See why the thrill of racing family and friends at high speed is gaining in popularity
In the last decade, go-karting has experienced a resurgence in popularity. It's everything from a popular family activity to an adrenaline-producing ride for thrill-seekers. Whether you rev up for fun or competition, here are 10 great go-kart tracks to visit in the United States (in no particular order).
Go-Karting in Ventura, CA — Photo courtesy of Jim Hall Track Time
1. Jim Hall Track Time (Ventura, California): The asphalt, outdoor track features both high and low-speed sections for drivers who meet the 4'6" height requirement. Celebrities often drive here and it's also home to the famous Jim Hall Kart Racing School. The location is across the street from the beach in Ventura.
2. K1 Speed (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): Adult drivers need to be 4'10" while junior drivers are accepted at 4' tall (no mixed junior/adult racing permitted). The junior karting program specializes in teaching kids about racing and providing them the tools to pursue it as a career. K1 has three indoor tracks and zero-emission electric karts.
3. Fastimes (Indianapolis, Indiana): It's only fitting that the home of the Indy 500 has a cool go-kart track. At a track size of 900 ft., it's not huge, but indoor and two-tiered with karts reaching speeds of up to 45 mph for people 52" and taller. An Italian deli is inside.
The Sodi RTX go-kart, exclusive to Octane Raceway — Photo courtesy of Octane Raceway
4. Octane Raceway (Scottsdale, Arizona): This high-speed kart racing venue is relocating from Phoenix to Scottsdale in May 2013. It will feature the first indoor-outdoor track in the USA and the only karting venue to feature the fast Sodi RTX kart. Drivers can take a break at the property bar and restaurant. Racers must be at least 10 years old and 52" tall to drive.
5. Kart Kountry (Sheperdsvile, Kentucky): Home to the largest go-kart track in the country, five sizes of karts whiz around five different outdoor racing courses. Kids ages 5 and up are allowed to drive on age-appropriate tracks. There's also miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and more at this attraction just south of Louisville.
6. Kart2Kart (Sterling Heights, Michigan): Drive the fastest karts in Michigan to speeds of up to 35 mph. Pro Karts are for those with valid drivers licenses while junior karts are for kids 4'6" and taller. This Detroit area attraction has a 1/5 mile long indoor track with a 200 ft. straightaway and 6 turns. Young kids can ride with parents in the two-seater karts.
7. Speed Zone (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee): A popular attraction in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area, these karts go up to 40 mph. Boasting two of the best twister tracks anywhere, there are eight tracks with one especially for the kids. See the video above for more details.
8. Orlando Cart Center (Orlando, Florida): Just 15 minutes away from the Orlandoairport are karts that go up to 45 mph around an outdoor track with bumps and curbs. If you're 5' tall, you can drive regardless of age.
A 4-story track — Photo courtesy of The Track
9. The Track (Branson, Missouri): With 14 different go-kart tracks, there is a racing course fit for every level of driver, even kids 4 years old and up. Navigate a 4-story track, wooden tracks and spiral tracks at one of the most popular Branson attractions.
10. Andretti Indoor Karting and Games (Atlanta, Georgia): Recognize the name? With fancy superkarts and a professional-looking indoor track, this location will satisfy your need for speed. There's even a fully-stocked Sky Bar with views of the track for after your race, of course. Junior racers need to be 8 years old and 4'2" tall. There's video games, a ropes course and even a comedy club inside. This attraction made our list of 10 best family activities in Atlanta.