Many sports fans have a “bucket list”. Sure it would be nice to go to a Super Bowl or a College National Championship Game, but it can be just as rewarding to visit places steeped in sports history. Here is a list of the Top 12 Sports Destinations in the U.S. Some of the places on the list may surprise you!
1. Lambeau Field
If there was just more to do in Green Bay it would be higher on our list of destinations. Oddly located in the middle of a residential area, many homeowners use their homes and yards to pay tribute to their beloved Packers. Even non-Packer fans will find the area interesting.
2. Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium would be much higher on our list had it maintained more of its original structure. Of course, while in the Big Apple, sports fans will want to check out Madison Square Garden and the other sporting facilities in the area. Yankee Stadium is not the only baseball-related.
3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The race track has played host to the Indianapolis 500 and since 1994, it has been home to NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. It has the highest capacity of any facility of its type. Visit the attached museum and see the Warner Cup trophy and classic race cars. Nearby Raceway Park is a multi-purpose racing facility. There’s more for racing fans on our list later.
4. San Francisco Bay Area
You have the NFL Raiders and 49’ers, MLB Giants and A’s, the NBA Warriors, the NHL Sharks, and the MLS Earthquakes to occupy sports fans. Just down the coast is the iconic Pebble Beach Country Club, along with plenty of water sports and more.
5. Fenway Park
There aren’t a lot of ballparks that can trace their history back to the days of Babe Ruth. That makes the historic park in Boston a must to visit. If you are going to a game, get there early and enjoy the atmosphere along Yawkey Way. Those in Boston will argue Fenway should be much higher on the list. Wait until they see what’s next.
6. Wrigley Field
The home of the Chicago Cubs makes our list at #7 because of its history and the nation following the Cubs have. The park was built in 1916 and every game played there was played during the daytime until lights were installed in 1988. The Cub’s last World Series Championship pre-dates the stadium (1908).
7. Los Angeles
L.A. is home to many venerable sports facilities like the L.A. Coliseum and The Forum, both of which have hosted Olympic events. When you consider Dodger Stadium, the Rose Bowl, Staples Center, Pauley Pavilion, legendary Santa Anita Park, surfing, and sailing, you realize L.A. offers quite a bit to sports fans any season of the year.
8. Daytona International Speedway
A tour of the speedway includes a trip around the banked turns and a chance to stand in victory lane. The two-and-a-half-mile oval is impressive. Be sure to take a drive on the nearby beaches which served as the original surface of stock car racing in Daytona. Daytona is also home to the LPGA and Jackie Robinson Stadium, home of the Daytona Cubs. While we’re in Florida, let’s go up the coast a bit.
9. ST. Augustine Florida
Home of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, golfers will love this destination. Terrific golf courses and great weather combine to put the Nation’s oldest city at number “Fore!” on our list. Now the top three.
10. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in the Western Massachusetts city of Springfield, the museum has a distinctive giant ball-shaped construction. The museum is a terrific way for basketball fans to relieve some of the great moments of the game. It is easy to reach from both Boston and New York City, putting it at #3 on our list.
11. Akron-Canton, Ohio
This Northeast Ohio area gave birth to pro football and is now home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It hosts the annual Hall of Fame Football Game and The National Soap Box Derby. It is also the birthplace of some legendary coaches and this is where Lebron James played his high school basketball.
12. Cooperstown, New York
Located in rural New York, every baseball fan must make at least one trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame traces its history to 1939 when a local hotel owner came up with the idea to improve tourism. The idea worked. Over 300,000 people make the visit annually. It gets our vote for the top sports destination.