I love weekend getaways. Quick two-day experiences spent doing something you love. The range of available weekend getaway destinations and activities is amazing, pretty much any hobby or pastime now has a resort or experience that caters to that audience.
As a car collector and fan of motorsports, any racing-related travel always attracts my interest, especially experiences that get me behind the wheel of a fast car. The Virginia International Raceway (1245 Pine Tree Road, Alton, VA 24520 ) features a trackside resort with a range of racing action and activities accessible to guests. The VIR Resort is in a town called Danville, in southern Virginia, about an hour north of Raleigh, North Carolina and about four hours from Washington, DC.
The VIR Resort
There are three types of accommodations: The Lodge is a trackside building with contemporary rooms with modern amenities like a flatscreen TV and wet bar. The Villas are townhouse-style two-story rooms overlooking the fast uphill s-turns of the track. Pit Lane rooms are in a building overlooking pit lane and the start / finish line and are also modern, stylish rooms. Rates can change based on the races scheduled, but a typical mid-week rate is $365 per night for a Villa room and $118 per night for a room in the Lodge or Pit Lane. Upgraded rooms and suites are available at higher rates.
Front Row Seat for Races
The track hosts various classes of racing and many rooms and suites have patios overlooking different sections of the track. Pit Lane rooms overlook pit lane and start / finish line with a large shared balcony. Visitors can check the track schedule in advance and book a weekend that includes watching races and participating in on-track driving experiences.
In addition to watching races, guests have a few options for on-track experiences. These are all experiences anyone can do, no racing experience or high performance car ownership is necessary. The main experience offered is the VIR Driving Experience, featuring classroom instruction and briefings as well as a 3 x 15 minute track sessions. The vehicle for the driving experience is the Ariel Atom, a street legal race car that’s like a mini-F1 car. The half-day introduction course is $525 per person and a full day course, with some added benefits and features is $1695. Another option is to attend one of the several racing schools on the track, the most popular being Skip Barber Racing School. The school offers a range of programs from basic introductory sessions to serious driver training programs. SRT (formerly Dodge high performance) does some track days at VIR for non-SRT owners, providing SRT vehicles for participants to drive. The cost is $699.
The VIR Resort offers a range of other activities including horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf and a spa. The beautiful, rural setting is also perfect for long drives in the country with several quaint, historic towns in the area including Danville and South Boston.
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog luxuryfred.com. In the past year, he has visited Turkey twice, Hong Kong twice, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, and Peru. You can follow him on Twitter [email protected] and on Instagram – @luxuryfred.
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