What’s the Best Travel Destination for KY Racing Fans?
NASCAR fans are gearing up for the biggest month in motorsports, the Daytona 500 on February 19th! With cars speeding around a track at nearly 200 mph it's enough to get NASCAR enthusiasts to travel from all over the world to see the famous track. Daytona has a lot to offer for fast-car fanatics and beach bums alike. With my trip last year, I was able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Keep Daytona in mind for your Spring Break destination this year.
Daytona International Speedway
While our visit wasn't during race time, there was still so much excitement to be had at this little racetrack, I say little with a load of sarcasm. For NASCAR fans, this is hallowed ground, this is where records were set, history was made, and legends were lost.
A win at Daytona is next only to finding the Holy Grail for those who put the medal to the metal there. Many big-time racers get their start on local dirt tracks and small circuit paved tracks.
Owensboro natives, such as myself know that Daviess county is stomping grounds for Darrell Waltrip who got his start at the Kentucky Motor Speedway in Whitesville. He would go on to have seven career wins at Daytona. A little bit of a hometown connection that everyone might not know about.
Daytona International Speedway offers tours and a museum for off-season guests, and for fans of racing this is not an opportunity one should miss. Tour guides will drive ticket holders on a tram around the track, making stops at the winner's circle and the checkered start/finish line. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step out on the track and to stand where so many dreams were made and shattered.
Here we are, standing near the stage at victory lane!
The NASCAR-themed fun doesn't end there, check out local eatery Crusin' Cafe for some grub! Located right off the main drag in Daytona Beach is a fun place to stop and grab either lunch or dinner. Menu items consist of burgers named after drivers and famous racetracks, gator bites, wings, and more.
Life in the fast lane not quite for you? No worries, pop open a beach umbrella and dive into your favorite warm-weather read on the soft sandy beach overlooking the Atlantic. Just keep in mind where you decide to sunbathe as Daytona Beach still allows motorists to drive down the beach. While there, I experienced my first ocean sunrise, and it was worth the early morning alarm. It was one of the most memorable moments.
Drive down to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, built in 1887, and climb all 175 feet to the top.
Looking for a great dolphin boat tour while in Daytona? Check out Ponce Inlet Watersports! They offer dolphin and manatee tours around the Daytona Beach area.
Beach Front Hotels
El Caribe Resort & Conference Center- This is where we stayed during our visit, our suite was incredibly spacious with a full kitchen, living space, and two queen-sized beds. The hotel was very clean and quiet and offered up amazing balcony views right on the ocean. I would recommend this hotel and would stay here again on a return visit.