Come for the sights, stay for the sports. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a curious spectator keen to take in the electric atmosphere of a live game, the USA’s sporting events are a must-do during a visit.
From world-class tennis to the thrill of NASCAR, there is nothing quite like the marvel of a sporting event in the USA, a country renowned for its sporting prowess and passion. Perhaps you want to see a bucket-list spectacle like the Super Bowl (there’s no shame in going just for the Halftime Show) or kick back on the Californian coast to watch some epic surfing – wherever your interests lie, there’s something for everyone. Plus, once you’re finished soaking up the atmosphere at a major event, there are still plenty of incredible adventures to be had. Game, set, match.
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Kick off an adventure at the Super Bowl
From the Halftime Show to the famous ad breaks, the Super Bowl is a topic of international conversation on the second Sunday in February. But it is of course most feted in the USA, with millions tuning in to cheer on two teams battling for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Commercials aside, there’s nothing like hearing the roar of the crowd in person. The game is headed to Las Vegas for the first time in February 2024, offering the perfect chance to up the ante on the spectacle and enjoy all the glitz and glam of this famous party city. Can’t score a Super Bowl ticket? Head to one of the many cool sports bars across the country on Super Bowl Sunday to experience all the passion of a live game amongst the locals.
Slam dunk your trip with the NBA All-Stars
Join the celebs courtside for the NBA All-Star tournament, a three-day exhibition event hosted in a different city every February. On court and off, the stars come out to play for this battle of the titans. In 2024 the tournament will kick off at Gainbridge Fieldhouse arena in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Don’t know much about Indy? Not only has it been called the ‘Amateur Sports Capital of the World', it is best known as a major centre for motorsports. It also has a burgeoning food and brewing scene, and is the ‘Crossroads of America’, with onward travel potential into the Midwest and beyond.
Hang ten at the US Open of Surfing
Head to Huntington Beach, California every summer to soak up the sunshine and enjoy nine free days of some of the best in surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions. The tournament brings crowds in by the thousands, and alongside the action you’ll find music, vendors, a community market and the legendary Steve Van Doren BBQ, where the Vans shoe founder serves up free lunch every day. Surf City is worthy of a visit, with the Huntington Beach long pier, International Surfing Museum, Huntington Central Park and more than 10 kilometres of golden sand offering peak SoCal vibes.
Love NYC at the US Open Tennis Championships
The immense USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York hosts the US Open in late August/early September each year. The final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the season serves up an opportunity to watch the best players in the world compete for that coveted final trophy. Book your tickets early to see your favourite tennis stars hit the hardcourts as this popular event sells out well in advance. When you’re not at the game, New York City and its iconic sights are just a 20-minute drive away.
Start your engines at the Daytona 500
An absolute must-visit for NASCAR fans, the prestigious Daytona 500 revs up on the last Sunday in February at Daytona Beach, Florida. Bring along earplugs and sunscreen, because this noisy spectacle requires 200 laps around the 4km-long Daytona International Speedway loop. Make sure you come early for the pre-race concert and to bask in the excitement. While you’re in Daytona Beach, ride a bike or beach cart along the white-sand shore – or even drive your car down if the tides allow – and visit the lively boardwalk for a ride on the Ferris wheel and game or two in the classic arcade.
For more USA inspiration, read Some of the USA’s Best Ski Resorts & Mountains