Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen

#4 of 18 in Things to do in Watkins Glen
Auto Race Track · Tourist Spot
Watkins Glen International, nicknamed "The Glen", is an automobile race track located in the town of Dix just southwest of the village of Watkins Glen, New York, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. It was long known around the world as the home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix, which it hosted for twenty consecutive years (1961–1980), but the site has also been home to road racing of nearly every class, including the World Sportscar Championship, Trans-Am, Can-Am, NASCAR Cup Series, the International Motor Sports Association and the IndyCar Series.

Initially, public roads in the village were used for the race course. In 1956 a permanent circuit for the race was built. In 1968 the race was extended to six hours, becoming the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen. The circuit's current layout has more or less been the same since 1971, with minor modifications after the fatal crashes of François Cevert in 1973 and J.D. McDuffie in 1991. The older of those chicanes has since been removed.

The circuit is known as the Mecca of North American road racing and is a very popular venue among fans and drivers. The facility is currently owned by International Speedway Corporation.

The circuit also has been the site of music concerts: the 1973 Summer Jam, featuring The Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead and The Band and attended by 600,000 fans, and two Phish festivals: Super Ball IX in 2011 and Magnaball in 2015.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
347 reviews
  • As a kid I watched Formula 1 on wide world of sports. So to drive the same course that Stewart, Andretti and Fitipaldi drove along with nascar legends was great. Yes they take your temp. and fill...  more »
  • I raced here many times in mid-90's. SCCA and IMSA. Also taught performance driving/racing here. My favorite track of all.  more »
  • I was so impressed with the traffic control the state troopers provided. They have entering and exiting down to a science. Very crowded, but I never felt unsafe. The vendors were ALL incredibly friendly. The event security were all patient, helpful, and understanding. Thanks for a great time!
  • Drive the Glen! Best $30 I’ve spent in a long time. 3 laps around Watkins Glen and you get to stop and take pictures at the start finish line. The kids loved it. We loved it. What else can I say?

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