sitcase and duffelbag -- overpack but don't overdo prepare for some walking - several museums and a new zoo are within 1/2 mile of the center of town;
In Indianapolis the weather is NOT consistent. Winter may be well below zero or 50 degrees and sunny and it can change from day to day. So use layers in winter, spring, or fall. Summer is normally hot and humid but June may be great or rainy. The Month of May with the Indianapolis 500 activities can require snow gear or a bathing suit (I've literally seen both from May 1 to May 31) Take pictures. that is always good advice but Indy is not about landscape it is about experience.
Downtown - This is a great...
Downtown - This is a great place to spend a night out. With numerious places to eat, drink, and enjoy yourself, the downtown area (Circle Center) is a great place to spend an evening. Circle Center Mall stays open until around 9 or 10 depending on the day of the week, but the city does not close then. The Slippery Noodle is a great place to enjoy music and drink.
Broad Ripple - If you are looking for an under 40 party crowd, head to Broad Ripple. BR has many nightclubs, danceclubs, and bars that is centered around the 21-30 crowd. As I am only 20 years old I have no experience, but I know that many travel a couple hours just to party on these couple of streets. Broad Ripple is the place to be!! Indiana is a pretty laid back state, and so is the city of Indianapolis. Dress is not as important as is having a good time. However, for your own sake, I would recommend dressing nice, if you have it. There are clubs and bars for every type of dress in this city. You will find everything from NYC fashion to bikers, it just depends on where you go.
Truly Southern Style Bar-B-Que
This place is good and has truly southern style slow roasted pork, turkey, and beef brisket. There are two locations (NORTH at 71st near Binford Parkway, Old 37; SOUTH near Beach Grove but just south of Beltway 465 on Emerson).
Low and slow and good sauce! That is the way I like my bar-b-cue pork.
Okay, a friend of mine actually does the best BBQ roasting I have had in Indianapolis and I have a small smoker so I will try my own soon.
But recently I visited GT South's location again on the North Side and I really enjoyed it. The Pulled Pork is very similar to what I get in Tennessee and Georgia. We also like the Beef Brisket! Good sauce, too!
And very reasonably priced!!
Indianapolis Museum of Art
It's not the same as the Chicago Institue of Art, where I walk around for hours with my jaw down around my knees. But it's a good gallery. It doesn't really boast any outstanding, well-known masterpieces (though that's admittedly a pretty subjective statement), but there's a nice variety of modern and classical works, along with rotating exhibits. Free parking and admission. Nice gardens surrounding the buildings.
Radially Planned Midwest Capitol City
"14th Largest City in the USA comes of age"
Indianapolis can be easily overlooked as a stopover on a cross-continental I-70 drive between Philadelphia and Denver. Currently, the belt freeway I-465 remains such a frustrating construction mess that one might be tempted to persist and simply drive on through and forget Indie, particularly since the famous Archway Monument at St. Louis is less than 4 hours further west. However, Indianapolis famed for the 100 year old Indie 500 Formula One and NASCAR Speedway has come of age as a domed capitol city, even as it struggles out of a twenty year period of stagnation and redevelopment downtown. While St Louis remains problematic downtown, and seeminly lacking in redevelopment focus, Indianapolis teams with industry and is almost fully restored downtown, having a number of brand new museums and so many well kept venerable old memorial monuments that only Washington, D.C. exceeds its collection in number and scale. The radial street plan is easy to comprehend and appreciate, having its origin at Monument Circle and the 284 foot tall tribute to soldiers and sailors monument. For those wanting to visit Indiana in detail, roads to all corners of the state do radiate almost directly from the center of downtown.
"Midwest Family Values"
For most Americans, Indiana state in general, with Indianapolis at its near perfect geographical center, represents the best of American patriotic, hardworking, self-reliant, traditional family values. The state's reputation for Unionist Republican politics remains legendary, even as Indianapolis itself emerges into the twenty-first century as a capitol metropolis shifting toward urbane Democratic politics long since commonplace in other midwest cities, especially Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. In my case, I was fortunate enough to explore the city with Jeremy, aka VT member Vulindlela and his family, who like myself are originally from California. Jeremy did what few Californians are brave enough do; he actually moved to follow the dream of home ownership and a family oriented place to raise his children. During my visit there, Jeremy and I talked a lot about Indiana, and Indianapolis in particular, about how the society ticks. Jeremy toured me around town to get an overview of the city, and these notes are therefore indebted to his effort as well as my own.