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Gondoliers And Greenways in Indianapolis

With the roar of the engine in your ears, you hit the gas pedal for a smooth yet thrilling acceleration. The zooming car and the view of the stadium will become a memory you can conjure every time you hear someone mention the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Driving a racecar down the track where the famous Indianapolis 500 takes place has never been easier for groups. The Speedway’s new Victory Lap experience is a new adrenaline-producing tour that makes a great complement to calmer cultural attractions in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has appeared on many group itineraries since its opening in 2013. Similarly, the Indianapolis Museum of Art continues to grow as a group favorite, with its extensive inside and outside art collection.

Groups can embrace both cultural sites and fast-paced racecar experiences at new and trending attractions in Circle City.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis is perhaps best known for its signature auto race, and many visitors to town are thrilled to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sitting behind the wheel of a powerful racecar might seem an unreachable dream for many car enthusiasts. But the Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently introduced a new driving experience called the Victory Lap that is slower and more accessible than some other high-adrenaline racecar driving experiences.

“It’s a way anyone over the age of 9 can take a lap around the Speedway with a professional driver in a racecar,” said Lisa Wallace, senior communications manager for Visit Indy. “They go about 60 miles per hour, so it’s a much more approachable and affordable way to go around the Indy 500 track. To go around the track is a bucket-list item for a lot of people.”

Inside a real racecar, participants drive down the 2.5-mile track with a professional driver at a quick but safe speed.

The Speedway’s staff can divide larger groups so that while some travelers are preparing for a morning drive, the others can tour the Hall of Fame Museum. Group packages also come with a picture of themselves in front of the car following the ride.

For those looking for a more exhilarating drive, the Speedway offers the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program, where participants can reach speeds of up to 130 miles per hour for three laps. After a safety orientation, participants can climb into a car that has previously raced in the Indy 500.

Guests can also choose to sit in the passenger seat of the racecar, soaking in the sights, sound and speed while a professional driver zips them around the track.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Prepare yourself for the occasional surprise while strolling down the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. That way you won’t bat an eye when you see gondoliers singing in Italian rowing by on the White River canal.

“They take the art of gondoliering very  seriously,” said Wallace. “They have enough boats to accommodate a group and go past the major attractions of the city in our canal.”

Experiences like a tour with Old World Gondoliers is just one option along the Cultural Trail. The trail winds eight miles along downtown Indianapolis and adjacent neighborhoods, connecting six cultural districts, and features public art and landscaping.

“We’ve seen the urban outdoors trending a lot lately, so a lot of groups have been choosing our Cultural Trail,” said Wallace. “The fact that it is safely removed from car traffic and offers art and shopping makes it really easy for groups.”

The well-traveled greenway replaced a lane of car traffic with pedestrian traffic for a laid-back way to soak in the local culture. Historic architecture, restaurants and attractions keep travelers busy during the scenic walk.

For a more active group, the trail offers two-and-a-half-hour bicycle tours. Guides tell the history of the trail, talk about its public art projects and tell other stories related to the historic neighborhoods and cultural districts as the participants ride by.