Make sports a part of this summer’s family vacation with a trip to one or more of these destinations. From baseball to boxing to NASCAR, our list has a destination for every sports family.
While summer is sometimes called the “sports abyss,” it’s a great time to fire up the family roadster and visit North America’s sports museums and Halls of Fame. From Cooperstown to Canton, these sports destinations are a great way to learn about the history of your favorite sport and the people that impacted it. Whether you’re looking for a place to spend a full weekend or a roadside monument to practice your selfie skills at, we’ve got you covered.
Where: Lake Placid, NY
Cost: $8 for adults/teens, $6 for seniors/12 and under, Free for 6 and under
Relive the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey game through artifacts, original photos and game footage just feet away from where Herb Brooks and the USA Hockey Team upset the Soviets. Lake Placid is not only the site for the 20th century’s greatest sports moment, it’s also home to United States’ first winter resort and former host of two Winter Olympic Games. The museum also has exhibits dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, speed skating, ski jumping, Olympic figure skater Sonja Henie, the 1932 Olympic Games, curling and sliding sports (bobsled, skeleton, luge, etc.). The museum opened in 1994 and in 2005 became the first museum to earn the Olympic Cup for its contributions to the “development of the Olympic Movement.”
Where: Cooperstown, NY
Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for juniors (7-12), $20 for seniors
Cooperstown is just 180 Miles south of Lake Placid and home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a must-visit destination for every baseball fan. Comprised of five buildings, the Hall of Fame does much more than just recognize the game’s greatest players, it tells the history of our country through the lens of baseball using more than 40,000 3D artifacts and 250,000 photos and images. Historians and curators share their expert knowledge with up to 3,000 people per day (only 2,000 people live in Cooperstown year-round). This baseball-Mecca is also home to the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center and over three million documents telling the story of America and its favorite pastime.
Where: Holyoke, MA
Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for students 7-17, $5 for seniors
Located in the birthplace of volleyball, the International Volleyball Hall of Fame is home to 135 inductees from 23 countries. The Hall tells volleyball’s story – from its invention by William Morgan in 1895, to the emergence of beach volleyball in the 1920’s and the game’s expansion across the globe – and displays its history for the world to see. It also hosts events including All-Star Showcases, ValleyHall Classics, the Battle of the Badges Challenge and the Morgan Classic Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Tournament.
Where: Springfield, MA
Cost: $25 for adults, $16 for youths, $20 for seniors
With more than 40,000 square feet – nearly 9 basketball courts-worth – of interactive exhibits and live clinics, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a tribute to the men and women that have made significant contributions to professional and amateur basketball. Visit during the 60 Days of Summer for appearances and autograph signings by Hall of Famers, trick dribbler shows, giveaway events and mascot days. The Hall also has an incredible collection of signed memorabilia and team gear for purchase.
*Certain areas of the museum are currently under redesign*
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Where: Charlotte, NC
Cost: $27 for general, $20 for youth 8-12, $14 for child 3-7, $24 for senior
With interactive attractions for the whole family, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina is the perfect summer vacation destination. Explore classic and modern cars, interact with exhibits and put yourself in the driver’s seat of a racing simulator. Exhibits include RCR 50: Only in America, Hall of Honor, Glory Road: Icons, High Octane Theater, Race Week, Heritage Speedway and Whelen Hall of Champions. Time your visit just right to catch race viewing parties and the second annual Over the Edge fundraiser event.
Where: Louisville, KY
Cost: $14 for adults, $10 for military and students with ID, $9 for children 6-12, $13 for seniors
Float like a butterfly through the Ali Center’s many exhibits, learn how Ali rose to the top of the boxing world and see how he used his platform to impact the world.
“The uniqueness of Muhammad Ali’s life is reflected in how the Center tells his story; our interactive exhibits are organized around Ali’s principles (confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality), rather than in a chronological fashion,” said Jeanie Kahnke, Sr. Director of Public Relations and External Affairs.
Also check out this year’s 6th annual “Shining a Light” photography contest focused on homeless women around the world and the various struggles they face and hit the gift shop for boxing memorabilia, clothing and items made by local artists.
Muhammad Ali Center
Where: Louisville, KY
Cost: $16 for adults, $9 for kids (6-12), $15 for seniors
Make Louisville a two-for-one sports destination by visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. See over 3,000 bats (some over 100 years old) the museum’s vault and watch new ones being made in the factory. Swing for the fences using the same bats as the superstars in Bud’s Batting Cage. If that’s not enough, the museum is home to the world’s largest baseball bat which stands 120 feet tall and weighs 68,000 pounds.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Where: Canton, OH
Cost: $26 for adults, $19 for children (6-12), $22 for seniors
Since 1963, Canton has been home to professional footballs ever-expanding Hall of Fame. What began as a two-building, 19,000 square foot complex is now more than 83,000 square feet of football history. Learn about the game’s history and the 318 players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This summer’s events include Day Out with Dad featuring Terrell Davis, a concert by LeAnn Rimes, the National Flag Football Championship, the 2019 Community Parade and the annual Hall of Fame Game.
Where: Toronto, ON, Canada
Cost: $20 for adults, $14 for children (4-13), $16 for seniors
Take a trip across the border to Toronto to visit the Stanley Cup and the world’s largest collection of hockey memorabilia. The Hockey Hall of Fame has life-size simulators for visitors to shoot on goalies like Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist or suit up to block shots from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Other exhibits include the Canadiens Dressing Room, Hometown Hockey, Slapshot Trivia, Tim Hortons Theatre and Spirit of Hockey Retail Store.
Hockey Hall of Fame
Visit the field from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams where Shoeless Joe Jackson and Moonlight Graham disappeared into the cornfield. Don’t forget to ask, “Is this Heaven?”
From the Curse of the Bambino, to the Green Monster to the 2004 World Series run, Fenway Park is perhaps the most iconic and history-rich stadiums in all of sports.
Run up the 72 steps and throw your hands into the air just like Rocky Balboa. Don’t forget to have “Gonna Fly Now” queued up!
Home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs (at 144 years young) is America’s most iconic racetrack. Explore the perfectly kept grounds and maybe place a wager or two!
Feel the roar of the engines at the home of the Indy 500 and get a sense of how large the this motorway really is.
This iconic venue has been standing since 1928, although it underwent a $36 million facelift in 2014. This National Historic Landmark was once the largest basketball arena in the United States.
See the exact alligator farm that Babe Ruth’s 573-foot spring training home run landed in. The hit changed Ruth’s career, prompting him to switch from a pitcher to a batter.
Two size 640 ½ baseball caps provide a canopy for incoming fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. A great photo opportunity on your way into the game!
Dennis Schrader has been collecting autographed baseballs since he was 9 years old. The balls in his collection, known as Little Cooperstown, are signed by baseball icons, presidents, performers and the last living survivor of the Titanic.
These hockey greats are enshrined in bronze outside of the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. Keep your eyes peeled for Michael Jordan, too!
It might have taken two tries, but Eveleth’s 110-foot, 3,000+ pound “Big Stick” is indeed the largest free-standing hockey stick in the world.
The “Iron Man” sits just outside the Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils play. The statue is 22 feet high and weighs over 6,000 pounds.
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