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Indianapolis is in Central Indiana. It is the state capital and largest city of Indiana, United States, and is located in Marion County. The population within city limits is approximately 860,000 people. The metropolitan area has about 1.6 million, making it the 12th largest city in the US. Indianapolis is also known as the "Racing Capital of the World" due to the proximity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400.
The name Indianapolis is simply Indiana joined with polis, the Greek word for city.
Indianapolis is called the "Crossroads of America". The city is extremely warm in the summer, with average highs in the mid-80s in June, July, and August. An inland city, Indianapolis winters are as cold as the summer is hot. January is the coldest month, with an average high of 34 degrees.
Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" for a good reason. Interstates 65, 69, 70, and 74 intersect here. The city's outer belt is I-465. Travel directly through the city on I-70 or I-65. Direct travel using I-74 or I-69 is not possible. However, I-69 may go through the city in the future.
Indianapolis International Airport is about 10 minutes from downtown.
Eagle Creek Aviation Services 4101 Dandy Trail. +1 800 4TP-E331.
Greenwood Municipal Airport 749 E County Line Rd., Greenwood. +1 317 881-0887.
Metropolitan Airport 10401 Willow View Rd., Fishers. +1 317 849-0840.
Mt. Comfort Airport 3867 N. Aviation Way, Greenfield. +1 317 335-3371.
Greyhound located right in the heart of the city. 350 S. Illinois St. +1 317 636-6666.
Burlington Trailways travels only throughout the Midwest. +1 800 992-4618.
Megabus is a well run budget busline that travels throughout the Midwest. Rates start at $1, and are more affordable the earlier you book your trip. Drops off/pick ups vary from two stops downtown and one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. +1 877 GO2-MEGA
Amtrak runs daily between Chicago and Indianapolis.350 S. Illinois St. +1 800 872-7245. Three days a week between Indy and Washington DC & New York City. Located right in the heart of the city.
It is almost impossible to enjoy Indianapolis without a car. While the public bus system is both clean and efficient, routes are complex, and large parts of the metro area are not serviced. Traveling by foot or bicycle is really only safe if in the downtown or Broad Ripple areas of the city.
The general speed limit on highways is 55-70. If there is no posted speed, assume 35. A car is necessary for almost all travel within the city.
Indy Go is the public bus system. It travels throughout the city and suburbs. They feature a Red and Blue line that is free and travels throughout downtown Indianapolis, it's a great way to see the area, visiting major landmarks. Day passes are available, and many buses feature bike-racks too.
Biking is easy due to the flat terrain. Indy offers a variety of bike paths throughout the city. Leaving marked bike paths can be extremely dangerous. Like many cities marked by urban sprawl, Indianapolis is not particularly bicycle-friendly.
Cabs are readily available mainly downtown and in Broad Ripple Village. Call ahead: Taxis generally cannot be flagged down.
Outdoors & Landmarks
Indiana State Capitol 200 W. Washington St. +1 317 233-5293. Completed in 1888, this is the hub for Indy's government. Originally the state capitol was in Corydon, in Southern Indiana, and in 1825 it was moved to Indy. Featuring Italian Renaissance, Greek, and Corinthian design the building is made from Indiana limestone. Look up for the amazing German stained glass window, take guided or personal tours, observe the government at work, witness a protest or walk into a politician or two.
Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument 1 Monument Circle. +1 317 232-7615. This is the famous statue right in the heart of the city. Built in 1902, it stands only 15 feet shorter then the Statue of Liberty. The art work built into the monument is moving - bloody Civil War battles and freed slaves. Miss Liberty on top faces South, protecting the North from the Civil War. In the basement is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War museum, and you can take a ride up to the top of the tower to look out over the city. Museum is free, the tower trip costs $1.
Indiana War Memorial 400 N. Meridian St. +1 317 232-7615. A seven-block district featuring the neoclassical memorial. The memorial features an amazing performance/lecture hall and a free war museum documenting all US Wars. Free.