attractions, the biggest is Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Super Bowl-winning Indianapolis Colts come to play. The stadium also hosted the big game in 2012. Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Victory Field are downtown’s other major venues for sports and entertainment.
Also on the register is historic Indiana Avenue, home to the Madame Walker Theatre Center. The building opened in 1927 to honor C.J. Walker, the nation’s first African-American millionaire.
White River State Park adds more to visitors’ to-do lists downtown. Rent a pedal-powered boat or surrey bicycle to explore the waters and pathways of the historic Central Canal. The park also houses the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, both of which are popular attractions for families. The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, located along the canal, recognizes recipients of the military’s highest valor award.
No description of Indianapolis is complete without mentioning auto racing. After all, the city is known as the “Racing Capital of the World.” Legions of fans and teams arrive each year for the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 auto races, as well as the Indianapolis Grand Prix motorcycle race. These high-octane events are held at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is open for tours most days from March through November.