Whether you’re a casual fan or a diehard NASCAR lover – or even if you’re just into history or sports – the NASCAR Hall of Fame (400 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28202) is a must-see destination in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Let me preface this by saying: I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan out there. I’ll watch a race here & there, but I don’t have a favorite driver or team. With that said, my husband used to really love it when he was younger, so when we had the chance to visit the HoF while in North Carolina, we jumped on the opportunity — and I’m really glad we did.
My biggest suggestion: if you have the time, take the guided tour. It’s packed to the brim with incredibly valuable, interesting insights that you wouldn’t get otherwise. The HoF offers guided tours on certain days at 1 PM, and they last about two hours. There’s an additional cost on top of general admission, but the tour is absolutely worth it.
You will learn SO much & see so much history. From cars driven by Red Farmer to racing suits worn by various drivers over the years, busted-up tires used in races and a myraid of trophies – there’s a little bit of everything here. It’s particularly neat to walk along the rows of cars, all the while going up in grade like a real racetrack. There’s also the iRacing simulator, the pit crew challenge & more for interactive, hands-on fun.
While you’re welcome to spend as much or as little time as you want, you could probably realistically spend an entire day here. Multiple floors filled with exhibits, memorabilia and interactive displays could easily keep one entertained for hours.
Even if you do elect for the guided tour, you’re also free to roam the Hall after the tour to dive deeper into anything specific that caught your eye.
Don’t forget to stop by the Pit Stop Cafe for lunch, too – they’ve got quick, easy options like sandwiches, wraps & snacks to keep you fueled.
Other NASCAR-related points to hit in the area include:
- Charlotte Motor Speedway (5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027): Even if there’s not a race going on, it’s still worth a drive down and a visit to the gift shop. There is a small parking lot near the gift shop for visitors, so be on the lookout. They also offer tours of the speedway.
- Dale Earnhardt Plaza (101-109 W A St, Kannapolis, NC 28081): Essentially a small park in the midst of Kannapolis, the plaza is a nice touch to honor one of NASCAR’s most well-known drivers in recent history. The statue homage is hard to miss, but be sure to scope out the whole plaza for a few neat little touches, too.
- RCR Racing Museum (425 Industrial Dr, Lexington, NC 27295): A great, affordable self-guided tour of this museum will allow you to learn a lot about Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt. It’s a move-at-your-own-pace kind of place, so check out all the historic cars & other memorabilia from over the years, including items related to current RCR drivers!
- Richard Childress Racing: After you’ve visited the museum, ask the gift shop staff for directions to the actual RCR open building on the campus. (It’s literally a two-minute drive.) Here, you can view the actual working area of RCR! When we visited right before the Charlotte race, we saw them working on wrapping Austin Dillon’s car that was used in the race a few days later.