Indianapolis, Indiana

Naptown

Indianapolis Skyline
Indianapolis Skyline
Downtown Indianapolis Rainy Day
Downtown Indianapolis Rainy Day
Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis
Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis
American Legion Mall
American Legion Mall

864,447

Population

Sunny Days: 186
95100 Affordability
75100 Schools
85100 Diversity
65100 Safety

LookyLOO Review of Indianapolis

Young and Family Friendly

Over 65% of the population in Indy live in family households and over 35% of the population is under the age of 25. Combine a young, family-oriented city, with the gosh darn friendliness of the place, and you get an amazing place for a young family (or someone who wouldn’t mind one someday).

Indianapolis is considered the crossroads of the country because it sits at the intersection of 4 major freeways. In some ways that’s the issue. You’re really in the center of a lot of land here and in fact, it's the largest city in the U.S. not on a navigable body of water. There's some question about this designation due to the White River that winds through the city and offers some small craft access but for larger boats/ships it remains cut off. For those moving from a coast, a great lake, or a river, that lack of water access and view might matter.

Lifestyle

Indianapolis is a city all on its own, which means locals have to rely on each other and work to improve the city if they want more entertainment or nightlife. Locals love that it’s a big city that still feels small (perks of being in the midwest, eh?). There is a great downtown, an “in the works” food scene, a great airport and locals boast about how bike-friendly the city is. If the weather is nice, you’ll catch people biking from BR to Carmel or downtown, all on a dedicated greenway. Speaking of weather, Indianapolis is in the midwest, which means you’re getting all 4 seasons. Winters can be grey and depressing, while the summers can be stifling. You’ll also catch a lot of people getting into the college sports season. As a Big Ten area, you’ll have no shortage of people wanting to go out and catch a game either in person or at a local bar.

If you're interested in the going on's of Indianapolis check out the Downtown calendar of events:

Worklife

Indianapolis, like many midwest cities, suffered from the deindustrialization and loss of manufacturing jobs over the years. The city used to rival Detroit as an auto manufacturing giant, but companies started shutting down plants and thousands lost their jobs between 1990-2012. Since then, the largest industries in Indy are mainly finance, insurance, education, healthcare, wholesale trade, and hospitality. Niche markets include amatuer sports and auto racing. Speaking of racing…The Indianapolis 500 is what the city might be best known for. Sports tourism is a huge draw for the city and brings in a ton of revenue. The Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium are also huge draws and bring in a ton of work-related tourism and convention goers every year. Headquarters in Indy include Anthem, Inc, Simon Property Group and Eli Lilly, which has become the largest private employer in the city, with over 11,000 workers. Biotech, life sciences, and healthcare have steadily become front runners as leading industries of the city. Other large corporations in the city include Lids, Steak n’ Shake, and Duke Realty. Because of where the city is located and the extensive highway and railway infrastructure, Indy is huge for logistics and has the second largest FedEx Express hub in the world.

Schools

Here's a local's response to a question about best school districts in the Indianapolis/area:

RodolfoSeamonkey
1y ago

Source: I'm a teacher in Indianapolis and here are my recommendations:

Indy Area:

Speedway:

Washington Township to the North probably has the best public school system outside of Speedway

Perry Township (South) is also pretty good

If you're indifferent to public vs charter, Indianapolis Classical Schools (Herron and Riverside) are top-tier in the country, and are not religiously affiliated.

Just Outside of Indy:

Northwest: Zionsville Schools

Northside: Carmel-Clay schools

Northeast: Hamilton County Schools (Fishers HS, Hamilton SE)

East: New Palestine schools

Southeast: Unsure

South: Center Grove

Southwest: Plainfield Schools

West: Brownsburg

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Cost Of Housing

The average rent in Indy is less than $1,000 a month, which is just 17% of the area’s median income (San Francisco is 43% and New York is 40%). That makes Indianapolis the cheapest place to rent and the second most affordable city in the country. Looking to buy? Indy has the most affordable home of any large city in America. Seriously, you can raise a family or get your start professionally here for not a lot of money.

Reviews of Indianapolis from Locals

Landlocked

nlh1013
Living in Indy
1y ago
✭✭✭

Irvington
I really like Indy, as a non-native. I thought I’d only be here for 2-3 years. I’m coming up on year 3 and have no plans of leaving.

Pros - I think the weather is pretty mild (or at least has been the last 3 years), COL is low, lots of other large cities within a few hours drive, lots of events in the city (sports/conferences), and a lot of super cool local spots.

Cons - we are a blue city in a sea of red (the sea of red part being the con). Not sure if that matters to you but just my personal thoughts. Roads are terrible, I’ve lived several places and these are the worst potholes I’ve ever seen lol. That’s all I can think of for now.

For more reviews from locals check out: The Reviews.

Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

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The Area

Indianapolis can feel like it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it is…sort of. Almost smack-dab in the middle of Indiana, it’s within driving distance to large cities like Chicago to the northwest, Cincinnati to the southeast, Columbus directly east, and Louisville almost directly south. Because it’s the only big city in the immediate area, Indianapolis residents have created a circle of really nice suburbs around the city. Some like Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers, and Muncie have a reputation and feel all their own. As far as topography goes, it’s pretty flat, but there are some lakes north of the city and, if you're up for the drive, some state parks and forests down south by Bloomington.

SoBro

College Students

Unlike other college campuses, Butler is a relatively quiet college. The surrounding areas boast great restaurants, bars, and great value for your money, housing wise. These neighborhoods are walkable, safe, and a great distance from other activities in the area. If you’re in the know, you know that SoBro is the coolest part of Broad Ripple. It’s its own neighborhood, has a smaller feel, and has a great atmosphere. Snag a great apartment for a decent price for just you or one with enough room for friends!

  • SoBro
  • Butler-Tarkington
  • Mass Ave.

Broad Ripple

Young Professionals

If you’re looking for a good time in Indy, go where the young professionals are. The popular neighborhood of Broad Ripple is dominated by bars and late night spots. In addition, there are some great, smaller starter homes. You can get your pick of craftsman or bungalow style for a lot less money than other areas. The neighborhood is always busy with young people, college kids, and younger families. It’s the perfect area to walk between breweries, dinner spots, parks, and the farmer’s market!

  • Broad Ripple
  • Brownsburg
  • Old Northside

Brownsburg

Young Families

Starting a family doesn’t mean you have to stop the fun! Indy has plenty to offer by way of fun, safe neighborhoods that still have a lively atmosphere for new parents and young families. These neighborhoods feature great homes, great restaurants, and green spaces for fun weekend activities! Irvington is on the east side and is a great historic neighborhood. It’s pricier than similar areas like Little Flower, but it has larger houses. Small businesses have started flocking to this area in the past 5 years and it’s definitely the place to be for people who want to be in the city, but be able to have a neighborhood feel with a bit more house.

  • Brownsburg
  • Meridian Kessler
  • Irvington

Fall Creek Place

Established Families

Established families often have different priorities than their younger counterparts. These neighborhoods may be less walkable, but you can find great homes, great schools, and restaurants all in one place! Check out Fall Creek Place for tree-lined streets, parks, and great amenities. This neighborhood is a long-standing favorite amongst Indy families and it’s right in the heart of the city! If you can, snag a restored historic home close to one of the area's great parks!

  • Fall Creek Place
  • Fishers/Carmel
  • Noblesville

Fountain Square

Empty Nesters

It’s easy to stay close to the action in Indy without being in the action. In-town neighborhoods have plenty of funky and fun options, while also having some of the best restaurants and bars in the area! Retire in Fountain Square and reap all the benefits of the work that’s been put into the area in the last 5 years or so. It’s considered “up and coming” and there are great restaurants, breweries, and newly flipped homes or condos.

  • Fountain Square
  • Downtown/Mass Ave
  • Nickel Plate District