Indianapolis General Information
It's known as the "Crossroads of America," and not just because half the
population of the U.S. is within a day's drive. Indianapolis is the city where
down-home meets sophistication and barbecue meets gourmet.
||Its fast growing downtown offers a hoppin'
nightlife alongside symphony and the theater, fine arts and historical
monuments - not to mention the renowned Children's Museum, Indianapolis Zoo,
NCAA Hall of Champions' and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the
Indy you-know-what - all in a compact, visitor-friendly package.
The 12th largest city in the USA, with more than 1.6 million residents in
the greater Indianapolis area, offers excitement yet remains
Midwest-friendly. Hoosier Hospitality isn't just a slogan. The welcome mat
is out at nearly 22,000 guest rooms in 167 hotels within the city limits
alone, and its neighborhoods are just as accommodating, offering stunning
bed-and-breakfasts, ethnic eateries and a wealth of galleries and boutiques.
Some cities are known for being home to Fortune 500 giants. Indianapolis is
hometown to one of those companies: Eli Lilly and Co., the giant
pharmaceutical firm. Other major businesses include communications firms,
medical technology companies and real-estate development corporations.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest spectator sports facility in the
world with more than 250,000 permanent seats, is home to the Indy 500 every May,
NASCAR's Brickyard 400 in August and the US. Grand Prix Formula 1 race (moved to
June in 2004), but the huge complex is open all year to visitors. The Hall of
Fame Museum displays around 75 vintage and contemporary racers, including the
Marmon Wasp that Ray Harroun drove to victory in 1911 at the very first 500, and
A.J. Foyt's four winning cars. Visitors can ride around the 2.5 mile oval in a
tour bus - at a moderate speed - to appreciate its size.
The Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens are sister institutions, the only
destination in the country accredited as a zoological park, aquarium and
botanical garden, all situated on 70 acres of parkland. At the zoo, you can
check out the white rhino exhibit or catch a whale and dolphin show. There's
even a tame roller coaster and an area called the Enchanted Mill where kids can
cool off under sprinklers during warm weather. Next door, White River Gardens
features a glass-enclosed conservatory, a variety of gardens, and a library and
resource center where you can research garden questions.
Downtown's return as the city's powerful center got a major boost in 1995, with
the opening of Circle Centre, a $319.5 million downtown shopping mall. Now, a
basketball arena, football and baseball stadiums, the zoo, an urban park and the
convention center anchor the thriving commercial and cultural zone - with
special emphasis on culture: This year, a new, 12-acre ArtsPark is being created
along the south bank of the White River, a $10.7 million addition to the already
stunning Indianapolis Art Center. The Herron School of Art is tripling its space
with a $26 million gallery-and-auditorium complex, and the planned Indiana
Museum of African-American History, targeted to open in 2007, will debut a
performing arts center, a genealogical research library and exhibit space. Check
out the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association for more information
about what to do and see while you're in Indianapolis.
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