Indianapolis has a diversified economy with major contributions from education, health care and finance. Tourism is also a vital part of the economy as the city plays host to numerous conventions and sporting events such as the Indianapolis 500. Other major sporting events include the Brickyard 400 and the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments. Indianapolis has a wide variety of museums and galleries which appeal to art lovers, car enthusiasts, sports fans, history buffs and people interested in science and technology. The city is also home to numerous higher education institutions, including Ball State University, Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Marian University and Martin University, among others.
Indianapolis offers many comfortable, peaceful suburbs and attractive places to live. Families and artists needing studio space gravitate to the neighborhood of Fountain Square, where the existing homes are larger. Young professionals love the downtown lofts carved from the former factory and warehouse buildings on the eastern and southern edges of downtown. Once the location of dozens of truck farms owned by German immigrants, Perry Township, on the far south side of Indianapolis, remains a haven for those with large families. Both the homes and the lots are spacious on this side of the city, which merges seamlessly into the town of Greenwood, in Johnson County.
Events such as the Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend, which is typically the last weekend in May. It is contested as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel formula informally known as “Indy Car Racing.” The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500. The “Brickyard” gets its name from the 1909 surfacing project when 3.2 million street paving bricks were laid. On the current asphalt track, one yard of the historic brickwork is exposed at the start-finish line. Race fans from all over the state and even out of state, come to the Indy 500 to cheer on their favorite drivers and to have a good time. This event is one of the most popular days of the year for Indianapolis. We may not have beaches, but we sure do have die-hard race fans.
Indianapolis is home to several top tier Universities that are known around the nation. Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) is known for housing two of Indiana’s top universities. It was this commitment that was behind the merger of the Indianapolis campuses and programs of Indiana University and Purdue University—some of which are more than 100 years old—that won accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in 1969, thus creating IUPUI. Students are drawn to IUPUI for many reasons, but the number one reason is because of its location in downtown Indianapolis. Butler University is a sought out private university in Indianapolis as well. Founded in 1855, and named after founder Ovid Butler, the university has over 60 major academic fields of study in six colleges. These universities are just two examples of prestigious college educations students can receive in Indianapolis.
The most favored hot spot in Indianapolis is Circle Center. With over 125 shopping, dining and entertainment options, nowhere will you find more choices than at Circle Centre. Conveniently located in downtown, this four-level indoor mall features Carson Pirie Scott, H&M, Finish Line, Express, and many more. If it’s a night out on the town you are looking for, Circle Centre has fine dining options including Harry & Izzy’s, Ruth’s Chris, and P.F. Chang’s. Consider making it dinner and a movie at the Circle Centre United Artist Movie Theater. Circle Center holds several options to keep people busy and happy when they visit.
Furthermore, Indy has every kind of event from the Indiana Comic Con to Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Seasonal events such as the family friendly Hop to the Prop Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny are examples of seasonal events that take place in April. Into arts and music? Indy offers events such as Butler’s Artsfest and the iconic Vogue Theatre. Starting in 1938, The Vogue opened as Indy’s first air-conditioned movie theater. It operated as such until 1977 when it was converted into a nightclub. Since then, The Vogue has been awarded “Best Place to Hear Live Music” and “Indy’s Best Dance Club” time and time again. The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre is another favorable place that hosts live concerts, dance performances by renowned professional dance companies, and even presents musical theatre performances.
Perhaps the most kid friendly places include the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the infamous Children’s Museum. The Indianapolis Zoo is a 64-acre accredited zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden. Since opening in 1964, the zoo takes pride in providing year-round and lifelong recreational learning experiences for its more than 1 million annual visitors and instilling in them a sense of stewardship for Earth’s plants and animals. The mission of the Indianapolis Zoo is to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation.
Fifteen minutes north of Monument Circle is the Indianapolis Museum of Art, one of the nation’s largest and oldest general art museums. Located on 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the museum’s permanent collection spans a vast range of cultures and eras, and numbers more than 50,000 works, including one of the nation’s largest and most significant collections of Asian art, the newly designed Eiteljorg Suite of African and Oceanic Art, along with so many other equally impressive features.
Finally, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features five floors of fun and interactive learning that have the power to transform the lives of children and families across the arts, world cultures, sciences, and humanities.