Do you love race cars and attending fun events? If so, the Indianapolis 500 is perfect! After all, this event is known as one of the greatest spectacles in racing, so you really can’t miss it while traveling to Indianapolis! In this blog, we’ll tell you all about this historic race, what you can expect when you attend, and, of course, other fun events happening at the motorway! So, read on, take notes, and get ready for a rush of adrenaline!
Learn more about the best things to do in Zionsville and the Indianapolis area in our exclusive, free Vacation Guide. Inside, you’ll find our top recommendations for local restaurants, museums, outdoor activities, shops, and many more events like the Indianapolis 500!
Have the Time of Your Life Attending the Indianapolis 500
Discover the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis 500, also known as the Indy 500, is a spectacular race, but did you know that its history didn’t start with an actual car race? Indeed, it began in 1909 with the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was intended to be a testing space for the local automobile industry. With the growing interest of the public, owner Carl Fisher decided to organize races, including the Indy 500 in 1911. Fast forward a century later, and this exciting race is one of the most popular events in the area!
Fun fact: did you know the track used to be paved with bricks before 1961? As a reminder, three wide strips of bricks were left on the track. Try and spot them when you attend the race!
What You Will Experience at the Indianapolis 500
Now that you know a bit more about the history of the Indianapolis 500, it’s time we talk about what you can expect when you attend! Here are a few things to think about before you go:
What to Bring
We highly recommend you bring a cooler with you. You’ll be at the event for the day, so any way you can save money and stay comfortable is important. You are allowed to bring your own food and drinks (including alcohol in moderation) as long as your cooler isn’t bigger than 18x14x14, and it doesn’t contain any glass. So, pack sandwiches, fruits, water, and various snacks!
Where to Sit
As a rule of thumb, sitting at the highest seat possible is best! At any other event, you’d want to get your hand on those front row seats, but not at the Indy 500! The higher you are, the better view you will get.
When to Get There
More than 30,000 people attend the race every year, so make sure you arrive early enough to not get stuck in traffic or lines! Gates open at 6 a.m., so we encourage you to get there by 7:30 or 8 a.m. at the latest.
Where to Park
Unless you can get your hands on a parking pass, you’ll have to find alternative spots. Luckily for you, there are plenty of parking opportunities in the neighboring areas. A lot of them are owned by residents, but they usually sell them for $15-30, so make sure you have cash on you!
We recommend parking at the south end of the track if your seat is in the following sections: Paddock, A, B, and E stands, SW Vista, South Vista G Stand, or SE Vista. Be on the lookout for Polco and 10th street for top parking spots.
Park in the north end around 21st and 25th street if you are in the following sections: C, H, and J Stands, NW Vista, SW Vista, South Vista G Stand or SE Vista.
Rest After All the Excitement at Brick Street Inn
After attending the Indy 500, come home to a cozy room where you can rest and unwind. Brick Street Inn offers all the relaxation you need. Our elegant boutique hotel is located in the beautiful town of Zionsville, an upscale neighborhood twenty minutes north of Indianapolis. Here, you can avoid the crowd and adopt a slower pace. Take some time to explore the gorgeous main street and its shops, and pamper yourself in our high-end rooms and French-inspired restaurant, Auberge.