City Spotlight: Indianapolis, Indiana

by Cassandra McCullersDecember 16, 2016

Indianapolis is the largest city and capital of the fine state of Indiana. The city is a sprawling metropolis, internationally recognized as a top Food City, an exciting destination for family adventures, and a dynamic opportunity for business growth across a wide range of industries. From the dizzying speed of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway to a quiet, thoughtful stroll down Massachusetts Avenue Arts District, Indianapolis truly has something to offer everyone, whether visiting for the weekend, buying a home and setting down roots, or opening a new business in the area.
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Currently, the housing market of Indianapolis is generally considered to be strong, driven in part by increased demand in neighborhoods that are experiencing significant redevelopment and rehabilitation, such as in the downtown area and historic home districts. According to an article in the IndyStar from October 2016, home sales have been going up every year, up ten percent in the second quarter of 2016 to 4,261 vs. the same period the year before. The median sales price also continues to rise, up to $129,900.

Key Facts

  • State: Indiana
  • County: Marion County
  • Established: 1821
  • Elevation: 715ft
  • Area (total): 372 sq mi
    • Area (land): 365.1 sq mi
    • Area (water): 6.9 sq mi
  • Population (2010 census): 820,445
    • Population (2015 estimate): 853,173
  • Zip codes: 46201-46209, 46211, 46214, 46216-46231, 46234-46237, 46239-46242, 46244, 46247, 46249-46251, 46253-46256, 46259-46260, 46266, 46268, 46274-46275, 46277-46278, 46280, 46282-46283, 46285, 46290-46291, 46295-46296, and 46298
  • Area codes: 317 and 463
  • Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)

Attractions and Things to Do

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Seven of Indianapolis’s neighborhoods have been designated as cultural districts, reflecting the rich heritage and history of the region. These are Broad Ripple Village, the Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Market East, Massachusetts Avenue, and the Wholesale District. Many of the cultural districts are home to a number of historic buildings, unique restaurants and bars, art galleries, performing arts venues, and much more. These districts can offer interesting opportunities for new families moving to the city, finding a new home that reflects the history and style of Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art, located at 4000 Michigan Road, offers a truly substantial collection of more than 54,000 works of art, on it’s lovely 152-acre campus. Known locally as “IMA”, the museum has been an important part of the culture of Indianapolis for the past 130 years, and is one of the 10 oldest and largest museums in the nation. IMA offers a significant array of public programs and events, interesting exhibitions, films, performances, and special events. IMA also offers a truly memorable experience for families or businesses that have a need for meeting space or special events, with indoor and outdoor rental facilities available for weddings, private receptions, birthday parties, corporate dinners and fundraising galas.

The Massachusetts Avenue Arts District, locally known simply as Mass Ave, is a beautiful, five-block section of downtown Indianapolis that features art galleries, restaurants, theaters, and a wide variety of independent boutiques. Mass Ave includes several locally famous stops, including silversmiths, chocolatiers, antiques, craft brews, and Stout’s Shoes (established in 1886).
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The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, located at 500 W Washington Street, is open seven days a week (only closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), offering a large number of exhibitions and collections for a modest entrance fee. The museum features a variety of rotating exhibitions that change every few months, meaning there is something new each time you visit. The Eiteljorg Museum Café offers a full menu from appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, and a large children’s menu.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum in the world, with five fun, educational floors, located at 3000 North Meridian Street. The Children’s Museum has exhibits on dinosaurs, outer space, science, local history, archeology, medicine, and trains, as well as a children’s theatre, playscapes, a historic carousel, and a number of seasonal exhibits.

Indy’s Rhythm! Discovery Center is the world’s foremost percussion museum, offering exhibits on the history of drums worldwide, the science behind how drums work, the making of drums, and spontaneous music, many of them interactive. USA Today recently listed the museum as a Top 10 Great Place for Hands-On Music Making. The Discovery Center is very conveniently located within the Circle Center Mall, at 110 W Washington Street A.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a National Historic Landmark which houses not only one of the world’s greatest race courses, but also the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, one of the nation’s most noteworthy museums devoted to cars, auto racing, and the history of the Indianapolis 500 race. Located five miles from downtown Indianapolis, at 4790 West 16th Street, the Speedway Museum houses a magnificent collection of vintage race cars, motorcycles, dragsters, and other vehicles across 36,000 square feet of display space.

Eagle Creek Park is the largest park in the city of Indianapolis, and the sixth largest municipal park in the United States. It is located at 7840 West 56th Street and covers approximately 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water. Eagle Creek Park offers a wide variety of amenities, including annual passes, dog park passes, shelter rentals, swimming area, boat rentals in the spring and summer, two nature centers, and public nature programs. One favorite at Eagle Creek Park among local residents is the Go Ape Treetop Adventure, a fun outdoor adventure of ziplines and treetop obstacles.

Seasonal Offerings are wildly popular for visitors and residents alike, with different special events and attractions becoming available in the winter months. For example, every December, the Eiteljorg Museum hosts Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, an enormous model train set that showcases Indy and the American Old West. Jingle Rails has nearly one thousand, two hundred (1,200) feet of track and over thirty features. Visiting Jingle Rails and the Eiteljorg’s many events throughout the season is a long Indy family tradition.

Indy’s food scene has been growing in recent years, with Zagat naming it the 15th “Hottest Food Cities of 2016.” Numerous restaurants in the city have been featured in Bon Appetit, reflecting their quality, diversity, and award winning fare. From Vida’s four-diamond rated, farm-to-table cuisine, to the wildly popular Milktooth’s brunch offerings, Indianapolis has something to please any palate. The city is also well known for a wide variety of cultural cuisine offerings, including German, Northern Italian, and South American.

Major industries
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Indianapolis isn’t just an exciting, vibrant place to live, it can also be a wonderful place to locate a new business or to host the expansion of an existing company. According to research by Newsmax and the U.S. State Monitor Report, the Indiana economy was found to be growing at a robust pace, with four years in a row of growth above 2 percent. The top five industries of Indianapolis, according to Dr. Tim Slaper, director of economic analysis at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, are 1) auto manufacturing, 2) life sciences, 3) transportation, 4) information technology, and 5) research and design.

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About The Author
Cassandra McCullers
Cassandra is a writer with a background in engineering, enjoying the rural life in the Virginian Appalachians. When not working, she enjoys writing fiction, running a blog, camping, working in the garden, and tending to her flock of chickens! In addition to writing, she has a passion for art and graphic design. Her interests include disaster preparedness, homesteading, landscaping, cooking with natural ingredients, history, and animal husbandry.

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