With 31-degree banked turns and straightaways that allow speeds up to 200 mph, Daytona International Speedway has become one of the words most hallowed racetracks and the home of the Daytona 500, referred to as the Great American Race. Although more than 160,000 spectators converge for the race in February, fans still make year-round pilgrimages to the track, where they can visit victory lane, the garages, and the infield. Located across the street from the track and within 6 miles of Daytonas equally renowned beach, the award-winning Ramada Speedway puts visitors in close proximity to the attractions that have made Daytona Beach a must-see Florida spot.
Towering palm trees and flowering bushes gather around the hotel's outdoor courtyard pool, which is surrounded by lounge chairs and small tables. For a family-friendly meal, head to the first-floor Uno Chicago Grill. Named Americas healthiest chain restaurant by Health magazine in 2008, Uno serves Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and pours 12 beers on tap. In the morning, guests can dine on an American continental breakfast, including eggs, meat, and pastries.
The self-proclaimed "world center of racing," Daytona Beach sits on the Atlantic along central Floridas east coast. The city's love affair with motorsports began in the early 1900s, when industry pioneers would test their motorcycles and horseless carriages on the area's densely packed white sands. Today, visitors can still drive on designated areas of the 23-mile long beach. There, beachfront bars, volleyball matches, and skywriting hangman contests offer no shortage of entertainment.
For an authentic motorsports experience, follow the sounds of engine roaring to the Daytona International Speedway, a 480-acre complex located across from the hotel. Guests can attempt a 16-second pit-stop challenge on a professional racecar and tour the official garages. Even non-racing fans can appreciate the g-force from inside one of Richard Petty Driving Experiences ride-along stock cars, as a professional driver makes a three-lap trip around the speedway at speeds up to 160 mph ($135).
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