4 Top Midwest Shopping Neighborhoods
Indianapolis: Broad Ripple Village
Professionals come here for the ethnic eateries. College students come here for the pulsing nightlife and trendy boutiques, including Pitaya, which offers women urban clothes and accessories and its own line of jeans. But Broad Ripple Village isn't just for the coming-of-age, or for the dinner crowd. This neighborhood -- decorated by graffiti murals and known for its edgy approach to public art -- also includes high-end galleries and shops selling handmade apparel and gifts.
The Central Canal, which cuts through the district, first brought patrons here in the 1880s. The Monon Railroad (now a "rails to trails" park) rendered the canal obsolete; automobiles later returned the favor. In the 1970s, malls nearly left the area for dead, and it became a haven for artists, free spirits and partygoers. Today, its 15 square blocks are ideal for exploring on foot. Spicy aromas from Mexican, Thai and Indian restaurants cling to the breeze. Shops offer pottery, baby-blanket-soft sweaters, handmade hats and jewelry.