Indianapolis Travel Indianapolisâ€ƒ 1
The Canal Walk is part of the Indiana Central Canal which was dug in the early 1800s, in an effort to facilitate interstate commerce. Today, the refurbished Canal Walk serves the downtown community as a waterside promenade for walkers, runners, bikers and sightseers (while the canal itself includes a steady stream of pedal boats, which may be rented west of the Indiana State Museum).
Welcome to Indianapolis The Circle City has it all. Take a look.
tandout buildings and places.
Two downtown landmarks, Monument Circle and Indiana War Memorial Plaza, are among America’s great urban spaces. The Circle centers the city and furnishes its “Circle City” calling card. The 24-acre plaza (think greenspace and monuments, like Washington, D.C.’s National Mall) gives Indy the distinction of devoting more acreage to honoring veterans than any other city; it’s second to D.C. in number of war memorials. The plaza, a National Historic Landmark, represents one of our defining traits: serving the country. In the Civil War, 75 percent of eligible men from Indiana joined
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the Union army, second to Delaware in per-capita enlistment. And since then, Indiana’s war casualties have numbered double the national average. Innovation that attracts the eyes of the world. While famous for fast cars, our city is winning praise for reinventing the bicycle and pedestrian experience in a downtown, too. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has been called “an astonishing and amazing vision” by national civic-development experts. And the art world was paying attention when the Indianapolis Museum of Art unveiled the largest contemporary-art park (100 Acres: The
Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park) in the country in June 2010. Hidden gems where you least expect them. Stately on the outside, the Indiana War Memorial stuns visitors with its grandiose interior spaces. A commitment to green. Indianapolis International Airport isn’t just America’s newest; it’s also one of the world’s most environmentally friendly. More than 90 percent of the materials used to build it came from within 500 miles. Growth and prosperity. Compared to much of the Midwest, Indianapolis has a profile closer to the Sun Belt
than to the Rust Belt. In contrast to many shrinking cities in the region, Indy is attracting people, with its population growing 50 percent faster than the national average. And the city is showing impressive gains in industries such as life sciences and technology. A diverse population. With 40,000 foreign-born residents having moved to Indianapolis since 2000, the city is adding international residents at a faster pace than even Chicago. Indy is now home to growing Mexican, Chinese, Sikh, Burmese and Nigerian communities.
“All my jokes are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis.” kurt vonnegut here. Chefs at top independent restaurants have long partnered with Indiana farmers to bring the freshest ingredients to the menu. Indy’s signature nosh, the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, is often as big as the plate on which it’s served.
apart. An artificial city laid down on the swampy marshes of a non-navigable river, Indy should have been a sleepy, small-town state capital. But with humility and competitive spirit, a quietly determined people created a great city from the ground up. Endowed with few natural advantages, the city was built by people who did not accept excuses. From those pioneers of the early days to Madam Walker rising to riches when African-Americans lacked opportunity to the legendary battles at the Speedway to a downtown full of construction cranes in the middle of a recession, Indianapolis is the city that won’t quit.
A rich African-American legacy. A century ago, cosmetics entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker of Indy made a name as the country’s first female to become a self-made millionaire. The cultural district surrounding the Walker Theatre celebrates her accomplishments. And today, the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is the largest cultural or ethnic event in the United States.
Championship sports. Downtown boasts three remarkable pro-sports venues. The Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl champs in 2007, rule the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, which has the largest rectractable roof in the NFL. For the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, home court is Bankers Life Fieldhouse, just named the best basketball arena in the country by Sports Business Journal. In season, the Indianapolis Indians play AAA baseball at Victory Field, one of the most picturesque ballparks in any city.
Distinct neighborhoods. With a diverse roster of residential areas, from downtown’s quaint Lockerbie Square to its retro Fountain Square to funky Broad Ripple not far away, Indy feels like home.
History and cherished traditions. To get a glimpse, visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, built 101 years ago, or the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse, site of the 1954 “Milan Miracle” that inspired the basketball film Hoosiers.
Today that spirit is as alive and strong as ever. We’ve come a long way, but we still haven’t reached our potential. So while you delight in our sights and activities, be sure to get to know the people of Indianapolis. Treat yourself to the famous local hospitality, and be sure to come back soon to see what our determined attitude will create here tomorrow.
Unique local cuisine. Farm-to-table is more of a philosophy than a trend
Mostly, it’s the spirit of the people of Indianapolis that sets our city
Welcome to our great city. Welcome to Indianapolis.
Spotlight On: Indy’s Cultural Districts Tourist attractions are great, but to make a visit to a destination experience richer, it’s important that the visitor get a sense of place. There is no better way to experience a place than to see it through the eyes of the people who call it home. In Indianapolis, your best bet for a “local” experience is to venture to one of our six distinct cultural districts. Each district has a personality and flare that is all its own so you’ll have to figure out which best fits your personality.
Known affectionately as Mass Ave, this five-block area is ripe with theaters, restaurants, art galleries and, most attractively for shoppers, a number of eclectic, independent boutiques. You’ll encounter unique finds on each block, from Stout’s Shoes (the nation’s oldest shoe store, established in 1886), to Silver In The City/At Home In The City (offering silver jewelry and unique
gift items), to The Best Chocolate In Town (which is fairly self-descriptive).
Broad Ripple Village
Twenty minutes north of downtown (give or take a minute), this neighborhood offers a lively mix of bars and clubs, as well as art galleries, restaurant and shopping. One-of-a-kind shops include the Indy CD & Vinyl record shop, Artifacts art gifts, and Big Hat Books (among many, many others).
Just southeast of downtown, this funky Indianapolis neighborhood has vintage and antique shops, a world of restaurants, working artists and a vibrant arts scene, live music and performance, and one-of-a-kind stores that sell comics, musical instruments, home decor, fresh flowers, and so much more. Visit Fountain Square any time of the day or night, and find out why our neighborhood is anything but...square! Travel Indianapolis 3
The Canal and White River State Park
Whether it’s a relaxing stroll, vigorous run, day at the ballpark, interacting with dolphins, discovering Indiana history, exploring Native American art, learning about Lincoln or enjoying an outdoor concert, the Canal and White River State Park Cultural District has surprises for everyone including authentic gondola rides! This is not your typical park or waterway. Scattered throughout the Canal and 250-acre state park are the city’s most inspiring museums, attractions and celebrations. Discover Indiana’s heritage as you meander along the limestone walkway, enjoying a stunning backdrop of the Downtown skyline. This cultural destination boasts seven major attractions, festival space, public art, unique cafes and three miles of walkways on the refurbished historic Central Canal.
The Wholesale District
Bright lights and marquees highlight the best performances in town. Doormen in tuxedos greet guests. Circle Centre mall delights the most meticulous shoppers.
Bustling sidewalks overflow with excited visitors taking in the scenery. Monument Circle welcomes all. You’re in the Wholesale District in Downtown Indianapolis. For a night (or day) out on the town, you’ve come to the right place! Amidst Downtown’s historic buildings and newest skyscrapers in the heart of the business district, you’ll find the biggest names and the brightest attractions the city has to offer. Whether it’s world-class shopping, professional sports or concerts and theatre, it’s here among the finest hotels and signature dining. In the Wholesale District, entertainment is front and center.
From early black settlements of the 1820s, to stops in Indianapolis along the Underground Railroad, African Americans have played an essential role in the growth of the city. The Indiana Avenue District was the commercial and social hub of black Indianapolis where some of the hottest jazz spots in
Crown Hill Notable Interments John Dillinger: Notorious bank robber during the depression era, his escapades somehow caught the general public’s imagination. James Whitcomb Riley: Famous
Hoosier Poet. whose beloved poems include “Little Orphan Annie” and “The Raggedy Man”
Benjamin Harrison: U.S. Senator, 23rd U.S. President 1889-1893.
Richard Gatling: Inventor of the Gatling Gun.
Book Tarkington: Author/ playwright, winner of two Pulitzers.
the Midwest drew the likes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. They were astounded by the talent they found here. Today that music heritage is alive at a variety of clubs. The district offers art galleries, artist studios, historic attractions, unique restaurants, museums, parks and public art.
Amidst Downtown’s historic buildings, bright lights, and newest skyscrapers in the heart of the business district, you’ll find the biggest names and the brightest attractions the city has to offer.
Off the Beaten Path Holliday Park
One of Indianapolis’ oldest parks, Holliday Park is located along the banks of the White River and encompasses 95 acres of woodland and trails. As a major urban resource, it features an arboretum, native prairie, extensive ornamental and native gardens, along with a playground, picnic area and Nature Center. Holliday Park is one of the most environmentally diverse, yet accessible, tracts of land within Marion County. The wooded area contains natural springs and wetlands, a pond, a long stretch of the White River, a beech-maple forest, and over 400 species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Bird watchers have spotted 4 Travel Indianapolis
more than 200 species while hiking the two miles of trails that wind through the forest. In addition, deer, fox, beaver, rabbits, squirrels and many other native animals reside in or pass through the Park’s heavily wooded ravines.
Museum of Medical History
The museum maintains a collection of scientific artifacts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a completely authentic setting. Constructed in 1895 and inaugurated in 1896, the nineteen-room Pathological Department Building, as it was then called, is equipped with three clinical laboratories, a photography lab, teaching amphitheatre, autopsy room, and library.
The Indiana Medical History Museum is located in the Old Pathology Building on the grounds of the former Central State Hospital on the near westside of Indianapolis. The museum represents the beginning of scientific psychiatry and modern medicine while the building itself is the oldest surviving pathology facility in the nation and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ten-pin bowling used to strictly be a winter sport and most alleys closed during the summer except for a few that remained open to play odd bowling games using the smaller balls. Summer bowlers suggested
that it might be interesting to trim the standard pins down to match the size of the small ball. Because it was much harder to get strikes and spares, the rules were changed to allow three bowls on each turn but only counted as a score of ten if all ten pins were knocked down with the third ball. Duckpins became so popular that during the 1920’s duckpin bowling spread along the east coast, from New England to Georgia. Today duckpin houses are still found only in the eastern states with the exception of our two locations here in Fountain Square, the only authentic Duckpin Bowling in the Midwest! Today if you ride the elevator to the fourth floor of the Fountain Square Theatre Building you will be
The Ruins at Holliday Park In the 1950s, the St. Paul Building at 220 Broadway in New York City, was torn down to make way for a modern skyscraper. Karl Bitter, one of the outstanding architectural sculptors of the late 19th century, had designed the facade of the original building, including three massive statues made of Indiana limestone called “the Races of Man.” To find a new home for the sculptures, the building’s owner, the Western Electric Company, held a competition among U.S. cities, which were required to submit plans for their display and preservation. Indianapolis proposed to place them in Holliday Park, which was then an arboretum, and the city was ultimately awarded the highly prized sculptures, valued at the time at $150,000. Elmer Taflinger, who provided the sketches for the proposed structure, was chosen to carry out the design. He worked to complete the project over the next 20 years. Travel Indianapolis 5
Just ten minutes from downtown Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 152-acre campus is home to Robert Indiana’s original LOVE sculpture.
transported to another era in time at Action Duckpin Bowl. Originally opened in 1928 as Fountain Square Recreation, a bowling alley and billiard hall, the business closed in 1957 and remained vacant until 1994 when it was restored with authentic 1930’s vintage bowling equipment and reopened with eight lanes of duckpin bowling, a 1918 pool table and an extensive collection of bowling memorabilia dating to the early 1900’s.
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Founded in 1883, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the 10 largest and 10 oldest general art museums in the nation. With an encyclopedic collection of more than 54,000 works spanning 5,000 years, the IMA offers significant holdings of African, American, Asian, European and contemporary art, textiles and fashion art, as well as a growing collection of design arts. 6 Travel Indianapolis
On November 7, 1883, an exhibition of 453 works by 137 artists opened at the English Hotel on the downtown Indianapolis Circle. It was the first exhibition organized by the Art Association of Indianapolis, which well-known suffragette May Wright Sewell, her husband Theodore, and a small group of art-minded citizens had formed a few months earlier. In the process, they wrote the mission statement that spelled out their intentions. The success of that exhibition, which attracted sizable crowds throughout its three-week run, established the Art Association as a viable factor in the local cultural scene and led to more exhibitions, as well as lectures and eventually a campus featuring both a museum and an art school. Though the Sewalls were never timid about dreaming big, even they would be shocked to see what
the small group they helped found 130 years ago has become. Since the Art Association of Indianapolis changed its name to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1969—a precursor to its move the following year from its longtime home on the campus of the John Herron Art Institute at 16th and Pennsylvania streets into a new building at 38th Street and Michigan Road—the organization has evolved into the fifth largest encyclopedic art museum in the country, with active exhibition and education programs that far surpass anything the Art Association’s founders could have imagined.
Crown Hill Cemetery:
Crown Hill Cemetery, located at 700 West 38th Street in Indianapolis, is the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the United States. Crown Hill is the city’s premier
present. The cemetery is also important for its Romantic landscape design and architecturally significant buildings and structures. The gates to the main entrance of the cemetery are on Boulevard Street. Adolph Scherrer was still supervising the construction of the Indiana Statehouse in 1885, when the cemetery board hired him to design these fine Gothic Revival limestone portals and matching gate house. The Waiting Station, also designed by Scherrer in 1885, is the red brick Victorian Gothic building just inside the gates. The Waiting Station features contrasting brick, limestone Gothic piers, stone lintels and sills, and red terra cotta wall tiles. Before the advent of interurbans, trolleys, and autos, the Waiting Station provided a suitable place for family members to gather while waiting for others to arrive by carriage.
Victorian-era cemetery, and the final resting place of most of its leaders from the 1860s to the
Further inside the grounds, Dietrich Bohlen designed a stone Gothic Revival chapel in 1875. The chapel is one of few buildings left in Indianapolis designed by the elder Bohlen, who is thought to be the first trained architect to live in Indianapolis. The interior has a true masonry pointed arch barrel vault.
Crown Hill’s tranquil landscape is replete with excellent funerary art and sculpture. Elaborate mausoleums in Romanesque Revival, Neo-Classical Revival, and Art Deco style can be found on the grounds. The roads through the cemetery wind informally through grassy meadows and clumps of various species of trees.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library serves as a museum, art gallery and reading room celebrating the literary, artistic and cultural contributions of Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. Visitors to the library can see artifacts from the writer’s life (such as his typewriter from the 1970s, his Purple Heart, and an unopened, WWII-era letter from his father), view examples of his artwork and learn about his Hoosier roots. The library also supports language and visual arts education through programs and outreach activities with other arts organizations to foster a strong network for both the local and national community.
Recreation Downtown Cultural Trail
Downtown Indy’s new recreation path isn’t just a trail, it is a true trailblazer. Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick is big, bold, and beautiful, and it has caught the attention of urban planners around the country. The Project for Public Spaces, based in New York City, has said, “There’s really nothing like this in the world. This is an astonishing and amazing vision that will transform Indianapolis.”
sidewalks, a group of progressive community leaders in Indianapolis envisioned alluring, wide paths made for pedestrians and cyclists, lined with distinctive lighting and landscaping, and enlivened by original large-scale art. No other city could have considered reclaiming sidewalks and one lane of traffic to create a greenway of such scale, while also preserving generously wide roads. Downtown Indy’s spacious street layout made it possible here.
The 8-mile trail encircles downtown Indianapolis, passing through the city’s visitor and business district, its arts and cultural hubs, and its neighborhoods. Where most saw ordinary
While most urban greenways lead traffic away from the city to riverfronts or other outskirts, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail serves as a gateway into the heart of the city. The name—the
Cultural Trail—refers to the five official cultural districts along the route. Once disparate districts without a relationship to one another, these destinations are now linked, and the individual, culture-rich areas are part of a greater whole, enhancing their appeal and maximizing their potential. The trail passes within one block of every major arts, culture, heritage, and sports venue in the city. The trail also serves as the link completing the city’s greenway system. Before the Cultural Trail, two greenways served downtown, and their trailheads were far apart. The Cultural Trail connects to both of them, closing the loop for a continuous route Travel Indianapolis 7
dedicated to nonmotorized traffic. In this way, the Cultural Trail is truly indigenous, responding to Indy’s urban environment and solving problems that it faced. Construction progressed steadily since the 2007 groundbreaking, and new corridors opened each year Approximately two-thirds of the funding was private, and one-third came from a federal transportation grant. More than 1 million users are expected to use the completed trail. The trail’s design is as innovative as the concept. Designed by Indianapolis’ Rundell Ernstberger Associates, it’s up to 25 feet wide in some places, and more than half is divided into separate sides for cyclists and foot traffic. Features include bright, contemporary signage; stormwater planters with open bottoms that allow rain to drain to the ground, reducing runoff and the burden on the city’s sewer system; pedestrian crossings with an audio component for the visually impaired; and plaza-like corners that extend into the street further than typical sidewalks, shortening the distance from one corner to the other. Also, the construction process incorporated about $20 million in city infrastructure improvements that might not have been done otherwise. As an urban-design asset, the trail beautifies many parts of downtown and improves the livability of some economically needy areas. Trail users can discover around $2 million worth of original, commissioned artwork. The large-scale pieces include an LED image of a woman dancing — designed by internationally renowned artist Julian Opie — large gates with solar-powered ambient lighting, a scent vault, a sculpture garden honoring great visionaries throughout history, resin bus shelters displaying original poetry, and a light installation that simulates a swarm of fireflies along what used to be a dark stretch of road. Even considering its ambitious design, The Indianapolis Cultural 8 Travel Indianapolis
Originially founded in 1850, The Slippery Noodle Inn is the oldest bar in the state.
Trail has exceeded expectations. It’s not just a way to get from point A to point B. It is an experience itself, a discovery of art, place, and life. It connects its users with each other and with their city in a way that has not been done before in Indianapolis, or in the country, proving that a journey can also be a destination.
location for many special events— including selected upcoming Super Bowl 2012 activities—the market serves as a cornerstone for downtown Indianapolis and the Near Eastside. With a wide variety of eateries, wine and cheese shoppes, and retailers, the Indianapolis City Market offers patrons an experience that combines the best of both yesterday and today.
Indianapolis City Market
Slippery Noodle Inn
In a world of look-alike food options, the historic Indianapolis City Market is experiencing a renaissance—one that will take you back to a time of greater community, natural food choices and preparation, and carefully crafted products that are both unique and useful.? The Indianapolis City Market’s history is as rich as the promise of its future. When opened in 1886, the market ushered in a new tradition: an open space for the sale of meats and produce. It wasn’t long before the Indianapolis City Market began to flourish as a community gathering place and one-stop shop for fresh produce, meat, fish, poultry, dairy and baked goods. Today, as one of the National Register of Historic Places, the Indianapolis City Market is a vibrant downtown event destination! Chosen as a prime
The Slippery Noodle Inn is a large blues bar and restaurant with two performance stages in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. It also has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating bar in the state of Indiana, having opened in 1850 as the Tremont House. The Inn served as a stop on the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War. During prohibition it was called a restaurant, although beer was still being made in the basement, and later it housed a brothel until 1953. The Inn is the oldest commercial building in the city. Its tin ceiling dates to 1890 and the oak bar is also over a century old. The Inn has operated under its current name since 1963. It has hosted many legendary blues performers during that time, and is now one of the most prominent blues venues in the region.