When people think of Indianapolis, their mind goes right to racing and the Indy 500, but there's more to Indy than just cars. The Indy 500 is definitely a unique bit of history that's super important to the city, though, so use Indy's racing history as inspiration and have a turbo-charged weekend exploring the city's hidden gems!
Make the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum the first stop on your trip to set the tone for your adventures. A pilgrimage for racing fans, it offers plenty to keep those who aren't Indy 500 fanatics entertains as well. The Hall of Fame Museum is massive and offers sleek and well-curated exhibits on the history of Indy car racing and some of the most notable figures throughout its past. If the track isn’t being used for testing or a race, you can take a tour that will drive you around it and into rarely seen areas such as the pit.
The interactive and hands-on exhibits at the Dallara IndyCar Factory make it a great stop on your racing-themed tour of Indianapolis. Learn fascinating details about what makes Indy cars and stock cars so different, and try the simulator to find out what it’s like to really burn rubber in one of these babies.
For a change of pace from the auto-themed attractions you can find across the city, check out the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. The sardonic and satirical author was from Indiana, and the memorial library houses an impressive collection of artifacts from his life, including his typewriter, first edition copies of his books, photographs, original sketches, and even rejection letters. It’s an interesting little stop on your journey through Indy!
By now, you’re probably hankering for a drink, so a stop at Flat 12 Bierwerks is well-deserved. Amazing beers, a laid-back environment, an onsite sandwich shop, and a great patio all make this place the perfect spot to drink away the evening. Sample their creative offerings, play some cornhole, and enjoy yourself!
Finally, you’ll need a place to put it in park and unwind after all of that speed-and-steak-fueled excitement. The Holiday Inn near the Indianapolis Airport is the perfect spot to stay! Cool off in the pool, break a sweat at the gym, or drift off to sleep in one of their comfy beds. Room service in the morning is the perfect way to get ready for the next day of adventure!
There’s nothing like a well-cut steak to soak up all that beer and adrenaline! St Elmo Steak House is as old school as they come. Shrimp cocktail (with a legendary house-made cocktail sauce) is their only appetizer, the steaks are all seasoned and cooked to juicy perfection, the waiters wear white jackets, and you get a complimentary cup of navy-bean soup or tomato juice with your steak and sides (options include classics like mashed potatoes and crab mac and cheese). The retro ambiance definitely makes it a fun place for a meal!
Another old-school auto-themed attraction in Indy is Tibbs Drive-In. It has four screens and shows nightly double features (they’re closed on Tuesdays, though). The snack bar serves up all of the classic foods the retro setting will have you craving, or you can bring in your own snacks. Tibbs will definitely have you feeling nostalgic... there’s really nothing else in the world like a night at the drive-in.
You don’t have to be a total gearhead to enjoy Indy’s auto-themed fun. Whether you’re taking a test-drive in a simulator or enjoying the vintage atmosphere of the city at the drive-in, Indianapolis's attractions will get anyone's motor running!
We're searching for amazing places across America to create America’s most epic road trip. Get inspired by your fellow travelers’ journeys below, use the link above to share your favorite spots with us, and you can enter to win your next epic journey!