Long gone are the days of Indianapolis being known only for corn, or the nickname “Naptown.” The city is booming. Job opportunities are vast, and it is accommodating for all people at any stage in life. So what makes Indy so great? Here are seven reasons why we’re thankful to call Indy home.
Big City Perks with Affordable Prices
Indianapolis is one of the most affordable cities to live in the country, with benefits for those who would like to have the big city feel or if you prefer a life in the ‘burbs. Whether you spend an afternoon walking through the Broad Ripple Village for shopping and dining, or an evening downtown for a night on the town, you are not missing out. The city is quick to navigate. Uber and Lyft are easily accessible, as well as the Pacers bikeshare or the new Lime and Bird scooters. Plus, the Monon Trail is a great way to travel by foot or bike, spanning 26 miles. In addition to standard bus public transportation, the city is making progress with its first mass transit system: The Red Line. The new Red Line will be a reliable form of transportation, starting at the University of Indianapolis and going north to Broad Ripple. Residents will be able to rely on a bus to be at stations every 10 minutes and will run seven days a week for 20 hours a day. Construction on the initial phase is scheduled to be complete in late 2019, with plans to extend into Johnson County into Hamilton County.
Job Growth and Opportunities
When it comes to a state excelling in job growth and opportunities for residents, Indiana is the place. Over the next 10 years, the state will need to fill more than one million jobs in high-demand fields with great pay. At least 60 percent will need to be equipped with a post-secondary degree or credential in the next five years, so the state has put together a plan to help build its workforce. Thanks to the state’s Workforce Ready Grant, the state has launched Next Level Jobs Indiana which will pay tuition for qualifying Hoosiers to attend a training program at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University. A degree isn’t necessary for every position; residents can get into a lucrative field by completing a one-year certificate program. Marion County is also making strides of their own to help residents earn the additional 20 percent of postsecondary credentials needed to meet employer demand. Through Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Indy Achieves, qualifying residents will have tuition covered at Ivy Tech or IUPUI—as well as the cost for books, fees and required supplies. Enrollment mentors and success coaches will be provided to help residents navigate through the college experience.
Perfect for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Indianapolis has so many great activities for those who love to spend time outdoors. There are a variety of local parks for walking, hiking, fishing and more—many of which are tucked into the city but feel like a completely different world once you are there. The Fort Harrison State Park on the city’s northeast side is 1,700 acres with six different trails with adventures for beginners or experienced hikers. It is also home to a dog park, recreational and nature centers, fishing, sledding and more. Holliday Park is near the White River, with gorgeous trails and landscaping. It is also home to “The Ruins,” which were revitalized three years ago thanks to a $3.2 million grant. In total, central Indiana is home to more than 200 parks, 155 sports facilities, 19 aquatic centers, and 13 golf courses, according to the Indy Parks and Recreation. They also note more than 130 miles of trails and 23 recreation and nature centers.
Sports and Racing Mecca
Of course, one of the top things the city is known for is racing. Then there are the Colts, Fever, Pacers, Indians, Indy Eleven and Indy Fuel to name a few—not even counting college sports. In addition, Indianapolis is home to so many great sporting attractions. For instance, the NCAA headquarters is downtown, with the NCAA Hall of Champions close by. To learn more about racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum showcases the history of all things racing. Then if you are in the mood for a road trip, about an hour and a half southeast of Indianapolis is the Milan 54 – Hoosiers Museum. This Milan, Indiana museum features artifacts and history from the 1954 basketball team featured in the movie “Hoosiers.” Then in New Castle, you can visit the actual gym the team played in called “The Hoosier Gym.”
Amazing Events, Tradeshows and Festivals
Not only does Indianapolis have plenty to do, but it is home to several annual attractions. One of the most popular is Gen Con, held August 1-4 and filled with fun tabletop games. Shortly after on August 30 – September 1 is the Indiana Comic Con. It is the perfect event for pop-culture enthusiasts. At the nearby Indiana Fairgrounds, additional events take place. The Indianapolis Home Show is every January, giving homeowners inspiration for their property. In March, Hoosiers can find inspiration at the Indiana Flower + Patio Show. During the summers, downtown is home to many great festivals. In June, the Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival is the largest wine event in the state, offering more than 300 different wines and delicious foods to try. Also, in June is the beloved Holy Rosary Italian Street Festival. Each year hundreds attend this event to indulge in pasta, desserts and more. These are just a few of hundreds of events. Whatever you are interested, Indiana most likely has an event for you.
The term “Hoosier Hospitality” isn’t for nothing. Indianapolis is full of fantastic neighborhoods with welcoming residents, great festivities, shops, restaurants and locally owned businesses. And because the city is relatively quick to get around, you can easily spend a day in another neighborhood without traveling far. In fact, there are more than 100 neighborhoods around the metro area, each with their unique flair.
When it comes to leaving the city for a trip, we have one of the nation’s top-rated airports. In fact, according to Conde Nast Traveler, it is the best airport in the country! In 2018, it earned the title for the fifth year in a row. Quick TSA lines, great restaurant options, and customer service have all been noted as a top priority. This has been indicated on several “top airport” lists, not just Conde Nast. We are proud to have such a great traveling hub for residents traveling out-of-state and to welcoming those visiting our great city.