The 7 Best Places to Ride Go-Karts

If you’re looking for the best places to ride go-karts, this list is perfect for you. If you have your own off-road or racing go-kart or plan to rent one at a go-karting location, there are plenty of options for you. The question of where to ride go-karts has many possible answers. Some of these places may sound common, while you may not have heard of some.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the best places to ride go-karts. They include race tracks, dirt tracks, dirt trails, drag strips, approved public areas and private property. You can also check out reviews of the best go-kart racing tracks around the world. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the best places to ride go-karts.

1. Indoor Karting Tracks

What Makes It Great:

  • Rental go-karts available
  • Suitable in any weather
  • Safety equipment available
  • Events and food availability

Contrary to popular belief, indoor karting is more popular than outdoor karting and many go-kart racing facilities feature an indoor race track. One of the major reasons behind it is that you’ll be able to race during any weather condition.

Although professional outdoor go-kart racers don’t mind the extreme heat or a heavy down poor, casual go-karters rather spend their time inside. One benefit that indoor go-kart tracks offer is that you’re able to use them in any type of weather. This makes it extremely convenient during summer and even during winter.

Indoor karting tracks are also one of the best places to ride go-karts as the facility is often managed and you’re able to rent safety equipment and go-karts. You’ll also notice that indoor race tracks feature karts with electric motors, which are very quiet compared to petrol engine-powered karts.

You’re also able to take advantage of the additional facilities that an indoor go-kart track offers. This often includes an arcade, a shop, a track timer and much more. Most of the indoor go-kart racing tracks also feature a cafe or a restaurant.

Their “arrive and drive” concept allows you to simply make your way down to your local indoor venue, park your car and race go-karts without having to own your own kart. This is extremely convenient, especially for racers who’re trying to get into go-karting.

2. Outdoor Karting Tracks

outdoor karting track

What Makes It Great:

  • Great if you own a go-kart
  • Authentic racing experience
  • Many events and competitions
  • Generally longer race tracks

Another great place to ride go-karts is at outdoor karting tracks. These tracks are usually located in slightly remote areas, as they require more space. Some of the outdoor go-kart racing tracks are not facilitated, which means that you’ll need to bring your own safety equipment, as well as your go-kart.

This option is great for go-kart racers who have their own racing go-karts. For that reason, outdoor racing circuits are more popular with professional go-karts racers as it not only feels more traditional, but also because professional karters have their own go-karts and you can hit higher top speeds.

Additionally, most national and international events are held at outdoor race tracks, as these go-karts are mainly powered by a gas engine, which is more suitable for outdoor track conditions.

Racing outdoors also feels a little more authentic, as you most often literally feel your tires gripping on the asphalt as your go-kart swings around the corners. However, as most of the tracks are located outside of dense cities, that also means that there isn’t always food or other amenities available.

If you own a gas-powered go-kart, racing at an outdoor karting track is definitely as good as it gets. Racing outdoors is authentic and the open view and natural weather conditions feel irreplaceable.

3. Dirt Trails

off-road go-kart dirt trails

What Makes It Great:

  • Great if you have an off-road go-kart
  • Surrounded by beautiful scenery
  • Can have challenging terrain
  • Can be done in a convoy

Depending on where you live, there may be dirt trails available that are suitable for off-road go-karts. As these trails are approved for recreational vehicles, they’re ideal if you own your own go-kart. There are also some trails where you’ll be able to rent off-road karts, so make sure to check.

The great thing about dirt trails is that you’ll get to experience uneven terrain, slopes, rocky paths, and many more challenging obstacles. They’re also not as monotonous as race tracks where you go around the same course for several laps. Instead you’re experiencing a much longer path and every section has its own challenges.

One of my favorite reasons for riding off-road go-karts on dirt trails is that they are approved for off-road go-karts and some of them feature absolutely beautiful scenery. Depending on where you live and what trail you’re on, the scenery can range from jungles, forests and mountains to creeks and sandy dunes.

The only downsides to off-road dirt tails are that you are mostly required to have your own off-road go-kart and are required to transport it to the location. Unless your go-kart is street legal, you’ll need to find a way for transportation.

4. Dirt Tracks

go-kart dirt track

What Makes It Great:

  • Suitable for off-road and racing karts
  • Several events and competitions
  • Most are managed facilities
  • Fun for sliding and drifting

Dirt tracks are also a very popular place to ride go-karts. If you’re unaware of what they look like, think of them as a crossover between an outdoor karting track and a dirt trail. Go karting dirt tracks are basically a regular race track but don’t use asphalt or a synthetic surface. Instead, they have a layer of dirt.

Racing on dirt tracks can be extremely fun and can be done with regular racing go-karts or off-road go-karts. If you’re using a regular go-kart I suggest not to use your regular race kart but have a dedicated one, as you’ll need to thoroughly clean the kart afterwards.

Certain dirt track facilities are also fully managed, meaning that they offer rental karts with safety gear for you to wear. Some of them are also fully equipped with a cafe or restaurant and are therefore also very family friendly.

One of the most fun aspects about racing on dirt is that the surface feels very different from asphalt. Instead of trying to maximize traction, you’ll experience drifting and sliding across chicanes and corners. This is extremely fun and refreshing and can get quite a bit messy, as well. So if you decide to head out to a go-kart dirt track, remember to bring some fresh clothes along.

5. Drag Strip

go-kart drag strip

What Makes It Great:

  • Great for learning how to time shifts
  • Ideal for drag racing go-karts
  • Ability to build your own drag kart
  • Fun experience but limited availability

While drag racing is more common with dragsters or cars on a drag strip, the same facility is also used by a certain type of go-kart. Go-karts that are designed for drag racing are called drag racing go-karts.

Many people aren’t aware of drag racing go-karts and therefore would have never thought that drag strips are a suitable location to race. If you own a drag racing go-kart, you’d have probably already been aware of this.

Most drag racing strips also allow you to race normal racing go-karts. This can also be really fun, especially if you own a shifter kart and are trying to improve your 0 – 62 mph or your quarter mile times. Practicing to shift perfectly on drag strips can also ultimately give you an advantage when you race your shifter kart on a race track.

While this is not a common place to ride a go-kart, it’s certainly possible. However, due to its limited application, other places may be more suitable for you if you’re not into drag racing. 

If you like to build your own custom homemade go-karts it can also be a fun project to build your own drag racing kart. Designing and building a go-kart that is purely geared towards achieving top speed as quickly as possible with less emphasis on steering brings on new and fun challenges.

6. Approved Public Areas

public approved areas for go-karts

What Makes It Great:

  • Beautiful view of beaches
  • Exciting terrain and landscapes
  • Ride with many others
  • Great for off-road go-karts

Apart from private race tracks and designated off-road trails there are also certain public areas that allow recreational vehicles to be driven. As public areas are usually restricted from operating recreational vehicles such as go-karts, these approved areas ensure that you can legally ride your go-karts.

The most common public areas where go-karts are allowed are certain beaches. It’s quite common for off-road go-karts, ATVs, dune buggies and Jeeps. While there are mostly no vehicle limitations, you could technically also ride your racing go-kart on these approved beaches. However, this is not recommended, as they are designed for track conditions.

In certain locations you’ll also find other public areas being blocked for events and races. Most of them are usually car parks or other areas of land. Please bear in mind that this is only allowed if a respective area has been blocked and approved by the local authorities.

However, approved beaches are mostly open throughout the year. Riding your go-karts on these approved areas is a lot of fun, as they feature sandy runes, mountainous terrains and a great view of nature. If you’re curious about the most popular approved public areas to ride your off-road go-kart, check out the list below:

  • Silver Lake state Park, Michigan
  • Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Oceano Dunes, California
  • South Padre Island, Texas

7. Private Property

go-kart on private property

What Makes It Great:

  • Ability to ride whenever you want
  • No restrictions and regulations
  • Can be fun if you have space

Another place where you can ride your go-karts is on your own private property. You can ride your go-kart on your private property in most countries and states, as there are usually no restrictions. However, riding a go-kart on your property may not always be ideal.

There’s only a point in doing that if you’re living in a house with a large area. This is mostly applicable to houses that are located in the outskirts or in more rural parts of a state, where the population density is lower and the properties are generally larger.

Where Not to Ride Go-Karts

It may sound like a good idea, but you should not ride your go-kart in your neighborhood, on the sidewalk, or on public roads. This is because go-karts are recreational vehicles that are not allowed to be driven on public roads and walkways. If you wish to learn more on why not to do that, you can click on the links above. Be safe and happy riding!

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