Indianapolis, population 781,870, is Indiana's largest city and the state capital. The metropolitan area has a population of more than 1.6 million. The city offers a mix of fast-paced sports entertainment and a thriving cultural and artistic scene.
The city is best known for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's signature event, the Indianapolis 500. Each May the city fill with racing spectators and racecar crews preparing for one of sport's biggest events. On race day at the end of May more than 400,000 fans will be in the stands. The speedway also hosts Formula One Grand Prix racing in July and NASCAR races in August. Tours of the racetrack are offered in the off-season. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum houses racing and antique cars, including several Indy 500 winners.
The city's urban park, White River State Park, encompasses 250 acres in the middle of the town. Visitors can find cultural venues along the Central Canal walkways. Highlights include the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens. For sports fans Victory Field hosts Indianapolis' Triple-A baseball team and the NCAA Hall of Champions pays tribute to college athletes. Outdoor concerts and performances are held at The Lawn and the park hosts festivals and special events throughout the year.
Indianapolis' art scene is anchored by the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University and art programs at the University of Indianapolis. There are three main art districts, Massachusetts Avenue, Foundation Square and Broad Ripple. All feature a mix of art galleries, studios, restaurants, entertainment venues and bars. Additional attractions can be found downtown at Circle Centre where shops, entertainment venues, nightclubs and restaurants mix. The city is home to several performance art groups, dance, opera, symphony and theater.
Indianapolis is located 77 miles east of Terre Haute and 125 miles southwest of Fort Wayne. It is accessible via Interstate Highways 65, 69, 70, and 74. Lodging is varied and abundant in the city and suburbs.