Top 6 Places for Racing Fans in Florida

Start your engines and motor on over to these unique car and race attractions.

NASCAR's Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach Florida

 

William R. Sallaz/Getty

 

While Florida's Daytona Beach is well known as "The Birthplace of Speed" and NASCAR central, there are a few other places in Florida for racing fans to get their "need for speed" fix in, including Disney World. If you're a racing fan or, are traveling with one, keep these attractions in mind for the next time you visit Florida.

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    Daytona International Speedway

    Daytona International Speedway
    © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    The "Birthplace of Speed" has fittingly become the "World Center of Racing," and a driving force in the world of motorsports. Home of many popular NASCAR events, thousands of fans flock to the oval course for popular speed weeks that feature the world-class stock car, motorcycle, sports car and go-kart racing.

    Climb inside a 600 HP NASCAR for a drive or thrilling ride-along at the Richard Petty Driving Experience located at Daytona International Speedway and two other Florida locations.

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    Disney World is filled with places to meet up with all your favorite Cars friends — Lightning McQueen, Mater, and the newest Car, Cruz Ramirez. From Hollywood Studios, to Epcot, to an entire wing of the Art and Animation Resort devoted to the movie, there are plenty of places to get your Cars fix.  

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    Honda Grand Prix
    © Bruce Neufeld/Honda Grand Prix

    Every March, downtown St. Petersburg's streets are turned into a 1.8-miles, 14-turn, temporary course along the bay front. The event features races from both the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series. The Istreet course, with high fences, tight turns and roaring race cars is a family-friendly affair with fun activities for all ages — like racing simulators, face painting and rock climbing — taking place off the raceway.

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    Daytona Beach's Cruise Cafe

    This restaurant gets rave reviews from nearly all who try it! Conveniently located across the street from the Daytona Beach Pier, every table in the Cruisin' Cafe is dedicated to a Daytona 500 winner — from the 1959 winner, Lee Petty, to 2010's winner, Jamie McMurray. Ask to be seated at your favorite driver's table for a memorable lunch or dinner.

    While there are healthy choices on the menu, the Cruisin' Cafe serves up some of the tastiest burgers in Florida. If you're up for a belly-busting meal, take the Cruisin Cup Challenge by ordering and eating a Cruisin Cup Burger, featuring two pounds of all-beef patties, American, Swiss, Provolone and Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pound of delicious French fries. If you can eat it all, you get your picture and name on their website, a t-shirt, and your name will be added to the Cup Burger trophy!

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    Recognized as the second oldest continuously operating antique car museum in the nation, the Sarasota Classic Car Museum features one-of-a-kind classics in rotating exhibits. Explore the history of the car and see an amazing collection of celebrity-owned classics and muscle cars, as well as rare vintage automobiles.

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    See the classic car collection and drag racing memorabilia of drag racing great Don Garlits at his Museum of Drag Racing located off I-75 just south of Ocala. Over 90 drag racing cars are on display in addition to another 50 antique cars. This is the place to visit for diehard drag racing fans.