Indianapolis Travel Guide

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Indianapolis Overview

You’ll probably know Indianapolis as the self-proclaimed racing capital of the world. We can’t help thinking that Monaco, Le Mans and Bathurst and a few others might have something to say about that, and it certainly does have a palatable love of speed. Around the Indianapolis 500, you’ll find talk in the city is of little else, but this city – America’s 12th largest by population – has plenty else to offer, too.

There’s an impressive political backdrop to the city, too, which is Indiana’s state capitol. The emotion-inducing sights of the towering Soldiers and Sailors monument celebrates freedom, with images of slavery plastered all over the towering sides. Right next door you’ll come across an impressive (and free) Civil War Museum, and down the road is a mammoth, seven block war memorial, which looks at the history of the US at war through the ages. The accompanying museum does the same, while at the Crown Hill Cemetery you can use the guided tour to discover the graves of a number of old war heroes.

It all sounds a little dark and depressing, but the reality of Indianapolis is far from it: bright and spectacular due to its aging architecture, construction lovers will enjoy the dazzling sight of spots like the Scottish Rite Cathedral or the towering Holcomb Observatory.

Few cities celebrate their history more effectively than Indianapolis, and you’ll find the startling array of museums found around the place difficult to choose between. The interactive Children’s Museum is the must-see for anyone young or young at heart, though the Conner Prairie Living History Museum is pretty essential, too, giving you a taste of life in Indianapolis over a century ago. You might prefer to get out of the city entirely, and explore the artistic credentials of Brown County (an hour or so North), or the impressive water sports scene at Morse Reservoir.

Alternatively, you might just want to watch the racing, try your own hand at drag racing (even if you’re driving a car with the engine capacity of a fruit juice carton) and soak up the atmosphere around the racetrack. Just do it knowing there’s far more here to enjoy.

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