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Indianapolis is a serious sports town. The Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to each event. The city also justifiably bills itself as the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World" and boasts world-class sports facilities (including the brand-new home of the Indianapolis Colts, the Lucas Oil Stadium). Indy natives rally behind the city's pro franchises -- the NBA's Pacers, the WNBA's Fever, the NFL's Colts, and the Indianapolis Indians.
In its passion for sports, however, the city does not neglect the arts. In addition to a few notable art museums and galleries, the city boasts a number of theater companies. Indianapolis also has neighborhoods worth exploring: the Lockerbie Square district with renovated Victorian homes on cobblestone streets; the shops, restaurants, and art galleries along Massachusetts Avenue downtown; and Broad Ripple Village, a canal-side neighborhood with boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife.
Browse American Airlines flights to Indianapolis and get ready to see all the sides of Circle City. There are the attractions you've surely heard of (like the Indy 500) and some you might not know about yet (like the 100 Acres: Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park). With this list of our picks for the best things to do in Indianapolis, you'll be ready to discover it all.
We have to start with one of the most famous activities in Indianapolis, and that's the Indy 500 (formally known as the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race) for open-wheel race cars called IndyCars. It's held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has become known as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The Speedway opened in 1909 and is the world's largest spectator facility. Be sure to visit the Hall of Fame Museum located on the grounds of the Speedway, just five miles from downtown. You'll find around 75 vehicles on display, including the Marmon Wasp (winner of the inaugural 1911 Indy 500), along with more than 30 other winning cars. The first car to complete the Indy 500 without a pit stop is also on display (Dale Evans's #8 Cummins Diesel Special), plus a rare 1935 Duesenberg Model JN and 1925 McFarlan TV6. The Museum even displays the equipment used to time and score the races from 1911 through today. It's open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Once you've finished up at the Speedway, there are still plenty of fascinating things to do in Indianapolis, such as visiting the Indiana War Memorial Plaza and Monument Circle, from which the city derives its Circle City moniker. The 24-acre plaza is a National Historic Landmark filled with green spaces and monuments to veterans. In fact, Indianapolis is second only to Washington, D.C. in its number of war memorials.
Don't forget to add a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to your list of activities in Indianapolis. Its collections cover a broad range of interests, from African art to American paintings and sculptures and even ancient art of the Americas and the Mediterranean. And did we mention its collections of Asian art, contemporary art, Native American art and European art? Even that is not a comprehensive list! You could truly spend an entire day here, but be sure to reserve some time to explore the adjacent 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. This spectacular space features site-specific works nestled among its (you guessed it) 100 acres. There's also a 35-acre lake plus untamed woodlands, wetlands and meadows that are perfect for wandering and reflecting on the art you've just seen.
From the well-known to the pleasant surprises this city contains, you'll find plenty to keep you interested during your stay. Let American Airlines help you fly to Indianapolis so you can explore it all at your own pace.
|Zoopolis 500||May 2013 (annual)||Indianapolis Zoo|
|The Indy 500||26 May 2013 (annual)||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Jul 2013 (annual)||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|IndyFringe Festival||Aug 2013 (annual)||Massachusetts Avenue Theatre District|
|Indy International Festival||Nov 2013 (annual)||Indiana State Fairgrounds|
|NFL: Indianapolis Colts||Sep - Dec 2013 (annual)||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|NBA: Indiana Pacers||Oct 2013 - Apr 2014 (annual)||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
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