From Vacations to Day Trips, from Stadiums to Museums - Sports Fans will Love these Places
Summer is here and sports enthusiasts love to use the sunny days to attend sporting events and check out sports history and memorabilia. We’ve got the ultimate list of places to visit to keep every sports fan happy this summer.
- National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum - Cooperstown, NY
One of the most well-known sports Hall of Fames, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a place for sports fan to honor the game and delve into the history of America’s pastime. The museum features almost anything you’d ever want to know about baseball including exhibits on: Babe Ruth, women in baseball, Hank Aaron, historic baseball events, baseball in the movies, and more.
- National Museum of American History – Washington, DC
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History covers a wide range of subjects including a collection dedicated to sports and leisure. Here, sports fans will find over 6,000 sports and leisure objects including historic souvenir programs, baseball cards, Chris Evert’s tennis racket and even a baseball signed by the great Jackie Robinson. The best part is that admission is absolutely free.
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – Springfield, MA
Perhaps better known as Hoop Hall, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame features more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history. It features hundreds of interactive exhibits, live clinics and shooting contests. This summer, the Basketball Hall of Fame will feature 60 Days of Summer, a program which offers family oriented, interactive museum programming including autograph signings, magicians, trick dribblers and jugglers, mascot days and more.
- Hockey Hall of Fame – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Our personal favorite, the Hockey Hall of Fame, celebrates everything about the beloved sport. Located in the heart of Toronto, the Hockey Hall of Fame features opportunities for visitors to play one-on-one against life-size, animated versions of some of today’s greatest hockey players including Carey Price and Sidney Crosby. Visitors can also announce the play-by-play of some of hockey’s greatest goals. The Hockey Hall of Fame also has the largest collection of hockey memorabilia anywhere. Hockey fans can also find out about the history of the world’s greatest cup, The Stanley Cup.
- Chicago Sports Museum – Chicago, IL
Combining high-tech, interactive sports experiences with sports history and memorabilia, the Chicago Sports Museum is the place to be for rabid sports fans. Exhibits include the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Exhibit, an area which allows you to measure your skills against historic sports greats, Forensic Sports which examines some infamous sports mysteries, The Fan Zone which allows fans the opportunity to call a game, an area dedicated to sports curses and superstitions, The Hall of Legends which features virtual reality games that allow fans to go up against some of sports history’s greatest legends, and an exhibit which features headlines from some of Chicago’s most exciting sports moments.
- Indy Racing Experience, Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, IN
The Indy Racing Experience provides an opportunity of a lifetime for sports fans; the chance to experience the high speeds and exhilaration of Indy Car racing. Fans can either ride or drive themselves in a real race car. This is the place to get ready to feel the rush of excitement from behind the wheel.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame – Canton, OH
The mission of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is to honor the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence. The exhibits are focused on interactive experiences and history. Some of the areas include the Hall of Fame Gallery which displays the bronze busts of those who have been enshrined, the Pro Football Adventure Room which tells the stories of how other pro leagues have tried to topple the NFL over the years, a gallery dedicated to Hall of Famer achievements, and the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery which is devoted to sharing recaps of the world’s most famous football competition.
For sports fans who want a little more of a refined experience, Churchill Downs is the choice. Visitors get to the experience the excitement of the Thoroughbred racing and wander through the historic and beautiful grounds. For a deeper look into the derby, sports fans can check out the Kentucky Derby Museum which features a variety of tours including a walking tour, a Champions and Mint Julep tour and Barn & Backside tour.
- ESPN Wide World of Sports – Orlando, FL
Catch some sports magic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex and resort. It is one of the preeminent sports complexes in North America featuring a baseball quadraplex, 17 sports fields, tennis complex, track and field complex and more. The ESPN complex is home to a multitude of sporting competitions including baseball, lacrosse, cheer, golf, football, gymnastics and more.
- NASCAR Hall of Fame – Charlotte, NC
For those who like to live life in the fast lane, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is the place to visit. It is filled with interactive exhibits honoring the history of NASCAR. The NASCAR Hall of Fame includes memorabilia, hands-on exhibits, a theater and more. Don’t miss Glory Road which showcases 18 historic cars.
- The Original Hockey Hall of Fame – Kingston, ON, Canada
The oldest sports hall of fame in Canada, the Original Hockey Hall of Fame is not too far a drive from Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. For hockey fans, the exhibits include the Don Cherry Exhibit which is a tribute to the brash hometown hockey hero known around the world for his trademark loud sports jackets and the Original Six Collection which features hockey jerseys, sticks and photographs of the NHL’s six original teams.
- Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – Calgary, AB, Canada
The mission of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is to share the stories of inducted members to inspire Canadians to be the best that they can be. The 40,000 square foot facility is home to some amazing sports exhibits including the Splash Gallery which focuses on water sports and includes a full-scale model of the Bluenose, the Contact Gallery featuring stories and memorabilia about full impact sports – curling, wrestling, and boxing, the Bounce Gallery highlights ball sports (football, soccer, baseball and basketball) and includes jerseys from some of baseball’s greats, and the Sport Chek Hockey Gallery which is a showcase of Canada’s game and includes a 3D interactive goalie experience and artifacts from hockey legends including Mario Lemieux and Bobby Hull. There are too many galleries to mention them all but Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame has something for everyone.
- Wrigley Field – Chicago, IL
Home of the legendary Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is a must-see for baseball lovers. Catch a game. To dive into more than 100 years of baseball history, go on a tour of Wrigley Field where you can tour the seating bowl, the press box, the dugout, the field and the visitors’ clubhouse.
So, whether you are planning a full-fledged sports vacation or just planning a quick day-trip to the city, there are some great sports attractions and museums that you just can’t miss. Try and visit a few every summer!
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