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NASCAR Hall of Fame: A Visit With Legends

While we’re usually all theme parks all the time, there are occasions when it’s fun to cover other interests – especially if it’s tourist destination related. I think the NASCAR Hall of Fame falls in that category. It’s clearly one of the top tourist destinations in Charlotte, NC and was must-do for us after visiting nearby Carowinds.

What We Liked

  • You’ll notice pretty quickly that everything about the Hall is top notch – the building, exhibits, facilities, presentations, staff…everything. It truly feels like a crown jewel of the sport.
  • Exhibit interactivity using the “hard card” given on arrival is really cool and adds another level of engagement – especially for your littles.
  • The opening film presentation in the High Octane Theater does an great job of setting the HOF’s purpose within the context of the sport – don’t skip it.
  • The Glory Road exhibit is every bit as impressive in person as you’d expect. The cars on display have been selected by recent Hall of Fame inductee, Dale Earnhardt Jr and look like they came straight from the track to the Hall.
  • The Hall of Honor is simply amazing. Individual columns line a circular room – each playing a highlight reel of it’s respective inductee on an individual screen. It’s a pretty moving experience to visually see how all of the champions enshrined in one space.
  • Interactive exhibits like the pit crew challenge, qualifier sim, race broadcast caller, and paint scheme designer are super fun for all members of the family.
  • If you came expecting to find historical items, you won’t be let down. Our personal favorites included a full-size Unocal 76 spotter ball, Martinsville Clock and Dover Monster trophies, and the Jimmie Johnson fire suit collection.

Gallery

Instagram: Mini-vlog | Hall of Honor Reel | Glory Road Reel

Notes

  • Parking for the Hall was super convenient and plentiful when we visited. Expect to pay around $10 for a spot in either in the lot attached to the Hall or just down the street.
  • Be sure to watch for your personal “welcome” displayed on the large screen just above the Glory Road exhibit.
  • If you need a bite, consider the Buffalo Wild Wings attached to the Hall. There aren’t a ton of other quick, easy food options near the hall so this may be your best bet for lunch.
  • If you choose not to purchase a simulator ticket (though we recommend you do), you’ll find a similar sim setup in the 2nd floor area that let’s you attempt qualifying at the next track on the schedule.
  • If, like us, you’re a big Dale Earnhardt Jr fan, you’ll be thrilled to see his amazing 2014 Daytona 500-winning car (complete with the piece of debris on the front intake) and other Jr. memorabilia on display in the Hall of Honor.
  • The littles will be excited to know that Lighting McQueen can be found in the 2nd floor Inside NASCAR exhibit area.
  • If you arrive early, note that the gift shop opens 15 mins or so prior to the Hall opening.

Worth It?

While it’s hard to capture the excitement of a sport like NASCAR within the context of a museum format, the NASCAR Hall of Fame does just that…but, in a different way than I was expecting. Rather than leaning into the “loud” aspects of NASCAR, the Hall brings a weight and legitimacy to the sport by focusing on the people that make it great. We left feeling more proud to be fans that ever before. In that regard, I’d say it’s definitely worth it. If you’re a casual fan, I think the Hall is also great introduction to the sport – offering a good mix of both the past, present, and future of NASCAR.

If you’re looking for more info, be sure to check the Hall of Fame official site before you visit.

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