If you’ve got a hankering for wheel-to-wheel racing action to start your summer vacation with a bang, then it’s time to head to Wisconsin for the annual four-day Grand Prix in June. Held at Road America near the Elkhart Lake in Plymouth, Wisconsin, this yearly event is one that brings tens of thousands of visitors to the world-class motorsports facility every year.
The Grand Prix at Road America is an IndyCar Series that has been a significant calendar event since the early 1980s. After a brief hiatus, it returned with a bang in 2016 and has always been widely regarded as one of the best, albeit most challenging, events on the IndyCar Series circuit.
While the competitors in the Grand Prix are one reason to visit, the facility is another. It’s a sight to behold and spans 640 acres with a road course, kart track, and camping facilities. Visitors can also enjoy not only competitive racing, but vendors and displays, fan activities, a family fun zone, geocaching, a zip line, and autograph sessions.
While the Grand Prix will undoubtedly bring you to the City of Plymouth, the range of things to do in the area will ensure you’ll want to stay. Pay a visit to the Plymouth Historical Society Museum, or wander around the Plymouth City Park. Some of the best things to do in Plymouth are all within a short driving distance of Road America.
Don’t lounge around home and waste the good weather. Summer is a wonderful time to visit Wisconsin.
Tickets for Grand Prix at Road America are available months in advance, so you have plenty of time to plan. While tickets very rarely sell out at this event, would you really want to take the risk? If you purchase your general admission tickets and camping passes early, you stand a chance of receiving some excellent early bird discounts.
There is no reserved grandstand seating, and all seating areas are available on a first-in, first-served basis. Your tickets also include general parking and paddock access. In the past, children under 16 with photo ID have been free.
Road America rests somewhat between I-41 and I-43 just west of Lake Michigan and is around six hours from the Canadian border. It’s central to many major cities including Milwaukee and Green Bay.
Whether you’re traveling from Chicago, Minneapolis, or Madison, you’ll enjoy the effortless navigation and well-signposted roads that let your RV almost lead itself. Summer driving conditions mean you’re unlikely to come across any cold adverse weather conditions.
However, to be on the safe side, it’s always a good idea to download a traffic app such as 511 Wisconsin to remain up to date with congestion, traffic, construction, and weather. Upon arriving in Plymouth, Wisconsin, you’ll find the Grand Prix at Road America on WI-67 S.
You’ll be pleased to know that when you purchased your general admission tickets, you received free parking with it. You can, however, buy a preferred pass for close access to the racing action if you are not camping overnight. If you are, you can drive your RV into the camping area highlighted on the pass you purchased in advance. There are many entry gates into the facility from County Road J and WI-67.
Given the small size of the City of Plymouth, public transportation options are limited. Fortunately, if you camp at the track, you may not require an additional transportation method. If you do, you can take advantage of rideshare services and taxis in operation in Plymouth and surrounding areas. There will always be a way to get to and from the Grand Prix at Road America.
Not only can you soak up the Road America atmosphere during the day, but at night as well. Onsite camping is available for motorhomes, tents, and pop-up campers. All individuals will need ID and a camping wristband. Your general admission ticket does not include a campsite, which you must reserve in advance.
There are various trackside and non-trackside sites dotted around the facility, including some with power hookups. There are no water hookups, but campers can enjoy shower facilities and dump stations as well as both grass and gravel RV sites with room for your family and even the well-behaved pooch. Purchase your camping passes with your general admission tickets to secure your spot for this popular event.
Camping spots fill up fast for the Grand Prix at Road America, so there’s always a possibility that you’ll need to have a plan B up your sleeve. RV campgrounds near Road America and Plymouth are plentiful, and you’re sure to find the best place for RV camping is closer to the racing action than you might think.
There’s an RV park within half a mile and plenty more within a 20-mile radius of Plymouth and Road America. There are even primitive RV camping options for those who like to experience off-the-grid living on their summer vacation in Wisconsin.
With over 600 acres of ground to cover, it’s an excellent idea to think about modes of transportation other than your legs. Otherwise, they are bound to get tired after four days of walking around the Grand Prix venue. While you’re not allowed to bring your off-road vehicles, scooters, skates or roller blades, you can bring street-licensed mopeds and bicycles. Personal golf carts are prohibited, but you can rent these in advance for effortless grounds navigation.
Aside from your racing supporter’s gear, you are going to need to pack an eclectic mix of attire to ensure you’re well-prepared for all weather eventualities. Comfortable footwear for the wide-ranging terrain types is recommended, but so too are closed-toe shoes for those who fancy a wander around the pits. Pack sweaters, jackets, shorts, t-shirts, and long pants. You never know what June weather conditions in Wisconsin can bring.
There is a lot to remember when you’re planning a motorhome trip to the Grand Prix at Road America. You can’t forget your camping and cooking equipment, but you also have to make sure you’re prepared to travel light when you take your seat in the grandstand. A scanner and headphone setup give you direct access for hearing the action as it unfolds on the track.
You’re more than welcome to bring food, beverages, grills, and coolers for picnics around the facility, but refrain from such bulky items in the grandstands and congested areas. Bring both cash and a credit card for the vendors.
Sunscreen, sunhats, and sunglasses are must-have items for the Grand Prix at Road America and recommended by officials as well. Remember, it’s summer during this event, and you’re out in the elements for four days. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and pack any prescription medication and supplies you might require on the road. A first aid kit tucked away in your RV can offer peace of mind that you’re well-organized, too.
With so many hundreds of acres at Road America, you’ll have a hard time trying to find the best spot to have a picnic. You are more than welcome to use grills and light campfires as long as they are contained and supervised. There is wood for sale at Road America but refrain from bringing in your own supplies. Make sure you dispose of charcoal in the supplied containers and remember to leave glass at home.
There is a paddock shop for you to stock up on supplies, or you can pop into Plymouth for any convenience items or ingredients you require at a moment’s notice. You’ll certainly need popcorn for the on-track drama that’s bound to unfold during the Grand Prix at Road America.
Not only are there restaurants at Road America to satisfy your hunger, but plenty in Plymouth as well. Within a five-mile drive of Road America, you can be chowing down on pizza, fried chicken, burgers, Mexican, Italian, and more. Plymouth may have a mid-size population, but it knows how to cater to its visitors. Allow extra time for service as the city will be a hive of activity.
No matter where you end up during the Grand Prix at Road America, you are bound to be within proximity to a vendor looking to sell you delicious food and beverages. Alcohol is available to those over the legal drinking age with ID, and there are also opportunities for sit-down meals if you prefer something more substantial.
Cash and a credit card are both preferred payment methods, and there is also plenty of merchandise available if you want to show your support for your favorite driver.
There are security points at most major entrances to the Grand Prix at Road America. Yourself, possessions, and even your RV may all be subjected to checks at these points. You may also approach these same security officials if you have any questions or concerns.
If you have any problems or require external assistance, the Plymouth Police Department is a mere four-mile drive from the Road America motorsports facility.
Temperatures are usually beautiful and balmy in Wisconsin during summer, with minimal chance of wet weather. Travelers can expect average highs of around 76, which can then lead to nighttime temperatures in the mid-50s. Rain can occur, but as long as you’re prepared with a jacket and umbrella, it’s less likely to affect your Grand Prix experience. Road America officials will advise guests in the event that severe weather does make its way to the facility.
Road America is well-equipped to handle most minor injuries that occur on site. Not only do mobile medical teams patrol the grounds, but there is a permanent medical facility in the competition paddock. If you require help, contact security, or a Road America employee who will locate medical staff. In an emergency, dial 9-11 or Road America security who are in direct contact with county emergency services. There is also a health center within six miles of the facility for peace of mind.