Don’t blink or you might miss this leg of the track-to-track road trip! Clocking in at only 6 hours of drive time, this stretch is easy to tackle in a day, but you’d certainly miss a few hidden treasures along the way. Check out these cities and make some great summer memories along the way!
Last race: July 22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Next race: July 29 at Iowa Speedway
Time on the road: About 6 Hours
Best route: I-74 to I-80 West
Start Your Engines
This leg of the track-to-track road trip is relatively short compared to the others, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be beat after a long race weekend. Stop off in Champaign, IL for a night, and stay at the Champaign Garden Inn. After your stay at the Inn, treat yourself to some delicious baked goods at Pekara Bakery & Bistro. Or, if your voice is strained after cheering on Blake Koch at the race, go to Walnut Street Tea Co. for a soothing cup of tea. And if you’re just planning to drive through Champaign without stopping, at least swing by the Blind Pig Brewery and try one of their signature brews.
What’s a road trip if you don’t make at least one pit stop on Route 66? With its right history, Bloomington is a great spot to check out this famous highway. Stop at Cruisin’ With Lincoln on 66 to learn the town’s ties to the famous American president. Then, go to Grady’s Family Fun Park. True to its name, the family fun park is…well…fun for the whole family! When your crew gets hungry, treat them to a taste of reality at Reality Bites. The tongue in cheek name isn’t the only thing fun about this place. The food is absolutely drool worthy. For those 21 and over, a trip to the nearby Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is also in order. Be sure to grab a bottle as a souvenir before you hit the road again!
If you love the great outdoors, Credit Island Park is the place for you. The views of the Midwest landscape at this park just can’t be beat. There’s a lot of history to discover at this old Indian trading post as well, so be sure to take the time to explore. The Putnam Museum, with its science-minded exhibits, is another great place for inquisitive minds. For tons of restaurants, shops, and fun things to do all within walking distance, the Village of East Davenport has a little something for everyone. Finally, drop on by the Great River Brewery for a craft brew experience you aren’t likely to forget!
Iowa City, IA
Do you have any aspiring archaeologists in your road trip companions? Filled with fascinating fossils, Devonian Fossil Gorge is a must-visit destination. For a delicious dinner, Dumpling Darling is the place to go. With authentic, homemade Asian fare, you’ll leave with a full belly and a satisfied smile. For after dinner entertainment, the adults in your group will love the Blue Moose Tap House. The establishment is both a bar and a live entertainment venue, so you aren’t likely to run out of entertainment any time soon. But if you do, fear not! The nearby Gabe’s nightclub and live show venue will keep the fun going all night long. When you’ve had your fill of fun, crash at the beautiful Brown Street Inn before heading back out in the morning.
Last Stop: Newton, IA
It’s peak summer, and the fun is just getting started. Be sure to check out these top 8 hot spots around the Iowa Speedway before heading to the big race. Then, get ready to cheer on your favorite NASCAR XFINITY driver, Blake Koch at the Iowa Speedway race on Saturday.
Don’t forget to check back next week for the hot spots to check out between Iowa Speedway and Daytona International Speedway!