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  1. Default IA to NC (maybe also SC/GA?) for NASCAR

    Hi all! I'm currently in the process of planning my first real road trip (not just a quick "drive 12 hours home from college as quickly as possible!) this May and am really at a loss as to where to even begin! I'll be honest, I feel like I'm ingested so much web-info and I am still just as overwhelmed as I was originally. Hopefully, I can get some tips from the experts here:)

    The plan is to take May 23 - June 1 (or 2nd, at most!) . . . growing and vacation around the Central US, I'm not that interested in seeing more of IA, IL, MO, etc. Getting down to KY and NC quickly is the goal, so that I can have more time to enjoy it there. Aside from spending the weekend in Charlotte for the race, I think I'd like to see Biltmore, possibly head over to Wilmington. I'm thinking that I'd also like to head to Myrtle Beach (although, if one isn't interested in lounging at the beach, what else is there to do?), and possibly Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC.

    At this point, it's looking like I may be taking this trip alone- which is okay with me, since I won't have to worry about fighting over road trip music:) What are suggestions on the best ways to choose a route? Ideas on things not to miss in the area?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Solo Adventuring in the South

    Quote Originally Posted by nascar9girl View Post
    I'm currently in the process of planning my first real road trip
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.
    I'll be honest, I feel like I'm ingested so much web-info and I am still just as overwhelmed as I was originally.
    We tend to supply lots of information too -- but 99% of our tips and advice is posted by roadtrippers who have actually driven down the highways and byways you are planning to go so hopefully we can do something about that feeling of being overwhelmed.
    Getting down to KY and NC quickly is the goal,
    Kentucky is one of all our time favorite places to look for funny road signs, there is something special about how Kentuckians name things.... When check them out -- don't miss Fresh Fudge... But I digress.

    At this point, it's looking like I may be taking this trip alone- which is okay with me,
    Be sure to read these solo roadtripping tips and here are six tips about keeping your wits about you when on the road.
    What are suggestions on the best ways to choose a route?
    There are plenty of ways, the one I like is to get wall map and use a marker pen (or stickpins) and make way points of all of the cool stuff you have seen in magazines, on this Forum and on the web, TV etc. And then play connect the dot. Just today, AAA has made their trip planning tool free to non-members and it is also a good way to plot a route since they provide a lot of detail about lodging and things to do. Here is our mini-review of that service. The other approach is to let users like yourself assist in suggesting routes -- Yahoo Travel uses this concept and again here is some more info about that.
    Ideas on things not to miss in the area?
    The hands-down best source of local information is stop at a hair salon or nail place and get a quick treatment/haircut/etc and ask them where they like to go. Locals can share ideas that no travel writer is going to even know how to ask about. 2nd best way -- read the local newspaper -- a lot of times there are really cool local events that never make to the national press feeds. With the advent of the Web, a lot of this info is online.... but, as you know it takes work to weed through it.

    Happy Planning!


  3. #3

    Default Tips from a Veteran NASCAR Fan

    Welcome to the site, nice to see another race fan on board! What exactly are your plans for the trip? You say 'for Nascar', but what do you want to do, exactly? Attend a race or two? Which ones? Where will you be staying? Hotel, motel or camping? If you have any specific questions, post them here and I'll be happy to help if I can, as will everyone else here, I am sure.

    I popped over last year for the Aarons 499 at Talladega and made a week out of it. It was a really good trip and I am coming back again this year. Have a look at both those threads for tips posted by people helping me put the trips together.

    Last year we basically flew into Atlanta and based ourself there. We drove to Six Flags and to Talladega. After we'd done Talladega we heading to the Smoky Mountains and onwards, via Charlotte and Wilmington, to Myrtle Beach. I took off on my own one day and popped in to Charleston which was a really nice place. I wish I'd had more time there.

    A couple of things that come to mind on the Nascar front. You can visit Mooresville and tour the raceshops. Something like 80% of the teams running Cup, Busch, Craftsmen Trucks and ARCA are based in and around Mooresville and actively encourage visitors. Just make sure you plan your visit... we arrived the day everyone was leaving town for Richmond, VA and we ended up missing out! You can also visit the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall Of Fame in Mooresville.

    There are plenty of tracks in the area, as you'll probably know, and many of them welcome visitors even when it's not a race weekend. For example you could visit Lowes Motor Speedway or even check out the current state of Rockingham. Both are near Charlotte and Mooresville.

    I don't know if you'll make it that far over, but Talladega itself would definately be well worth a visit. And they have the International Motorsports Hall Of Fame and Museum on site which would surely make a fascinating stop. We visited it when we got rained out last year and I found it really good value.

    Oh, there's a Nascar Cafe in Myrtle Beach. But I'd really not recommend it... it was overpriced, tacky AND it made me ill! SO, not a great experience :)

    Ooops just re-read your post and realised you did state you'd be attending the race at Lowes. Fantastic, I'm real jealous! :) You'll definately have to 'do' Mooresville then, seeing you're so close.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-21-2007 at 10:16 AM. Reason: continuation of previous post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Thanks for these ideas


    Wonderful tips and suggestions and great local intel for race fans. It might be hard to imagine, but I've never been to a NASCAR event, and one comes to my backyard each March -- the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I have been to the Long Beach Grand Prix a couple of times and CART races (I was getting paid to attend those) and even the Formula Lightning Classic, (an electric car race), but not NASCAR and so appreciate your ideas and suggestions.


  5. #5


    I've done Daytona in 02 and Talladega last year. Both were an impressive spectacle but it was never my 'thing' if I'm honest. However, that's changed since mid 06 and the whole thing really excites me now, not sure what specifically changed, but I can't wait to get back in a couple of months! I really want to do Bristol next year but getting tickets is a nightmare!

    You should definately stop by LVMS though. We stopped in there on our way from Vegas to Zion last year and were made really welcome, and they've just rebuilt the place to make the racing better. Of course you are lucky enough to have Champcar coming to your local streets in a couple of months (Fremont Street area, I think?) I was sorely tempted to come over myself and do the Long Beach race the following weekend :) Maybe next year!

    Anyway, sorry for hijacking your thread, nascar9girl!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Banked curve in full-size van!

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Antill View Post
    You should definately stop by LVMS though.
    I have been there several times -- just not for race days. We drove the main speedway track in a full-size van (on the banked curves...) and the next time you are here -- take a drive through the back lots of the business park just to the south and west of the raceway. This facility is home to some of the garages of racing legends and it is not uncommon to see prototype race cars sitting on blocks in the driveways. The "artist" who keeps my own ride looking 'clean and mean' has a body shop there and his client list is astonishing. He is now building a 1924 modified racer that will probably capture a world record or two next year at Bonneville.


  7. #7


    Bonneville... now THAT would make an awesome backdrop to a roadtrip..! I like the sound of that...! I enjoyed your link there, thanks for that! Oh, talking of the drag strip, I do soooo wish the photo I had my passenger take of me on the drag strip in my Rav4 rental car had come out..! :)

    nascar9girl, apologies again for the hijack! :) I guess, from your user ID, you're a Kasey Kahne fan? If so then you might want to check this place out and see if you can get yourself a tour!

  8. Default

    Thanks for your thoughts, Mark and Craig! No worries about hijacking the thread- I love all things racing related:)

    I forgot to mention, touring the team shops in the Charlotte area is the one thing (besides attending the Cup race) that I know for sure I'm going to do! I definitely need to figure out when, but believe me, I'm all prepared to go to Hendrick, Yates, Evernham, etc! You're right, I am a Kahne fan - still thinking he lucked out with pulling out a top-10 finish last weekend when everyone wrecked!

    Thanks for your comment on the Nascar Grill... I'd read similar things on the Yahoo! travel site. I'll have to check out your threads about your experience- I'd like to see what you thought of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. I'll also check out the AAA site and see what their trip planner helps with.

    Thanks again, guys!

  9. #9


    We really didnt get to see much of Wilmington, to be honest, but it looked a nice enough place. We had basically planned to drive from Atlanta to the Smoky Mountains, spend 24 hours there, then drive and overnight at Mooresville but, as mentioned above, everyone had pretty much left town so the plans changed. We ended up driving right through til early the next morning towards the coast instead. By the time we reached Wilmington we were both knackered and looking forward to sitting on a beach for a few hours so didn't really get to stop for too long. And, besides, I'm sure the feds were after us after my travelling companion decided it'd be good fun to do handbrake turns and powerslides all round the parking lot at the USS North Carolina. Silly chump!

    Myrtle Beach is pretty much full of crazy golf and sea food restaurants! We stayed just south of Myrtle Beach itself at the Huntington Beach State Park which you might enjoy even if you're only passing by. There is a nice quiet beach there and you can get to meet the Alligators who live in the park too. To us, from the UK, that was pretty cool :) Murrells Inlet is the place to eat, if you want seafood, which you really should at least once on your trip, it's lovely there!


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