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13 Things to Know About Living in Indianapolis

Moving to Indy? With an affordable cost of living, exceptional weather, opportunities for higher education, and a booming job market, Hoosier City is one of the best places to call home for people living in the Midwest. Check out these 13 things to know about living in Indianapolis!

Experience Affordable Living in Indianapolis

One of the best things about living in the Midwest is its affordability, and Indianapolis lives up to that! The capital of Indiana boasts a cost of living 12% lower than the national average, along with a 2% unemployment rate. The cost of healthcare and transportation are also typically lower compared to other major cities, and taxes in Circle City are 12.47% lower than the national average, which all help Indy residents save money. Residents also benefit from affordable housing in Indiana—with a median home price of $235,000 and a median monthly rent of $1,055—so it’s easy for college students, singles, young professionals, families, and retirees to find homes that won’t break the budget.

Start Your Career in Circle City

The Eli Lily headquarters building in Indianapolis. Photo by Instagram user @elilillyco

Photo via @elilillyco

Indianapolis has convenient access to job opportunities in the healthcare, tourism, retail, sports, and manufacturing industries thanks to its growing job market! Indy is known as one of the best cities for remote work, with plenty of remote and hybrid job opportunities, as well as a number of coworking spaces like Expansive and The Haverstick. Find employment at major Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Indianapolis, like Eli Lilly and Company, Anthem Inc., and Simon Property Group. The NCAA is also headquartered in Indianapolis, providing sports-related career opportunities throughout the city. Those in the manufacturing industry can seek employment at top Indy companies like Hurco Companies, Inc. and MacAllister Machinery. And healthcare workers can find jobs with employers like Indiana University Health, Indiana Health Centers, and Kindred Hospital Indianapolis.

Enjoy the Changing Seasons

A view of White River State Park in Indy. Photo by Instagram user @seanwthr

Photo via @seanwthr

Indianapolis residents experience the benefits of having all four seasons—the winters are snowy, springs are rainy, summers are hot and humid, and the falls are mild and pleasant, with mostly clear skies. Temperatures throughout the year average between 20 and 85 degrees. If you’re new to Indianapolis, get out and explore the 150-year-old historic Crown Hill Cemetery, a local favorite spot that’s also one of the largest green spaces in the city. Head out to Eagle Creek Park—one of the largest parks in Indianapolis, featuring more than 1,400 acres of water and 3,900 acres of forest—to spend an afternoon fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. View public art, go for a scenic walk, or explore the trails by bike at the 250-acre White River State Park. Take in breathtaking views of the colorful foliage, go rollerblading, or have a picnic at Fort Harrison State Park.

Get Educated at Indianapolis Universities

A view of Butler University in Indianapolis. Photo by Instagram user @butleru

Photo via @butleru

After settling down in Indianapolis, you or your family can take advantage of the state capital’s diverse range of higher education. Consider The University of Indianapolis (UIndy), which has over 100 undergraduate degree programs, as well as several nationally-recognized graduate programs for disciplines like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing. Enroll in programs ranging from art, to business, to health sciences at the best university in the Midwest, Butler University. Butler is also known for having strong athletic programs, including its men’s basketball team, which played back-to-back National Championship games in 2009 and 2010. Join thousands of college students for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree options in programs like health, marketing, engineering, computer science, and more from Purdue and Indiana University’s joint campus in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Or consider enrolling at private Marian University, where you can find programs of study in fields like business, biology, accounting, education, and nursing.

Discover Fun Activities for the Whole Family

A mother and baby at the Indianapolis zoo. Photo by Instagram user @kellymalinn

Photo via @kellymalinn

Looking for family-friendly activities around Indianapolis? Play the drums at the Rhythm! Discovery Center, a fully-interactive percussion museum that is a hot spot for kids and adults alike. Spend the day with giraffes, tigers, bears, and other species at the Indianapolis Zoo. Become one with nature by walking through corn mazes, watching birds, hiking trails, or seeing historical reenactments at Conner Prairie. Go duckpin bowling with the family at the Atomic Bowl Duckpin, which features 1950s equipment and memorabilia. Take the kids to explore interactive exhibits like Fireworks of Glass or Treasures of the Earth at Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Or encourage them to create an original work of art with water and sand in the Children’s Museum’s art studio, Playscape.

Appreciate Indy’s Art Scene

Indianapolis has an incredible arts and culture scene, showcased in the city’s many museums and art districts. See Western American and Native American paintings and sculptures, or attend the annual Indian Market & Festival at the Eiteljorg Museum. View the permanent art collection, temporary exhibitions, and beautiful grounds at Newfields, which encompasses the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, The Garden, Lilly House, and more! Explore Indy culture in the five-block area made up of theaters, art galleries, and boutiques in the Mass Ave Arts District. Find several art galleries, live music, and comedy clubs when you visit the historic Fountain Square. Attend the annual Broad Ripple Art Fair or enroll in a drawing class at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Live in the Racing Capital of the World

Thanks to the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis is known as the Racing Capital of the World! IMS is also known for its unique track features, which includes The Yard of Bricks, one of the most hallowed grounds in worldwide motorsports, and the state-of-the-art Panasonic Pagoda that overlooks the starting line, housing race control, and radio broadcast booths. Be sure to attend the annual Indianapolis 500 automobile race, where the winners celebrate with a cold glass of milk in Victory Lane. Then make your way back to the Indy Speedway for the annual NASCAR Cup Series points race, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. Head out to the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park to watch a variety of drag races near Downtown Indianapolis. And stop by the Indianapolis Speedrome to see stock-car, bike, and go-kart competitions, as well as the World Figure 8 race.

Find Your New Favorite Sports Team

A player with the Indianapolis Colts football team. Photo by Instagram user @colts

Photo via @colts

When it comes to sports, Indianapolis has a variety of teams for enthusiastic fans to support! Cheer on the Indianapolis Indians (MiLB) as they play a game of baseball at Victory Field in Downtown Indy. Grab season tickets to see three-time NFL champs Indianapolis Colts (NFL) play at Lucas Oil Stadium. If you love watching hockey, attend an Indy Fuel (ECHL) game at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum just 15 minutes north of downtown. And be sure to take part in one of the most popular sports in Indiana by catching basketball games with the Indiana Pacers (NBA) and Indiana Fever (WNBA) at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Attend Festivals in Indianapolis

A pride festival in Indianapolis. Photo by Instagram user @lovealwaysbear

Photo via @lovealwaysbear

Indianapolis hosts a variety of annual festivals and events. Sample delicious sausage dishes and enjoy ice cold beer every August at the annual SausageFest at St. Thomas Aquinas. Bring the family out for strawberry shortcake and ice cream at the annual June Strawberry Festival. Don’t miss Devour Indy‘s Summerfest and Winterfest, where you can take advantage of value-priced menus at more than 100 participating restaurants all over the city. Stop by Indy Pride in June, which honors Indiana’s LGBTQ community. Celebrate the abolition of slavery at Indy Juneteenth, which offers games, live music, food, and a variety of vendors. Visit the ten-day Indy Film Fest to celebrate independent film, attend panel discussions, and get sneak previews of upcoming studio releases. Enjoy food, rides, and competitive events in twirling, cheerleading, and more every summer, July through August, at the Indiana State Fair. Grab tickets to one of America’s newest Contemporary music festivals, WonderRoad Indianapolis. Or sample delicious wines produced by Indiana winemakers at the Vintage Indiana Wine Fest.

Conquer the Realm at Gen Con

Two people playing a game at Indy's Gen Con. Photo by Instagram user @gen_con

Photo via @gen_con

60,000+ fans of board games and role-playing games converge each year in August at Gen Con! Started by Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax, Gen Con has become the largest and longest-running table-top game convention in North America, and is hosted in the Indiana Convention Center. Take advantage of cool speakers and a unique fantasy art show, which draws in a huge crowd each year. Get a sneak peek and check out new board games about to hit the market. Participate in costume contests, play classic games like Catan, enjoy dishes from dozens of food truck vendors, and much more!

Fill Your Night with Live Music in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performing in a theater. Photo by Instagram user @jjschmidtbsu

Photo via @jjschmidtbsu

Want to catch great concerts in Indianapolis? No matter what kind of music you love, Indy has plenty of live music venues for you to check out! Head to the oldest operating bar in Indiana to see performances from jazz and blues bands at Slippery Noodle Inn, or find more live jazz seven nights a week at Chatterbox Jazz Club. Dress in your finest to watch the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra play classical music with breathtaking skill at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. Watch local and touring punk, rock, and alternative bands perform at the HI-FI Indy, which makes charitable contributions to the community and features artists like Son Lux and No Resolve. Or enjoy major touring acts like HAIM and Sheryl Crow throughout the year at the award-winning TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park.

Explore Indy’s Food Scene

A fish filet plate at Bluebeard. Photo by Instagram user @bluebeardindy

Photo via @bluebeardindy

If you’re a foodie or just someone who loves trying all different types of cuisine, Indianapolis has some amazing restaurants for you! Stop by to try farm-to-table dishes like Rainbow Trout, Beef Tartare, or Truffled Egg Toast at Bluebeard. Order everything from Deviled Eggs to a Cinnamon Sugar Waffle and dine out on the patio for brunch at modern diner Milktooth. Feast on handcrafted sandwiches like a NY Reuben, Brisket Sandwich, or a Peppered Beef Sandwich at Shapiro’s Delicatessen. Order delicious Japanese cuisine like Ahi Tuna, Curry, or Smoked Salmon Sashimi at FortyFive Degrees. Try the Spring Fling Pizza, a BLT Pizza, or the Roasted Salmon at Napolese Pizzeria. Grab seafood favorites like Steamed Whole Lobster, Grande Diver Scallops, or Blackened Monkfish at Pier 48 Fish House & Oyster Bar. Or go to Downtown Indy staple St. Elmo Steak House—established in 1902 and named one of Forbes’ 10 Classic Restaurants—and treat yourself to the “World Famous” St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail and a Porterhouse Steak!

Enjoy a Night Out in Hoosier City

A pair of drinks at Tastings in Indy. Photo by Instagram user @tastingsindy

Photo via @tastingsindy

Searching for fun things to do at night? Check out the incredible Indianapolis nightlife! Play a game of pool or darts while munching on late night snacks like the Woodruff Wings or Nora Nachos at gay bar Metro Nightclub. Gather some friends and dance the night away while listening to musical acts at Indy’s premier music venue INVY Nightclub. See stand-up comedy shows from up-and-coming comedians like Johnny Beehner and Matt Rife at Helium Comedy Club. Enjoy a variety of beers on tap like the Irish Setter, Blueberry Bandit, or Ruh Roh Ale and spend an evening out on the patio at Metazoa Brewing Company. Sample from around 200 selections of sparking wine, red wine, or rosé at Tastings. Or watch a sports game on the big screen while enjoying drinks and pub grub like Mini-Corndogs or Chicken Fingers at Average Joe’s Sports Pub & Grub.


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Indianapolis, IN: 13 Things to Know

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.