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11 Things to Know About Living in Indianapolis

Have you always wanted to live in a big Midwest city but don’t want to pay Chicago prices? Indianapolis might just be the perfect home for you! The second largest city in the Midwest offers affordable homes, mild weather, major sports teams, opportunities for jobs and higher education, and much more! If you’re considering a move to Indianapolis, here are 11 things you should know about living in Indianapolis!

Experience Affordable Living in Indianapolis

Monument Circle in Indianapolis, IN

Photo by Zepfanman.com

One of the best things about living in the Midwest is its affordability, and Indianapolis is no different! The city boasts a cost of living that’s 16% lower than the national average and a 3.2% unemployment rate (as of July 2017). Homes are available for a median price of $117,200 and a median rent of $784, so it’s easy for college students, singles, young professionals, families, and retirees to find homes that won’t break the budget. There are also major companies like Eli Lilly and Company, Anthem Inc., Simon Property Group, and NCAA headquartered in the area, meaning job opportunities are available throughout the city!

Enjoy the Changing Seasons Outdoors

It might not seem like that big of a draw, but Indianapolis residents love having all four seasons! The winters are snowy, the springs are rainy, the summers are hot and humid, and—according to locals—the falls are absolutely perfect. Temperatures throughout the year average between 30 and 76 degrees, so the climate overall is fairly mild. If you’re new to Indianapolis, get out and enjoy the seasons at beautiful local spots like Fort Harrison State Park or the 150-year-old historic Crown Hill Cemetery.

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Choose the Indianapolis Neighborhood That Fits You

Looking for the best place to live in Indianapolis? There are neighborhoods for practically every stage of life, from singles and young professionals to families and retirees! If you’re looking for a fun neighborhood with lots of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, check out Wholesale District, Upper Canal, and Market East! If you want a family-friendly neighborhood with great schools and safe streets, give Fall Creek Place and Holy Cross a try. If you’re looking to settle down in historic districts with beautiful old homes, Indiana Avenue and Lockerbie Square have houses that look like they came straight out of a magazine!

Get Educated at Indianapolis Universities

University of Indianapolis Campus

Photo by Serge Melki

Institutions like The University of Indianapolis (UIndy), Butler University, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) draw thousands of college students from within Indiana and around the country every year! UIndy has nationally-recognized graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing. Butler has strong athletic programs, including its men’s basketball team, which went to back-to-back National Championship games in 2009 and 2010. And IUPUI has become one of the leading research universities in the Midwest after joining the Indiana and Purdue regional campuses. If you’re moving to Indy for college, these are just a few of the schools you’ll want to check out!

Discover Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Bear at Indianapolis Zoo

Photo by Jean

Looking for activities around Indianapolis that everyone in the family will enjoy? Enjoy time with the kids at Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where you can learn about everything from American pop culture to dinosaurs and outer space. Or head to Rhythm! Discovery Center, a fully-interactive drum and percussion museum that’s a hit with kids and adults alike. Spend the day with giraffes, tigers, bears, and other species at the Indianapolis Zoo. Or become one with nature at Conner Prairie by walking through corn mazes, watching birds, hiking trails, and more. There’s always something to do with kids in Indy!

Join the Racing Capital of the World

Did you know Indianapolis is The Racing Capital of the World? The world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts the annual Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400! IMS is also known for its unique track features, including both The Yard of Bricks and state-of-the-art Panasonic Pagoda that overlooks the starting line. If you weren’t a racing fan before moving to Indianapolis, it’s time to join the fun!

Find Your New Favorite Sports Team

The Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Indiana Pacers (NBA), Indiana Fever (WNBA), Indianapolis Indians (MiLB), and Indy Fuel (ECHL) all call this city home, making it a sports fan’s dream town! The Colts, Pacers, Fever, and Indians all play within a few miles of one another at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Victory Field, while the Indy Fuel play at Indiana Farmers Coliseum about 15 minutes north of downtown. In other words, Indianapolis sports fans have year-round entertainment that’s always close by!

Satisfy Your Hunger at These Indy Festivals

Each year from spring to fall, Indianapolis hosts a variety of annual festivals and events centered around food! Get to know all of the best food trucks in town at First Friday Food Truck Festival, which takes place on the first Friday of each month May through October. Sample delicious sausage dishes and enjoy ice cold beer at the annual SausageFest at St. Thomas Aquinas in August. Bring the family out for strawberry shortcake and ice cream at the annual Strawberry Festival hosted by Christ Church Cathedral in June. And, of course, you don’t want to miss Taste of Indy at Monument Circle. This summer festival is one of the city’s largest food events of the year and features food vendors, shopping vendors, and live music acts!

Fill Your Night with Music

Live music in Indianapolis

Photo by Ryanello

Want to catch great concerts in Indianapolis? Head to the oldest operating bar in Indiana, Slippery Noodle Inn, where jazz and blues is alive and well! Or give Chatterbox Jazz Club a try! They offer live jazz seven nights a week and cheap (but strong) drinks. If you’re more of a classical music fan, you can’t miss the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which plays at The Hilbert Circle Theatre. Want to discover local punk, rock, and alternative bands? The Hi-Fi is the place to be! Of course, you can’t forget about the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, where major touring acts stop throughout the year. No matter what kind of music you love, Indianapolis has plenty of live music venues for you to check out!

Conquer the Realm at Gen Con

Gen Con in Indianapolis

Photo by Sweet Alize

Fans of board games and role-playing games come together each year inside the Indiana Convention Center for 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. Its 60,000+ annual attendees get the chance to check out new board games about to hit the market, participate in costume contests, play games like Settlers of Catan, enjoy dishes from 40+ food truck vendors, and much more!

Grab Dinner & a Cocktail at the Famous St. Elmo

Exterior of St. Elmo in Indianapolis

Photo by gnutar

You can’t experience the Indianapolis dining scene without making a stop at the well-known St. Elmo Steak House in Downtown Indy! Named one of Forbes’ 10 Classic Restaurants, St. Elmo has been around since 1902 and was named for the patron saint of sailors—it’s even located two blocks from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument! This local favorite has served as the background for many Hall of Fame quarterback signings, Indiana legislation brainstorming sessions, and major business deals! While you’re there, try the Signature Elmo Cola cocktail or enjoy the “World Famous” St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail!


What’s your favorite thing about Indianapolis? Tell us in the comments!

Are you moving to Indianapolis soon? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities in Indianapolis that can help with your transition!

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

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