Tashi has always had a passion for strategic thinking and creative communication. Tashi holds a B.A. in Public Relations from IUPUI and previously worked in the technology industry at Salesforce. Now, she’s the Communications Manager for the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Her goal in life is to uplift the voices and stories of those who often are overlooked.
Anderson, Indiana, is an affordable city with growing opportunities.
As a 90s kid, growing up in the city of Anderson was great! Everyone in town had shiny, new cars. There was an abundance of places for us kids to hang out and go on adventures, and basketball games at the historic Wigwam were always an awesome experience!
In the early 2000s, the shutdown of the motor industry heavily impacted Anderson. But the city has adapted and overcome, becoming a great spot for small businesses and growing families. Anderson University brings hundreds of new students to the community each year, and the local arts and music scene is flourishing with ballet, theater, and art galleries.
Every weekend, I head back to my hometown to visit my parents. And each time I go, I’m amazed by the city’s growth and restoration. Today, downtown Anderson has been thoroughly renovated, and it’s on its way to a total makeover!
Enjoy luxury living for less in Anderson.
Since I first moved away from my parents, I’ve lived in several cities throughout Indiana, including Carmel, Fishers, and Lafayette. For me, my living space is key to my happiness (especially during the cold Hoosier winters, when I don’t want to venture outside!) So, my standards for apartment living are pretty high—and they usually have a price point to match.
However, downtown Anderson is the exception, with affordable real estate options that feel like luxury living. For example, the Tower Apartments offer a prime downtown location near the Anderson Museum of Art and the public library. Originally built in 1926, the building looks beautifully historic, while the inside is entirely renovated. And from the granite countertops to the stainless steel appliances, each apartment gives off the air of modern elegance.
And the price tag? A one-bedroom apartment there costs less than $800! That kind of affordability can’t be beat, especially in close proximity to exceptional academic institutions for you and your family. These local real estate options are ideal for a college student’s first apartment, within walking distance from Anderson University.
Anderson is home to exceptional higher education.
Anderson University is a private, Christian liberal arts institution at the very heart of the city. In 1917, the Church of God first established the university. And now, a century later, they offer undergraduate, graduate, and seminary studies as well as programs for adult learners. Anderson University is one of the nation’s top colleges for nursing, business, computer science, cybersecurity, and education. And after graduating, alums often reminisce about taking a walk through “the valley” and grabbing a bite at The Lemon Drop, a local diner and a favorite tradition.
If you’re looking for more technical skills, Anderson also has a local Ivy Tech Community College campus and Purdue Polytechnic Anderson. This extension of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute specializes in engineering technology. Whatever your interests, Anderson has the resources and the real estate to help you live your best life.
Anderson has five different spots listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Downtown Historic District, Paramount Theatre, the Anderson Center for the Arts, the Anderson Bank Building, and the Gruenewald House.
The Lambert Automobile Company headquarters was in Anderson, where they manufactured the historic Lambert automobile models in the early 1900s.
Carl Erskine, a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 through 1959, was born right here in Anderson.
Downtown Anderson is a foodie paradise.
From new cafes to classic diners, one of the best parts of downtown Anderson is the amazing food! One of my favorite places to grab a drink is Kettle Top Brewhouse, which recently celebrated its four year anniversary. This local brewhouse not only has fantastic flavors on tap, but their food is absolutely delicious. I recommend chowing down on some of their signature smoked jumbo wings along with some hand-cut fries.
Head a couple blocks west, and you’ll discover the smoky smells of Build Your Own Burrito. Cleverly nicknamed BYOB, this Tex-Mex restaurant offers a multitude of dining options with fresh ingredients. You’ve got to try their delicious signature sauce, which is made in-house with a mixture of jalapenos and pineapple. And their Wet Taco Wednesday remixes the dish in a tasty way, so you’ll easily fill out your punch card.
Enjoy local coffee shops and fresh cafés.
Got a sweet tooth? Walk just a block down Meridian Street, and you’ll stumble on the Dapper Cat Café. Tucked away in the corner of the Union Building, Dapper Cat offers a variety of delectable treats. My personal favs are the blueberry crumble muffins and the white hot chocolate. The café is also a great place for lunch with its signature wraps and paninis, and the cherry on top is that the café is minority-owned!
Other great food and drink spots include Jackrabbit Coffee, Creatures of Habit Brewing Company, and The Toast Café. If you’re more interested in cooking at home, the Collective Roots Local Market stocks produce, meats, dairy, bread, and other goods from local farmers. Best of all, if you find yourself getting hungry during your grocery trip, you’re in luck! The market also includes a café that serves fresh meals with a menu that varies weekly.
Get connected with Anderson’s walkable downtown streets.
In my experience, downtown areas are often missing something that would make them otherwise perfect. You’ll have bars but no grocery stores, or there will be entertainment venues but nowhere to park. But in downtown Anderson, you’re in close proximity to all of the resources and amenities you could need (or want!) All of these places are within walking distance of one another. So, you can explore the city and access everything you need with just a quick stroll down the street.
If you’re looking to venture outside of downtown, the city is also working on an exciting new development to connect you with everything Anderson has to offer. The City of Anderson Transit System is currently building a downtown terminal that will open in spring of 2021. This will provide new public transportation solutions to help people enjoy the city without ever needing a car. The new terminal is estimated to be 16,000 square feet and will have additional space for more businesses to plant their roots downtown.
- Anderson Community School Corporation
- Anderson University
- Purdue Polytechnic Anderson
- Kettle Top Brewhouse
- Dapper Cat Café
- Jackrabbit Coffee
- Good’s Candy Shop
- Twisted Twigs
- Seasons of the Heart
- Mounds State Park
- Paramount Theatre
- Anderson Museum of Art
- 55 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
- 1 Hour Drive
- Canine Companion Corral
- Athletic Park
- Walbridge Acres Park
Downtown Anderson has exciting entertainment for everyone.
When you live in Anderson, you never have to travel far to find amazing art and entertainment around the city! As I mentioned, the city’s local arts and culture scene has continued to thrive over the past years. And that means there are a wide variety of events, galleries, and performances just waiting for you to explore!
Experience wineries, breweries, and spirited community events.
The Dickmann Town Center is the heart of entertainment here in downtown Anderson, where many of the major local festivals are held each year. One annual event they host every June is Anderson on Tap, and you absolutely have to check it out! This upcoming year in 2021, there will be about 30 different wineries and breweries for visitors to sample, along with live music, art exhibits, and bites of local food.
If you’re looking for fun and drinks during the rest of the year, the aforementioned Kettle Top Brewhouse is not just known for its food. The brewhouse is also a hotspot in the local Anderson nightlife! You can belt out some tunes on karaoke nights, flex your brain muscles on their weekly trivia nights, or listen to some live music over a pint. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what performances are coming to town for the weekend.
Get creative in the Anderson arts scene.
I’m a bit of an artsy type, so I’m always intrigued by new opportunities to get creative. Tucked away on the edge of downtown Anderson, Pulp and Pine is a fresh art studio and a Pinterest-lover’s dream. In their studio, you and your friends are taught by an instructor how to create beautiful home décor items—no Picasso-level skills required! I love how this place puts a unique spin on the typical “wine and paint” studios, making it a perfect place to host an offsite event with co-workers or a night out with friends.
If you feel like getting crafty but don’t want to leave the house, Pulp and Pine also offers a Monthly Makers club! With this membership, you receive exclusive DIY projects that you can create from the comfort of your couch (or maybe your dining room table, depending on how messy it could get.)
For performance arts, one of the best places in Anderson is the Paramount Theatre, which makes it feel like you’ve been transported back in time. In 1928, John Eberson built the traditional Art Deco theatre with sweeping, golden arches, wrought iron gates, and even hundreds of lights in the ceiling that twinkle like the night sky. He designed the theatre to be an escape from the real world, and it’s still a beautiful place to experience today. In recent years, the theatre has shown movies on the big screen, hosted concerts and dance competitions, and been the go-to spot for galas and weddings.
Celebrate Anderson’s Native American history.
Anderson also has rich history and local Native American heritage. The city is home to the Mounds State Park, featuring preserved earthworks built by the prehistoric Adena-Hopewell people. Downtown Anderson celebrates that history and cultural diversity with the annual Andersontown Powwow & Indiana Market.
Each year, several thousand people gather along the banks of the White River to experience and celebrate Native American cultures through dance, art, music, and storytelling. The two-day powwow gives families a chance to learn with hands-on activities, shop from a market of authentic Native crafts, and taste the foods and flavors in their cultural traditions.
Photo courtesy of Mark G Dawson
Anderson embraces its Midwest spirit and Hoosier hospitality.
If you somehow haven’t heard, Hoosiers are known for being friendly and welcoming to our neighbors, and Anderson is no exception! Anderson is definitely a small town where everyone knows everyone, and the community is always willing to lend a helping hand. The culture of downtown is especially close-knit, which I find a refreshing change from living in the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Anderson also has a powerful culture of helping those in need. One place that really encompasses this mentality is The Christian Center, a downtown staple in the Anderson community. The center is dedicated to helping men who are homeless or down on their luck, providing them the support they need to get back on their feet. Their Rescue Shelter program is open all day, every day with a “no turn away” policy that embodies Anderson’s caring spirit.
So, as you’re looking for a new spot to live, consider what makes a place feel like a home. After all, Anderson is still growing into the booming city it’s bound to become, but here, you can be a part of the downtown renaissance and join a community that truly cares about you. With vibrant small businesses, fun things to do, and affordable living, Anderson is where many people (like my parents!) find their forever home.