Indianapolis has sometimes been called a donut city because I-465 surrounds it with a circle. There’s inside the circle and outside–all of which is perfect because the center of our city is a circle, too.
Within the 52-mile ring of the interstate, there is much to see and do. Let’s take a little tour of some of the best parts of our city.
Start on the Circle, the one at the heart of our city. Monument Circle is home to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. While many Hoosiers know the monument as the world’s largest Christmas tree in the month of December when its lights cascade down its sides, it is just five feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty and was recently placed on the National Historic Landmarks registry. The monument was created to honor the common soldier, starting with those who served in the Revolutionary War. You can climb (for free!) to the top of the monument or ride the elevator for $2. Surrounding the monument are numerous seasonal activities–the annual Strawberry Festival in June, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, or many other exciting events on the circle itself.
The Cultural Trailmakes a big loop throughout downtown that shoots off into several spokes. You are welcome to walk all eight miles of the trail or utilize the Pacers Bikeshare program. You can stop along Georgia Street, visit the Lugar Park, or ride near the Canal and see the arts buildings that flank it.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail
When you are finished with the immediate downtown area, go north to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Very recently, its name has changed from “Home” to “Presidential Site,” and major efforts are underway to build Harrison’s legacy. Maybe you just want a tour of this beautiful brick home nestled near I-65 as it goes through the city. More likely, you are interested in some summertime music. That calls for a concert on the porch. Or maybe the candlelight theater is of interest. No matter, they have a robust calendar of events.
Continue north until you get near Newfields. Feel free to visit this destination attraction–the museum and its grounds are always a lovely adventure, but one of the hidden gems of Indianapolis is right across the street. VisitCrown Hill Cemetery. It’s a great place for an early morning hike and boasts the highest geographical spot in all of Indianapolis, a spot which happens to be the resting place of poet James Whitcomb Riley. You can take ghost tours in the twilight or help lay wreaths on soldiers’ graves in December.
Continue north until you get near Newfields. Feel free to visit this destination attraction – the museum and its grounds are always a lovely adventure. As someone who grew up with my family in Indianapolis, I highly recommend checking out one of the hidden gems of the city right across the street from Newfields – Crown Hill Cemetery. It’s a great place for an early morning hike and boasts the highest geographical spot in all of Indianapolis, a spot which happens to be the resting place of poet James Whitcomb Riley. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a ghost tour at night. My sister, Laura Steele, who knows Indianapolis as well as I do, toured the cemetery last year and got the inside scoop on some of the other famous residents of Crown Hill who have strong connections to automobiles and racing.
After seeing the graves of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s time to go west to the Speedway. The Indy 500 is called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for a reason. The track is worth a visit as is IMS Museum. The Speedway hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Many are, of course, racing-related, but rumor has it that the greatest race track has teamed up with the greatest at NASA to help Hoosiers watch the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse. Since we are at the epicenter of the eclipse, it’s only natural that IMS teams up with the experts in space.
And now to close up the circle of touring Indianapolis, you need to stop at Long’s Bakery for the best donut in town. Located since 1951 in the Houghville neighborhood, Long’s doors open at 5:30 a.m. every day. You’ll never forget your first Long’s donut. You can not dine in. They don’t deliver. And bring cash; that is all they accept.
The Yosha Snyder Group is Indianapolis-based and Indianapolis-proud, and we know the neighborhoods inside of 465 and outside of it. We would love to help you–whether it is buying your first home or selling the house you currently own.