Tall buildings reach for the sky behind White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis.

Photo courtesy of Lavengood Photography

#3. Indianapolis

Neighborhoods in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., continue to evolve into hip destinations that attract young families and professionals, and help make the city’s cultural and business center one of the Top 10 Best Downtowns in the country. Both commercial and residential spaces get occupied quickly as more companies and homebuyers find the allure of downtown Indy hard to pass by. Nearly 23 percent of homeowners in the downtown area moved here during the last five years, quickly taking occupancy of the buildings that have been renovated into modern apartments and condos.

Market East is one of the newest examples of downtown districts that have been transformed into inviting entertainment areas. The Canal and White River State Park area packages both natural amenities and cultural excursions along a 250-acre urban park. Mass Avenue, the city’s arts and theater district, is filled with locally owned stores, coffee shops and galleries.

Residents throughout downtown Indianapolis find convenient access to the city’s many cultural amenities, shopping areas, restaurants and sports facilities. The website WalkScore.com gives the 46204 zip code a score of 91, indicating it’s a walker’s paradise. City officials have focused on improving sidewalks, adding bike lanes, and creating trails that connect residential areas to parks and shopping centers. Cobblestone and brick streets lined with trees in downtown’s many historic neighborhoods provide a charming look, while new modern restaurants and stylish shops add a level of sophistication. 

Home to the Indianapolis Colts, Paces and the WNBA’s Fever, downtown Indy is often filled with sports fans cheering on their favorite teams. Families find many things to do in Indianapolis, including visits to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the nearby Indianapolis Zoo and admiring the artistry of Monument Circle. 

See where Indianapolis ranked on our Best Downtowns 2014 list. 

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