Welcome race fans! This month in Indianapolis, we will host the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 brings visitors, by the thousands, to the great city of Indianapolis. Being a leading insurance provider to the Indianapolis area, we wanted to celebrate this event with a blog post for our city residents and visitors, with tips on how to insure YOU have a great time during the Indianapolis 500 weekend.
Sunscreen. On race day, sunscreen is a MUST. Summer in Indiana is very hot in general, but this is magnified many times over by sitting at the track for a solid 4 hours. Unless your seats are located under the pagoda, we would highly advise wearing sunscreen on race day. Track temperatures are a whole different ballgame than what it “feels like” outside and the heat on the back of your neck can make for a very unpleasant ride home after race day.
Go Early. We recommend you wake up extra early on race day and get down to the track for a few different reasons. Firstly, you will have better parking options. The easiest places to park on race day are in residential areas surrounding the track. You will see that many people turn their front and back yards into parking lots for racing events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The closer they live to the track, the more money they can charge for parking. This is a quick and convenient way to park and insure you get to the race on time. Another reason to get to the track early is to avoid entrance lines and see the pre-race festivities. There will be a cooler check at the gates which can sometimes cause slow lines. Remember, no glass will be permitted in the track area. You are allowed to bring your own food and drink (including alcohol) into the Motor Speedway. This is what you will miss if you are unable to make it to your seat before the start of the race:
These are a couple must-see moments before the race!
Enjoy the city. The nights leading up to the race are best spent enjoying our wonderful city and all that it has to offer. The actual Motor Speedway is a few miles west of downtown and away from the cities’ entertainment headquarters. We would suggest spending some time enjoying the downtown area of Indianapolis. Take a walk around the canal. Visit some of our museums and sports complexes. Eat, drink, shop, and enjoy Indy! We have a few restaurants (at each budget level) listed below, which are all staples of Indianapolis. If you want to enjoy the nightlife, downtown or broad ripple (6 miles north of downtown) are the place to be.
A quick restaurant guide:
St. Elmo’s ($$$)
127 S. Illinois St.
St. Elmo’s is an upscale steak house and probably the most famous restaurant in Indianapolis. They are located right downtown and will definitely require a reservation during race weekend. They are famous for their delicious steaks and ultra-spicy shrimp cocktail.
401 E. Michigan St.
The Rathskeller is one of the older restaurants in Indianapolis. It is a German inspired restaurant which serves both traditional German/Bavarian food, and american fare. Also, they offer the cities largest Biergarten which makes for a great time in the summer. Get their early, as the Biergarten will fill up quick.
Slippery Noodle Inn
372 S. Meridian St. ($)
The Slippery Noodle Inn holds the title of Indiana’s oldest bar. It is located directly across from Lucas Oil Stadium (Home of the Indianapolis Colts). The place is huge and a seems to be a maze as you’re walking through. They hold live music (mostly jazz and blues) many nights of the week and have an extensive menu full of reasonably priced, yet tasty food.
We hope that these few tips will help you enjoy your weekend in Indianapolis a little bit better. Whether you’re from the area, or out of state, Indianapolis is a city with great charm and its’ residents are as helpful and welcoming as you’ll ever find. We hope you have an excellent time in Indianapolis and enjoy the race!