The United States is blessed with a great range of sporting events throughout the country. Thanks to a multitude of major sports leagues from the NFL to the NBA, sport in America runs throughout the year.
There are some events that stand out more than others though, so here are the 10 best vacation ideas for American Sports Fans.
1. The Super Bowl
Every year, around 100 million Americans sit down in front of their TV or local bar and watch the most anticipated NFL game of the year.
They’re joined by roughly 40 million international viewers, waking up at all hours to see the Super Bowl.
Compared to the number of TV viewers, only a small number of lucky souls get to watch it live.
If you can get tickets though, the size of the event and its exclusivity make it one of the best sports vacations in America.
Each year, the Super Bowl changes destination with each city putting on a show with local flair, creating a festival-like atmosphere in the days leading up to the game.
This allows you the chance to experience more than just 60 minutes of season-defining football.
2. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is itself an underrated tourist destination, but the city is a genuine sporting mecca.
But that’s certainly the case with the biggest city in Kentucky.
Louisville is home to the most famous horse races in America and one of the most popular worldwide.
The Kentucky Derby has been run since 1875 and was founded by the grandson of explorer William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame.
Inspired by international races, the derby quickly grew in stature and today attracts crowds of well over 150,000.
3. Daytona 500
Upon the opening of the iconic Daytona International Speedway, the first Daytona 500 occurred in 1959.
It was won by Lee Petty, the patriarch of the successful Petty racing family.
Now it’s regarded as one of the most prestigious and important races on the NASCAR calendar, seeing consistent crowds of around 100,000 people.
Expect a range of activities on the race weekend in the town on Daytona 500 weekend.
When you aren’t watching the cars zoom around the track, make the most of Daytona Beach’s Atlantic Coast with exceptional beaches, nightlife, and nature.
If you can’t get enough of racing, then also consider visiting the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Although not home to a specific major event, there’s much to like in Boston for sports lovers.
Home to the famous Fenway Park, sports connoisseurs, and history buffs will love touring the stadium, including the Green Monster, which was built way back in 1912.
After exploring the historic stadium, take in a game or go watch the Boston Celtics go to work.
Speaking of basketball, a scenic two hours east of Boston is Springfield, Massachusetts. Here you’ll find the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Experience the interactive exhibits along with discovering the full breadth of basketball history, from iconic players to memorable moments.
5. The Cactus League
Love baseball? Desperate to get away from the torrid and bitter winter in the north?
Then make your way to Phoenix for a little bit of MLB Spring Training.
You may have heard of the Grapefruit League in Florida featuring a lot of east coast teams.
However, what makes the Cactus League so great is that all 15 teams are playing within a short distance of each other.
With cheap tickets, old stars and hyped rookies on display, enjoy as much baseball as you can handle under the beautiful spring sky in Arizona.
Because of the price, it’s one of the best sports vacations for families.
Take your pick of local resorts and family-friendly attractions to experience once the ninth inning is over.
6. Cooperstown, New York
As the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown is on the bucket list of many sports fans.
The town itself is adorable, especially under the fall foliage, creating a well-rounded vacation.
But there’s no doubt that the chief attraction in the town that invented baseball is the Hall of Fame.
Nearly 300,000 sports pilgrims make the journey to Cooperstown every year.
Here you can discover an incredible repository of America’s favorite pastime.
Explore the extensive museum with thousands of historical artifacts from the sport’s early days all the way through to the 21st century.
7. US Open Tennis in NYC
Held every year since 1891, and as the last grand slam of the year since 1987, the US Open is a must-see sporting event in New York City.
Taking place over two weeks from late August into September, the Open features the best tennis players from around the world going head to head on the acrylic-topped hard courts.
Getting to Flushing Meadows, the home of the open, is easy on the Number 7 subway line.
With hoards of fanatics and casual fans all around, you can expect a raucous atmosphere, on Centre Court or around the grounds.
Get bang for your buck by purchasing a grounds pass, giving you access to the entire space and an entire slate of world-class matches.
8. The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational
Held on the famous north shore of Oahu in Waimea Bay, the Eddie is the biggest surfing event on the planet.
Held in honor of Eddie Aikau, who died in the attempted rescue of a capsized man, the Big Wave event is important for a multitude of reasons.
Along with being culturally significant, the event welcomes the best big wave surfers from around the world to tackle the famed barrel breaks.
The burly surf often gets so big the event has to be postponed, or even canceled, as was the case in 2018.
Watch the hair-raising experience for a safe spot on the beach and see these brave competitors try to tame some of the most gnarly waves on earth.
9. NFL in London
In 2007, the Miami Dolphins played the New York Giants in the very first NFL game on British soil.
Ever since 2013, the NFL has scheduled two games in London annually, allowing an array of fans in the UK and Europe to see their team live for the first time.
If your team is scheduled to play in London, why not go and support your team on foreign soil?
It takes around 7 hours to fly from New York to London, giving you some extra time to do some sightseeing before rocking up at the stadium.
10. The Masters’ Golf
The premier event in American golf, the Masters, is a once-in-a-lifetime golfing experience.
Taking place at the famed Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia every April, the event is one of the hottest in all of sport.
Each year, tickets are released in the form of a lottery. So, if it’s your dream to go, then start trying ASAP.
Around 40,000 to 50,000 attendees get to enjoy the hallowed turf on any given day during the tournament, featuring the best golfers in the world.
If your number comes up in the lottery, then bring along a collapsible chair and claim your spot early for the best views of the amazing tournament.
Sports Travel Booking Resources
Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.
- Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events
- Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
- Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
- Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
- Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
- Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.