Is this your first time at Road America as a spectator? Looking for Road America visitor tips? Great! And WELCOME to the best and only unchanged road racing course in the country!
My idea for this page is that it will be a living document loaded with visitor tips for those that make the pilgrimage to Road America. It might be a lot of information, but it will benefit you to know it before you arrive.
Each section hits on the main tips and will link to pages with further details that will help you enjoy your time at Road America.
Where to Buy Tickets
Before you can get to the National Park of Speed, you have to buy some tickets. Of course, you can wait until the day you show up to buy them at the legendary Main Gate, but why?
The internet makes things so easy these days and really makes checking that part off the “Road America Trip List”.
Not willing to pay online and print your tickets at home? That is OK. I found 1 reason that you might wait until you get to the Main Gate.
Buying the tickets at the gate decreases the chance that you will forget them at home, in the hotel, at your AirBnB, etc, etc. Just keep that in mind.
REMEMBER: Tickets can be purchased online and printed at home for your convenience. Buy Road America Event Tickets Here.
Carry-Ins ARE Allowed
One of the biggest complaints heard around the places that sell the best track food in the nation is in regards to the prices. The PRICES.
You can bring ANY food or DRINK that you want with you to Road America. ANY. A cooler for beer, soda and WATER and a cooler for the for plus a small grill goes A LONG way for the weekend.
If you think that bringing your own food and drink is a lot of work, then you ARE going to pay the prices at the concession stands for someone else’s effort to feed and hydrate you. Right? 🙂
Road America offers plenty of places to setup your grill at your camp site, or near your vehicle and have a little lunch time cookout. Throughout the camping areas, there are even metal trash cans where you can deposit charcoal ash when you are done.
PRO TIP: BYO BEER, WATER, FOOD or ENOUGH $$$ to PAY FOR CONVENIENCE.
You Can Park Where You Want (mostly)
(trust me, these Road America Visitor Tips are worth reading)
One of the best things about getting to Road America is that you can drive your vehicle to just about ANY part of the track. Of course, traffic does get heavy at time (we’ll talk about that later), but where else can you do that?
With that being said, once you get inside the Main Gate, you can park pretty much wherever you want.
Otherwise, plan on the sun cooking whatever you have inside the vehicle for the duration of your stay.
PRO TIP: If you get to the track early enough, you can find the parking spots that provide shade in the afternoon.
You Got Walking Shoes On?
Like I mentioned previously, you can drive your vehicle to most places that you would want to view the racetrack from. Some even right up to a fence. Even if you drive yourself and others around, walking will be involved.
Don’t leave your sneakers behind. A good pair of shoes you can WALK in goes a long way when you are spending the entire weekend at Road America.
By the end of the day, usually you can count the people that were re-thinking their shoe selection based on the painful facial expressions on their face.
PRO TIP: On most race weekends, the shuttles are running. Of course, there are designated pick-up and drop-off locations, however riding a shuttle is preferable to hoofin’ it.
Want To Move From One Viewing Location To The Next?
Take your car, truck, van, golf cart, moped or bike from one corner to the next without issue. However, in SOME cases, riding a bike in the paddock area is not going to be allowed.
Road America security will make that VERY CLEAR. If you have a motorized vehicle to get around, it must be licensed AND insured. People are walking with their eyes closed all the time, please do NOT hit them.
Viewing from Turn 5 is probably the most popular for just about any race series. However, you are also very close to Turn 6 (at top of the hill), Turn 7 and Turn 8.
If you plan things just right, you can get to all of those corners to see some action without missing anything along the way.
Walking from the outside/inside of Turn 5, to Turn 6 is up hill, but you can still see the track. Moving between those 2 corners via vehicle is another adventure.
PRO TIP: Moving between corners/viewing areas with a vehicle requires planning as the traffic between scheduled events can be very heavy and SLOW moving.
Bathrooms Are Everywhere (Just see my photos)
If you are wondering that you may not be close to a bathroom option while at Road America, I am telling you that is NOT the case. The track built new bathrooms located near the Gearbox in the paddock, between Turn 7 and Turn 8, near the Sargento bridge and outside of Turn 3.
On top of that, there are Kohler mobile bathroom units throughout the facility (temporarily closed to do COVID-19), as well as Port-a-Potty units placed in enough places that you should NOT be too far from a bathroom option.
A couple of Port-a-Potty’s are located INSIDE Canada Corner, but the walk to them can be long when coming from The Kink.
PRO TIP: One place that you are NOT near a bathroom is when you are walking the new viewing trail from The Kink to Canada Corner.
Hungry? Best Track Food In The Nation
It has been written 103 times before. Road America has some of the best food you can get at a racetrack concession stand anywhere in the USA. Just look at the Twitter…
Concession stands like SJB Concessions and the Gearbox in the paddock area offer plenty of food options, as well as seating options for your pleasure.
Seating at Paddock Concessions is NOT near the track for viewing, but you can view all of the people and traffic that uses the Round-a-Bout, which can be fun 🙂
The Gearbox is likely to be the most popular for viewing while you eat and sit just steps from a cold beer. From the stand you can clearly see Turn 5, Turn 14 entry and the beginning of the hill leading to start/finish.
Outside of the paddock, you can get yummy concessions on top of the hill leading to outside Turn 6.
The Elkhart Lake Lions (7 on the map) have the “Party Deck” for great viewing of Turn 5, Turn 13 and Turn 14. Not to mention a full menu that includes roasted corn all season long.
BONUS TIP: You CAN see a big screen from some of the viewing area around the Elkhart Lake Lions stand. Helpful when you want to see the entire race, but do not/can not move from your location.
PRO TIP: Carry-ins are NOT allowed on ANY concession deck, viewing platform or seating area. Plan ahead.
Inside of Turn 6 (#6 on the map) is a stand run by the Plymouth Optimists. From viewing there, you can clearly see Turn 5 and in the distance make out what is happening on Turn 14.
That area has plenty of room to spread out and can be in the shade if you plan it right.
But Where Is The BEST View?
C’mon man. This is very subjective and depends a lot on what you want to see. Long straights into a corner? That would be Turn 5 on the outside. Or, the outside/inside of Turn 1. Or the outside of Turn 12 (Canada Corner).
Do you want to see some passing? Let’s move over to outside Turn 5, outside Turn 6, inside/outside Turn 7, outside Turn 8 and Canada Corner at least.
If you do not want to be a part of those situations, then I consider you the “near the bathroom/campsite/food/paddock” type of viewer. You are likely to do some amount of moving at that point.
PERSONALLY, I prefer to watch from the top of the hill outside Turn 7. You can clearly see the race coming through Turn 6, Turn 7, Turn 8 and into the Carousel. Other than Turn 5 action, it does not get better than this.
This is when I am not watching the race through my viewfinder, of course. But, this is not about me, these Road America visitor tips are for you!
Pro Tip: Decide what type of view you want BEFORE you get moving. I have seen many fans miss action due to poor planning.