The nation’s 13th largest city has gone through a stunning renaissance that has made it a different place than it was 10 years ago. Indy provides the perfect balance of big-city style and small-town charm, which makes it a great destination for leisure travel, conventions, meetings, group tours, and a special place to make your home.
With more than 21 million visitors a year, it’s no wonder that Hoosier hospitality is our namesake. Indianapolis is located in the geographical center of Indiana and is the state capital. Indianapolis has a land area of 1,027 sq km, and includes the towns of Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, and Southport. These small communities retained local autonomy when Marion County and Indianapolis merged. Indianapolis is known as the Crossroads of America, because four interstate freeways (I-65, I-69, I-70, and I-74) and four federal highways meet here. The Indianapolis International Airport serves the city and central Indiana.
Indianapolis is located on flat to gently rolling land. The White River, which flows through the city from northeast to southwest, is too shallow for shipping, making Indianapolis the largest United States city not on a natural body of navigable water. With few natural barriers to restrict its growth, Indianapolis has spread outward rather than upward, and the city has a relatively low population density. The city’s climate is temperate, with no pronounced wet or dry seasons. In 2004, its population was estimated at 863,251, while the population of the entire metropolitan area was 1,728,242.
Indianapolis hosts several colleges and universities, and a wide variety of cultural institutions. Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) includes the Indiana University Medical School, the only medical school in Indiana. Among the city’s private colleges are Butler University, ITT, Lincoln Tech, University of Indianapolis, Marian College, Martin University, and The Christian Theological Seminary. Another publicly supported institution is Ivy Tech State College, formerly known as Indiana Vocational Technical College.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s oldest and largest children's museum, with exhibits ranging from world cultures to natural sciences. The Indianapolis Museum of Art has collections of African, Asian, and European art in specialized pavilions set amid expansive gardens and a restaurant run by renown chef Wolfgang Puck. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art displays Native American art and artifacts. Other artistic groups in the city include the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Opera, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Indianapolis Repertory Company, and numerous other professional and community theaters. Indianapolis maintains more than 100 public parks, golf courses, and pools; among these is Eagle Creek Park, one of the nation’s largest municipal parks at 4,400 acres, and White River State Park, which houses the Indianapolis Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Video courtesy of indy.org
The city annually hosts the state fair at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The city’s professional football team, the Indianapolis Colts, currently plays in the 60,300-seat RCA Dome; the Lucas Oil Stadium with a retractable roof is currently under construction to replace the twenty-two-year-old RCA Dome and is scheduled to open in 2008. The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, men’s and women’s professional basketball teams, play in Conseco Fieldhouse. By far the biggest professional show in the city is the annual Indianapolis 500, a Memorial Day weekend automobile race that is the world’s largest single-day sporting event.
The Indianapolis Speedway also hosts the United States Grand Prix Formula One race, and the NASCAR Brickyard 400. Major manufacturers include makers of automobile parts, electrical components, pharmaceuticals, machinery, transportation equipment, metal products, processed food, paper products, printed materials, and rubber and plastic goods. Indianapolis is rapidly becoming a national center for medical research and services. Government activity, financial and insurance institutions, construction, sports, tourism, and the convention trade are also important contributors to the city’s economy. It’s a city that’s perfect for those stretching their minds or muscles…offering big-city amenities in a convenient, easy-to-navigate package wrapped in a friendly, inviting atmosphere. Indianapolis…it revolves around you!