Feel the Need for Speed? This Is Las Vegas for Motorsports FansBy Matt Villano
With a phalanx of fast cars for test-driving, epic roads for unforgettable road trips, some of the Southwest’s best off-roading and a major international motorsport race in November, Las Vegas has firmly established itself as a great place to rev your engine and tap into your need for speed.
Here’s how to get the adrenaline pumping. And as always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
Marvel at a Motorsport Race
All eyes fall on Las Vegas in November when some of the best car racers in the world take over the Strip for a weekend competition. This race utilizes parts of many major roads around town, which means there are plenty of opportunities for racing fans to catch a glimpse of the action.
The best vantage points may be from hotels in the area — especially those with rooms and other gathering spaces that look out on Las Vegas Boulevard. Specifically, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection, as well as ARIA Resort & Casino and Bellagio Resort & Casino (both coming soon to Marriott Bonvoy) are great perches from which to watch.
Of course, you won’t need to see the action to experience it. With cars zooming around the course at speeds exceeding 200 mph, you’ll hear, smell and feel the action. This is what makes attending a motorsport race so exciting. Considering that Las Vegas is known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” you should expect nothing less.
Ogle ‘the Oval’
Serious racing fans often hightail it to the racetracks at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, northeast of downtown. The site is home to several different car races throughout the year, with the 1.5-mile Tri-Oval Superspeedway hosting some of the most famous of all.
On race weekends, the excitement in the venue is palpable. Visitors can either sit in the grandstand or camp trackside in an RV. When there aren’t races scheduled, gearheads can take track tours to explore areas they might not otherwise see up close, such as the infield and luxury suites. Plus, tour access will take you into the Neon Garage, where you’ll find the Victory Lane and inspection bays. There’s also an expansive gift shop to pick up some mementos for yourself or loved ones.
For diehard fans (or Ricky Bobby wannabes), the Speedway even offers the opportunity to experience what it’s like to ride the track in an actual race car. Choose to take a supercar around the track a few times, or book a timed session in a race car — the latter of which includes instruction over the same two-way radio communications used by professional drivers.
Rent a Dream Car
Few are lucky enough to own a Lamborghini, Ferrari or McLaren Spider. Thanks to adventure outfitters, including LVC Exotic Rentals, luxury car aficionados can rent these dream vehicles by the hour and drive them around the Las Vegas Valley.
Many exotic car rental companies offer unlimited miles, so guests can visit nearby destinations such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Hoover Dam, Lake Las Vegas and more.
Requirements vary, but in most cases the renter must be 25 or older and can’t leave the state with the car.
Explore the Desert
Las Vegas sits in the middle of the Mojave Desert, which means that once you get off the Las Vegas Strip, there’s seemingly endless open space to explore. One of the best ways to get out there: an ATV tour.
Several outfitters lead ATV tours that depart from various locations around the Las Vegas Valley; tours vary in distance, length and amenities. Most, such as Las Vegas ATVs, include complimentary transportation from casino resorts on the Strip. Many of these tours enable guests to pilot an ATV as they follow a guide across a desert landscape. And some even include lunch for your convenience.
For a slightly more refined experience, consider Pink Adventure Tours. Instead of an ATV tour, a driver takes you and your companions on an on- or off-road adventure in a pink Jeep.