News about renewable energy and electric vehicles

How to Fit in With the Locals in Indianapolis

Buy your dream house in Indianapolis

Indianapolis gets a lot of visitors every year, and I mean a lot. Hardly surprising, considering it’s the Racing Capital of the World and the site of the NCAA Headquarters. Oh, and did I mention that the city has hosted more than 400 national and international sporting events over the past 30 years, including the final rounds of March Madness, the Olympic trials and, yes, even the Super Bowl?

Naturally, us Hoosiers have gotten pretty good at spotting tourists. Just because you’re “just” a tourist doesn’t mean you have to act like “just” a tourist, though. Want to fit in with the locals and avoid being seen as an uninvited interloper? Here are some important things you should keep in mind…

Try To Avoid Being Rude

Although most of us try to be polite when we can and avoid offending or hurting anyone, it’s human to make mistakes. People slip up and say the wrong thing, or they get anxious and forget their manners. Just remember, though, when you’re visiting a city other than your own, you’re not just touring an unfamiliar place; this is someone’s home. Act accordingly.

In other words, be a good house guest and Indianapolis natives will treat you the same way. Try to be friendly but not overly familiar. The locals here are used to many, many sports fans coming through and being boisterous and excitable (to put it mildly). If you really want to blend in, you have to go with the flow and be courteous. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with strangers, and just be generally friendly.

Don’t Trash the Indianapolis 500

Although many of us Indianapolis locals complain about how much the Indy500 takes over our beloved city, don’t you dare badmouth it in public. The Indy500 is like our little brother; we’re allowed to knock it, but you aren’t.

As much as we might whine, the truth is that this race is a huge part of the local economy and it pours trillions into the city every year. The roar of the cars may be a lot if you’re not used to it, and, sure, you’ll have to plan ahead to avoid certain parts of the city during racing season. But the Indy500 is always fun to watch and even more fun to get passionate about.

If you love the Indianapolis 500, then you’re all set! You should grab an Indianapolis house for sale as soon as possible so you can live near the best race of the year. If you hate it, well, that’s just another reason to consider moving here. Everyone in Indianapolis hates the Indy500 (or at least claims to). You’ll fit right in. Until then, however, you better watch your mouth.

Don’t Overdress for the Weather

Indianapolis folk are proud of how mild and comfortable our seasons are. We like to think of the city as a place with a Goldilocks climate; it’s not too hot or too cold, but juuuust right.

Although we still go through all four seasons and experience each in turn, there’s no such thing as a blistering hot summer or ten feet of snow over the course of a single one winter night because again, Indianapolis is located in a humid and subtropical climate region. That means you probably won’t need to slather yourself in suntan lotion and walk around fanning yourself, nor will you need to insulate yourself inside seven layers of bulky coats and wooly scarves.

Instead, when visiting Indianapolis, try to dress casually and comfortably. If you’re arriving in the winter, a simple coat and jeans is all you really need. In the summer, avoid tourist cliches; this isn’t Florida. A pair of shorts and a loose button-front shirt will do just fine.

Take Advantage of Public Transportation

As is the case with any city as big as Indianapolis, getting around can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth.

Traffic jams are a daily fact of life, and that’s without all the congestion a major sporting event brings. No wonder more Indianapolis natives take more than 10 million trips on the city’s bus system, IndyGo, every single year. Public transportation may not be the most glamorous means of traveling, but it’s a lot faster and efficient than most other options.

When the city’s residents aren’t riding the bus, you’ll probably find them renting bicycles through the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare program. People around these parts aren’t big on waiting around; if we have somewhere to be, you can bet your butt we’ll find a way to get there. Unless you want to sit in traffic for upwards of an hour, when you’re in Indianapolis, you’d be wise to follow our lead.

Be Respectful of Other People’s Faith

Faith is a touchy subject for a lot of people, Hoosiers included. Keep that in mind when visiting Indianapolis, where around 42% of the population identifies as religious. That’s more than most other major cities of comparable size.

If you’re religious yourself, all the better. If not, you might think Indianapolis is an old-fashioned, backwards place. We plead guilty to the first charge, but innocent to the second.

Regardless of your own views, try to remember to be respectful of other people’s beliefs. While the largest percentage of Indianapolis’ religious population is composed of Christians, there are plenty of Jewish and Muslim folks who’ve made their home here as well. One thing we all have in common is the simple desire to be treated with basic human decency.

Have a Tenderloin Sandwich and a Milkshake

As with any other city, Indianapolis’ regional delicacies are a major point of local pride and passion for Hoosiers.

Whenever you’re in town, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to stop and have yourself a tenderloin sandwich with a milkshake on the side. This combination is so quintessentially Indianapolis that to order anything else would be a dead giveaway that you’re not really a local (or, if nothing else, that you hate your tastebuds).

Of course, there are tons of other fun and delicious regional dishes around here that you’re not likely to find anywhere else, like sugar cream pie and Persimmon pudding, so don’t be afraid to try new things. Indianapolis locals are nothing if not adventurous eaters!

Be Yourself

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the people of Indianapolis don’t hate tourists. We just get overwhelmed by them when they flood our streets during games and sporting events. It’s a good idea to be friendly, but also be honest if someone asks you where you’re from. We promise not to bite. Hard.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

© 2012 - 2024 -