Indiana is known as the 'Crossroads of America', and in Indianapolis, the intersection of several major Interstate highways, this is literally true. This makes the state capital's multiple attractions easily accessible, including the one many consider to be hallowed ground, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those who know nothing else about the city know that each May racing devotees flock to Indianapolis 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 the XLI Super Bowl.
Indianapolis © Jasssmit
No worries for those less enthusiastic about spectator sports. Once dubbed 'Indiana No Place', Indianapolis now caters to a variety of other interests, not the least of which is history. At the centre of town is Monument Circle, 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 cafés 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. Those 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 is 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.
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