Indianapolis is home, and famous for, the Indy 500, a 500-mile, 200-lap race – and one of the greatest events in motorsport, which returns this Sunday, 30 May, and is expected to attract 135,000 fans, at 40% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But the state capital has so much more to offer than the sound of revved up engines and is a beautiful and historic city in its own right.
Indianapolis is home to some of the greatest food, events and attractions in the Midwest, all within a stone’s throw of the Indiana Convention Center. Located in the same downtown neighbourhood are service restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, craft cocktail lounges and outdoor patios located in a safe and welcoming environment.
The Slippery Noodle Inn is one of Indiana’s oldest bars, established in 1850. During prohibition, the Al Brady and John Dillinger gangs were patrons of the bar and the gangs were said to have used the rear building (originally the horse stable) for target practice. Today, several bullets remain embedded in the lower east wall.
One of Indianapolis’s more quirky attractions is the Museum of Psychphonics - dedicated to the city’s history, Afrofuturism, and musical vibrations, this gem of a museum can be found on the second floor of Fountain Square’s Murphy Arts Center. The Museum of Psychphonics’ Baby Mothership will especially intrigue fans of legendary funk band Parliament Funkadelic.
And, if indoor bowling is your thing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more unique bowling alley than this one in Indianapolis’ historic Fountain Square neighbourhood. Located in the Fountain Square Theater Building, the original 1930s style duckpin bowling alley has eight lanes of duckpin bowling, a vintage billiard table, and seating for 110 guests in the café area.
The state of Indiana comprises the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan to the rolling hills in the south of the state with lush farmland in between. Between those borders lie areas both urban and rural, with plenty to do from amusement parks and hiking to wine trails and nightlife.
The Indiana Dunes region on the shore of Lake Michigan provides habitats for many unusual plants, including prickly pear cactus, lichen mosses, bearberry and more than 20 varieties of orchids. Mount Baldy, the largest of the sand dunes, is a living dune that moves away from shore a few feet each year.
Indiana produces more than 20% of the United States’ popcorn supply. In a typical year, almost half of all cropland in Indiana is planted in corn.