By Austin Coop
America has a long-standing love affair with the automobile. From building them to fixing them up to racing them, we just can’t get enough. It is no surprise many cities in the US have a healthy tourism economy built on all things automobile. Below are five of America’s best cities and areas that are must-visit destinations for car lovers.
In terms of US automobile history, Detroit is the Mecca. From the iconic GM towers to the Ford Rouge Factory, once the largest factory in the world, you can’t visit Detroit and miss its automotive feel. The must-see for car (and history) lovers is the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The museum boasts multiple famous automobiles, including the limousine JFK was riding in while assassinated.
Daytona Beach, FL
College students may know it as a place to drink and get crazy, but car lovers know it as something much more. Daytona Beach’s automotive history traces back to the early land speed record attempts on the beach and the birthplace of stock car racing. Today, a section of the beach is still drivable for a small fee, and the Daytona International Speedway stands as a monument to racing fans. Tour the track and museum to see land speed record cars as well as famous NASCAR memorabilia.
Perhaps the most unheard of destination on the list, unless of course, you love cars… Auburn represents a time when the automobile was a symbol of prestige and wealth. During the early years of the automobile, this quant town produced the most beautiful art deco cars ever built: Auburns, Cord, and Duesenbergs. Today, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum resides in the old corporate headquarters and boasts the largest collection of these beauties in the world. If buying cars is your thing, plan your trip to coincide with the Auburn auto auction.
Bonneville Salt Flats, UT
This destination won’t boast much in the way of amenities or bustling nightlife. You only go to the Bonneville Salt Flats for one thing: land speed records. This dry salt bed is the setting for multiple land speed record attempts, but be sure to only visit during a time when time trials are occurring: mid-August and early October.
Bowling Green, KY
The Corvette has long been hailed as America’s sports car, and for a few dollars you can watch them be built (for a several few thousand you can even help build your own). When you’ve finished touring the assembly plant, scoot over to the National Corvette Museum and learn all about the rich history of this American icon.
1. Detroit, MI: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_Ford_Museum_August_2012_97_(Driving_America).jpg
2. Daytona Beach, FL: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/74/Daytona_International_Speedway.jpg
3. Auburn, IN: www.visitftwayne.org
4. Bonneville, UT: http://parrot-writes.blogspot.com/2011/08/bonneville-salt-flats-and-speed-week.html
5. Bowling Green, KY: buylocalbg.wordpress.com