I’ve lived in and around the Dayton, Ohio area my whole life (45 years). Yet I’ve never visited Indianapolis. That is, until this weekend. Our 14 year old daughter is infatuated with The Beatles, so I am taking her to a Paul McCartney concert this evening in Indianapolis.
We are currently staying at a hotel in downtown area. This morning I took a jog along a canal located a few blocks west of the center of town. Wow, very nice – much classier than the one in San Antonio. Lots of fountains, waterfalls, and a few restaurants. Not sure when it was built, but it’s quite an engineering achievement. There are also quite a few apartments & condos that overlook the canal. I just never expected something like this in a Midwestern city.
There are also a few museums along the canal, very close to our hotel. One has a guitar exhibition, so I’ll probably be taking my daughter there before we walk to the concert.
I wish I had known about Indianapolis earlier. And it’s such a short drive for us.
Indianapolis will never be one of my favorite cities, but having grown up there and lived there until the late 80s, I can tell you they sure have done a great job with the downtown area. It was a wasteland when I lived there.
As someone born in Illinois, I just had to open this thread…it is not often one hears the two words - Indiana and Beautiful used in the same sentence!
That said, we did used to vacation at Indiana Beach quite often, and it was fun…and that was where I saw The Who in concert.
BTW, as long as you mentioned the Beatles and Indiana… I am not sure but I think I might have been the reason The Who came up with the idea of Pinball Wizard…at the resort, they had a huge area with lots of pinball machines (probably fifty or more) that was sort of outside, but had a covered top. As I was playing that afternoon (pretty much the only one there) I looked up and saw The Who walk by (probably for a sound check at the auditorium across the way) and stop and gawk at the pinball area…and they were sort of watching me and I started to nervously pretend I was some kind of expert. (They couldn’t see the actual machine, just me hitting the sides and hopping around like a madman.) I was a huge fan of theirs and they were all staring at me and, well, what else was I supposed to do? They watched for about 5 minutes and moved on.
About a year later, Pinball Wizard came out. Just sayin’…
The Benjamin Harrison Home is in Indy, as well as his and Caroline’s burial site, Crown Hill cemetery, James Whitcomb Riley is also buried there.
I did not get a chance to tour his home. Not one of my favorite poets, but he was still very good, but still would have enjoyed touring it.
If you have a spare hour or two, you’ll totally love the Drum Museum downtown. I forget what the address is, but I believe it’s in the basement of one of the corner buildings off the Atrium Circle. It is fantastic!
I love Indy - we go there three or four times a year, just for a weekend. The downtown is excellent, and I love Mounment Circle.
I used to go there on business 4 or 5 times a year. When I first started going about the only place anyone would take you to eat was St. Elmo’s steakhouse. It’s a very nice steakhouse but who wants to eat at the same place every night?
Over the years I was very happy to see the dining in Indianapolis drastically improve.
ETA - the zoo is really nice too. It’s a favorite Indy stop for me.
There are some nice places in Indianapolis (I lived there for a couple of years in the '80s).
Of course, some of the most memorable times were spent covering shootings, stabbings and other mayhem on the near north/northwest sides. You can get a slightly different flavor (but still a memorable one) from watching old “Cops” episodes that take place on the south side.
I love Indianapolis. Be sure to visit the zoo, children’s museum and the Eiteljorg Native American museum. Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a gorgeous basketball arena, and Victory Field, home of the AAA Indians, is considered one of the. best minor-league ballparks. (The view past center field is astonishing, too).
Well… The canal was originally planned after the Erie Canal proved to be useful, but didn’t quite account for the popularity of that whole railroad thing. A financial crisis halted its construction, then it was abandoned when rail proved to be far easier.
I hope your hotel also pointed out the Cultural Trail to you. You were most likely on a portion of it on the canal. It connects 4 of the major downtown cultural districts with very pedestrian- and bike-friendly sidewalks. Its final stage was recently completed (finally), and it’s been a huge success since it’s initial implementation. I know a lot of people in the city planning department, and they get a lot of visitors from other cities coming in to study it. It’s a great way for a tourist to cover a lot of relevant ground.
Thanks! I found out about it here, probably from you, and that was the best thing I’ve ever done there. We took a special day trip just to go there, about 2.5 hours away from us, and it was totally worth it.
Some close friends of mine moved there in the late 1990s, so I visited Indianapolis a few times around the turn of the millennium. I wouldn’t rate it highly as a tourist destination, though you can certainly find things to do and places to eat if you find yourself there for several days. But it looks like an absolutely great place to live - at that time, at least, it had the amenities of a major city, with the livability and ease of getting around of a much smaller city.
And there’s a hell of a lot to be said for places like that. Not every city can or should be a tourist destination, but every city ought to strive to be a pleasant place to live.