Indianapolis - description of the city:

Indy as it is commonly referred to, is the capital of the state of Indiana. It is the most populous city in the state. The census from 2010 has the population of Indianapolis as 820,445. Indy is the 29th biggest metropolitan area and the 13th biggest city in America. 

Indianapolis had focused on industry and government. It was during the latter years in the 20th century when the process of revitalizing the city began. The city now has an economy that is much more varied with contributions in the areas of health care, finance, and education. Another vital aspect of the city’s economy is tourism as Indianapolis is host to several conventions as well as sporting events. 

Perhaps the best known sporting events held in the city are the Brickyard 400 of Nascar and the Indianapolis 500. The city also hosts the women and men’s college basketball tournaments, the Big Ten tournament for basketball, and the Big Ten football championship game. 

Livability.com and Forbes have both ranked the city as having one of the better downtown areas in the US. There are over 35 hotels, almost 300 restaurants and other food options, and 200 or more retail shops in the area. In addition, there are sports venues, movie theaters, art galleries, parks, and museums. 

The Globalization and the World Cities research network consider Indianapolis as a gamma global city. The city has also won the Sister Cities International award in 2013, for the best overall program.


The Lenape and Miami tribes lived in the Indianapolis area, but were displaced by the 1820s. The city was chosen as the site for the new capital in the year 1820, replacing the state capital of Corydon. Corydon had been the state capital since Indiana was made a state in 1816. While many state capitals are typically located in the center area of their state, Indianapolis is almost exactly in the center of Indiana. It was placed at the White River because of it being close to the center and because it was though that the White river would be a major transportation hub. However, this was not the case as the waterway was too sandy. 

The name Indianapolis was invented by Jeremiah Sullivan, who was a Supreme Court judge in the state. He joined Indiana with polis, which is Greek for city. Indianapolis translated means “Indiana City.” Alexander Ralston was commissioned to design the city. The original plan was for the city to be only 1 square mile. The governor’s circle would be at the center the city. Market and Meridian streets join around the circle and then continue on in the east west direction and north south direction respectively. 

The city is on the original National Road that runs from east to west. The first railroad that served the city started operation in 1847 and more railroad connections made expansion of the city possible. Indy was home to the first common passenger terminal or Union Station. 

During the 20th century, the automobile industry was booming in the city. With hubs that led away from  the city in every direction, the city become the center for regional transport connecting St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chicago. This is how the city received the nickname Crossroads of America. 

During the 20th century, the population grew quite rapidly. Rapid suburbanization took place during the second part of the 20th century. During this time race relations deteriorated. Racial tensions in the area heightened during the 1970s when Unigov was passed. This insulated the middle class from the growing black community in the area. 

In the year 1970, the population of the city was 80% non-Hispanic whites. During the 70s and 80s, there was a period of making plans and revitalizing of the area. Changes came with the new zoning of the government for the city. 

During the same time period Indianapolis suffered from white flight and urban decay. A major regeneration of the blighted areas of the city including down town and fall creek place started in the 80s and led to a faster growth for the edges of the city area. Opening Circle Center, the RCA dome, and the Indianapolis Arts garden all revitalized the business district of the city. 

The state and city have invested greatly in improvement projects including the building of Lucas Oil Stadium and expanding the convention center. The I-465 beltway has also been improved and the airport was recently built.


The city prides itself on its rich heritage. There have been several initiatives made by the government of Indianapolis in recent years in order to increase the city’s appeal as a destination for culture and arts. 

There are 6 cultural districts designated in the city. These include Fountain Square, Massachusetts Avenue, Broad Ripple Village, White River state park, Indiana Avenue, and the Wholesale District. Each of these areas hold cultural and historic importance for the city and in recent years they have been revitalized and are now becoming centers for tourism, residential living, and commerce. 

The cultural trail was constructed from 2007 through 2013. This pedestrian path and urban bike trail connect the cultural districts of the city as well as the entertainment amenities, and neighborhoods. It serves as the downtown hub for the entire greenway system. Along the trail there are bike racks, benches, signage, lighting, and bike rentals and drop offs all along the trail. There is also local art work featured along the trail.

Places to Visit in Indianapolis 

The city of Indianapolis offers many great places to visit. Monument Circle is located at the center of the city and features the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This area is depicted on the flag of the city. It is located in the shadow of the tallest skyscraper in the state, which is the Chase Tower. Until the early part of the 1960s zoning laws for the city stated that no building could be taller than the monument. Every Christmas, lights are strung on the monument and lit during the Circle of Lights ceremony, which occurs the day after Thanksgiving every year. 

The war memorial plaza is a 5 block area that surrounds a memorial that is dedicated to Hoosiers who fought in American wars. The only other city with more war monuments located inside city limits is Washington D.C. In Indianapolis there is the Soldiers and Sailors monument, Medal of Honor memorial, world war memorial plaza, project 9/11 Indianapolis, Landmark for Peace Memorial, and the USS Indianapolis memorial. 

There are several other history and heritage attractions in the city as well. These include the Scottish Rite Cathedral, Benjamin Harrison’s home, Obelisk Square, Morris-Butler house, Madame Walker Theater Center, City Market, Cole-Noble district, Lockerbie square, James Whitcomb Riley Museum and Home, Crown Hill Cemetery, and the national headquarters for the American Legion. 

For those who love the arts, Indianapolis offers many great venues that have Broadway productions, plays, concerts, as well as other live performances. Some of these venues include Phoenix Theatre, Old National Center, Murat Theater, Madame Walker theater center, Hilbert Circle Theater, Indiana Repertory Theater, and the beef and boards dinner theater. 

There are several museums and galleries located in Indianapolis as well. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a great place to spend the day as a family. The museum offers 5 floors of interactive items that will keep any family entertained for an entire day. The Indiana State Museum offers a place to learn more about the state of Indiana. Other museums to visit in the city include the National Art Museum of Sport, IMS hall of fame museum, NCAA hall of champions, Herron School of art, Museum of Contemporary art, Arts garden, Museum of Art, Art Center, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Medical history museum, historical society, and the State Police Museum. 

Connor Prairie is a living history museum that is fun for the family. When visiting you is transported back to the 1800s and is shown what it was like to live in that time period? Special events take place at the living history museum throughout the year. 

There are many great reasons to visit the city of Indianapolis. The city is home to many great events throughout the year. This include Indy Jazz fest, the Talbot Street art fair, Penrod art fair, Indian Market and Festival, and the Carmel Arts festival. Another classic event held in the city is the Circle City Classic, which celebrates African American college football. 

Each May, since the year 1957, the city has held the 500 festival. This is a month long festival that leads up to the Indianapolis 500. Events include a mini marathon, and a parade. 

Overall, Indianapolis offers an extremely family friendly city to visit. There are numerous monuments and museums to visit throughout the city. The Indianapolis zoo offers many great animal exhibits, including a new orangutan exhibit that allows visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. The great restaurants and shops located downtown make the city worth the visit.  

Country United States
International title Indianapolis
Population 829,718 people
Timezone America/Indiana/Indianapolis
State Indiana
Geographic coordinates Latitude: 39.76838 x Longitude: -86.15804

Photo Galery Indianapolis

Nowadays of Indianapolis
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The main attractions of Indianapolis
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Famous Landmarks of Indianapolis
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Places of interest in Indianapolis
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A tour about Indianapolis
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Indianapolis video guide

Places to visit in Indianapolis

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