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Indianapolis
  • $400   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $724   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1139   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

36% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
you must drive, you must worship the Hoosiers
museums, local professional sports, symphonies, motorsports 6
fast & furious wannabes, every type of food, fast cars drive in circles, golf courses, white hood ground zero, golden corral = fine dining, actually hipsters, cool new food court, artsy ppl w/antiques, hipster lake, lafayette scare, ppl who sit in lawn chairs in garages, and cars on cinder blocks are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Indianapolis roommate rundown:

Indianapolis is Indiana's capital, largest city, and geographic center. It's known for giving big city with smaller town mentality vibes.

Some have called it sleepy, and thought its nickname "Naptown" was somehow insulting and offensive. Like it was insinuating Indianapolitans were napping more than they somehow should. Because they're . . . too sleepy?

But different others say nope. "Nap" is just an informal stress on the fourth syllable in Indianapolis, with adding "town" a cute way of avoiding the rest of the syllables. They proudly stress "Naptown" was first coined by local jazz musicians, starting in the 1920s.

Lately there's also the Naptown Roller Girls and Naptown Stomp. Also Naptown = Too Sleepy would be hard to reconcile with Indianapolis' other popular nickname, "Racing Capital of the World!"

Did we need to mention Indianapolis is a major hub for motorsports? You've heard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500 (and many other races), but did you know there are hundreds of other motorsport companies and teams, employing a total of about 10,000 locally?

That's sporting. In addition to everything Indy 500 (and many other races), Indianapolis is represented in the NFL and NBA, plus minor league baseball. And it also deservedly refers to itself as the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World!"

Multiple collegiate athletic conferences and associations all meet here. The general high enthusiasm for basketball throughout the state, not just their NBA and WNBA teams, but starting with large high school tournaments, then continuing through college, has been referred to as "Hoosier Hysteria!"

The hysteria itself is named after the critically-acclaimed film (Hoosiers), which is named after their 1954 state championship.

They've been Hoosier Hysterical since then. That's why they're also known as Hoosier Country?

Like a country with a river you can float down. Long ago, city founders wanted Indianapolis to become an important port. However, the White River wasn't navigable enough of the time. Sad for city founders back then, happy for you right now or whenever you'd like to kayak or paddleboat along a gorgeous canal large enough for ships but entirely without any ever getting in your way. No need for your own paddleboat either, it's easy to rent one right there.

The driving is also easy, especially for a city this large. It's laid out in an easily navigable grid. Traffic jams are rarely a concern, and drivers are polite and non-aggressive. That's the good news.

The bad might be you and your roommates will need that car. There are a few public bus routes (Indy Go), but waits are long and they don't go far. There are few nice bike lanes with many more miles planned throughout the next decade, but their bike lanes don't go that far yet either, and none are dedicated. Not a lot of walkable sidewalks either.

Indianapolis scores low on walkability but fairly high on all things driving. They do love driving.

They also love performing for each other, seemingly more than the usual amount. So many are so often singing, playing instruments, marching, and dancing.

And there are a lot of local performing arts organizations. Not just a regular symphony and a regular orchestra and a chamber orchestra, but a specifically Baroque orchestra and an orchestra just for kids. The American Pianists host their association here, along with Drum Corps International and Percussive Arts. There's even a non-profit just for music from the baroque, medieval, and renaissance eras, with an emphasis on including historically correct instruments.

Also they love dinner theater of the cocktail & cabaret variety. They really get into sounding both saucy and sauced, probably as soon as they're done racing around that day.

They're Indianapolitans!

The rest of the Indianapolis roommate lowdown:

  • about 875,000 residents of the city, with about 2 million in the greater metro
  • hub for agricultural and livestock commerce, academic medicine and health sciences research, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and information high tech
  • Indianapolis has 100s of farms covering 1000s of acres, usually on the outskirts but within city limits, interspersed with housing developments, especially unusual compared to other similarly-sized cities
  • Not exactly temperate, they do experience all 4 seasons, but with seasonal highs and lows less than most of the northeast and midwest. It tends to top out at about 85F in summer, it only snows every few years, and catastrophic storms are rare.
  • Low unemployment rate, and many companies based in the region, including academic medicine and health sciences, agricultural, health insurance, logistics, and pharmaceutical. High tech, especially for logistic, is growing. Amazon and FedEx reroute a lot of packages right here. Sports tourism and the hospitality to support it are also huge.
  • home to Butler University, Franklin College of Indiana, Herron School of Art and Design, Marian College, Anderson University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Indianapolis
  • many golf courses (including one or two miniatures), and over 200 parks
  • Indianapolis is known for deep-fried pork sandwiches, beef Manhattans (that's an open-face sandwich which might have mashed potatoes on top), and sugar cream pies.
  • Also microbreweries. There are already about 50, with Sun King Brewing probably the largest, known most for Scottish-style and cream ales plus all the beer awards they won making those. If you and your roommates are at least 21, you can book a tour that would include samples of their most popular brews. But don't forget your ID, and don't wear sandals.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Indianapolis:

  • Indianapolis Zoo: Home to the first underwater dolphin viewing dome. Also over 200 species of animals, and the White River Gardens with over 3000 different plants adjoins.
  • Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium: Would you and your roommates like to look through the largest telescope in Indiana in one of the largest public observatories in the world? Have I got a planetarium for you!
  • Indiana State Museum: Learn all about Indianapolis from way back when (fossils, Civil War) all the way through a hall dedicated to the Hoosiers and a sculpture garden dedicated to the counties of Indiana. Indiana-related trinkets in the gift shop and famous chicken soup in the Tea Room.
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art: Since 1883, now covering over 150 acres. And over 53,000 works and over 5000 years of human history. The emphasis on outdoor art, murals, and public historic nature park installations featuring lush gardens emphasize their preference that art exist within and contribute harmoniously to the natural environment.
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art: Featuring a lot of Western art plus artifacts, art, and Native American history. They would like to help us understand Indigenous people through exhibitions of their art and culture. Many free lectures you and your roommates could attend.
  • Conner Prairie Interactive History Park: Would you like to experience some authentic historical details of life in Indiana back in the 1800s? Periodic exhibits and a gift shop too.
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum: World's largest collection of racing, classic, and antique cars. You can also ride around the track.
  • Indianapolis 500: Hosted above, but the main event is in May. Do you like loud cars, louder crowds, and tailgating? Don't miss it.
  • Indianapolis Cultural Trail: 8 miles of maintained trail lined with public art, with Fountain Square and White River State Park along the way
  • Monon Trail: over 20 miles, popular with walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers, connects downtown Indianapolis to the suburbs
  • NCAA Hall of Champions: Explore the history of college athletics
  • Indiana State Fair: Everything you'd expect, plus Hoosiers and Prairie Home Companion - the best-attended summer event in Indiana.
  • Oktoberfest: Do you enjoy German food, beer, live music, and dancing? Guess where you can do all four together? Annually since 1974.
  • Indy Irish Fest: Dancing, food, booze, live music, sheep herding, Civil War reenactments, Celtic Mass, and a kilted mile.
  • Bands of America Grand Nationals: The best marching bands in the country all competing together in one stadium.
  • Harrison Center for the Arts: Local art and artists, four art galleries, dozens of personal studios, and First Fridays where you can check it all out for free, usually with live music.
  • Kurt Vonnegut: As their most famous writer, Indianapolitans gave him The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in 2010, and there's also a mural of him on Mass Avenue. Because he's a true Hoosier.
  • Gainbridge Fieldhouse: See the NBA Indiana Pacers (November-April) or the WNBA Indiana Fever (June-September). Or you and your roommates could check out both home teams. WNBA tickets tend to be cheaper.
  • Naptown Stomp: Teaching and spreading enthusiasm for vintage dancing, including Lindy Hop, with an emphasis on big band sounds of the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Naptown Roller Derby: Indiana's first Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Association team. Watch the Tornado Sirens and another team go for all the rollerskate gusto.


Here's the city of Indianapolis official .gov for Moving to Indianapolis, including registering to vote and suggestions for life in Indy





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.