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Indianapolis Motor Speedway picture in Indianapolis
Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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  • Sports Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5
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    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been around since 1909, so this epic track has seen more than 100 races speed by. The 30,000-square-foot museum came about 50 years afterward, featuring about 75 cars and even a theater that shows Indy 500 footage throughout the years. Visitors have the choice to see the complex by purchasing race tickets, visiting the museum or taking the very popular (and comprehensive) grounds tour. Some of the most popular events here are the Indianapolis 500 (held in May) and the Brickyard 400 (held in July).

Even if you only consider yourself a casual NASCAR or automobile history fan, you should make time to visit this National Historic Landmark, according to recent visitors. Aside from the sheer volume of memorabilia, travelers were also impressed with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. Reviewers said you should set aside a few hours to comb through the museum grounds, and if you're willing to fork over the extra cash, opt into the grounds tour. IMS also offers a bus tour around the track, but reviews were mixed; some enjoyed the experience, but others were disappointed the tour narration was provided by a pre-recorded tape and not a staff member. Some travelers also felt the tour would've been more interesting if guests could hop on and off the bus to explore more of the track.

Entrance to the museum costs $10 for adults and $5 for youths between the ages of 6 and 15; tickets cost $2 for children 5 and younger. If you want to take a 2.5-mile lap around the track in an IMS bus (which includes narration), you'll have to fork over another $8 for each adult and $5 for each child. And if you came for the full IMS experience, consider opting for a grounds tour. Though pricier than the other offered experiences ($30 for adults; $12 for children), the 60- to 90-minute guided tour allows visitors to see the oval track and stand on the start/finish line, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the media center, the victory platform and the garage area, among other highlights. It also includes admission to the museum. Tour times and dates vary depending on weather conditions and speedway events, but the museum is open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. From March through October, the museum welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; it's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through February. You'll find the museum about 5 miles northwest of downtown Indy. Parking is free.

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#1 Central Canal The Central Canal, which also goes by the name Indy Canal Walk, was born in the 1840s when the Indiana state government was trying to bring more commerce to the ... Read more » Courtesy of Jason Lavengood, VisitIndy.com

#2 Indianapolis Museum of Art Spread out across 152 acres and featuring more than 54,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is an impressive institution. It's also ... Read more » Courtesy of Kevin Foster

#3 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been around since 1909, so this epic track has seen more than 100 races speed by. The 30,000-square-foot museum came about 50 years afterward ... Read more » Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

#4 Indiana War Memorial Considered an Indiana landmark, the Indiana War Memorial comprises two museums, three parks and 24 acres of monuments, statues, sculptures and fountains. So, if you're a fan of the ... Read more » Visit Indy

#5 The Children's Museum of Indianapolis If you're in Indianapolis with kids, a visit to this museum is a must. Spanning 472,900 square feet and boasting 11 major galleries, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis ... Read more » Courtesy Lavengood Photography

#6 Lucas Oil Stadium Home to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium is a must-see for sports fans, according to recent travelers. With the capacity to hold 67,000 fans and a ... Read more » Courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts

#7 Indianapolis Zoo Spread across 64 acres and home to more than 1,600 animals and 23,000 plant species, the Indianapolis Zoo is a favorite among families visiting Indy. Easily navigate its ... Read more » Courtesy of VisitIndy.com

#8 Eiteljorg Museum If you're interested in learning more about the art, history and cultures of the American West and Native Americans, then a stop at the Eiteljorg Museum is a must ... Read more » Lavengood Photography / Visit Indy

#9 Victory Field Indianapolis doesn't boast its own MLB team, but it is home to a Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Indianapolis Indians. Even if you're not a fan ... Read more » Carl Van Rooy Photography / VisitIndy

Central Canal picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Museum of Art picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Motor Speedway picture in Indianapolis
Indiana War Memorial picture in Indianapolis
Children's Museum of Indianapolis picture in Indianapolis
Lucas Oil Stadium picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Zoo picture in Indianapolis
Eiteljorg Museum picture in Indianapolis
Victory Field picture in Indianapolis
Central Canal picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Museum of Art picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Motor Speedway picture in Indianapolis
Indiana War Memorial picture in Indianapolis
Children's Museum of Indianapolis picture in Indianapolis
Lucas Oil Stadium picture in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Zoo picture in Indianapolis
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You can enjoy the Central Canal from the walkways beside it, or you can jump in a pedal boat, a kayak or a gondola and enjoy being in the water.  Courtesy of Jason Lavengood, VisitIndy.com

Spread out across 152 acres and featuring more than 54,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is an impressive institution. Here, a picture of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture. Courtesy of Kevin Foster

Even if you only consider yourself a casual NASCAR or automobile history fan, you should make time to visit this National Historic Landmark, according to recent visitors. Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Considered an Indiana landmark, the Indiana War Memorial comprises two museums, three parks and 24 acres of monuments, statues, sculptures and fountains. Visit Indy

Spanning 472,900 square feet and boasting 11 major galleries, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis lives up to its title as the world's largest children's museum.  Courtesy Lavengood Photography

With the capacity to hold 67,000 fans and a retractable roof that features views of the downtown Indianapolis skyline, Lucas Oil Stadium (which opened in 2008 and hosted the 2012 Super Bowl) is consistently described as a "beautiful sports venue" by visitors.  Courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts

Spread across 64 acres and home to more than 1,600 animals and 23,000 plant species, the Indianapolis Zoo is a favorite among families visiting Indy. Courtesy of VisitIndy.com

If you're interested in learning more about the art, history and cultures of the American West and Native Americans, then a stop at the Eiteljorg Museum is a must. Lavengood Photography / Visit Indy

This 14,230-seat ballpark is consistently praised by locals and travelers alike for its cleanliness, affordable prices and stellar skyline views.  Carl Van Rooy Photography / VisitIndy

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