"Naptown" Top 5 Page for this destination Indianapolis by sambarnett

Indianapolis Travel Guide: 563 reviews and 1,009 photos

Pictured: Modern meets classic and I'm always looking up. The SBC Indiana Headquarters. On the left is the 1974 SBC 220 Building, on the right is the 1932 art deco SBC Building.

   Realizing Corydon’s inconvenient location in the southern part of the state made it a poor place for Indiana’s capital, the Indiana General Assembly decided in 1820 to relocated to the confluence of Fall Creek and the West Fork of the White River, right in the heart of the state. The choice of location proved less controversial than the proposed name: Tecumseh. The legislature settled on Indianapolis, at the suggestion of Jeremiah Sullivan,

   Indianapolis suffered many growing pains in its formative years: A malaria outbreak in 1821 affected the entire settlement and claimed 25 lives. The waterways proved inaccessible for steamships. One, the Robert Hanna, made it into town in 1831 only to be stranded on a sandbar on its way out. An attempted canal was squelched by the depression of 1837. After his first visit, Hugh McColloch, who presided over the Indiana State Bank and served as Secretary of Treasury under Presidents Lincoln, Johnson and Arthur, commented that he had seen few places “so utterly forlorn as Indianapolis.”

   Indianapolis persevered and eventually prospered. The coming of the railroad, and later the highways and interstates, brought numerous products and wealth to the city. Agricultural and high tech industries, rather than heavy industry, developed and dominated, sparring the city from the Rust Belt fate other Midwestern urban areas experienced. The establishment of the Unigov system in 1968, the combination of city and county governments, eliminated overlapping jurisdictions, cut down bureaucracy and enabled legislators to deal more efficiently with various social problems. Local benefactors like the Lilly Endowment and Harrison Eiteljorg have provided numerous cultural attractions to the city.

    Visitors who have experienced the excitement of large cities will probably find Indy very dull and come to understand why derisive terms like “Nap-town” and “Indiana-no-place” are often used. With the exception of the Broad Ripple area, the streets roll up just after dark as city workers escape to their comfy suburbs. And all those suburbs ensure that a “not in my backyard” sentiment pervades. The bible thumping, ultra conservative daily newspaper doesn’t help the city’s image either. Still I must say, the more I explore the more I enjoy Indy, and if you're with the right people you will have all kinds of fun. It's clean, safe, pleasant and certain areas are brimming with friendly people. If you take the time to explore you will discover all kinds of interesting things.

   Although not usually thought of as a major tourist destination, all those interstates (Indy has more of them extending from every direction than any other US city) mean you’ll probably pass through here sometime and at the very least it is worth an afternoon. The Eiteljorg Museum of the American Indian and Western Art is a can’t miss, the Canal Walk is a beautiful addition to downtown and Victory Field is one of the best minor league ballparks in the country. And really, that's just scraping the surface...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:clean, grand monuments and memorials, nice buildings
  • Cons:narrow roads and bad drivers
  • In a nutshell:A rural metropolis
  • Last visit to Indianapolis: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated Jun 16, 2003
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Reviews (22)

Comments (14)

  • judz's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2007 at 7:16 PM

    Nice pages...I've enjoyed reading them.

  • miner's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2004 at 9:00 PM

    Awesome tour. There are several places in Indy that I need to hit up. I have heard the Riverwalk is beautiful. I need to check that out !!

  • travelife's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2004 at 9:51 AM

    Nice presentation on Indianapolis... informative.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2004 at 2:18 PM

    Nice overview of the city.

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2003 at 7:34 PM

    Sorry I overlooked this. Indy has long been on my list of things to see. Loved the Scottish Cathedral, the old district and Harrison's House. Once again, you've described a huge city as a familiar locale.

  • seratonin's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2003 at 7:33 AM

    Very nice page! Informative nad helpful tips, and great travelogues!

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2003 at 1:33 PM

    I was drug kicking and screaming to the Nap Town page, but pleasantly surprised as you do the town more justice than it deserves.

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2003 at 11:47 AM

    Are there are well-known songs about Indianapolis? It doesn't seem like a very "lyrical" place.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2003 at 11:12 PM

    And again. Great stuff.

  • cobrioc's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2003 at 8:02 PM

    Very informative great
    write up! Thank You!

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