Indy ranks number one in my book. I’ve spent most of my life in Indianapolis, and I’m biased. I love my city. It’s not in my top ten—it’s number one. I worked in retail downtown at 300 N Illinois St in the 1970s when the city closed at 5:00, except for Thursday night when retail businesses stayed open until 8:00 pm for the “Shop Girls.” It indeed was Naptown. A lot has changed. The 21st-century Indianapolis offers anything anyone could ask for except for beaches and a warm climate. We are top rung in cultural events, pro sports, and arts and entertainment, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the world has to say.

Why Indy Ranks Number One

Best Downtowns 

Attractions America says, “Indianapolis is one of the hidden gems of America. “The amateur sports capital of the world.” But what if you’re not a sports fan and you have some time to kill? It really depends on what interests you–the city has a variety of activities including museums, historical attractions, nightlife, and outdoor activities. There is absolutely no shortage of things to do in Indianapolis.” If you’re bored in Indianapolis, It’s you. You are boring. — Top 20 Best Downtowns in the USA for Unforgettable Experiences

Best Places to Retire 

“Indiana’s capital and largest city, with a population of 908,000, 180 miles southeast of Chicago. The median home price of $219,000, 42% below the national median. The cost of living is 15% below the national average.” — Forbes — Best places to retire

Population Top 50 US Cities by Population If I asked you where Indy ranked in the USA’s population, what would you guess? We’re probably higher ranked than you think. Indy comes in at number 16. Indianapolis is larger than San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, and Boston.

Culture Top 20 US Cities for Culture  Indianapolis was number two on this list. “With six different Cultural Districts, Indianapolis prides itself with a rich cultural heritage. That, coupled with recent initiatives made by local officials to increase the city’s appeal as a destination for arts & culture, have brought the number of cultural properties up to 1,184.”


“The people have spoken, and for the 12th year in a row, the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) has been awarded the Airports Council International’s Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport in North America – making it the only airport in the United States to win the honor for a straight decade.” — IIA

Sports fan

Bleacher Report 10 best cities for a sports fan. Indy ranks tenth on this list. “Our cup runneth over. Pro, college, high school and even youth teams are everywhere in Indy.” And don’t forget about racing!


“Few cities can claim to have a real diversity of cuisines; an abundance of affordable, quality dining options; and a vibrant mix of personalities championing food access for all. Indianapolis is one of them. Thanks to its exceptional ability to welcome a new wave of entrepreneurs while supporting those who paved the way, the Circle City has emerged from the past few challenging years as a destination where everyone can eat well.” — Food and Wine 


“A typical home costs $221,900, which is 34.4% less expensive than the national average of $338,100 and 0.1% more expensive than the average Indiana home, at $221,600. Renting a two-bedroom unit in Indianapolis costs $1,090 per month, which is 23.8% cheaper than the national average of $1,430.” — Best Places 

Children’s Museum 

“A favorite Indy attraction, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest museum of its kind in the world, encompassing 29 acres of fun-filled exhibits. Kids can snap a selfie with a T-rex, explore outer space through the lens of NASA’s Project Mercury, travel overseas without a passport in Take Me There: Greece, and play one of 12 sports outdoors in a fabulous interactive sports park.” — USA Today

Convention City 

USA Today already has named Indianapolis the “No. 1 Convention City in the U.S.,” as it boasts the highest number of hotels and hotel rooms directly connected to a convention center.” — The Most Connected Convention Campus in America is Growing.” —  The Most Connected Convention Campus in America is Growing.

Indy Ranks Number One in my Book

There you have it—top 10 lists from various publications on several topics. Those numbers are hard to beat, and so is Indianapolis. If you haven’t visited Indianapolis recently, it’s probably time to pay us a visit. If you’d like ideas on things to do, where to eat, where to stay, and more, go to Visit Indy. We look forward to seeing you.

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Photo by Corbin Mathias on Unsplash