It’s been two years since I moved back to my hometown, but truthfully, I miss so many things about Indianapolis.
Indianapolis may be a major metro city, but it definitely isn’t lacking in that infectious Hoosier hospitality that you find in the rural Indiana towns. Honestly, Indy doesn’t have that always-on-the-go feeling like New York; it’s actually really laid back.
With an annual job growth of 2.6% in 2016, Indianapolis offers countless opportunities for millennials to start a career and even buy their first house. And from the world famous St. Elmo’s Steakhouse to free-spirited Broad Ripple, there are a ton of reasons to love living in or around Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is cheap.
Overall, the cost of living in Indianapolis is 8% lower than the national average. Amenities in the city are inexpensive and homes for sale in Indianapolis are lower priced than the national median for existing home prices. It’s also been ranked by Forbes as the best city for renters. (Full disclosure: I once rented a 600sq. ft. 1-bedroom apart in a safe neighborhood on the north side for under $400/month. Now that is what I call a renter-friendly city!) And it’s worth mentioning that Indy is generally recognized as one of the best cities to find a job right out of school, boasting over 80,000 job openings in the area.
The culinary is world-class.
With world famous establishments like St. Elmo’s Steakhouse and local favorites like Devour Downtown, the Indianapolis culinary scene is quickly becoming one of the best in the nation. Zagat even named it one of the hottest food cities in America. With food trucks and brick cafes on every corner, food is more than an amenity for Indy residents: it’s a cultural identity. Here, you can find everything from varied Asian cuisine to Midwestern favorites that fulfill even the most discerning of palettes.
Indy sports are actually kind of a big deal.
You probably don’t think of Indianapolis as being one of the biggest sports cities in America. But between the Indy 500 and its vast network of track racing, Indy fans truly love the speedway. And even as a Baltimore Ravens fan, I have to admit to supporting our home team, the Colts! Lucas Oil is always a great time for the family, and they even offer tours on weekdays when there’s no games or practice.
The canal walk is paved with activities.
The Canal and White River State Park take you through the heart of Indianapolis, offering breathtaking sights of Indy’s skyline and a tranquil walk through Indy’s historic districts. Interact with dolphins or view some Native American Art on your walk down the peaceful waters of the canal. With over three miles of walkway, you’ll encounter everything from pop up art markets to small cafes lining the canal. And during the fall you can hang out along the canal to watch IUPUI’s Regatta, a student and faculty favorite.
The arts districts breathe life into Indianapolis.
Broad Ripple Village is a historical district in downtown Indy, home to the Indianapolis Art Center and Butler University. Many people enjoy visiting Fountain Square, which offers everything from small galleries to the Murphy Arts building and Wheeler Arts Community. With graffiti sprayed on buildings across the city and pop up galleries spread throughout the city, Indianapolis is a thriving arts scene for young artists looking to connect with others in their community. And if you’re an artist, you can get your degree at Herron School of Art and Design from IUPUI.
There’s more history than you realize.
Indianapolis was home to one of America’s greatest and most famous authors, Kurt Vonnegut. Be sure to visit the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library – or the Monkey House, as it’s called – for stories behind the author. Indy is also famous for being the home of former president Benjamin Harrison and the grave of John Dillinger. Districts like Broad Ripple still hold building and antiquities that over a hundred years old.
You experience all four seasons.
I think my favorite thing about Indianapolis – and central Indiana in general – may be that Indianapolis generally offers a beautiful temperate climate year round with all four seasons. Unlike the “Windy City” Chicago, Indy doesn’t suffer from that arctic wind nearly as bad. Indy summers shine light on the green spaces found throughout the city.
There are so many other things to love about Indy.
If I tried to list them all, I’d never stop writing. Indianapolis is a beautiful city full of so much culture. And after living in half a dozen towns, I can honestly say it was my favorite city. I would love to move back someday.
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