John Cote

An adrenaline-inducing escape to country’s racecar capital.

Travel + Leisure
February 21, 2012

Even those not into racing find the size and energy of “the Indy,” in Indianapolis, intriguing. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum are highlights in the otherwise quiet place (once nicknamed “Nap Town”), which is, more happily, known for its friendliness and Midwestern comfort food like finger-licking good fried chicken.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Take the Grounds Tour at the speedway (home to the Indianapolis 500).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Explore race-car history with 45 vehicles on display.

NCAA Hall of Champions

The museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on play.

Hollyhock Hill

Fried chicken is the darling of country fare, and at Hollyhock Hill, the Hoosier state institution since 1928, they stick with what works. Pan-fried in one-of-a-kind cast-iron skillets that are three-by-three-feet, Hollyhock’s chicken is—and this is the real trick to the best of the best—never frozen. Not once. Owners Barbara and Jay Snyder (who bought the restaurant in 1992, but started working there as teenagers) source fresh chicken from Kentucky and Tennessee farms, butterfly the meat in-house, and chill it overnight with ice. Usually by the following day, grandma-style platters and bowls of the lightly floured, slow-cooked wishbones and breasts sell out with mashed potatoes, buttered corn, and buttermilk biscuits.

The Iron Skillet

Indulge in table-side make-your-own sundaes.

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

With its raft of renovations, the hotel is a short drive from the speedway and features a chic solarium-style indoor pool.

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