Tourist attractions are great, but to make a visit to a destination experience richer, it's important that the visitor get a sense of place. There is no better way to experience a place than to see it through the eyes of the people who call it home. In Indianapolis, your best bet for a "local" experience is to venture to one of our six distinct cultural districts. Each district has a personality and flare that is all its own so you'll have to figure out which best fits your personality.
Here is a quick personality profile for each of our cultural districts:
Mass Ave - Mass Ave is the arts and theater district, drawing creative people to its eclectic offerings of live theater, music venues and trendy galleries. It's a place where people live and work amid memorable architecture and style, alongside the city's most historic and urban neighborhoods. If you're looking for locally owned shops and restaurants, this is the place to be.
Broad Ripple Village - Located six miles north of downtown, Broad Ripple Village boasts a thriving art scene and street life with shops, historic buildings and parks in charming, walkable neighborhoods nestled among beautiful greenways and waterways. By night, it pulses with the beat of the most original music venues and nightlife destinations in the city.
Fountain Square - This historic neighborhood has a town square and central fountain like a European village. The thriving artist community blends retro and new art influences in its architecture and style, creating a funky mix of independent, one-of-a-kind destinations.
The Canal and White River State Park - This is Indiana's museum and cultural attractions corridor. The 250-acre park and canal feature the world-class Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, Indiana State Museum and IMAX Theater, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA Hall of Champions, Victory Field (baseball) and the south portal to the Central Canal. It's a package of tremendous art, history, recreation, leisure and sports, all showcased along a beautifully restored urban waterway.
The Wholesale District - This district is a vibrant entertainment center with great shopping (Circle Centre mall), signature restaurants, lively entertainment and quality hotel accommodations all within easy walking distance of each other! Visitors rave about cultural events and performances, the historic architecture and friendly, inviting hospitality.
Indiana Avenue - This cultural district encompasses the most historically rich commercial district for Indianapolis' African-American community. The area is known for history and heritage, jazz music and restored neighborhoods. Its cornerstone is the Madame Walker Theatre Center.