Nicknamed the “Crossroads of America,” Indianapolis presents a diverse blend of culture, sports, entertainment and history, all from a convenient Midwestern location within a day’s drive of half the U.S. population. Dubbed the racing capital of the world, here’s how to discover Indianapolis like a local.
The majestic Monument Circle at night © Conrad Piccirillo
The 13th largest city in America officially got its start in 1821 with the platting of a one-mile square centered around Monument Circle. Today, the majestic Soldiers and Sailors Monument anchors this brick-paved roundabout at the heart of what is now known as the Circle City.
Indy’s stunning modern airport dazzles travellers with art installations and easy navigation, and the good first impressions don’t stop there. Downtown, you’ll find the city divvied up into five cultural districts, each with its own personality and all linked by the newly completed Indianapolis Cultural Trail
. This world-class bike/pedestrian path makes it easy to get a little exercise while you’re getting around town, with eye-catching public art along the way for unexpected punches of visual appeal. Or, stretch your legs in one of Indy’s many public parks and green spaces; with a scenic canal running through it, the White River State Park
covers 250 gorgeous acres of downtown ground.
For first-timers to the city, the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway
is a must-see. Stop in the Hall of Fame Museum to marvel at the Borg-Warner Trophy and 75 racecars past and present, then board a bus for a lap around the famed track itself. And with the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Indians, the Indiana Fever and the Naptown Roller Girls in town, there’s no shortage of home teams to cheer on here, whatever your sporting preference.
Hungry? Guests definitely aren’t starved for choice in Indianapolis. A local landmark since 1902, St. Elmo’s Steak House
offers succulent steaks and the spiciest shrimp cocktail ever. The busy Mass Ave district delights diners with tastes ranging from trendy to traditional, and the roster of global eateries that populates Fountain Square is well worth exploring.
In addition to Indy’s thriving restaurant scene, visitors will find a booming slate of microbreweries, all proudly pulling pints with good, old-fashioned Hoosier hospitality. Cheers!
Written by Amy Lynch
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Have you visited the racing capital of the world? Where would you recommend checking out in Indianapolis? Share your tips with us in the comments below.