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Indiana offers very cosmopolitan shopping choices. Items with "local flair" may be somewhat limited to antiques, wine, and crafts, but national retailers are very well represented in world-class shopping centers. (After all, shopping center mogul Simon Properties is headquartered here!)
LUXURY Shopping Center in Indianapolis, The Fashion Mall at Keystone (anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom)
"The Fashion Mall" is home to Indianapolis most elite retailers. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom anchor the complex. Also present are Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, the Apple Store, Microsoft, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Tiffany & Co., and a host of specialty apparel stores for men and women. Additionally, Keystone Art Cinema and lounge, Cheesecake Factory, Napolese Pizzeria, Seasons 52, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and more to enjoy.
DOWNTOWN - CIRCLE CENTER
Circle Center Mall is Indianapolis’ retail crown jewel. Located south and west of Monument Circle, the beautiful complex (constructed using facades of existing buildings) offers three floors of shopping and dining. The Mall is anchored by Carson Pirie Scott and Nordstrom department stores. It spans two city blocks and features United Artists cinemas on the fourth floor. It is connected by skywalks to the Convention Center, numerous hotels (including the Conrad, Marriott, Westin, and Hyatt), the Artsgarden (remarkable!), and a number of adjacent retailers and specialty shops. Restaurants include Champps, PF Chang’s, Harry & Izzy's, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Weber Grill, Palomino Euro Bistro, Alcatraz Brewing Co., and a food court.
Best parking: head due south from the Circle on Meridian Street, take a right on Washington Street, and a quick left into the underground parking garage.
DOWNTOWN - STREET LEVEL
A number of national retailers surround Circle Center Mall at street level, but a better area to peruse for more local flair is Massachusetts Avenue. It is broken into two disjointed shopping districts. Roughly, one is south of Michigan Ave., and the other is north of it. Stout’s Shoes and Silver in the City are a couple of the more memorable names, but there are a host of galleries, optometrists, playhouses, wine shops, boutiques, design shops, and salons. A number of trendy (but also comfy) restaurants, pubs, and gay bars launched the renaissance of the charming neighborhood.
Broad Ripple Village (62nd Street aka Broad Ripple Avenue at College) offers bars, restaurants, access to the Monon Trail, and a few unique retailers. This is an especially good place to look for vintage clothes, punk/goth wear, vegetarian food, jewelry, pipes (for tobacco), unique art and sculpture, and used records. And on a nice day, it’s a great setting with ducks floating along the canal and bikes on the trail.
Coaster bikes can be rented at Rusted Moon Outfitters for use on the Monon Trail. Rusted Moon also rents kayaks and canoes, as well as being a full service Outdoor Outfitters. www.rustemoonoutfitters.com Located at 6410 Cornell Ave., just north of the main drag .(317)253-4453
Castleton Square Mall anchors the Castleton area, located at the intersection of interstates 69 and 465 at 82nd Street. Anchors include Sears, JCPenney, Von Maur, Macy’s, and Dicks Sporting Goods. In the surrounding neighborhood, you’ll find ample electronics and furniture retailers. In fact, 82nd Street, 86th Street, and Allisonville Road (three sides of the mall) probably have the greatest concentration of furniture stores in the city. For European or Modern furniture, don’t miss Scandinavian Comfort, Danish Inspirations, and Houseworks (82nd Street, 1/2 block west of Allisonville Road)
GREENWOOD PARK MALL
The southside version of Castleton Square.
LAFAYETTE SQUARE MALL & WASHINGTON PARK MALL
With such good choices elsewhere...really, don’t bother.
Try downtown Noblesville, to the northeast, or Zionsville, to the northwest. Both have entire downtowns nearly dedicated to antiques exclusively. In the heart of Indy, there’s the Midland Arts & Antiques Mall at 907 E. Michigan Street.
For Architectural Salvage, visit Tim & Avi’s Salvage Store at 2442 N. Central Ave.
For used furniture with a more modern flair, try Keystone Furniture Mart, a gritty store filled with treasures at 4435 North Keystone.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH: 82nd STREET, COLLEGE AVENUE, AND MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE
For the full spectrum of suburban shopping in Indianapolis (from "old suburb" to new), you might consider simply driving the entire length of 82nd/86th Street (they swap names when they cross the river). Start at I69 at 82nd Street in Castleton, and drive all the way across to I465 on the west side of town. You'll pass through Castleton, Clearwater, Keystone, Nora, "the nameless-but-interesting area west of Meridian Street," Willow Lake, College Park, and Trader's Point.
To have a more urban experience, drive down College Avenue from Broad Ripple south to about 48th Street. Each major intersection has a retail node left over from the streetcar days.
Continue downtown via Meridian Street (past the Governor's Mansion), do a lap around the Circle, and then cut over to Massachusetts Avenue to fulfill your artistic urges.