Indianapolis Travel Guide
Known far and wide as “The Racing Capital of the World”, Indianapolis has much more to offer than motorsports alone. However, there’s no denying the pull of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has hosted the iconic Indy 500 race, widely considered one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles, since 1911. The party lasts the whole weekend as upwards of 250,000 petrol heads gather to watch their heroes battle for the chequered flag.
Away from the track, Indianapolis is a lively year-round destination with a wealth of other visitor attractions. Find out more about its fascinating heritage at the Indiana State Museum, admire its natural attributes with a visit to Eagle Creek Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, or head to the historic campus of the Indianapolis Museum of Art for an inspiring introduction to its rich culture.
For an impressive overview of the city, take the lift or climb the stairs to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which rises over 80 metres above the historic plaza around the Indiana War Memorial. The memorial itself, a moving tribute to the city’s war heroes, is well worth a visit, as is the atmospheric Crown Hill Cemetery. Many local dignitaries are buried here, including the 23rd President of the USA, Benjamin Harrison, who also lends his name to Fort Harrison State Park. This former US Army base has been transformed into a beautiful park with walking and cycling trails, a horse-riding stable, fishing lake and golf course.
A good way to explore the city is to buy an inexpensive day pass on the convenient IndyGo bus, which covers the central area and suburbs. The relatively compact, flat city is also ideal for walking or cycling, with the specially planned Cultural Trail making it easy to take in all the main landmarks this way.
In the warm summer months, the city really comes alive, with a stimulating variety of festivals, outdoor concerts and dramatic performances. Check out the programme at White River State Park, which spans two banks of the picturesque White River and is within walking distance of the city centre.