#Indianapolis #Indiana — Recently, BusinessInsider.com ranked the top 20 cities in the U.S. with the most activities dedicated to culture and recreation, including museums, libraries, theaters parks, and stadiums. Indianapolis came in #2 in the country. The website cited the fact that Indy has one cultural attraction for every 705 people, a total of 1,184 properties dedicated to arts and culture.
Here are a few things that helped Indy to earn the accolades:
1. Higher Education: Where there are universities, there is culture. Student-run plays, concerts, fine arts exhibitions and visiting lecturers are often open to the community. With four universities in the city proper — Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Marian University and University of Indianapolis — the campus-based cultural opportunities abound.
2. Distinct Cultural Districts: Six cultural districts offer music, art, food and shopping. The districts, which are connected by the 8-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a world class urban bike and pedestrian path, include Broad Ripple, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave, and the Wholesale District.
3. Authentic Ethnic Restaurants: From saganaki flaming cheese at Santorini Greek Kitchen in Fountain Square to the wiener schnitzel at The Rathskellar on Mass Ave to the real-deal soul food at the Kountry Kitchen and countless other restaurants, if you want authentic ethnic cuisine, you can find it in Indianapolis.
4. Outstanding Museums: This is a no-brainer cultural category for Indy. The Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Eiteljorg Museum of Western & Indian Art and the Indiana State Museum are all major players in the culture of the city. But Indianapolis also has smaller, more unique museums to offer including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, the NCAA Headquarters Hall of Champions, the Hook’s Drug Store Museum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and the President Benjamin Harrison Home.
5. Sports as Culture: Athletic endeavors help build the culture of a community and Indianapolis has no shortage of teams and venues to satisfy even the most rabid fan’s desire. From professional sports — the Indianapolis Colts (NFL), the Indiana Pacers (NBA), the Indiana Fever (WNBA), the Indianapolis Indians (MLB), and the Indy Eleven (NASL), to college teams (see #1 above) to outstanding venues including Lucas Oil Stadium and Banker’ Life Fieldhouse, the culture of sport is alive and well in Indianapolis.