Thriving in Indianapolis: An Executive’s Comprehensive Guide to Working and Living

You’re an executive eyeing Indianapolis for your next big career move? You’re in for a treat. Indianapolis, fondly known as Indy, is not just a metropolis bustling with opportunities, it’s a city that knows how to live.

In this guide, we’ll delve into what it’s like living and working in the heart of Indiana. We’ll explore the city’s thriving job market, vibrant culture, and the quality of life it offers.

Get ready to discover why Indianapolis is a top choice for executives like you. It’s more than just the “Crossroads of America”, it’s a place where work-life balance isn’t just a concept, but a way of life.

Why Choose Indianapolis

Before delving into Indianapolis’ appeal, it’s worthwhile emphasizing that as a city, it significantly stands out among its peers in several key areas. We’ll cover specifics that matter to executives considering relocation.

Affordable Cost of Living

Isn’t it desirable to enjoy urban lifestyle perks while avoiding astronomical costs common in many other larger cities? Guess what, Indianapolis stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to affordability. According to Numbeo’s data, the city’s cost of living index is considerably lower compared to the national average. This means you’ll have more money to invest back into your business or enjoy life more fully.

City Cost of living index
Indianapolis 75.94
National Average 100.0

Thriving Job Market

Perhaps you’re considering not just your own job prospects but also your spouse’s or partner’s. Indianapolis’ job market is burgeoning, robust, and diverse. The employment rate is impressively high, and job growth outpaces the national average. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Indianapolis hosts several Fortune 500 companies providing a strong corporate presence.

Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

Of course, work isn’t everything. Life in Indianapolis extends beyond the confines of the office or boardroom. Your soul will be delighted with the wide array of cultural activities the city offers. From the breathtaking Indiana Repertory Theater to the renowned Indianapolis Museum of Art, you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich and vibrant arts scene. Plus, the slew of festivals and events throughout the year ensures there’s never a dull moment.

Family-Friendly Environment

For those with families, Indianapolis provides a nurturing, family-friendly environment. The city boasts top-notch schools, beautiful parks, and a plethora of family-oriented activities. Safety is a priority here, with crime rates consistently lower than the national average.

Active Sports Community

Finally, if you’re a sports enthusiast, consider this a haven. Known as the “amateur sports capital of the world,” Indianapolis hosts numerous sporting events and has professional teams in several sports. Whether you fancy basketball, football, or motor racing, there’s something for everyone in the active sports community of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis isn’t just another dot on the map – it’s a city that deserves your close attention. With its affordable cost of living, thriving job market, rich cultural scene, family-friendly environment, and lively sports community, it provides an excellent place to build a career while enjoying a quality, balanced life.

Best Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

We’ve talked about what it’s like in general in Indianapolis. Now let’s delve deeper into the city’s geography and discuss some of the neighborhoods that stand out. These locations have been selected based on their reputation among residents, local amenities, safety, and proximity to key destinations such as schools and workplaces.


Downtown Indianapolis is the heart of the city. Think skyscrapers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. World-class museums and theaters are within walking distance. As an executive you’ll appreciate its modern condos and apartments.

Broad Ripple

A vibrant and lively arts community is what you’ll find in Broad Ripple. The neighborhood’s close-knit community vibe, diverse food scene, and trendy boutiques make it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

Fountain Square

A haven for funky restaurants, unique shops, and live music, Fountain Square is a must-visit. It’s also home to a number of tech startups, making it a bustling hub for innovation.


Carmel, a suburb north of downtown Indianapolis, is known for its high-performing schools. It’s also teeming with shopping centers, art galleries, and parks. A great place to raise a family while advancing your career.


Named one of the best places to live by renowned publications, Fishers is thriving. Here you’ll find top-tier schools, ample outdoor activities, and strong community spirit. A perfect balance for work and life.


Zionsville might be a little off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trip. With a picturesque downtown lined with shops, restaurants and art galleries, plus excellent schools and safe neighborhoods, Zionsville is the epitome of small-town charm just outside a big city.

Finding Housing in Indianapolis

After familiarizing yourself with the city and the neighborhoods, you’ll need to find your perfect home in Indianapolis. Your preference could be either renting an apartment or buying a home. Let’s explore both options.

Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment in Indianapolis is an attractive option, especially for those new to the city or not ready yet to buy a home. The city boasts a variety of apartments both in the heart of downtown and surrounding suburbs. You’ll find upscale high-rises, renovated lofts, and affordable family-friendly apartments. However, don’t just settle on the first one you see.

Explore various locations and types of apartments. Research the neighborhoods, consider the proximity to your workplace, and think about your lifestyle. Rent varies significantly depending on the location and size. For instance, a studio apartment downtown may cost somewhere in the range of $1,000 to $1,500 per month, while a 2-bedroom apartment in a less-central neighborhood could also fall within that same price range.

Buying a Home

When you’re ready to set down roots in Indianapolis, you might want to consider buying a home. Thankfully, Indianapolis is one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. when it comes to homeownership. This affordability extends across all styles of homes from ranch-style single-family homes to modern urban condos, luxury estates, and everything in between.

Before buying, do your homework. Connect with local real estate agents to understand the market. Know your budget, identify your preferred neighborhoods, and have a list of must-haves for your new home.

Tips for Home Buyers

Buying a home is a significant financial commitment, and doing so in a new city adds another level of complexity. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision.

  • Acquaint yourself with the local market dynamics. Indianapolis’s real estate market fluctuates, knowing when to buy could save you a significant amount of money.
  • Gaining pre-approval for a mortgage can strengthen your position when making offers.
  • Consider the cost of living in your selected neighborhoods, including local taxes, commuting costs, and amenities.

Whatever stage of life or career you find yourself in, Indianapolis offers a diverse range of housing options to suit you. As you can see, there’s much to consider when choosing your next Indianapolis home. Whatever your choice, make sure it aligns with your economic situation and lifestyle. The city’s local charm, combined with a variety of housing options, makes it the perfect place for executives to call it “home”.

Transportation in Indianapolis

As an executive considering a move to Indianapolis, you’re likely interested in understanding the transportation landscape of the city. Let’s dive into it.

Public Transportation

Reliable and efficient, Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, locally known as IndyGo, serves the transportation needs of many residents and visitors. The fully-electric Red Line, Green Line, and Blue Line make it easy for you to navigate the city’s points of interest.

Your executive position probably entails a lot of meetings, making punctuality a priority. IndyGo’s real-time tracker is optimized to provide accurate arrival times, ensuring you can plan your commute and make an impression with your timely arrivals.

Line Route
Red Line University of Indianapolis to Broad Ripple
Green Line Indianapolis Airport to Downtown
Blue Line Cumberland to Indianapolis Airport

Biking and Walking

With over 200 miles of connected biking and walking trails, Indianapolis is a city that promotes an active lifestyle. The cities visionary Cultural Trail stands as a landmark achievement. This 8-mile trail connects neighborhoods, cultural districts, and entertainment amenities while serving as a path for people to commute, workout or simply relax.

For executives who want to incorporate some fitness into their daily routines, biking or walking to work could be a refreshing change. Be sure to check out the Monon Trail and the Central Canal Towpath, both highly rated paths in the city.

Driving in Indianapolis

Like any other major city, Indianapolis experiences its fair share of traffic. Yet, compared to larger cities, driving in Indianapolis can be a relatively stress-free experience. This is greatly attributed to its organized grid system and lessened traffic congestion.

Indianapolis also ranks high on inrix. Com’s Global Traffic Scorecard, which evaluates the traffic situation in hundreds of cities worldwide. Annually, you’re estimated to spend 43 hours in traffic, significantly lower than the national average of 99 hours.

Remember, a key aspect of navigating traffic is understanding the rush hours. Typically, morning rush hours are between 6:30 AM and 8:30 AM, while evening rush hours are from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

With these insights into public transit, biking and walking trails, and traffic conditions, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate your way around Indianapolis. These transportation options not only offer convenience but also reflect the city’s commitment to being environmentally friendly and promoting an active lifestyle.

Top Attractions in Indianapolis

As your day-to-day work as an executive keeps you engaged, it’s equally essential to give yourself a break. Indianapolis is home to a diversity of attractions that cater to various interests. Below, we’ll delve into some of the must-visit sites.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) often catches the eye of executives due to its artistic and tranquil environment. It’s not just an art museum, but it also has a garden that encompasses 152 acres. You can gaze at masterpieces, unwind in the green space, and even indulge in a little exercise. The exhibitions change regularly. so you’ll always find something new and exciting.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Work-life balance is essential, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis offers a fun opportunity for you to have a splendid day with your family. It’s the largest children’s museum on the globe. Your children can learn about dinosaurs, space, and various cultures making this venue a melting pot of knowledge and amusement.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can’t miss visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Home to the famous Indy 500, this site offers heart-racing excitement. Even if you’re not a racing fan, the museum on the premises, filled with legendary race cars and informative exhibits, is sure to captivate you.

White River State Park

Executives often crave a little downtime, and the White River State Park provides an ideal spot. Packed with attractions such as the Eiteljorg Museum, the Indiana State Museum, and breathtaking trails, this park provides a serene escape from the city bustle.

Indianapolis Zoo

One of Indianapolis’ real gems is the Indianapolis Zoo. Nestled in White River State Park, it’s an institution combining a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden. You’ll have the chance to see dolphins, orangutans, and penguins up close, providing a unique, rewarding experience.

Enjoying a balance of work and leisure activities assists in maintaining mental wellness, making these attractions more than just appealing sites. They offer an opportunity to unwind, recharge, and refuel your executive prowess.

Dining and Entertainment Scene in Indianapolis

The charm of Indianapolis isn’t confined to its geographical composition, thriving job market, or diverse selection of neighborhoods. It’s in the city’s vibrant culinary and entertainment scene which provides a mix of local and international flavors, culturally-diverse performances, and exhilarating sports events. Explore how Indy’s proud tradition of hospitality continues in these venues.

Locally-Owned Restaurants

Indianapolis boasts of an impressive array of locally-owned restaurants that uniquely reflect the city’s character. Savor delectable dinners at Bluebeard, a novel locale located in a renovated 1924 warehouse, serving inventive American dishes inspired by the city’s local farmers and artisans. Experience exotic Ethiopian flavors at Major Restaurant, a local favorite known for its authentic African dishes.

Rook, an Asian-fusion restaurant, adds a contemporary flair to traditional Asian cuisine. If you’re seeking a quintessentially Hoosier dining experience, St. Elmo Steakhouse must be on your go-to list: it has been serving high-quality steaks in Indy since 1902. Do not miss their renowned shrimp cocktail!

Entertainment Venues

Indianapolis doesn’t fall short when it comes to entertainment options. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra hosts world-class performances, a testament to the city’s rich cultural scene. Sports enthusiasts will find sheer delight in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and WNBA’s Indiana Fever.

The Hilbert Circle Theatre, a historic venue, offers a wide variety of live performances. Don’t miss a show at the Old National Centre, known for its alluring architectural charm and diverse program of concerts, Broadway shows, and comedy events.

Breweries and Distilleries

Craft beverage connoisseurs will feel right at home in Indianapolis. The city’s thriving craft beer scene includes Sun King Brewery, one of the leaders in Indy’s beer revolution, known for their refreshing brews.

Flat 12 Bierwerks and Fountain Square Brewery are must-visit venues too. Both offer a comfortable ambiance, friendly service, and of course, intriguing brews. Enthusiasts of distilled spirits should head to Hotel Tango— it’s the first combat-disabled veteran-owned distillery in America, producing top-notch artisan spirits.

The city’s comprehensive collection of dining spots, entertainment hubs, and local breweries simply adds to the charm of living and working in Indianapolis. These venues don’t just offer a memorable gastronomic and visual experience; they embody the city’s spirit of innovation and community, woven into every dish served, every performance staged, and every spirit distilled.

Establishing Professional Networks

As an executive in Indianapolis, the strength and breadth of your professional network will undoubtably be instrumental to your success. Here’s an overview of the main channels available to forge valuable connections in Indianapolis.

Industry Associations

There are numerous industry associations in Indianapolis, creating opportunities to mingle with seasoned professionals and enthusiastic newcomers alike. The diversity of industry-specific associations means that you’ll find plenty of like-minded peers with whom you can share knowledge, explore collaborative ventures, and broaden your professional perspective. Examples include TechPoint for those in the tech industry, Indiana Manufacturers Association for manufacturing leaders, and Indiana Health Industry Forum for healthcare professionals. These associations are not only about meeting people; they often offer resources such as industry news, skill development workshops, lobbying efforts, and more. Joining an industry association is an effective way to stay ahead of the curve while widening your professional network.

Business Organizations

Aside from industry-specific associations, you’ll find several broad-based business organizations in Indianapolis. Institutions like the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Indy Partnership lead the way in helping businesses thrive. They hold varied events, run programs that foster economic development and promote legislative policies conducive to growth. Membership in these organizations capsulates you in the midst of the city’s vibrant business community – and positions you to foster valuable business relationships.

Networking Events and Meetups

Nothing replaces the power of a face-to-face meeting when it comes to relationship-building. Indianapolis frequently hosts networking events and meetups across different industries. These gatherings offer an ambience for casual conversation, where you can forge connections outside of the formal office environment. Indy’s tech scene is particularly known for its meetups, with regular groups like IndyPy for Python enthusiasts and IndyAWS for users of Amazon Web Services. But it’s not confined to tech; you’ll discover meetups focused on a wide array of professional interests from marketing and finance to real estate and entrepreneurship. Attending these events not only accelerates your professional growth but enriches your Indianapolis experience as an executive.

While the idea of networking might feel daunting – or even clichéd – know that establishing a robust professional network is a proven strategy for achieving professional success in Indianapolis. It’s about more than just collecting business cards; it’s about forging meaningful connections that can be mutually beneficial. Enjoy the process of expanding your professional horizons, and Indianapolis will continue to offer fertile ground for your growth.


So, you’ve seen what Indianapolis has to offer. With its affordable living, flourishing job market, and rich culture, it’s no wonder executives are drawn to this city. Add in the family-friendly vibe, sports enthusiasm, and diverse dining and entertainment options, and you’ve got a city that truly has it all. But remember, to succeed here, it’s vital to tap into the local professional networks. Get involved in industry associations, join business organizations, and attend networking events. In Indianapolis, your success isn’t just about where you live and work, it’s about who you know. So get out there, make connections, and see how this vibrant city can elevate your executive lifestyle.

About Michael Morgan

ae18397d4200b6543d24926998dce3a8?s=90&d=mm&r=g Thriving in Indianapolis: An Executive's Comprehensive Guide to Working and LivingMichael Morgan is the Vice President & Managing Director at Medallion Partners. He's responsible for company wide day-to-day delivery of business results, team leadership, cultivating trusted partnerships with clients, and client-specific strategic analysis. Michael ultimately works to bring change to people's careers, propel companies, and impact industries.

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