NASCAR Season Kicks Off with the Daytona 500

NASCAR racing starts again this February – on the 17th with the famous Daytona 500 as the kickoff race. Florida welcomes drivers from all over the country for the start of the 2019 season the weekend of the 16th to 18th of February.  For a sneak preview of the next few NASCAR events following the Daytona weekend, March 2nd-4th will feature the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Then on March 9th-11th, ISM Raceway (formerly the Phoenix International Raceway) will be home for the TicketGuardian 500 race. The next scheduled weekend, on the 30th of March to April 1st is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Daytona will feature the 61st running of the Daytona 500 race when the NASCAR season begins, with this showcase of speed, skill and determination as the drivers battled the famed 2.5 mile tri-oval track with its 31 degree banking to earn the title of Daytona 500 Champion.

Camping at Daytona

Any Daytona veteran will tell you that you haven’t truly experienced the “World Center of Racing” until you’ve loaded up the RV, called up your closest friends and set up camp somewhere in the 180-acre infield.

Surrounded by Daytona’s famous track, you’ll find that there’s far more happening at Daytona than just three-wide racing. Devoted race fans from all over the world descend upon every inch of the infield, creating a rich communal atmosphere from campsite-to-campsite.   

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Whether you’re in a decked-out motorhome or a tent is more your style, DAYTONA offers several camping options that put you right next to all the history and heritage that’s made this place world-famous.  Infield campgrounds and GEICO Park West campgrounds also include FREE Wi-Fi!

If the International Speedway happens to be full – which sometimes happens when the race is sold out, check out these other camping options in the Daytona area.

  1. Daytona Speedway RV
  2. Finishline Park
  3. Daytona Racetrack RV
  4. South Daytona RV Park & Tropical Gardens

Other things to do near Daytona

If you have a little free time, there are many other attractive places to see near Daytona that will make you appreciate this gem of a location on the Atlantic. You can take your time visiting the Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens with free admission, or the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach. Here, you can tour the Indian River Lagoon, North America’s most diverse estuary that has been designated as an Estuary of National Significance. Here, salt and fresh water mingle, and more than 4,000 species of plants and animals co-habit, some of which are endangered or threatened and some that are found here and nowhere else on earth. Mangrove trees line shorelines and provide habitat for many species of animals and invertebrates. Birds such as osprey, pelicans, ibis, heron, roseate spoonbills or even bald eagles are commonly seen. In the estuary, bottlenose dolphins chase schools of baitfish, and manatees charm visitors with their slow-moving, gentle ways as they swim with their newborns.

As you travel along 1A you should stop and see the Ponce Inlet with its iconic Ponce De Leon Inlet lighthouse and museum, great for stretching your legs and more if you choose to climb the 203 steps of the 175 foot tower lighthouse. This lighthouse, the tallest one in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the US, is second only to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

There are Sugar Mill Ruins just west of New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater and just an hour south is the NASA Kennedy Space Center.

If you want to take in some nature close to Daytona Speedway, check out the Bulow Creek State Park near Flagler Beach, one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forests along Florida’s east coast.

Tomoka State Park is nearby in Ormond Beach, where Native Americans once dwelled and now a bird-watchers’ paradise. And, stop by the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach or the Sunglow Fishing Pier to enjoy a bit of fishing. For more information about camping in any of the 175 award-winning Florida State Parks, check out their website.

Need to Rent an RV?

You can rent an RV from El Monte’s Orlando location for your trip to Daytona, only an hour away. See availability and rental rates on their page.

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