The Indy 500 is undoubtedly what puts Indianapolis on the map. Go anywhere in the world and ask about the Indy 500 and you’ll find people who either know exactly what it is, or you’ll be met with a semi-knowing face and a comment along the lines of “oh, you mean that car racing thing?”. But is that the full Indianapolis story? Nope.
There’s loads to see and do in Indiana’s state capital … which got its name, incidentally, by taking the word Indiana and adding the Greek word for ‘city’ (polis). It wasn’t even the state’s first capital city. For the first four years of Indiana's existence, the capital was Corydon. That’ll be useful in a quiz one day.
Now, before we get started on things to spend your hard earned vacation time on seeing and doing in Indianapolis, we should mention that it is, of course, important to travel with travel insurance - and you should always know where to turn if you’re involved in a personal injury or road accident when so far from home (for example, see this truck accident lawyer). After all, with six interstate highways passing through Indianapolis, the state hasn’t earned the nickname of the Crossroads of America for nothing!
White River State Park
When it comes to ways to start your day in Indianapolis, White River State Park is a no-brainer. With 250 acres at your feet, this a breath of fresh air with lots to see. First, there’s the White River Gardens with indoor “Butterfly Kaleidoscope” exhibit - at a construction cost of $14m, this is far from a sideshow and more of a main event. But if it’s larger animals you want, there’s always the Indianapolis Zoo next door!
Next there’s the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, where you can experience extensive collections of art works by the indigenous peoples of America. There are also new galleries that have doubled the floor space of the museum, housing pieces dedicated to Western Art - including pieces by Andy Worhol.
Also located within the White River State Park is the Indiana State Museum…
The Indiana State Museum
Look no further than the Indiana State Museum for exhibits on science, local history and local culture … this is also where you’ll find the state’s largest IMAX screen!
The museum’s cavernous interior houses everything from exhibits on the age of the mammoths and cave dwelling replicas, right up to 21st century technological breakthroughs. There are two floors of permanent exhibits and one floor of changing exhibits, meaning you and your family are going to need a full day to get around everything!
Check out Indianapolis for a different take on experiencing America - not everything has to be about New York.