The center of downtown Indianapolis is Monument Circle, with the 284-foot-tall Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at its core, crowned by a statue of Victory, known as Miss Indiana. An observation deck offers a panoramic view. Lights strung from the top of the monument during the holidays make it the "world's largest Christmas tree."
About a half-mile north of Monument Circle, bordered by Meridian Street on the west and Pennsylvania Street on the east, is the 24-acre Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District (www.in.gov/iwm), composed of sculptures, landscaped open spaces, and the neoclassical War Memorial Museum.
The beautifully restored Lockerbie Square area, about a mile northeast of Monument Circle, is Indianapolis's oldest surviving neighborhood, and the first district in the city to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit the website of the Lockerbie Square People's Club (www.lockerbiesquare.org) for more information and to download a walking tour of the neighborhood.
Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W. 56th St. (tel. 317/327-7110; www.indyparks.org), is one of the largest municipal parks in the country, with 4,000 acres of wooded terrain for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, and a 1,300-acre reservoir. The main attraction of the 128-acre Garfield Park Conservatory, 2450 Shelby St. (tel. 317/327-7184; www.garfieldgardensconservatory.org), is a tropical greenhouse -- complete with parrots and macaws, and waterfall-fed pools -- planted with flora from around the world. Admission to the conservatory is free (donations welcome), though entrance to the park is $5 per vehicle; open daily from 10am to 5pm.