You don't have to be the biggest racing fan to enjoy a day at Daytona International Speedway. The whole family is guaranteed a fun-filled trip to the world's first motorsports speedway, where the famous Daytona 500 motor race is held each year. It's only a 10-minute drive from the beautiful Daytona Beach, so it's well worth a visit, especially if you're a real petrol head.
The energy of the race track and the sound of engines roaring past you is a one-of-a-kind experience. If a visit to the 'World Center of Racing' isn't enough for you, venture behind the scenes with tour options and unique NASCAR racing experiences too. From zooming around the track on a motion simulator to a virtual reality racing experience, you'll leave this Florida racing track having experienced all the excitement and adrenaline involved in real-life racing.
You can even sit back and hold tight as you ride shotgun and do laps in an authentic NASCAR race car, or, if you're feeling really brave, you can even drive the vehicle yourself. Once you've had a spin around the track (be it real or virtual) go and have a look at some authentic racing memorabilia, like the winning Daytona 500 car. It's still covered in track dust, so you'll get a real feel for what it looked like after the race.
Not to be missed
At the Daytona Speedway, there's as much to see away from the race track as there is next to it. The statues of the NASCAR founders greet you at the entrance. Take a moment to take a quick snap with some motor racing heroes before heading inside.
There's also the Fanatics Pit Stop gift shop, where you're bound to find something special to remember your day by when you get home, and the Daytona 500 Champion's Walk of Fame is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of your heroes.
The Speedway Tour
If you get the chance to go on the 30-minute Speedway Tour while you're there, do it. Hop aboard an open-air tram and immerse yourself in the World Center of Racing's track. You'll experience the 31-degree high banks for yourself as the tram rides coasts along turns three and four.
You'll also head to Gatorade Victory Lane where you can climb the same podium as Daytona 500 winners have done before. Don't forget your camera because you'll definitely want a picture or two. These tours leave at 11am and then then again at 1pm, 2pm, and 2.30pm.
Your essential facts
With limited stadium capacity and high demand, tickets for Daytona 500 are hard to come by, so it's well worth organising your tickets in advance of your trip. This helps to ensure you get the best seats and guaranteed entry. When you book your tickets, choose a package that best suits the kind of experiences you're after.
Have a look on their website and see everything this speedway has to offer, so you don't miss out. Some of the experiences are only bookable in advance, for example, if you fancy taking a spin on the track, you'll need to contact them beforehand.
Other practical info
To make the most out of your day, our top tips are:
- Arrive early if you want to book one of their tours. They're sold on a first-come, first-served basis
- If you don't want to rush around trying to see everything, give yourself at least four hours here
- It gets cold at the race track, especially at night, so bring some extra layers just in case
- Free parking is only available for a limited number of Lots. Therefore, you'll need to budget a little extra for that
Most importantly, enjoy the buzz of the track. The Daytona 500 is an experience of a lifetime; you certainly won't forget this day out in a hurry.
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