Six historic districts showcase active art and music scenes for visitors to the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo.
Founded and platted in 1821, Indianapolis (population 876,804) is known for being located at the “Crossroads of America.’’ And its varied tourist attractions are just part of what make Indy a unique and thriving city.
According to Lisa Wallace, communications manager, conventions and meetings for Visit Indy, “Visitor favorites include the green space, canal and attractions conveniently located in White River State Park steps away from hotels. Two newer attractions include the Dallara IndyCar Factory and our Cultural Trail, an innovative project connecting visitors on bike or foot with hotels, restaurants and eclectic neighborhoods throughout the city. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is also popular with prominent works of art inside and 152 acres of gardens and grounds outside that house the original [Robert Indiana] LOVE sculpture.”
Those are just some of the attractions located in the city’s six distinct cultural districts. These include Broad Ripple Village, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave. and the Wholesale District. Nestled in these districts are public art, shops, galleries, museums and recreation. Four of the six districts are conveniently located downtown, the site of the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo.
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Broad Ripple Village is set against the backdrop of public art, graffiti murals and green spaces. It’s the ideal venue for those adventuresome souls who enjoy art, creative spaces and ethnic foods. Shopping options include works by local artisans, as well as vintage furniture and collectibles. The Indianapolis Art Center and the ARTSPARK outdoor laboratory are located in Broad Ripple.
The Canal and White River State Park are more for history and outdoor lovers. Limestone walkways and American Indian art are part of the experience in this district.
Scattered throughout the Canal and 250-acre White River State Park are some of the city’s most inspiring museums and attractions.
The Canal Walk – on the “waterfront” – provides an urban respite for fitness enthusiasts and serenity seekers. Also in this district is the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Glick Indiana History Center, the Indiana State Museum and the NCAA Hall of Champions.
Fountain Square is a historic community spotlighted by a town square and central fountain, evoking images of a European city. It is a literary and artistic haven and home to more offbeat activities like duckpin bowling and swing dancing. More than 75 artists call the Wheeler Arts Community or Murphy Art Center home.
Indiana Avenue anchors the district that spans the Central Canal and White River. Here history, jazz, restored neighborhoods and spirituality embrace the city’s rich African-American heritage. Several venues are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mass Ave. is the city’s arts and theater district, including five performing arts theaters. Shops feature local artists’ works, and an array of original outdoor art greets visitors.
Wholesale District brings an urban excitement to the city with marquees, tuxedoed doormen and a mall to delight shoppers – the two-block, four-story Circle Centre mall. This is the heart of the business district, home to historic buildings, massive skyscrapers and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indiana Repertory Theatre.
The Bankers Life Fieldhouse is home to the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever of the Women’s NBA. Lucas Oil Stadium hosts the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts.