Situated roughly at Indiana‘s geographic center, the city of Indianapolis, with all the roads and rails that pass through it, gives this part of the USA the nickname that defines it. Being the central feature of the state that calls itself The Crossroads of America, chances are good that you might pass through Indianapolis during your travels through the American Midwest.
If you find yourself en route to Indiana’s capital, don’t just blaze through like most people tend to do. There are more than a few worthwhile sights in this moderately sized city, with a couple of attractions that will appeal to sports fans, as well as some unique sights that will pique the interest of those that are more artistically inclined.
If nothing else, it will prove to be a relaxing stop for a day or two if you happen to be on a longer term trip across the United States.
Culture vultures will be intrigued and/or amused during their visit to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. This unique exhibition hall features paintings, sculptures, and other works of visual art from Native Americans from around the country, making it the world’s largest collection of indigenous art. In addition to this, a recent expansion has added outdoor gardens, as well as the Sky Cafe, which specializes in Southwestern grub, so come for lunch and causally stroll through the galleries afterwards.
Next, head to the absolute center of the city as defined by Monument Circle, a circular street which surrounds some of the state’s most highly-regarded monument. The Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument is that place, as it honors military personnel that died fighting for the USA during the wars of the 19th century with an obelisk style memorial can can be ascended by elevator for some of the choicest views in Indianapolis.
After this, there are numerous stores and restaurants that surround the monument on the outer part of Monument Circle to satisfy the shopping and hunger beast that lies within you, so hit them up if the mood strikes you.
You may have not have realized it before coming to Indianapolis, but an American president resided here before ascending to the Oval Office. Benjamin Harrison Home preserves the Indy home of the 23rd president of the United States, who served the nation from 1889 to 1893.
One thing that Harrison was famous for during his election campaign was the speeches he gave from the front porch of his home, giving you one thing to envision as you tour the Victorian-era home on one of the tours that go throughout the week.
Motorheads will be in heaven when they get to Indiana’s capital city, as the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located here. It is here where one of the world’s most famous races goes annually, as the Indianapolis 500 pits IndyCar drivers against each other for the highly coveted milk jug.
If you arrive outside of the weekend of the race, the Hall of Fame on site contains the world’s largest collection of racing cars, which ranges from the more modern type to the rides of yesteryear.
Continue your sports binge by heading over to the NCAA Hall of Champions, which honors the greatest achievements of student athletes in years past. In addition to displays honoring those that have gone on to stardom through the college system, the entire history of the development of sport in the NCAA, making this place a must for those that love athletics.
End your stay in Indianapolis by spending a leisurely afternoon alongside the Indiana Central Canal. While the White River has never been historically deep enough for much of the year to handle commercial boat traffic, this didn’t stop city boosters from pushing forward with an ill-advised civic works project.
Today, a former governmental folly is the public’s gain, as this waterway is great place to kayak or take out a paddleboat upon, while those on land can bike or jog along its length, giving you an excellent place to get your run in on your travels (no excuses!)