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15 Best Neighborhoods in Indianapolis, IN

By: Susan Finch
November 11, 2020

Indianapolis rapidly grew into a thriving midwest capital. It has career opportunities, entertainment, and a reasonable cost of living. Compared to similar-sized cities in the northeast and west coast, Indianapolis living is a steal.

You'll find something for everyone, whether you want to live in the heart of Downtown near galleries and cocktail bars or away from the action in a spacious apartment.

Ready to find the best neighborhoods in Indianapolis to fit your lifestyle? Here are fifteen options to choose from.

1. Downtown Indianapolis

Locals flock to Downtown Indianapolis, otherwise known as Mile Square. They enjoy its bars, galleries, restaurants, and more.

The city poured money into revitalizing the area. That made it a popular place for renters who want to live, work, and play in their neighborhood.

On weekends, hop on a gondola for a cruise around the manufactured canals. Watch the sunset on warm evenings.

Residents have their choice of new high-rise complexes, smaller buildings, and mixed-used communities for ultimate convenience.

Downtown Indianapolis also gets bonus points for being walkable to so many businesses. That enables residents to enjoy the best in carefree urban living.

2. Broad Ripple

Head a few miles out of Downtown Indianapolis to discover the cultural district of Broad Ripple. Broad Ripple Village is among the six designated cultural districts in Indianapolis. It boasts a reputation for being diverse with a lively social scene.

The laid-back vibe and free-spirited community is a win for renters looking for urban living at a slower pace. Hang out on weekends at local breweries, shop the local boutiques, or enjoy an eclectic dish on an evening out.

Broad Ripple is also a dog-friendly community. Restaurants are welcoming to pets on their patios. Take a walk with your pups over to Broad Ripple Park or stroll over to the bridge overlooking the canal.

There are also plenty of biking opportunities at Monon Rail Trail to join the locals in the active lifestyle.

3. Fountain Square

Fountain Square is also among the six designated cultural districts you'll find scattered through Indianapolis. Theater lovers enjoy its rich history and arts scene where working artists, musicians, and creatively-minded live and play.

You'll also find scores of independent restaurants and boutiques to support your favorite small businesses.

On weekends, try your luck at the vintage bowling alley and soak up the offbeat nightlife. You’ll find cocktail bars, retro dancing, and burlesque clubs in the Fountain Square neighborhood. You’ll never run out of fun things to do.

4. Meridian Kessler

Meridian Kessler was established in the late 1800s when wealthy locals decided to build their country estates along Meridian Street. Today, the neighborhood attracts young professionals, new families, and older residents alike. They choose from apartments to oversized homes.

Meridian Kessler is quiet, but not a sleepy little suburb. The area is friendly to cyclists and walkers looking for coffee shops and freshly baked goods from local bakeries. You'll end up finding everything you need. You’ll also enjoy a short commute to the rest of Indianapolis.

5. Fall Creek

Soak up the ambiance in the Fall Creek community. There, you’ll find restored historic houses and tree-lined streets. Apartments are also available close to parks and other urban amenities. If you can’t find what you need, you're also just minutes from shopping and dining.

Like many neighborhoods in Indianapolis, Fall Creek went through an urban revitalization in the early 2000s. The efforts turned the community into an intimate place to play, work, and offer easy access to the rest of the city. Depending on where you live, you might even have downtown Indianapolis views from your doorstep.

6. Near Westside

The area of Near Westside is a district with a cluster of neighborhoods attracting renters looking for proximity to urban living. The community is known for more spacious and affordable apartments that are just 15 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.

Near Westside is also convenient to Lafayette, Bloomington, and Terre Haute. You’re never far from nearby college campuses and other Indiana cities.

7. Near Eastside

Although Near Eastside, Indianapolis once earned a reputation for crime and abandoned houses, it's quickly turning into a hipster hotspot with trendy restaurants and new developments. Take a stroll and browse the new breweries, retail, cinema, and coffee shops attracting newcomers.

You’ll also find lower rents in Near Eastside and a younger millennial vibe. But despite the growth and changing reputation, it's still wise to keep your guard up and avoid walking around at night alone.

8. Near North

Look for a new apartment north of Indianapolis in the Near North district. Like the other “near” areas, Near North is a cluster of neighborhoods.

Tree-lined streets and century-old homes line the streets. Townhomes and apartments are available in Near North with access to cultural landmarks like the Benjamin Harrison Presidential site.

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You're also just a five-minute Uber ride into Indianapolis's core if you want to take advantage of all the urban amenities you’re missing.

9. Castleton

Head to the walkable neighborhood of Castleton for a diverse, family-friendly community. With affordable rents and a short commute time, you can walk or bike to restaurants, pubs, and more.

This Indianapolis neighborhood is also home to Castleton Square. That’s the largest mall in the state of Indiana.

Beyond the big box retailers, Castle also offers Asian supermarkets and ethnic eateries. Of course, you still have your pick of chain restaurants and fast food.

Beyond eating and shopping, Castleton is also home to Sahm Park. It features a swimming pool, water slide, and golf courses for a spirited afternoon.

10. Irvington

Named after Washington Irvington, the neighborhood of Irvington is a historic district encompassing 545 acres. The charming Indianapolis community grew to prominence from 1875 to 1928 when Butler University grew the area into a cultural and arts destination.

It's easy to see why the city landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It boasts a small-town feel near urban living.

Irvington is also walkable and bikeable along its residential streets and parks. You can spend the day soaking up the scenery and enjoying the green space for a reprieve from the bustle of downtown.

Beyond the tranquility, you'll also find commercial districts in Irvington to grab a bite or browse the shops.

11. Keystone at the Crossing

Keystone at the Crossing was designed with shopping enthusiasts in mind. You can live right alongside the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing. Just step right outside your door to access shops, restaurants, and other amenities for the ultimate in mixed-use community living.

Or, if you want more peace and quiet, you can live away from the mall and still enjoy the convenience.

With so many retail and restaurant opportunities around the Fashion Mall, you could live, work, and play in the same area with just minutes of commute time.

12. Willow Lakes

Willow Lakes is among one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Choose from studio apartments on up to larger spreads for roommates or a family. Although the area is firmly rooted in a residential vibe, it's still convenient to the metro and other parts of Indianapolis.

You'll find upscale luxury apartments and lower-key options loaded with amenities around Willow Lakes. Look for meticulously landscaped grounds, pools, on-site fitness centers, and gathering areas for drinks with the neighbors.

13. Lockerbie Square

Settle into Indianapolis' oldest surviving neighborhood of Lockerbie Square. The historic staple is situated downtown. It was home to renowned Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley.

The quaint 20th-century architecture and cobblestone streets are also welcoming to renters looking for apartments and a walkable neighborhood.

The Bavarian influence is also alive and well around Lockerbie Square. Enjoy the German heritage events, year-round festivities, and traditional Bavarian restaurants and Biergartens.

Gather with neighbors for spaetzle, a warm pretzel, and oversized beers. Expect crowds during German Fest when the rest of Indianapolis comes out to play.

14. White River Area

Head west of downtown to discover the White River area of Indianapolis. The neighborhood is known as the home of the country's only urban cultural park. Enjoy afternoons at the Indianapolis Zoo, aquarium and botanical gardens.

You can also enjoy a round of golf and strolling outdoors. You'll have quick access to 65 and 465 and your choice of pet-friendly apartments with access to dog parks.

15. St. Joseph

Across the White River lies St. Joseph with gorgeous waterfront views of downtown Indianapolis. The neighborhood is just a stone’s throw across the river. It still boasts culture, commerce, and community.

You'll also find a family-friendly vibe with year-round events and activities for a balance of fun and a quiet reprieve from city life.

St. Joseph is also one of Indianapolis' many historic neighborhoods. Architecture lovers come to see the area’s Italianate and Queen Anne architecture.

Despite the stunning homes, there are still plenty of apartments to choose from. They’re situated in older homes or small complexes.

Final Thoughts

Ready to pack up and move to the Midwest’s thriving epicenter of career, commerce, and entertainment? Find a new apartment in your favorite Indianapolis neighborhood with Apartment List.

AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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