"INDIANAPOLIS: Artist, Athlete, Historian, Patiot" Top 5 Page for this destination Indianapolis by deecat

Indianapolis Travel Guide: 537 reviews and 916 photos

Indy: "A Diamond in the Rough"

Indianapolis, Indiana, capital city of Indiana, is a surprisingly cultural city..it has some of the finest War Memorials, Historic Districts, Top-Notch Museums, and spectacular Sporting Venues.

I don't think that the locals realize what an exceptional city it has become in the last 20 years.

My parents lived here for many years (which was during a time of turmoil and decline for the inner city). So, I knew very little about the downtown area. I attribute sports as a major influence on the "turnaround" of this town.
I remember the Pan American Games being held (surprisingly) in Indianapolis, and the rest is history. Sports became a focus; sporting venues were built; the Convention Center was built; and the city came "alive" again.

During the time that my friend Jill & I were in INDY (April 1-7), the Final Four in Women's College Basketball Finals were held. At the same time, there were trials in swimming competition going on.

After the city began to reclaim its splendor, the arts also became a local point. The city's Children's Museum is one of the biggest & best in the nation, perhaps the world! The Indianapolis Museum of Art, a National Historic Landmark, is located at the Oldfields-Lily House & Gardens, a 26-acre estate & historic house museum which is highly admired & respected. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art (alliance partner of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution!) is "eye candy" both inside & out.

There are more than 140 parks that range from thousands of acres of nature preserves to modern recreation complexes. They have a system of greenway trails, or linear parks, that is supposed to eventually link 175 miles of neighborhoods, parks, & recreational, historical, & natural areas.
What the city has right now is certainly impressive.

The architecture in Indianapolis is also impressive. There are several historic districts that have been lovingly preserved. The homes range from German immigrant cottages to Federal/Italianate, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, & Late Federal styles.

If the only spectacular architecture were the Scottish Rite Cathedral with its Gothic tower that holds a 54-bell carillon, the city would be worth a visit. However, it's not the only fantastic building or memorial.
There's also the Anthenaeum, an imposing and massive German structure that now houses the city's oldest restaurant (Rathskeller) & a YMCA!

In addition, there's the remarkable Murat Centre, an Arabic-styled temple in the Massachusetts Avenue Arts District. Besides being one of the largest Shine Temples in North America, it is also a Theatre.

But, as far as I'm concerned, the "Crown Jewel" of Indianapolis is Veteran's Memorial Plaza at Meridian & North Streets. It encompasses five blocks in three separate areas that include University Park Fountain monuments; Obelisk Square; and American Legion Mall.
It's truly awe-inspiring!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Managable by foot or car; lots of history; great architecture; and terrific parks
  • Cons:Many "locals" are unaware of its beauty, its history, & its architecture
  • In a nutshell:A friendly, forward-thinking yet historic city with natural beauty, man-made splendors, and lovely citizens
  • Last visit to Indianapolis: Apr 2005
  • Intro Updated Apr 9, 2005
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Reviews (52)

Comments (40)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    I can't believe it's been nearly six years since I last looked at this page. I used to visit friends in Indianapolis on weekends when I was a soldier at Fort Knox, KY, but the town seems to have changed completely since then. (For the better.)

  • Jul 30, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    The observation deck has been renovated as of last year. It wasn't that the windows were filthy, they were old. We have replaced them now & it is also air conditioned now as well. The statue on top of the monument is actually "Lady Victory." Thanks!

  • May 13, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Who knew? I Thought Indianapolis was onced called "Sleepytown"...well, it's obvious that's not true. Indy has never looked so good. You always find the best in everywhere you go!

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Refreshing to see such positive information about Indianapolis, You and Jill...such happy times and such a wonderful memory of Indy and the fun that you shared.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Indianapolis certainly has a lot to offer to visitors especially the monuments, parks, squares, war musuems and memorials. Indiana State Capitol certainly looks amazing from your photograph. Thanks for the virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • Sep 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Never fear - come again! The monument is presently being renovated (Sept. 2009) with new glass being installed on the observation deck, so picture taking will be great! I'm watching it from my office window.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    Must admit that my knowledge of Indianapolis consisted, until now, of the car race! So much information in this page, so well presented, and so many museums. Seems kids worldwide love dinosaurs and I know my wife would be right at home in the quilt shop.

  • Otherdeb's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Your pictures of Indy are great, especially Crown Hill Cemetery. Its my favorite cemetery, I took over 200 pictures when I was there Sept. 08. Thanks for sharing!

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2008 at 4:02 AM

    We were in Indianapolis for a convention, our hotel room overlooked Monument Circle. I enjoyed this city a lot...and as you know, I'm not a big city person.

  • Mar 31, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Great page! lot of information

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