Let’s just open this with what an incredible experience! We recently traveled from the San Francisco Bay Area to Daytona Beach, Florida for the Firecracker NASCAR Race over the 2017 July 4th Holiday.
We flew on Virgin America nonstop from San Francisco Airport to Orlando, Florida. Virgin offers a unique in-flight experience with lavender mood lighting like a night clubs and an amazing entertainment system in the facing seat-back. From TV Shows to interviews to a nice music assortment you can feel the hand stamp of Richard Branson. The guy just gets it!
Once in Orlando, we rented a car for the hour drive to Daytona Beach. This was a trip through the Florida outback which is a unique combo of swamp, tropical garden and forest. The Mosquitoes are prehistoric beasts. Be careful at sundown or you’ll be dinner!
When you arrive in Daytona, the first thing you notice is the speedway grandstand. It is so big it just dominates the sky. It is truly an impressive structure. However, once inside you are amazed that every foot of the 2.5 mile racetrack is visible from all but the lowest seats. The fan areas are absolutely spotless. If someone spills a drink or drops some food, the staff is immediately on if to clean the mess, squeegee the floor and keep the place clean.
One thing of note is that you won’t find napkins in the food areas. We were told they don’t have napkins so they don’t fly around the track during the races. Makes sense, right? While the food options inside the track are very basic, there are a number of places directly across the street from the track. One night we ate at Millers Ale House. The “Ossobuco” marinated Pork shank slow cooked until slightly browned and mouthwatering tender was incredible.
The summer Firecracker NASCAR Race is held on Saturday night closest to the July 4th weekend. They also run the XFINITY companion division on Friday night. On the Friday night for the XFINITY race we sat in seats about 10 rows up from the track and right at the start-finish line. What an incredible amount of power as they roar by.
On the Saturday night Cup race, we sat in high seats so we could see the whole race track. Was very cool seeing the cars going 195 mph around that track. Incredible!
On Sunday our Virgin America flight was schedule to depart late afternoon from Orlando. This allowed some time to hit the Daytona beach town. Lot’s to do, shop and places to eat drink and be happy. The fine power white sand beach is a great spot to spend a few hours swimming and soaking up some rays. The Atlantic Ocean water is warm and clear.
All in all, I can’t recommend this NASCAR vacation high enough. A true bucket-list trip for racing fans.