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Downtown Indianapolis: Bustling Heart of the Circle City

Downtown Indianapolis Cultural Districts

Broad Ripple Village Broad Ripple Village – Sitting close to Butler University, Broad Ripple Village’s many Indianapolis art galleries, studios, specialty shops, and pubs enjoy lots of activity and a free shuttle service. Put this area on your short list of things to do in Indianapolis.
Canal and White River State Park Canal and White River State Park – These sectors sprouted around the Central Canal of Indianapolis and are now newly inspiring as Venetian Canal look-alikes. White River State Park hosts many famous museums and events, with downtown Indianapolis as a striking backdrop.
Fountain Square Fountain Square – Mostly noted as an emerging ethnic and artistic Mecca, Fountain Square began with humble roots as a large apple orchard. This neighborhood of vintage, retro and antique shops attracts a good share of live art and Indianapolis fairs and festivals.
Indiana Avenue Indiana Avenue – A historic Indianapolis cultural district, Indiana Avenue was the birthplace of Indianapolis jazz. Today, it is being rejuvenated as a lively business and arts district, soon to return to its former glory.
Mass Ave Mass Ave – Though it has long historical roots originating in the early 1800′s, this Indianapolis cultural district describes itself as “An experience 45 degrees left of ordinary.” Theater and the arts meet the free spirit on Mass Ave.
Wholesale District The Wholesale District – The Wholesale District of Indianapolis is the seat of transformation for Indiana, having enjoyed an infusion of over $686 million since 1995 to make it the entertainment neighborhood of choice, hosting the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, upscale dining establishments, world-class hotels and Indianapolis shopping, and more.

Downtown Indianapolis Sports Arenas

Lucas Oil Stadium Lucas Oil Stadium – The home of the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, in the center of downtown Indianapolis, is an enormous conglomeration of world-class stadium, viewing suites, and concert and convention space.
Conseco Fieldhouse Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Lighting up Pennsylvania Street in downtown Indianapolis with Hoosier basketball fervor, Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the home of the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever, two professional Indianapolis sports teams that bring the thunder.
IU Natatorium – Built in 1982, the IU Natatorium has hosted the USA Olympic trials, the 2003 Mega Zone Championships, and the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships; it is known as one of the fastest pools in the United States.
Victory Field Victory Field – The home of the Indianapolis Indians, this ballpark has been recognized as the “Best Minor League Ballpark in America” by such sporting publications as Sports Illustrated and Baseball America.

Downtown Indianapolis Attractions

Athenaeum The Athenaeum Building – The Athenaeum has a long, respected history since its beginning in 1892, when it was built as a home for some central Indianapolis German societies and the Athenaeum Turners.
Canal Walk Indianapolis Canal Walk – Meandering along the edge of downtown Indy, the Canal Walk connects the beautiful expanses of the White River State Park to the core of busy downtown Indianapolis. Fortunate residents can take a moment to relax in its beauty or revel in its recreational possibilities.
The Canal Walk is part of the Cultural Trail Indianapolis Cultural Trail – The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is a bike friendly, pedestrian friendly, Segway friendly, stroller friendly, almost anything friendly path that will eventually connect many of the Indianapolis cultural districts and provide a destination for visitors and residents alike for decades to come.
Monument Circle during the annual Circle of Lights Monument Circle – Monument Circle is the centerpiece of downtown Indianapolis. This landmark contains dozens of must-see Indianapolis attractions, such as the Indiana War Memorial Plaza, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, the world-renowned Indianapolis Zoo and the moving Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.
Indianapolis Artsgarden Indianapolis Artsgarden – Soaring almost 100 feet into the air of busy downtown Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Artsgarden is considered by many to be the quintessential performance and Indianapolis event venue, with its high glass walls, bright and airy atmosphere, and easy access to the hub of Indianapolis.
Indiana State Capitol Indiana State Capitol Building – This historic seat of Indiana politics is an architectural masterpiece. Tours are free to experience this gorgeously restored facility, dating back to the 1880’s.

More downtown Indianapolis attractions.

Downtown Indianapolis Bars

Chatterbox Chatterbox Jazz Club – The bar is a smoking establishment, making it one of the most popular of the many Indianapolis bars. The club features live jazz five nights a week, and three of the nights are without a cover charge.
 slippery noodle Slippery Noodle Inn – At Indiana’s oldest bar, there’s no fancy tiling on the floor, no delicate sconces in sight on the walls, and no 1000-thread tablecloths, meaning there’s nothing to distract you while you enjoy the music, food, booze, and good company.
Howl at the Moon Bar – Howl at the Moon is known for its unbeatable parties and its wide variety of cocktails. Some of the drinks that you just have to try include the “X-Boyfriend”, the “Double Agent Martini”, and the “Adios Mo’ Fo’ Bucket.”
 ugly monkey The Ugly Monkey – One of the top Indianapolis bars, the Ugly Monkey has three different areas to relax, have fun, and party with your friends in addition to a great food menu and lots of live music and events.
Blu Lounge – Blu Lounge is the perfect martini bar to unwind, listen to music, or spoil yourself and some friends in a private VIP lounge with elegant bottle service to your table.

More downtown Indianapolis bars.

Downtown Indianapolis Hotels

Columbia Club Columbia Club – The Columbia Club Hotel in downtown Indianapolis is a distinctive club residence requiring membership for access, though they honor many reciprocal memberships. The structure contains nearly 100 rooms, plus four restaurants and lounges.
The Canterbury Hotel Canterbury Hotel – The Canterbury Hotel in downtown Indianapolis is an elegant facility that celebrates the décor and exquisite features of the past while providing the best in lodging today; the second you step into the entrance of the Canterbury Hotel, you’ll notice a European-style hotel with all of the current features and amenities you need to enjoy your stay.
Conrad Hotel Conrad Hotel – The Conrad Hilton, connected to the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Indiana Convention Center, and Circle Centre Mall, makes for a convenient location for special Indianapolis business events, personal celebrations, as well as pampered, weekend downtown Indianapolis getaways.
The Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Garden Inn – The Hilton Garden Inn, in lush downtown Indianapolis, with its luxurious and spacious guest rooms and suites, occupies the historic 16-story Fletcher Savings and Trust Building; it was constructed in 1914 of steel, granite and limestone.
Omni Severin Hotel – Yet another landmark in this busy and historic neighborhood, the Omni Severin is comprised of 424 rooms, and it features the popular Hot Tuna Restaurant and near-instant access to all the wonderful downtown Indianapolis attractions.
Westin Hotel The Westin Hotel – At the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, modern and luscious comfort will greet you in your room. There is a world-class view of the incredible skyline and downtown area of Indianapolis via the big picture windows that nearly cover the wall.

More downtown Indianapolis hotels.

Downtown Indianapolis Parks

Indiana War Memorials Indiana War Memorial Plaza Parks – On the Indiana War Memorial grounds, which occupy a full six city blocks, there are three parks and some 24 acres of awe-inspiring statues, monuments, fountains and sculptures. Inside are two large Indianapolis museums and the American Legion’s state and national headquarters.
Military Park – Originally named “Military Ground,” Military Park was founded in 1820. Used for military training during the Black Hawk War, it was the site of the Indiana State Fair for many years, up until 1863.
University Park University Park – University Park became a public park in 1876; today, walkways are lined with trees, flowerbeds and statuary. A famous fountain, the Depew Fountain, can be found in the center of University Park, depicting children playing in the water among frogs and fish, and a toga-wrapped woman on the top tier, watching over them.
Canal and White River State Park Canal and White River State Park – Canal and White River State Park is the nation’s only urban state park and provides a wide variety of fun due to its many attractions and entertainment options. The 250 acre park covers both sides of the White River just west of downtown Indianapolis, between Washington and New York Streets.

More Indianapolis parks.

Downtown Indianapolis Restaurants

Augustino’s Italian Restaurant – At Augustino’s Italian Restaurant, only the finest and freshest ingredients will do. They make everything the way their family always cooked in the Old Country, with lots of care in the kitchen, respect for the food and carino in the recipes.
Bourbon Street Distillary Bourbon Street Distillery – With a recently installed new kitchen and a elaborate lunch and dinner menu featuring Cajun/Creole food with an American twist, this casual dining, moderately priced downtown Indianapolis restaurant is fast becoming a favorite.
Champps Americana Champps Americana – It’s common knowledge in Indianapolis that when there’s a Colts or Pacers game, heading to Champps Americana in downtown Indianapolis ensures first-rate food and plenty of fun until the doors close, well after midnight.
The Eagles Nest The Eagle’s Nest – To get to the Eagle’s Nest, you go up to the 23rd floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, then enter a plush circular dining room lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. The view of downtown Indianapolis is breathtaking and takes in almost the entire metropolis, trimmed with a beautiful skyline.
Fogo de Chao Fogo de Chao – The Fogo de Chão Churrascaria is a delightfully different Brazilian steakhouse smack in the middle of downtown Indianapolis; the secret, they say, is in the Gaucho chefs’ particular style of fire-roasting the prime cuts of meat they use.
Palomino Restaurant The Palomino Restaurant – The Palomino Restaurant is an energetic downtown restaurant and bar in Indianapolis that is famous for its classically modern and sumptuous ambiance. One of the most luxurious downtown Indianapolis restaurant, the Palomino is a great place to bring your date for a romantic evening out on the town.

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Mike Woods