Indianapolis Travel Guide

As far as Midwest travel destinations go, the capital of Indiana state may not shine as much as Chicago or St Louis. However, tourists who visit Indianapolis will find multiple attractions that are easily accessible, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which many consider to be hallowed ground. The location's history of hosting races spans more than a century and, today, it welcomes racing devotees by the thousands for the Indy 500. During the winter, Indianapolis is a hotspot for football fans, whose fervour for the Colts has reached frenzied heights since the team won Super Bowl XLI.

The city also offers a lot for travellers who are less enthusiastic about spectator sports. Once dubbed 'Indiana No Place' by former first lady, secretary of state and US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, Indianapolis is now a well-rounded destination that caters for a variety of other interests, with history featuring strongly among them. At the centre of town is Monument Circle, which is home to the 284-foot (87m) Soldiers and Sailors Monument, among many others. From the circle, the city spreads outward in a grid and is divided into six cultural districts. Broad Ripple Village mixes sidewalk cafes and upscale boutiques with retro fashions and original music venues. Fountain Square is a funky downtown neighbourhood laid out like a European village. Both are known for their artistic leanings and abundance of ethnic restaurants. Indiana Avenue showcases the city's African-American heritage, and Mass Ave is the free-spirited, friendly arts and theatre district.

The final two cultural districts may have less of an eclectic vibe, but they are packed with attractions. Travellers in search of good, old-fashioned American consumerism need look no further than the Wholesale District's Circle Centre, a large shopping mall connected to the Indiana Convention Center and a number of downtown hotels via skywalks. Wholesale is the home of the business district as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the Indiana Pacers play, the Colts' RCA Dome and loads of chain restaurants. For visitors who wish to spend a bit of time enjoying the fresh air, there's the Canal and White River Park district. The Canal Walk snakes through the city, offering an urban respite for fitness buffs, while scattered throughout the 250-acre state park are top museums, unique festival and concert spaces and the Indianapolis Zoo.