Indianapolis has long enjoyed a reputation as a major crossroads for the nation, but recently Indiana's capital has established itself as a world-class city in its own right. Downtown Indy is rich with attractions, cultural institutions, historic sites and shopping districts. One of the largest cities in the Midwest at over 800,00 residents, Indianapolis is quickly transforming into one of the nation's most thriving metropolitan centers.
Gary is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana, and has historically been known as a steel mill townin close proximity to Chicago, Illinois. Fort Wayne, the largest city in northeastern Indiana and the state's second largest city, is an industrial and commercial center noted for the manufacture of machinery and metal goods. Evansville is situated onthe Ohio River in the southwestern corner of the state. The city serves as a regional hub for a large area that encompasses parts of Illinois and Kentucky.
As intersting as life in Indiana's big cities can be, the true hallmark of Indiana living is found in the small towns located all over the state. Here you'll find some of the symbols of America at its best: picturesque main streets leading to historic town squares, quiet neighborhoods lined by white picket fences and tall maple trees, high school gymnasiums filled to the rafters with basketball fans, and community events for every season.
Relatively flat farmland comprises the majority of Indiana's terrain. The state's fertile soil and nearly unbroken topography create the perfect setting for millions of acres of cropland. The southernmost portion of the state does contain rolling limestone hills and scenic river valleys.
Most think of Indiana's agricultural contributions to the nation, but manufacturing is actually the single most important activity in the state in terms of economic impact. Farmland does cover some 6.1 million acres of Indiana, and corn is the leading crop grown in most years. The state also produces significant quantities of wheat and soybeans.
The various service industries employ a sizable portion of the population, in part due to the state's role as a transportation hub. Wholesale and retail trade industries are prominent in commercial centers around the state.
In Indianapolis, you will find the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, as well as the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the best symphonies in the Midwest. Symphony orchestras also perform in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, and Evansville.
Hoosiers also have a strong affinity for sports and recreation. Outdoor activities are popular throughout the state, as are auto racing and football. No sport in Indiana surpasses basketball in popularity. High school games are major events in towns around the state. Loyalties to college teams also run deep, and at the professional level fans can root for the Indianapolis Pacers.