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A lineup of only-in-Indy experiences make Indy a must-visit destination. You didn’t hear it from us though, as Travel & Leisure named Indy one of "America’s Favorite Places,” Food & Wine put us on their list of “32 Places to Go (And Eat) in 2019” and Condé Nast Traveler called Indy one of “America’s Best Big Cities.”
50th Anniversary of the Indiana Medical History Museum
The Indiana Medical History Museum is located on the grounds of the former Central State Hospital and serves as the oldest surviving pathology facility in the nation. The hospital was in operation for nearly 150 years, and at its height in the 1950s, housed more than 2,500 patients. Today, visitors can explore the laboratories, library, autopsy room and anatomical museum, which houses preserved specimens – mostly brains.
50th Anniversary of Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 Victory
Indy is home to the largest single-day sporting event in the world in the Indy 500, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend each year. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s sole Indy 500 victory back in 1969. Come May, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will open a Mario Andretti exhibit, and NBC will release a documentary about the racing legend.
50th Anniversary of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
Indy’s own Kurt Vonnegut passed away in 2007 but his legacy lives on through the Kurt Vonnegut Museum + Library here in the city. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publishing of one of Vonnegut’s most well-known novels, Slaughterhouse Five. The museum will reopen in its new space this fall with a new Slaughterhouse Five exhibit.
Other ways to pay homage to Vonnegut: check out his mural on Mass Ave, take in his grandfather’s architecture at the Athenaeum or dine at one of the best restaurants in town, Bluebeard.
New Indy Exhibits
Newfields has a star-studded 2019 lineup and perhaps the most exciting are the new seasonal food and beverage concepts. ‘Pop-Up: Tea House’ kicks off mid-March and will be directly followed by a pop-up noodle shop this summer. With ‘Pop Up: Tea House’ the museum is able to rebelliously bring smells and tastes, normally not allowed, into the galleries. These are two of several exhibits celebrating Japanese art and culture at the museum this year.
The world’s largest children’s museum opens three new major exhibits this year in Star Trek, Paw Patrol, and Take Me There: Greece. These openings happen on the heels of last year’s Sports Legends Experience expansion, which places emphasis on curbing obesity and getting kids moving.
Indy’s African-American History
2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of Indy’s own Madam C.J. Walker. Madam Walker, the first self-made African American female millionaire, made her millions in the hair product industry back in the late 1800s. Madam C.J. Walker takes the spotlight this fall as the Madam Walker movie by Lebron James and starring Octavia Spencer is slated to hit Netflix. The Indiana Historical Society will open an exhibit featuring Madam Walker later this year and in early 2020, the 91-year-old Madam Walker Theatre will have its grand reopening.
Exciting change is coming to the north end of Mass Ave. Bottleworks' $300-million redevelopment of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant will be home to 11 acres of entertainment, restaurants, residences, a food hall, an independent movie theater, and the Bottleworks Hotel. The 146-room boutique hotel, which is set to open in early 2020, will occupy the top two floors of the historic administration building and will also operate a restaurant and rooftop bar.
About Visit Indy
The mission of Visit Indy is to increase Indianapolis economic growth by strategically selling the destination to conventions, meetings, events, and leisure travelers. According to Rockport Analytics, Indianapolis now welcomes more than 28.8 million visitors annually, providing $5.4 billion in economic impact, producing $1.26 billion in tax receipts, and generating 81,600 full-time-equivalent jobs in Central Indiana. For more information, VisitIndy.com.