Another Great Time at Road America

By Susan Phillips

Have you ever visited someplace where you thought to yourself, “let’s chuck the real world, get jobs, and live here?” I’m about to that place every time we visit Road America at Elkhart Lake. I don’t know if it’s the welcome respite from the oppressive heat, the fact that we are at a race, the cheese curds, the Spotted Cow, the vacation aspect, or what, but every time I visit Road America, I fall a little more in love with the area.

I’m from the South where we are supposed to be the very epitome of Southern Hospitality, but I’d have to say Wisconsin may have us beat in the hospitality aspect. I’m not sure we have spoken to anyone who was even a little bit grouchy. We had one bad restaurant experience, but other than that, our trip to Road America has been perfect.

Now that IndyCar is going to be racing there for three more years, there’s simply no excuse to not visit. Skip the beach one year—it will be worth it—or tack a few extra days on to the end and swing up to Benton Harbor, like we did last year. Sadly, vacation days did not permit that this year or we would have. Where else do you find a beach that has such temperate weather and no sharks or jellyfish?

I’m not sure where to begin this trip. We flew in this year due to the aforementioned lack of vacation days–we left at 10:00 on Thursday night, arrived in Milwaukee near midnight. If I had that one to do over again, I would have chosen an earlier flight since the rental car places close up shop around midnight or earlier, but our hotel had an airport shuttle which we took to the hotel that night and back to the airport the next morning to pick up our rental car. We made it to Road America around 9:30 Friday morning, picked up our trusty golf cart and George wrote a quick check-in post.

Once again, I’m going to rave about the golf cart—which is one of the reasons why I love this race. At the end of the day, I’m not so exhausted from chasing George around a race track, plus we have probably covered almost every race-viewing area of the track. My personal favorite is the area around Canada Corner.

There is so much to do and see at the track. People-watching is one of my favorite things—it is also fun to drive around the camping areas (which are vast) and see how everyone has set up their personal campsites. I’m not sure I could be convinced to camp, but for those who enjoy camping, Road America looks like a great place to camp.

This year we saw a lot of dog visitors around the track. I’m pretty sure Pippa would never make it here, she is terribly shy and I would be just too afraid she would get away from me and not come back. Maley on the other hand, would stop by every camp site to see what they were offering for dinner. The web site mildly discourages dogs from attending races and I didn’t tread in any dog poop or have a bad dog experience, but you’d have to have a dog that is really comfortable at a campground to bring it along. While going through the camping area, I heard some poor dog barking incessantly in a pop-up camper and felt sorry for the dog (and those near the trailer). It was also hard to see them tied up to camp stakes unattended. I think I wouldn’t do it, but my dog is not comfortable in a crowd.

If you read or saw my post from earlier this week, you’ll know that I got a new camera for my birthday and I took a lot of fun pictures, so I’m going to wrap up the writing portion of this up now and let you get the feeling of Road America from my photo album. I can’t wait to go back again. I’m so glad we have at least three more years left to enjoy this treasure of a race track.

thee dixons


fly over




kanaan car




top 3

go carts

newgaden car


victory circle


champagne fan

newgarden smile

Newgarden Press

6 Responses to “Another Great Time at Road America”

  1. BrandonWright77 Says:

    Wonderful pics, great to see you enjoying the new camera! Thanks Susan!

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    Your photo journal is almost as good as being there. Of course you got my attention immediately with the Dixon family. Now if you could somehow add the smell of brats cooking.

  3. David Cartwright Says:

    I couldn’t agree more…absolutely love the vibe, the relaxed nature of it, the great food options (tried the Schnitzelburger this year), how you can wander the place and view the action from different vantage points. Get right up close and personal in the paddock. Big crowds but never really feel crowded. We don’t rent a golf cart, but do bring our bikes and try to explore every corner we can. Hotel reserved for next year already…hope Indycar races there for a long time. I’ll be there when they do.

  4. Great photos, Susan. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Can you tell us more about your camera? I am thinking of upgrading my Canon.

    • It was actually a “downgrade” for me. I have an Canon EOS Rebel that’s about 10 years old, which works best when you manually set everything. Thiis camera, a Nikon D3400, which is a good entry level camera. So I shot everything using the camera’s settings—which I thought did really nicely. The kit came with a regular lens, a telephoto lens, and a camera bag from Best Buy, but Costco has the same thing plus the SD card. So now I can shoot good shots on the fly and get up to speed on setting my shutter speed, etc. it also has Bluetooth, so I can view the photos on my phone.

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