Indianapolis tourist attractions include Monument Circle, Circle Center Mall, War Memorial Plaza, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Monument Circle square is one of the most impressive places in Indianapolis in terms of landmarks, especially thanks to its ‘Soldiers and Sailors Monument’, which has been built to honor “Hoosier” (nickname for Indiana residents) war veterans.
Next to the square, providing a dramatic backdrop, is Indiana’s tallest skyscraper, the Chase Tower.
Indiana ‘Soldiers and Sailors Monument’ is central to the square (www.in.gov/iwm/2335.htm).
The 87 meter (285 ft) tall monument (only 4.6 meters (15 ft) shorter than New York’s Statue of Liberty, in fact) is made out of limestone and bronze, and finished in neoclassical architecture style.
The monument was completed in 1901.
Externally, the monument highlights include its many statues and fountains, and within the monument’s base, there is a Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, which documents the events of the U.S. Civil War in Indiana.
When you tour the monument, you can also pay a visit the to itsobservation platform, which can be reached either by a lift or using the staircase (with 331 steps)…
…with the platform providing 360 degree views to the square and the nearby skyscrapers.
Monument Circle, as one of the Indianapolis tourist attractions, is the a major symbol of the city, used in postcards and other Indianapolis memorabilia.
One of the city nicknames being, in fact, “Circle City”, a reference to the importance of the square.
Circle Center Mall (www.simon.com/circle-centre), meanwhile, is one of the city’s most impressive shopping centers, located right next to the Monument Circle.
This architecturally impressive shopping complex contains, within an area covering two city blocks and three floors, various shops and restaurants…
…including flagship stores for Carson Pirie Scott and Nordstrom.
All in all, there are over 100 shops and restaurants, plus a United Artists movie theater complex, which takes the entire fourth floor of the building.
The shopping mall is linked by covered walkways to the nearbyIndianapolis Convention Center, hotels, and the superb Artsgarden(www.indyarts.org/artsgarden), which offers more than 300 free performances and exhibitions every year.
Of the Indianapolis tourist attractions, War Memorial Plaza(www.nps.gov/wwmemorialplaza.htm), on the other hand, is a historical district, consisting of a total of six city blocks full of war memorials and associated buildings, and monumental architecture from Art Deco and the Beaux-Arts periods.
The plaza is also one of the finest examples of architectural “City Beautiful” style within the United States.
Originally, the War Memorial Plaza was built to honor World War II veterans, but today, it is a tribute to all of Indiana’s war heroes, with the main building for the American Legion (a war veterans’ organization) located within the area.
Construction work on the district started in 1921, with the area being built and expanded well into the 1950s.
Highlights at this one of the best Indianapolis tourist attractions include ‘War Memorial’, whose building has made according to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World….
…but, in fact, the Indianapolis version being taller (with its 64 meters (209 ft) height) than the original mausoleum (which was destroyed during the Crusades).
Other highlights include…
- Cenotaph Square,
- Depew Memorial Fountain,
- American Legion buildings, and
- War Memorial Plaza obelisk and fountain.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (indianapolismotorspeedway.com) is perhaps the most best-known motorsport race track in the United States, and home track to the famous Indianapolis 500 competition.
Historically, the track has also housed U.S. Grand Prix races for theFormula 1 series.
The racetrack has a capacity for over 257,000 people, making it the world’s biggest sports venue.
The best way to visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway is, naturally, to see one of the many motor racing events that take place here, the most famous of which is the Indianapolis 500…
…with other notable events including Allstate 400 at Brickyard NASCAR.
From the racetrack, you can also find Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, one of the world’s most important motor sports focused museums, located in the speedway’s courtyard, right next to the main gate.
In addition to the museum visit, you can also participate in the museum’s popular “Grounds Tour”, which is a 90-minute sightseeing tour to the major landmarks within the speedway.
There tours have limited availability, so you should contact the museum to know the exact current schedule.
Finally, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (www.childrensmuseum.org) is the largest children’s museum in the world, located in a 37,161 square meter (399,998 sq.ft) building…
…with 11 galleries of exhibition space devoted to physics and natural sciences, history, cultures of the world, and arts.
The exhibitions are mostly interactive and made so that both children and adults can participate and interact with the displays.
As one of the most visited Indianapolis tourist attractions (with over 1 million visitors), the museum is an excellent place to enjoy a family vacation and support children’s intellectual interests and desire to learn new things.
Highlights in the museum include:
- Space Quest Planetarium, and
- Lilly Theatre…
…whose performances are included in the price of admission.