Indianapolis is bursting with pride over its six unique Cultural Districts: Broad Ripple Village, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave and Wholesale District. Four of the six districts have homes directly in Downtown Indianapolis, while Fountain Square is just a mile southeast and Broad Ripple nine miles northeast.
You probably have heard of or even visited several of these areas before, but here's a more detailed look to really understand all that each district offers.
Indianapolis' six Cultural Districts showcase distinct pockets of cultural opportunity thriving in the city. You'll find delightful public art, unique galleries, inspiring museums, quaint shops and engaging recreation. Satisfy your appetite at exquisite restaurants, ethnic eateries and cafes. Laugh out loud or dance the night away at one of dozens of night clubs and theaters. The districts also have your ticket to professional sports and performances.
If you want to see what's only in Indianapolis, discover Indianapolis' Cultural Districts.
Broad Ripple Village
Looking for something different? Step into Broad Ripple Village and see what's up town. Diverse street life, quaint boutiques and hot nightlife are set to the backdrop of public art, graffiti murals and beautiful greenways and parks. Unique art galleries, sidewalk cafes and fabulous restaurants complete the Village.
Surprises abound, from the taste of ethnic foods to galleries and artsy shops with unique offerings. Broad Ripple Village has always been known for its artistic residents, independent businesses and overall image of creativity. Art lovers will be pleased with the selection of local and nationally-known artisans, vintage furniture and collectables.
Broad Ripple Village enjoys a vibrant and active street life both day and night. It's the hot spot for a night out with friends or a chance to make new ones. Enjoy great live music or a game of darts or billiards, bust a move on the dance floor or catch the game on the big screens.
Interesting and diverse people become part of the entertainment: Just being here and part of the scene is an event. It's the place to see and be seen. Whatever your preference, Broad Ripple Village is open - if you are.
In addition, you'll find one-of-a-kind events including the Broad Ripple Art Fair, Taste of Broad Ripple, Broad Ripple Blues Fest, gallery tours and more.
Beautiful landscaping and public art will attract you to wander and enjoy something different at every turn. Extensive greenways and clean waterways invite biking, walking, canoeing, roller blading or just sitting and talking.
Broad Ripple provides runners, walkers and bikers with the ideal location at which to start-either the Monon Rail Trail or historic Central Canal Towpath. Broad Ripple Park offers a wide variety of programs, swimming and activities for all ages.
The Indianapolis Art Center, "the place to make art, see art and talk about art," is open daily. The ARTSPARK is an outdoor laboratory for creativity and garden for sculpture and other public art projects.
All in all, Broad Ripple Village is a diverse neighborhood blending definitive elements of fun, uniqueness and beauty to create meaningful memories. Visit www.DiscoverBroadRippleVillage.com for more information.
The Canal and White River State Park
Whether it's a relaxing stroll, vigorous run, afternoon at the ballpark, interacting with dolphins, discovering Indiana history, exploring Native American art, learning about Lincoln or enjoying an outdoor concert, the Canal and White River State Park has surprises for everyone. This is not your typical park or waterway. Discovery runs through it.
Scattered throughout the Canal and 250-acre White River State Park are some of the city's most inspiring museums, attractions and celebrations. Discover Indiana's heritage as you meander along the limestone walkway, enjoying a stunning backdrop of the Downtown skyline. This cultural destination boasts seven major attractions, festival space, public art, unique cafes and three miles of walkways on the refurbished historic Central Canal.
The Canal Walk is a beautiful and popular urban respite for fitness enthusiasts and serenity seekers alike. This is Downtown's "waterfront," dotted with pedal boats and gondolas all summer long, with bicycles and surreys gracing the district's pathways.
Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park offers first-rate concerts in a unique outdoor venue. Additional outdoor venues, including Military Park, Celebration Plaza and the Canal Walk, host numerous festivals.
Designated "The Best Minor League Ballpark in America" by Baseball America in 1999, Victory Field is a summer-time favorite for all. The Indianapolis Zoo is the nation's only accredited combined zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. In May, the All New Dolphin Adventure will open for even more fun.
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art features both Native American and Western art. In addition to gallery space, it features a cafe, three-acre garden connecting to the Canal and more.
Fascinating stories of the state's past can be found at the Glick Indiana History Center, home of the Indiana Historical Society. The center includes interactive, changing exhibits featuring one of the nation's largest collections on Abraham Lincoln.
The Indiana State Museum is the crossroads of everything interesting, educational and unique about the state. The museum houses the IMAX Theater and serves lunch in the recreated L.S. Ayres Tea Room.
Additionally, the flavor, pageantry and tradition of intercollegiate athletics are gathered under one roof at the NCAA Hall of Champions.
The Canal and White River State Park District is clearly a multi-faceted destination. Recreation-lovers to history-seekers to festival-goers can easily enjoy 52 weeks of fun here. Visit www.DiscoverCanal.com for more information.
Looking for out-of-the-ordinary experiences in Indianapolis? Look right down Virginia Avenue to Fountain Square and discover a vibrant neighborhood as unique as the people who call it home. It's close in. far out.
Great food, uncommon shops, noteworthy architecture and distinctive entertainment make Fountain Square a must-see destination in Indianapolis. This historic community has a town square and central fountain, much like a European village. It also boasts a concentration of visual, literary and performing artists who live and work in the neighborhood.
Throughout the district enjoy the city's best Greek and Mediterranean food, round-the-clock burgers and breakfast, jumbo tenderloins, hand-dipped shakes and Italian dishes like none other.
For shopping, the district features seven antique stores, a huge music store, home and garden needs and much more.
Discover such unexpected pleasures as duckpin bowling, swing dancing or live musical performances and plan to stay awhile at a quaint bed and breakfast. In addition, Fountain Square offers unique events including Art versus Art, Masterpiece in a Day, Day of the Dead and more.
Fountain Square is pioneering live/work options for local artists and creative entrepreneurs. More than 75 of them live and work in the Wheeler Arts Community or have studios in the Murphy Art Center. Plus, there's art on display at several galleries.
Fountain Square is a vibrant, ethnically and socially diverse community and a great place to live, work, play and visit. It offers everyone who visits an experience that's hip, fun and out-of-the-ordinary - because Fountain Square is anything but square. Visit www.DiscoverFountainSquare.com for more information.
Head west in Downtown and discover an area unlike any in the city. Indiana Avenue is the anchor of the district that stretches between the Central Canal and White River, encompassing many neighborhoods and IUPUI. It is where history, music, restored neighborhoods and spirituality come together to showcase Indianapolis's rich African-American heritage. It's rhythm. reborn.
As early as the 1800s, this area was a vibrant social, commercial, residential, spiritual, educational and economic community. The first American self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, numerous jazz legends and other significant historic figures all have strong ties to the Avenue. Indiana Avenue landmarks signify a piece of the area's heritage and lasting legacy and tell the African-American story in Indianapolis.
Formed in 1836, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest African-American congregation in Indianapolis and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 500 Block of Indiana Avenue, also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the only partially existing intact block of what was once the most important commercial hub of African-American Indianapolis. This area of Indiana Avenue served as a training ground for many aspiring musicians, including Jimmy Coe and the Montgomery Brothers. Many venues also saw numerous jazz greats in the heyday.
Crispus Attucks High School opened in 1927 as Indianapolis' only high school for African-American students. A museum that focuses on the African-American experience is now located in what has become a middle school.
Ransom Place Neighborhood was the first African-American neighborhood to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Indiana. Ransom Place Museum and Learning Center shows the history of its immediate surroundings.
Madame Walker Theatre Center, a National Historic Landmark building, honors the legacy of Madam C. J. Walker. In the late 1980s, the building was restored, and the Walker Theatre is alive again with many events and performances.
Lockefield Gardens, built in 1936, was a Public Works Administration project to provide low-cost housing for African-Americans in Indianapolis. Today it stands as a restored apartment complex adjacent to the IUPUI campus.
Today, the district offers a sample of that thriving past and a connection to the city's present and future. Spirituality and music remain as important to the district as they were in the past. To keep the tradition alive, the community hosts various festivals and live performances throughout the year. It also showcases jazz-themed outdoor art.
From art to entrepreneurship, Indiana Avenue will continue to build on its rich African-American heritage and diverse traditions to create a vibrant future for residents and visitors alike. Visit www.DiscoverIndianaAvenue.com for more information.
Mass Ave puts a whole new angle on excitement, one that promises to be 45 degrees from ordinary. Known as the Arts and Theater District, a free-spirited and friendly mood spills from the many venues sprinkling the Avenue.
Five performing arts theaters call Mass Ave home, each one distinctive in its own way. Numerous art galleries make the Avenue the place to experience top-notch art. Independently-owned restaurants serve up some of the best meals in town. Don't expect to find any mass production in Mass Ave's locally-owned niche stores.
While visiting the Avenue, take time to stop and admire the original outdoor art, rich architecture and historic neighborhood feel. Four permanent and seven outdoor rotating art pieces pepper the Avenue, along with nine galleries.
Mass Ave doesn't just offer dining - it offers a memorable experience. Many restaurants provide music and other entertainment in addition to appetizing meals. From authentic German or Mediterranean fares to unique pizzas and Cajun dishes, you're sure to find something new and pleasing.
Five Mass Ave theaters produce some of the best shows in the city. Theatre on the Square and Phoenix Theatre both boast a strong performance schedule year-round, offering original and contemporary selections.
Enjoy a musical at the American Cabaret Theatre, located inside the Athenaeum. Or laugh 'til you cry at Comedy Sportz Indianapolis, improvisational comedy played as a sport.
Old National Centre, the largest theater venue on Mass Ave, hosts numerous performances throughout the year, including national and Broadway tours. The theater attracts big-name musical acts providing entertainment for country and rock-lovers alike, plus first class comedians.
Mass Ave has plenty of after-hours entertainment options for people with all tastes. From live music and good times to relaxed outdoor conversations, the night is always young on Mass Ave!
Greenspaces soften Mass Ave's urban setting, linking the commercial areas with residential neighborhoods. The Avenue is also connected to the Monon Trail.
When spending a day on Mass Ave, you experience food, art and entertainment distinct to Indianapolis at venues that are purely local in their offerings and ambience. So discover Mass Ave for yourself and see what makes it a new-fangled angle. Visit www.DiscoverMassAve.com for more information.
Bright lights and marquees highlight the best performances in town. Doormen in tuxedos greet guests. Circle Centre mall delights the most meticulous shoppers. Bustling sidewalks overflow with excited visitors taking in the scenery. Monument Circle beckons all. Welcome to the main event.
Amidst Downtown's historic buildings and newest skyscrapers in the heart of the business district, you'll find the biggest names and the brightest attractions the city has to offer. In the Wholesale District, entertainment is front and center.
It's home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, hosting the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and world-renowned concerts and performances. The Indianapolis Colts strut their stuff in Lucas Oil Stadium & Indiana Convention Center, which also hosts one-of-a-kind events.
The internationally-acclaimed Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2010; while the Indiana Repertory Theatre beckons culture seekers to its beautifully-renovated 1927 historic site featuring enjoyable performances.
What's more, the Wholesale District claims Circle Centre mall, a unique two-block, four-story shopping, dining and entertainment powerhouse with Carson Pirie Scott as its anchor. The attached Indianapolis Artsgarden is an attraction in itself.
Add to these blockbusters more than 75 exquisite restaurants, first-rate hotels, fun nightspots, endless shopping and the city's icon - the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum... You've got everything you need for a memorable, Downtown Indianapolis adventure.
All in all, the Wholesale District is a vibrant destination where the business deals get done during the day, and the celebrations and memory-making happen at night. Visit www.DiscoverWholesaleDistrict.com for more information.
Six Cultural Districts - you've got some exploring to do!
With just a glimpse of what each district offers, start planning your adventures today. Visit each district's website for more information including event highlights, a directory, maps and more.