Many racing fans who are looking to enjoy a Florida vacation plan their trips around the Daytona 500, which is the premier stock car racing event. Daytona is also home to the Coke Zero 400, which is another stock car racing event that has gained a good reputation. In addition to these stock car events, racing enthusiasts can also look to plan a Florida visit around the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg, which is one of the top IRL IndyCar Series events. This race takes to some of the city streets, as well as to the landing strips at the Albert Whitted Airport, which helps to make it unique.
The Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg takes place in late March, and it is second on the IndyCar Series racing schedule. If you want to catch the series opener, you'll have to travel to Brazil, which isn't a terrible proposition. A trip to St Petersburg will likely be easier, however, and there are plenty of great beaches in the St Petersburg area, which makes it a worthy destination even when the Honda Grand Prix isn't going on. One of the best things about catching the annual St Petersburg Grand Prix Race is the fact that you can hang out at such delectable beaches when you're not watching the race. The city is also home to some great museums, not to mention a wealth of other fantastic attractions, so you won't run out of things to do on the side.
Racing in downtown St Petersburg started back in 1985, though it was soon put on hiatus due to noise complaints from local businesses and residents. In the late 90s, St Petersburg would again host a car race that was held at Tropicana Field. While a relatively popular event, the race at Tropicana Field wouldn't last long either, and it wouldn't be until 2005 that the IndyCar Series finally moved in. In 2007, the race weekend surrounding the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg saw the addition of an American Le Mans Series event, adding to the overall atmosphere.
While the Honda Grand Prix is the centerpiece when it comes the racing weekend that surrounds it, it's not all about the racing. Various concerts are held throughout the downtown streets, and the St Petersburg Grand Prix race weekend events also include air shows, various exhibitions, and entertainment options to suit the whole family. There are even rides for kids to enjoy. As for the Honda Grand Prix race, it consists of 100 laps around a track that measures out to 1.80 miles.
For those who don't get to the see this exciting St Petersburg Grand Prix race in person, it is aired on television, which is the next best thing. There's nothing that compares to seeing the race in person, however, and all of the fanfare and fun that surrounds it is part of the overall experience. There are plenty of inviting St Petersburg hotels to choose from if you plan on catching the Honda Grand Prix, and you can also consider the area vacation rentals or the regional campsites if you need a place to stay.
Image: City of St. Petersburg