Welcome to Indy, Business Professionals of America!

While you're in Indianapolis, take a break from the 2014 National Leadership Conference and explore the city. Indianapolis, known as "The Circle City," has everything from the historic, to the interesting, from the tasty to the heart-racing. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500, is a must-see as it's the oldest routinely used auto race track anywhere.

You may want to grab a bite to eat at Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream, where the Big Ugly Burger Challenge was featured on Travel Channel's "Man v. Food," and then visit the 152 acres of Indianapolis Museum of Art. Also, don't forget to take a few seconds to take in the many monuments sprinkled throughout the city, especially those around the six Cultural Districts of Indianapolis.

As there are more places than Indy Friendly could list, we hope to provide an introduction to this interesting city and be a starting point to help plan your visit during the 2014 National Leadership Conference. Links to additional Indianapolis sites and resources have been included for your convenience to aid in planning your exciting trip.

Get your engines ready to explore!

A Little Bit About Indy ▲Top

Indianapolis is a history-rich city that orients itself around government and industry. Indianapolis, which is Greek for "Indiana City," was designed around a central circle and therefore dubbed "The Circle City." The initial circle was called "The Governor's Circle," and the city expanded following this circular theme. Designed by architectural apprentice Alexander Ralston, it was only a single circular mile at its founding. Today the city spans over 372 square miles.

Indianapolis is an architectural dream comparable to Washington, D.C. in terms of war monuments. Most notable is the "Soldiers and Sailors Monument," that now sits in place of the first governor's mansion. The surrounding area has since been renamed "Monument Circle." Until the 1960s, no one was allowed to build anything higher than this magnificent 284 foot tall limestone and bronze structure. Indianapolis holds an annual "Circle of Lights" festival, which includes decorating this massive structure like a Christmas tree with lights and garland. Today, the largest building in Indianapolis is the colossal Chase Tower, standing at 830 feet.

Click on the link to the right to learn more about the history of the city, including about how one man's love for speed became a crucial part to the development of the United States of America's highway infrastructure.

Places to Explore in Indy ▲Top

There really is a little bit of everything in Indianapolis! The Artsgarden, located in the downtown area, is a must-see for those interested in everything from visual to performing arts. It houses the Artsgarden Cultural Concierge, a service to provide you with event information and help you make reservations so you won't miss out on the latest art shows and performances.

Do you like fast cars? Featuring two well-known courses, this city likes to drive in the fast lane. The lesser known Lucas Oil Raceway annually hosts the most prestigious drag race world-wide, the NHRA Mac Tool U.S. Nationals. Held just outside Indianapolis in the town of Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400. This circuit is a 2.5 mile track and was originally laid with over 3.2 million bricks, giving it the nickname "Brickyard." Though now the track is made of asphalt, a small three-foot patch still remains at the finish line.

For those seeking a more natural side of Indianapolis, there is an extensive municipal park system with nearly 200 parks occupying over 10,000 acres, with Garfield Park ranking among the oldest. For those seeking a wetter endeavor, visit the Indianapolis Zoo where you will find the Midwest's only in-water dolphin program for the public, allowing guests to interact with the dolphins in their exhibit.

Click on the link to the left to learn more about the places to explore in the city, including the six official Cultural Districts.

The Markets and Restaurants of Indy ▲Top

Over twenty surrounding cities agriculturally support Indianapolis, primarily through the Indianapolis City Market where you can find fresh seasonal produce, meat and some delicious snacks prepared on the spot. The market's main structure has been in place for over 120 years and sits on the site of the old market stalls, making the market site almost as old as the city itself. The City Market is open year-round, offering not only food, but live music and hand-made goods from local artists.

The local agricultural scene also provides some of the restaurants with their ingredients. This partnership offers patrons a rotating menu as the chefs prepare dishes that center around only the food that is in season. It also means that these restaurants are buying local, which supports their local communities.

If you're interested in "famous" restaurants, Travel Channel and Food Network featured several in Indianapolis and its suburbs. If you watched "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives," "Man v. Food," "Eat Street," or "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," you may have seen some of the crazy, the intriguing, or the downright delicious dishes you can try, too, while visiting.

Click on the link to the right to learn more about the places to eat in the city, including where to find the city's oldest steakhouse of the same name, same location.

Interesting Places to Stay in Indy ▲Top

In a big city like Indianapolis, there are plenty of places to hang your hat. We suggest trying something a little different from the standard chain hotel. If you're looking to have a more in-depth experience, get to know the locals by staying in a bed & breakfast.

Some of the recommended bed & breakfasts are located in or around the downtown area, with the oldest have been built during the 1800s when the city was setting its foundation. Though historic, they have been outfitted with the latest accommodations including internet access, TVs, and some include kitchenettes.

If you want a real treat, spend some time at the Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast and dine at Tavola di Tosa, their in-house restaurant. It's so exclusive that it seats only twelve, so reservations are necessary to snag a seat.

Click on the link to the left to learn more about places to stay, including a place that is supposedly so haunted you won't be sleeping any time soon.

Multi-colored bar using close-up indistinguishable images.
Home | History | Attractions | Food | Lodging | Sources