1. A Major Hub of Business, Culture, & Entertainment
In 1825, Indianapolis replaced Corydon as the capital of Indiana, making it the closest capital city to the center of its state in the United States. This shift in the state's capital was a major milestone in the city's history, as it has since become a major hub for business, culture, and entertainment in the Midwest. Indianapolis is now home to a variety of attractions, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Zoo, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
2. The Unconventional City on the White River
Indianapolis stands out among major cities in the United States as the only one not located on a river. This unique distinction is due to its location in the Midwest, where the city is situated on the White River, a tributary of the Wabash River. The city is also home to the White River State Park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities and attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
3. Architect Alexander Ralston & Indy's Modern Transformation
Alexander Ralston, the French architect who apprenticed under Pierre L'Enfant, the designer of Washington D.C., was the mastermind behind the planning of Indianapolis. Ralston's design for the city was heavily influenced by L'Enfant's work, and the two cities share many similarities in their layout. Indianapolis is known for its wide, tree-lined streets, its large public parks, and its grand monuments, all of which were part of Ralston's original plan.
4. The Chase Tower: A Symbol of Indianapolis' Growth and Progress
Until 1962, Indianapolis was limited to buildings no taller than 284 feet due to an ordinance that was in place to protect the city's Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. However, this all changed when the Chase Tower was built in 1962, making it one of the tallest buildings in the United States and the tallest in Indianapolis. This iconic building stands at a whopping 811 feet tall, making it a symbol of the city's growth and progress.
5. The Indianapolis 500: A Race to Remember
Indianapolis is home to the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest sports facility in the world. This incredible venue can accommodate an astonishing 600,000 spectators, making it the perfect place to host the iconic Indianapolis 500 race. The Speedway has been a staple of the city since 1909, and continues to draw in visitors from all over the world.
6. Crown Hill Cemetery: Home to Presidents, Poets, and More
Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is one of the largest cemeteries in the United States, ranking third in size. Spanning 555 acres, the cemetery is home to over 200,000 graves, including those of notable figures such as President Benjamin Harrison and poet James Whitcomb Riley. It also features a variety of monuments, sculptures, and mausoleums, making it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
7. The Best of Gen Con
The Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis is the home of Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the United States. Every year, the event draws in over 40,000 attendees from all over the country, making it the most popular of its kind. Gen Con offers a wide variety of activities, from gaming tournaments to cosplay competitions, and is a great opportunity for gamers to come together and celebrate their shared passion.
8. The Many Charitable Organizations in Indianapolis
Indianapolis is home to a wide variety of charitable and fraternal organizations, including Kiwanis International, the world's largest service organization. Additionally, the city is the headquarters for 26 major sororities and fraternities, providing a strong network of support for students and alumni alike. With such a diverse range of organizations, Indianapolis is a hub for those looking to make a difference in their community.
9. Eagle Creek Park: A Place to Connect with Nature
Spanning over 3,900 acres, Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It features a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, and biking, as well as a nature center, an observatory, and a beach. The park also offers a variety of educational programs, such as bird watching, nature photography, and astronomy classes. With its vast array of activities and amenities, Eagle Creek Park is a great place to explore and enjoy the outdoors.
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10. Explore the World's Largest Children's Museum in Indy!
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest of its kind in the world, boasting an impressive 500,000 square feet of space and over 100,000 exhibits and artifacts. Located in the heart of Indianapolis, this museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the city, offering a unique and educational experience for children and adults alike. From interactive exhibits to hands-on activities, the museum has something for everyone, making it a great place to explore and learn.