Is Indianapolis America’s Most Surprising City?

It’s official! Indianapolis has been named “America’s Most Surprising City” by travel site Lonely Planet. Just days apart, the site also ranked Indianapolis sixth on its list of the top 10 American destinations primed for a visit in 2015.

You can check out the Lonely Planet rankings here and here.

It’s opportune timing for these lifestyle oriented rankings because TechPoint just released a workforce report spelling out challenges and opportunities that tech employers face. TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier says the report-data points to the need for a unified Indianapolis brand that appeals to highly skilled tech workers, especially software developers. “In my opinion, we need a clearer, bolder place-making strategy and marketing message about Indiana as the best place to have a family and a career,” Langellier said.

Inventor of Wonder Bread and nicknamed ‘Naptown,’ Indiana’s state capital has long had a reputation as a bland snooze. But now – as artisans make mead, micro-farms sprout, and the nation’s largest electric car sharing program starts to roll – Indy’s swagger is officially on.

Lonely Planet travel writer Karla Zimmerman

Here is the list of surprising Indianapolis features included in the Lonely Planet ranking:

  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, it’s dinosaurs and 43ft Dale Chihuly sculpture
  • Rhythm Discovery Center interactive percussion museum and rock-out zone
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art contemporary collection at The Alexander, a boutique hotel downtown
  • Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
  • Micro-farms and urban agriculture groups like Growing Places Indy
  • Restaurants that serve locally grown food like Public Greens, a cafe in Broad Ripple
  • New Day, a meadery and cider house in the Fountain Square
  • Sun King Brewery
  • Tinker Flats, an innovation hub for artisanal food and drink makers opening in 2015
  • Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500, its museum, and the Dallara IndyCar Factory
  • Grand Prix of Indianapolis
  • BlueIndy electric car share and Pacers Bikeshare
  • The Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the six cultural districts and neighborhoods it connects
  • The Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo, where you can play computer games with great apes!

If you were making your own list of surprising and amazing Indianapolis things to do, see, eat and drink and more that appeals to tech talent, what would be the TOP 3?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349