1801 West International Speedway, Daytona 32114
Admission: For attraction and tour, adults $22.90, children (6 to 12) $16.50, seniors (60+) $19.70. Tour only $9.05 for all.
Hours: Daily 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (tours end at 5:30)
Location: From I-95, take Exit 261 and drive east on US 92 for 1.4 miles
Hard-core fans driving to or from Orlando will want to make the pilgrimage to this shrine to the NASCAR experience. Others should seize on the opportunity to find out what makes the uniquely American sport of stock car racing so special to millions. Nestled in the shadow of the Daytona Speedway, DaytonaUSA gives visitors a chance to taste, ever so briefly, ever so slightly, what it must be like to roar around this legendary track and stand, triumphant, in the winner’s circle.
For my money, the star of the show is the tram tour of the 480-acre track complex. It puts those NASCAR clips you’ve seen on TV in awesome perspective. Inside, you can relive the highlights of auto racing in Daytona, a tradition that dates back to 1903, when rich vacationers took to racing their newfangled automobiles on the hard-packed sand of Daytona’s beaches. You can also put yourself in the action with a number of simulations. Perhaps the most accessible is the 45-minute 3-D IMAX film celebrating NASCAR, with some breathtaking front-seat shots, For those who really want to feel part of the action, Acceleration Alley ($5 extra) is a full-scale simulator ride that puts you in a NASCAR race car tearing around a computer-generated version of the Speedway.
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