Get Your Cold One Here: Top Ten NFL Football Stadiums - Page 2
|BEST OF THE WEST: An inside view of Qwest Field in Seattle (Wikipedia Commons)|
5. Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland Browns
LeBron might be King James, but Cleveland is a football town. If you want to watch the game from the Dawg Pound and you're wearing another team's apparel, you're fishing for insults. (Though not to worry; all in all, Cleveland's a very friendly city.) Browns Stadium sits in the heart of downtown near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Great Lakes Science Center. Architects made sure fans could get great views of the city from their seats. When the Browns play, the entire city gets decked out in brown and orange, so you can be sure tailgating is a big event. After games, bars on West 6th Street (as well as all over the city) will be packed with fans. If that's not your scene, drive an hour southeast to Amish Country where you'll travel back to 19th-century America. The Amish are known for making excellent wood furniture, so be sure to visit if you're in the market for a new coffee table. During warmer months, Ohioans love to escape to Put-in-Bay and Kelly's Island on Lake Erie. If you visit Browns town in winter, be sure to bundle up. That lake-effect snow is brutal.
Cleveland Travel Guide
4. Ford Field, Detroit Lions
Appropriately, Motor City's football field is named after one of the major U.S. car manufacturers. The site of the 2006 Super Bowl, Ford Field is one of the NFL's most beautiful indoor stadiums. Exposed brick and ductwork give the interior an old-fashioned feel. An enormous glass wall shows off Detroit's skyline and lets in natural light. The stadium also boasts a seven-story atrium. Although the Lions haven't dominated the NFL since the 1950s, Detroit has some of the best fans in the country. It's also a city teeming with diversity. Where else can you visit the Arab American National Museum, Henry Ford's estate, and the Motown Historical Museum all in a day? For those with a taste for gambling, the MGM Grand Detroit Casino is one of the best places to do it. Detroit is also home to a large Greek-American population, and there's no better place to taste authentic spanakopita or baklavaexcept maybe Athens.
Detroit Travel Guide
3. Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Considered one of the most unique stadiums in all of sports and the "crown jewel" of the NFL by many, Raymond James hosted Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009. The stadium actually has a scale model of a pirate ship (built by Disney) right in the end zone, and when the Buccaneers score a touchdown, cannons fire T-shirts and other novelty items into the stands. Two large HDTV screensthe first ones installed in the NFLbring the game to those high up in the stands. Sunlight floods into the open stadium, and Tampa's gorgeous weather makes Raymond James one of the nicest places to watch a game. Take advantage of the pleasant clime at great nearby family attractions such as Busch Gardens and Sea World Orlando. If you want to get as close as possible to a lion or tiger without becoming its breakfast, head to Tampa's Big Cat Rescue. Of course, if nightlife is more your thing, you'll find tons of hopping bars and clubs in the neighborhood of Ybor City, especially along 7th Avenue.
Tampa Travel Guide
2. CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle might be a haven for latte drinkers, but make no mistake: This city's residents are serious about their football. Home to some of the loudest fans in the country, CenturyLink Field (formerly Seahawks Stadium and Qwest Field) raises a "12th man" flag before each game as a symbol of how rowdy the fans get, giving their team effectively a 12th player on the field. Food options abound at this stadium, from Pacific salmon BLTs and Dungeness crab cakes to Mongolian grill and Thai. CenturyLink Field also houses the Stadium Art Program, where 12 artists were commissioned to create nearly $2 million worth of art that are displayed throughout the stadium. While watching the game, you can also soak in the city skyline and dazzling views of Mount Rainier. Of course, Seattle itself is full of things to see and do, including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and its world-famous aquarium. Take a ferry ride through Puget Sound. You'll enjoy views of the Cascade and Olympic mountains on your way to Kitsap Peninsula, Vashon Island, the San Juan Islands, or Canada.
Seattle Travel Guide
1. Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers
Maybe Green Bay isn't a typical vacation hotspot, but for a true football fan, Lambeau Field is a mecca. Though Green Bay is the NFL's smallest city, a trip to Lambeau Field is a big-time experience, leading Sports Illustrated to name it the number one game-day experience in November 2007. The Packers are exceptional because the team and its stadium are actually owned by the city, adding even more to Lambeau's authentic hometown feel. The 51-year-old stadium has football history hanging in the air and built into the nearly 73,000 seats. Nearby residents deck out their homes and open them for tailgating, making the surrounding neighborhood an all-day tailgating party. Having undergone a dramatic renovation in 2003, perhaps the most significant addition was the Atrium, which gives Packers fans access to Lambeau year-round, not just on game days during the season. The Atrium houses Curly's Pub, the new Packers Hall of Fame, and the Packers Pro Shop. After you're done reveling in the legend of Vince Lombardi and the Packers' 13 NFL titles, you can scratch your gambling itch at the Oneida Casino. For those who would rather enjoy the great outdoors, there's plenty to do in Green Bay, especially during the winter. Strap on a pair of cross-country skis or hit the trails on a snowmobile. In warmer months, Lake Michigan offers some of the best fishing and boating in the country.
Green Bay Travel Guide