The plan was to visit Charleston, SC. For all of those who have been, you can appreciate the serenity and romance the city has to offer. It's one of my favorite local places and I try to find something new to experience each time I go. On this day, it called for scattered thunderstorms. The weather patterns were very similar for all the surrounding areas. In seeking for a fun-filled dry, afternoon, the 'knight-in-shining-armor' and I opted for a museum of some sort. There had been some talk and fascination with the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Even though this trip wouldn't have the same abeyance as Charleston, we set forth for an adventure.
...and an adventure we did find!
Reason #1 - it is indoors!
Just as I mentioned above, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, like most, is an indoor museum. The best part about this is when the weather is iffy or HOT, the fantastic four leveled structure will keep you safe and occupied!! This is one of the reasons we chose to visit!
Reason #2 - child friendly!
On the second level, they have a Lego's station (NASCAR themed, of course)! I'm unsure if this is something they provide year round. While we were there, they had signs up for Spring Break. This may have been set up for that week only. Never-the-less is was fun to watch the children create their dream cars and tracks...and if you're over the age of seven, there were grown men playing too.
Aside from the Lego's station, there was also a coloring station. I did not take a picture of it, but I grabbed a few blank coloring sheets. I had to take some of the fun home with me. On this particular day, they had tigers dressed in racing gear. The imagination is limitless in this place.
Throughout the museum, there are tons of interactive games.
Reason #3 - picture opts!
The opportunity for great pictures is EVERYWHERE in this place. What I love about this picture is that we were able to get a bunch of cars and the screaming painted fans all in one shot. Of course, you can also take pictures with each indiviual car. On levels three and four they have seats for testing (both old and new models), statutes, and activities, all of which are picture worthy!
Reason #4 - the real deal!
Haven't you ever been in a museum and wished some of the things you were discovering were available for true reality? Throughout the museum, there are lots of 'real deals'. The inclement I'm standing on is what the race car tracks feel like. Notice, I'm holding onto the rails...
One other SUPER FUN real deal... test your skills as a pit crew operator. In less than 60 seconds, you have to prepare your driver's race car READY for the race. It's not an easy task, believe me! I can appreciate just how hard those guys work. AND the gas tanks....extremely heavy. Extremely heavy.
Reason #5 - Location!
Charlotte, NC! It may not be as close for some of you as it is for me. The travel time for me is perfect for a day trip. Aside from that, though, it is located less than 15 minutes from Concord Mills! ...which by the way we visited...! Another great thing about Charlotte is that it is a city! There are so many other things to do there, if you wanted to make it a weekend trip!
Reason #6 - Dale Earnhardt!
With this being the Hall of Fame, you can imagine the recognition Earnhardt would receive. It's not everyday that you get to see his memorabilia.
...Maybe I should set this to #1!
There are a lot of other important names in NASCAR history throughout the museum. We did get a picture with Richard Petty as well....and many others.
Reason #7 - the simulator!
The simulator is a very cool experience. You get an opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a race car and DRIVE! What you may have caught by simulator is that it is kind of like a video game. The difference is that it's much more sensitive and you get to sit in a life like race car. It's something you should try at least once while your there. It's a lot of fun.
I, myself, got fourth place. I think that's pretty good for a first time driver.
Reason #8 - NASCAR artifacts!
Why else would you visit a museum, except to see the artifacts! This museum is no different and did not fall short by any means! Some of the artifacts were donated by fans and others by drivers and crew.
After walking through the gallery of what NASCAR has had to offer, you, yourself are asked to write your favorite NASCAR memory. What I like about this is the wide spread of age groups! New generations and old generations reminiscing on the value of racing. It really is a beautiful thing to see!
Reason #9 - Pit Stop Cafe!
Food is not overrated! When your buying your way into the museum, they offer you a package deal. It includes the admission ticket, a simulator ticket, and lunch/dinner! You can choose from different options, but I got a barbecue sandwich, coleslaw, pickle, chips, and a coke! I enjoyed it. I even took the chips for later because there was so much food!
Reason #10 - NASCAR wants your feedback!
After I got back from my trip, I was sent a survey. Some people find this a nuisance, BUT it's great to be able to tell them how you really feel!
I plan on visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame again soon!
Take advantage of those rainy days and visit a museum near you!