Plan a Racing Themed Trip to Charlotte North Carolina

 

checkered racing flag

Are you an avid NASCAR fan? Then it’s time to plan a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina! Charlotte is a mecca of all things stock racing related. While you can find NASCAR related attractions that are open year round, we recommended visiting during racing season which runs from February until November. Here are our top picks for a racing themed getaway.

Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sometimes still called the Lowe’s Motor Speedway)
The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts almost 400 racing events per year, including the popular Coca-Cola 600, the Spring All-State Race, the Bank of America 500 as well as other NASCAR Events. Even though the Speedway can hold 140,000 spectators, the events always sell out. Along with the Stock Car track, the Speedway is also home to a Drag Racing track. There’s always a lot going on before the events start, so if you have tickets to a race, plan to arrive early to take it all in.

NASCAR Racing Experience
A couple of times a month, the average person has the chance to experience what it feels like to be behind the wheels of a race car with the NASCAR Racing Experience! During these events you have a chance to either drive solo around the track or leave the driving to an expert and ride in the passenger seat. Either way, you’ll have a new appreciation of NASCAR drivers.

NASCAR Hall of Fame
Relive the history of NASCAR at their Hall of Fame. You can spend hours or even days exploring all of the exhibits. Get a visual history in the High Octane Theater, before wandering through the ever changing exhibits in the Great Hall. Don’t forget to check out the Hall of Honor where the best of the best are inducted.

Roush Fenway Racing
Roush has one of the largest racing teams in the sport. On weekdays you can visit the Roush Fenway Racing Museum and view trophies and other memorabilia from the team’s winning racers.

When you need to grab a bit to eat, you can still get into the racing theme at these local restaurants:

Lancaster’s Bar-B-Que & Wings
At Lancaster’s, you can enjoy authentic Carolina BBQ pork and delicious and spicy Buffalo wings. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a driver at the restaurant because it’s a local watering hole that’s beloved by many of the drivers. Lancaster’s is located at 9230 Beatties Ford Road, Huntersville.

Big Daddy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar  
In Mooresville, North Carolina, you will find this family owned restaurant. While the Oyster Bar may sound like a fancy place, you’ll find a kid friendly eatery filled with lots of comfort food options. The owners are big NASCAR fans – the restaurant is easy to spot as the roof is decorated with multiple racing cars!

Quaker Steak & Lube
This motorsports themed restaurant is located at 7731 Gateway Lane, in Concord, North Carolina, conveniently close to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR themed memorabilia covers the walls and ceilings and the menu has racing themed dishes like the “Revved-Up Ribeye” and “Stick Shifters”.

 

Exploring the Indiana Avenue Cultural District

Indianapolis skyline

Indianapolis has designated six cultural districts with having ‘cultural and historical significance’ to the city. One of these districts is Indiana Avenue (it’s not just a place on the Monopoly board game). Read on to learn a little about what makes Indiana Avenue special.

Located west of downtown, Indiana Avenue was an early black settlement that was developed in the late 1800’s and was a part of the Underground Railroad. Jazz music became a culturally significant part of the district and in its heyday, the area was home to 33 jazz clubs and the likes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald were preforming regularly.  The area was most famous for the Madam C.J. Walker Theater that opened on 617 Indiana Avenue in 1927. The theater was popular with locals and local businesses and put on many plays and concerts until the 1950’s.

When segregation laws changed, many of the areas residents eventually moved to other parts of the city and the state and Indiana Avenue and the Madam C.J. Walker Theater headed into a down period and the area became neglected.

In recent years however, it was decided that the area should try and be brought back to life and improvements were made by the city. Many of the old original homes that had become dilapidated have been renovated by the Indiana Historic Landmark Society and are now being enjoyed by new owners in the community. The Madam C.J. Walker has also been restored and is now listed on the register of National Historic Landmarks. The theater has once again become a big part of the community. Every year the theater puts on tons of events from plays to concerts, movies, dances and more.  The theater works closely with the nearby Indiana University – Purdue University Campus to engage students in the district.

Jazz music is still a big part of Indiana Avenue and today you can catch jazz shows at the Chatterbox, The Jazz Kitchen, and dozens of other bars and music venues. Every September the area puts on the Indy Jazz Festival where the best of the best in the genre preform. This event is attended by thousands of people annually.

The next time you visit Indianapolis, make sure you spend some time on Indiana Avenue.

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