Beech Grove, Indiana is located only ten miles away from Indianapolis, capital of Indiana, but sits inside the metropolitan borders of Indy. It is essentially a smallish community made up of about 15,000 people, the type of people who value small town living but enjoy the amenities Indy has to offer.
Beech Grove history is rich and interesting. The town’s present, however, is really looking up.
As an additional boon, Beech Grove happens to be right next door to the busy Indianapolis downtown sector. Beech Grove arts aficionados have direct access to “IndyGo,” the excellent Indianapolis downtown transportation system that will happily take them to the best Indianapolis art galleries in the metropolis.
Beech Grove does have its own community theatre, and it’s right on Main Street to boot. The Spotlight Players have been producing comedies and dramas with the locals for years.
The big thing in Beech Grove is bowling. The Beech Grove Bowl has 24-hour bowling, and much more, including great food, music and a bar.
Another great bowling center, only a mile outside of town, is Expo Bowl in Indianapolis. They call this 80-lane bowling alley a “leisure center,” because customers can enjoy regular and “cosmic” bowling, laser storm laser tag, play therapy, a day care center with a home school, youth leagues, family specials and a well-stocked café.
A favorite attraction just a couple of miles northwest of Beech Grove is the Sara Shank Golf Course, an 18 hole golf course that offers golf lessons, season passes, outings, tournaments and a Junior Camp.
Though Southside Indianapolis suburb of Beech Grove is sometimes labeled a “sleepy bedroom community,” there are several places that stay open late and serve up a wide selection of draft beer, wine and hard liquor along with their pub fare. Many of them, such as O’Gara’s Irish Pub and the Silver Bullet Sports Bar, stay open well into the wee hours.
Business in Beech Grove is reaping benefits from the recent “Bigger, Brighter Beech Grove” project, and will no doubt reap more as time goes on. Lots of revitalizing and general spiffing up is happening around town, which is expected to improve the commercial sector of Beech Grove along with the pedestrian walkways and other betterments. Unemployment in the area remains lower than the average in the United States, even during times of recession. Couple that with the low cost of living and you have a good bet for relocation.
The self-sufficient Indy suburb of Beech Grove is a veritable oasis for growing children. The town is as family-oriented as any in the Heartland, and Beech Grove kids have everything they need right at hand to have an active, happy and healthy childhood. But with the state capital right at their door step, Beech Grove children also have all the advantages of their big city neighbors.
Beech Grove and another Indy suburb, Carmel, Indiana, have both been used as examples for model renovators of downtown areas.
In Beech Grove, a multi-million dollar undertaking called the Better Brighter Beech Grove Project is underway that will revitalize and improve not only the Main Street downtown neighborhood, but several other sections of town, including Beech Grove parks and greenways, Emerson Avenue, railroad property and I-465 property. In addition, there is a master plan within this project to create low-cost wireless high-speed Internet access for the entire city of Beech Grove.
Events in Beech Grove generally revolve around family-oriented activities and those that are pleasing to the entire Beech Grove community. Some examples are the Beech Grove High School team sports, band competitions and the ever-popular Beech Grove Fall Festival, a four-day event that celebrates the gorgeous Indiana autumns with music, food, dance and street vendors.
Beech Grove Geography
A city of about 15,000, Beech Grove, Indiana shares a county and many of the same roadways with state capital Indianapolis, but is one of four out of sixteen cities in Marion County that still has an autonomous government. The others are Lawrence, Southport and Speedway.
Located only a few miles southeast of Indianapolis proper, Beech Grove is physically surrounded by the sprawling metropolis’ outlying areas in Marion county, even while it maintains its own system of government and public services.
Beech Grove is a great spot to settle down, especially with a family. Like many other Indianapolis suburbs, Beech Grove thrives on a family-oriented atmosphere rife with hard work and tranquil living.
Lucky Beech Grove residents have an excellent, century-old hospital in town. St. Francis Hospital is a major health care provider in the state. It occupies a sprawling complex extending out from Beech Grove into the south side of Indianapolis and also neighboring Mooresville. Other health care centers and doctors supplement this great hospital, making Beech Grove one of the healthiest small towns in the state.
From the Holiday Inn Express just south of the Beech Grove borders to the fabulous Hilton Hotel just north of the town’s borders, hotels near Beech Grove are plentiful and varied. One can choose practically any price hotel one requires and spend the night in comfort just outside the city limits.
For years now, Beech Grove residents have been getting their local news from a free newspaper called the Southside Times. Originally called the Perry Township Weekly, this is a weekly newspaper with its offices headquartered inside Beech Grove. It also serves surrounding areas such as Greenwood, Southport, Center Grove, Franklin Township and the White River townships.
The Spotlight is another weekly paper that follows local events.
Music is as important to residents of Beech Grove as those who live in more bustling areas. Indy residents regularly head south, in fact, to visit some of the Beech Grove hot spots for a night of live music and dancing. The Beech Grove Fall Festival draws an impressive crowd all by itself, and offers nonstop live music spanning four late-summer days and evenings.
Nightlife in Beech Grove is more active than one might surmise, considering the small size of the community. Many bars and restaurants offer live music, games, dancing, pool and other frivolities that attract clientele from other cities in Indiana, as well as from Beech Grove party animals.
The city boasts a number of classically beautiful and well-maintained greenways and parks for its leisure fun and relaxation. One favorite, the Sarah T. Bolton Park, occupies part of the farmland of its namesake, a well-known poet and feminist.
Beech Grove parks offer picnic areas, athletic fields, sports camps, skateboarding areas and lots of room to enjoy the beautiful and mature native trees and greenery that make up Central Indiana. Residents love their parks and trailways. There’s always some activity going on in them, whether it’s a noisy ball game, a town festival event or fireworks at Sarah Bolton Park. The Community Center at Hornet Park is a hub of activity too, especially during the beautiful Spring and Summer months.
Steve McQueen is probably one of the most famous people ever to come out of Indiana, and his name definitely tops the list of famous Beech Grove people. “The King of Cool” was not only a movie star who did his own stunts, but a first-class auto and motorcycle racer.
Another extremely famous actor to be born in what is now Beech Grove is Clifton Webb. This talented star made it to the top not only in the movies, but also on the stage in Broadway.
Also of note is the feminist pioneer poet, Sarah T. Bolton, who lived from 1814 to 1893, mostly on land that now is inside Beech Grove. Her poetry was popular for a while, as a sort of homespun pioneer woman’s advocate. Today, a park that rests on some of her old farmland is named after Sarah Bolton.
A stroll along Main Street in downtown Beech Grove or a foray down Emerson Avenue will yield delights for the senses that may seem surprising in a small town environment. From the Napoli Villa, an Italian restaurant fast becoming famous for its excellent fare, to The Grove Sports Bar & Eatery to the local O’Gara’s Irish Pub, one could certainly do a lot worse.
Then there’s bowling at Beech Grove Bowl, offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Real estate in the community of Beech Grove, Indiana reflects the people who live there. It is a wonderful place to relocate to, with something for just about any need and desire. Up-and-coming Beech Grove is receiving a great deal of citywide renovations and improvements these days, which also reflects in available homes for sale. See all Beech Grove real estate here.
The Beech Grove school system is keeping up nicely with the pace of its population growth. With its elementary, middle and Beech Grove High School, public and private, it has the kids well-covered when it comes to education.
Kids have a great time playing and growing up in Beech Grove. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have a strong presence in the community, as does the local 4-H Club. Then there’s the Beech Grove Athletic Boosters, providing football, basketball and volleyball activities, the local Wrestling Club, a local Soccer Club, the Swimming Club and a girls’ softball team.
The local high school wresting and basketball teams and players have made their mark in competitions with the big boys in next door Indy, and other communities in the region. And the “Marching Hornets” are considered one of the best marching bands in the state, if not the country.
Beech Grove Things to Do
The local Hornet Park Fitness Center offers classes in everything from Belly Dancing to Tai-Chi to Boot Camp, along with special events such as health fairs and bike-a-thons.
Along with the organized parks’ athletics and play programs, there are other fun ways to spend leisure time in the charming and historical city of Beech Grove. Main Street and Emerson Avenue contain lots of points of interest.
Then there’s always big neighbor Indy, with its friendly arms open wide, always inviting the suburbanites to come and enjoy the cornucopia of things to do in Indianapolis.