"indianapolis, in" Top 5 Page for this destination Indianapolis by djramey

Indianapolis Travel Guide: 537 reviews and 918 photos

As the capital of Indiana, Indianapolis has become a hub for cultural diversity and amateur sports in a state that emphasizes both. Some will know it as the city where Elvis played his last concert; others will know it for its namesake auto race, the Indianapolis 500. However, what many do not recognize Indianapolis for is its size. As the twelfth largest city in the United States, Indianapolis can offer various experiences, foods, languages, entertainment and recreation. Indianapolis can also offer a cleanliness and community that few will find elsewhere.

The General Assembly of Corydon, then the capitol, founded Indianapolis on January 6th, 1821 under guidance of Alexander Ralston. Until 1825, Indianapolis sat as a residential and farming area 10 days ride north of Corydon. That year however, the governor of Indiana, James Brown Ray, moved the state star to what he deemed proper, the center of the state of Indiana.

Not five years after the move north, The National Road, U.S. 40, was routed through Indianapolis in 1830. This making Indianapolis connected to other large and industrial cities, thus, allowing it to grow. Soon after in 1847, a railroad was built and became the first to have its entire lines meet in one union station. Because of the railroad, Indianapolis was designated as the "Crossroads of America.” This name still exists today and dons its spot on the Indiana license plates.

Mentioned before, Indianapolis is known as a sporting city (ESPN.com ranked Indianapolis at number 7) and with the recent addition of the NCAA Headquarters, few can argue. Also bolstering Indy’s rankings is the annual running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This event is now the largest single day sporting event in the world seating over 250,000 people and is run on Memorial Day weekend. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) was built in 1909 as a 2 ½-mile oval track.

Indiana is known for its basketball and its capitol city does not disappoint. Conseco Fieldhouse opened November 6th for the Pacers first home game of the 1999-2000 NBA season. The fieldhouse occupies 750,000 square feet with a seating capacity of approximately 18,500. Conseco’s retro-style awed fans, players, coaches, writers, and owners alike with its back-to-the-tradition décor. The Fieldhouse constantly gets raves as being one of the best arenas in all of sports.

Another of Indianapolis’ new sporting venues is Victory Field which houses the Indianapolis Indians’ triple-A baseball club. Though the team is not in the Big Leagues, it does spectacle the up-and-coming of tomorrow. Known for its picnic area and family atmosphere, Victory Field is a must see during the spring and summer months.

Also home in Indianapolis are the Major Taylor Velodrome and the IUPUI Natatorium. These two places hold Olympic trials when the time comes and help round out Indianapolis as the Amateur Sporting Capitol of the World.

There are other recreational activities in Indy that do not neccessarly require a loss of breathe and an extra beat of the heart. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest of its kind in the world, and also claims to own the largest water-clock in its entrance. Connor Prairie lies just outside of Indianapolis’ downtown and suits itself to be a living history of the pioneer days. Here children can actively learn and experience the life of those who came before us. Lastly, Indianapolis has its own zoo built in 1988 at around $64 million dollars. The zoo also hosts “Christmas at the Zoo” in the winter time which is unique to the city.

One landmark sticks out in the heart of Indianapolis and is titled “The Soldiers and Sailors Monument.” Creating the middle of Indianapolis’ only roundabout, the monument also becomes the world’s largest Christmas tree when the snow starts to fall in the winter. The lighting ceremony attracts tens of thousands to Monument Circle to witness with their families the beauty of the lights.

Reputation can only go so far, but Indianapolis has tried to extinguish its nomenclature of an undiversified city. The first Indiana Black Expo/Summer Celebration (IBE) was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 1971. The event is now the largest and longest running exposition of its kind in the nation, celebrating African-American culture and heritage. Many events occur during this weeklong festival including the Circle City Classic football game - the country’s second largest college bowl game between two historically black colleges.

These are just a few examples of Indianapolis community and life, but with them I can guarantee a pleasant trip within the city limits. Indianapolis is growing, not only in population but in diversity and ethnicity as well as in sporting and recreational life too. I would suggest a vacation or trip to Indy, and with it you will bring home, wherever that may be, a new understanding of pleasantry and Midwest values.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small-town values in a large city atmosphere
  • Cons:Remoteness from other locations
  • In a nutshell:The essence of a small Major city!
  • Last visit to Indianapolis: Feb 2003
  • Intro Updated Sep 20, 2004
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