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Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

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St. Petersburg...
posts: 1
reviews: 10
Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

Yeah I know over a year away 2014..But have never been to Indy for the 500 and have been a big race fan for over 50 years so time to get it checked off the bucket list. Would like to spend a week up there, would you stay Downtown or nearer the track? Like a little bit of luxury, my Hotel 6 days are long gone. Is the Bronze badge I keep hearing about something I should consider? Is the parade worth it? Is there a hotel near parade route in safe location, in our 60's so would like to be able to walk around evenings without looking over shoulder all the time. Museums you would take in being a FAN. What seats at speedway would consider for a 1st timer. Thanks ahead of time for any help I do appreciate it!!

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 6,630
reviews: 21
1. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

First, welcome to the TA forums!

I'll just speak to your hotel question. Generally speaking, downtown usually gets the nods for most purposes. Also, while there are closer hotels, there really isn't much *really* close to the hotel (much less higher quality). Other than downtown, your best bet is probably various hotels located at interchanges of I-465 on the west side of Indy. It's worth noting that there are a fair number of "former" airport hotels (former as they used to very close to the terminal, but when it moved . . . they stopped being really close, but are still considered "airport" or perhaps "airport east" by many travel sites).

Hope this helps,


posts: 458
reviews: 54
2. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

I would personally stay downtown especially if you plan on staying for a whole week. Not too many luxury options close to the track and downtown offers more options when you are not doing track related activities. The bronze badge is worth thinking about if you are going to utilize it multiple times. It's $100.00 so if you are just going to use it once to access the pits and garage area then you may want to think about it. I'm not a parade person but the 500 parade is pretty cool with a decent lineup of celebs and of course the drivers. The parade route is donwtown Indy so if you stay downtown then you should be set. My favorite seats where you can see a lot of action are Section E in turn one or the NW Vista in turn 4. I think one thing every race/sports fan should witness is the start of the Indya 500 when the stands are packed with 200,000 people.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 6,630
reviews: 21
3. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

Ooops, my post (which I can't edit) should read ". . . that much close to the SPEEDWAY IN THE WAY OF HOTELS . . ."


posts: 819
4. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

Stay downtown. It is only a 10-15 minute drive to the track on normal days. Keep in mind a lot different on Carb Day and Race Day. The Bronze Badge would be a nice addition. It is pretty cool to get into the pits and see the cars upclose. Also access to the garage area. I think that gets you inside the track "free" on Carb Day and any practice day (NOT the race). If you come in the weekend before the race you can take in the third day of qualifying and Bump Day. Monday thru Thurday take tike to roam the downtown area a see the sights of Indy. Downtown is easily walkable and safe. One of those days is Community Day at the track. You can have the chabce to meet some drivers and drive arounf the famous oval in your own car. Friday is Carb Day, the last day for practice, The Freedom 100 Indy Lights race (be sue to cheer for Kyle O'Gara this year), The Pit Stop Competiton,and a band (this year Poison) that turns the infield of Turn 2 into a party. Also on Friday is The Last Row Party , a roast that "honors" the three drivers in the last row. They are presented checks for 31, 32, and 33 cents. Fundraiser that is a fun time (tix in the $50-$100 range). The 500 festival Parade is also pretty fun. Typical parade but has all 33 drivers in 33 pace cars three abreast at different times along the route. The parade is Saturday. Also plan on making a trip to The Hall of fame Museum on the grounds of the track. For first timers I would sit on the front stretch somewhere HIGH and possible a little towards Turn 1. That way you can see all the prerace activities and action in the pits. Obviously I'm a big 500 fan. May in Indy best time of year. Did you go to the St Pete race??

posts: 807
5. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

I can't speak to staying in hotels because I live a few miles from the center of town and have never stayed in a one here.

As for the Bronze Badge....it was $100 this year. It only gets you into the Garage area and NOT the pits. Also, it is NOT valid on Race Day.

You can use it on Practice, Qualifying and. Carb days to get you into the track and into the Garage Area. If you love to get up close to the cars and teams for pictures. It is indeed worth it.

Also the Parade is great but there is also Legends Day at the Speedway on the day before the race. I think it only cost $10 and they have a big autograph session that included over 50 former Indy 500 drivers this year. Part of Legends Day us the Indy 500 Public Drivers Meeting that takes place in the stands in front of the Pagoda at 10 or 10:30 am, before the drivers are shuttled downtown for the Parade.

posts: 483
reviews: 56
6. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

Stay D.T. Hyatt has good deals and has always been clean when I've been there, plus central to many things including shopping.

You'll want to visit the 500 museum in the Speedway.

Plan on making it the race and pit crew challange on Carb day the Fri prior to the race, lot's of fun. Community day usually falls on a Wednesday, neat to drive your car around the track and experiance the incline of it.

We prefer seating in the 4'th turn area for any race and behind the pits for pit crew challange, general admission on Carb day allows you to sit anywhere and move if you want.

Carmel, Indiana
posts: 471
reviews: 8
7. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

You may also want to consider paddock seating. If it rains or is very sunny and hot, you will have cover. It's a good location, across from the pits and you can see the cars at the start and finish.

there is also a bus that will take you to the race from downtown. We did that once years ago, and it was so nice and hassle free.

8. Re: Ultimate Indy 500 trip in 2014

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