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2 weeks ago

A Brief Guide to Indianapolis, Home of the Indy 500

Indianapolis is a must for sports fans and art lovers alike.

By Elite Traveler

When international travelers think of Indianapolis, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, one of the world’s most famous races.

A perfect starting point for any trip to the Indiana capital, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is more than just a racetrack. Its Hall of Fame Museum has become a major piece of auto racing history, offering something for every gearhead. But this is a racetrack and, thanks to the Indy Racing Experience driving program, which sits participants directly behind the driver of an actual Indy car for a few laps around the legendary oval, there are still plenty of on-the-track thrills as well.

If you’re not after a 180-mph adrenaline rush, don’t worry, as Indianapolis’s White River State Park, billed as America’s only culture-focused urban state park, offers experiences for every visitor. You can relax on the park’s sprawling green spaces, bisected by the Central Canal and White River, or delve into one of the park’s many cultural attractions, such as the NCAA Hall of Champions, a celebration of student athletes that features a 1930s-style gym, where visitors can shoot hoops while learning about memorable events in the history of college sports.

Before leaving town, be sure to spend an evening in Fountain Square, home to a vibrant, communal art scene located just southeast of downtown. Here, live music, vintage shops, art galleries and great restaurants can be found on virtually every corner. Casually laying Midwest stigmas to rest, this cutting-edge community is a must-see for anyone who enjoys the hipster-chic and do-it-yourself atmospheres of other contemporary cultural epicenters such as Brooklyn, Austin and San Francisco.

Indianapolis 500 race track
An aerial view of the Indianapolis 500 race track / ©Shuttertock

Where to stay

Featuring the largest ballroom in the Midwest, a skybridge connection to the Indiana Convention Center and 33 floors of beautifully appointed guest rooms, the JW Marriot Indianapolis is both a hotspot and a hideaway. For the latter, be sure to book a stay in one of the three Presidential Suites. With thoroughly modern design, private dining area and luxury linens, the Presidential Suites offer guests a truly boutique experience.

10 South West Street, Indianapolis; +1 317 860 5800,

Where to eat

Perched atop the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis’s downtown district, The Eagle’s Nest restaurant greets adventurous diners with sleek decor, inventive American cuisine and a spellbinding vista.

1 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis; +1 317 616 6170,

Where to fly

Set in the heart of the Midwest, Million Air Indianapolis serves Indianapolis International Airport’s most exclusive travelers, offering overnight hangar accommodations and US Customs right next door, making this FBO a hassle-free gateway to the rest of the world.

Indianapolis International Airport, 6921 Pierson Drive Indianapolis, IN 46241;, +1 317 554 8400;

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