Let’s get ready for football!
This isn’t your fantasy football, this is the real deal. These cities all host real football teams, have the population to support them, the hotel lodging to house visitors, great restaurants to dine at, and top-notch airports for out of town visitors to arrive at.
If you ever wanted to watch football live, then visit these football cities. It is one thing to watch Monday night football on tv, it is a whole other thing to be sitting in the stadium, checking the stats of your team, putting on sunblock early in the season or bundling up in a down jacket later in the year, and feeling the stadium come to life when you and 60,000+ football fans roar as your football team comes charging onto the field!
Sure you can sit on your favorite couch at home and look up football scores online will you sip an appletini and snack on grilled scallops wrapped in prosciutto. Where is the fun in that?
Why not check into a hotel near the football stadium, hit the nearby sports bar before the game to check on the football standings, head over to the stadium for some tailgating, and then watch football!
The only football game today that matters is the one you are at!
Picture this. Your favorite professional football team is playing at home this weekend. You can drive the distance or fly to get to the game. You choose to fly. You arrive the night before. You take a taxi or Uber or a limo to a hotel that is just blocks away from the stadium. You check in. You find a nice nearby restaurant, have a delicious meal with your friends and call it an early night.
Next day you are up early, check the football schedule for the day – not that you don’t already know when games are going to start, go downstairs for coffee and eat breakfast.
Then it is game time, you walk – yes, walk – over to the stadium, go through the gate, get some food and drink, find your seats and settle in for the duration.
This is you at any of the great football cities.
Baltimore Maryland is home to the United States national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and to the Baltimore Ravens who play at the M&T Bank Stadium.
While in Baltimore visit the Inner Harbor and take a cruise with either Watermark, the Baltimore Spirit Cruises or Seadog Cruises.
Baltimore is also home to the National Aquarium with over 20,000 creatures including sharks, rays, dolphins, moon snails, jellyfish and tropical fish.
Plenty of places to stay including 3 and 4 star hotels like the Lord Baltimore Hotel, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront or the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.
For dining in Baltimore, consider the Woodberry Kitchen, the Brewer’s Art, Mama’s On the Half Shelf, Charleston, Pazo … the list goes on.
When in Cincinnati and after watching the Bengals play in Paul Brown Stadium, you’ll want to find a place to stay. Close to downtown you will find hotels like the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, the Westin Cincinnati, and the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati – all 4 star hotels located on or very close to 5th St.
Some great places to eat include Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse that opens at 5PM for dinner, The Rookwood, and the Moerlein Lager House which are all located downtown. Not too far way are The Precinct, Eli’s BBQ, and Terry’s Turf Club.
While you are in Cincinnati visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center which highlights the heroes from a dark time in the United States history.
Or get outside and see the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden – one of the countries oldest zoos. There are more than 2,000 animals!
The Cleveland Browns find their home here at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Besides watching football, you can see the Cleveland Museum of Art with more than 30,000 works of art with some pieces over 5,000 years old.
If you want to stay relatively close to the water while in Cleveland, stay downtown at any of the following: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, The Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade.
In the same location, for restaurants, check out Lola, Blue Pointe Grille, Momocho Mod Mex, Lolita, or Pier W with an excellent view of Lake Erie. Pier W was build to represent the hull of a luxury liner – even if it is perched on a cliff!
Steel City. The steel from this city was used to build the George Washington Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are appropriately named. Games are played at Heinz Stadium.
If you want to stay close to the stadium, the following are all within a mile. Hyatt Place Hotel North Shore Pittsburgh, Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh, Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh, and the Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. For the eco-friendly traveler, the Fairmont received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design at the Gold Level from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Fine dining in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area includes Nicky’s Thai Kitchen close to the stadium. On the other side of the Allegheny River you will find Eleven, Meat and Potatoes, Kaya, Seviche, and Bravo Franco Ristorante – all well rated restaurants.
And for the bridge aficionados out there, Pittsburgh has more bridges to cross than the famous Venice Italy. With three rivers in the area – Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela – you will cross a lot of bridges.
Soldier Field is one the iconic football fields. It is not a large capacity field, it can handle about 61,500 fans. It does have history and is the oldest stadium in the NFL, home to the Chicago Bears since 1971. Located on the South Side of Chicago near the water.
If you are visiting from out of town, you can stay close at the Hilton Chicago, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, or The Best Western Grant Park Hotel.
Of course, there are plenty of activities in the Windy City. Visit the Sears Tower. If you are in Chicago around St. Patrick’s Day, be sure check out the Chicago River when it is dyed green. Visit the world famous Museum of Science and Industry.
The Motor City. It should come as no surprise that Ford Field is where the Lions play football.
The stadium is located close to the city center near Comerica Park, the Detroit Opera House and the historic Fillmore.
If you want to stay in a hotel close to Ford Stadium, then consider The Fillmore Detroit, Hilton Garden Inn Detroit, Atheneum Suite Hotel, Aloft Detroit at The David Whitney, or the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.
For nearby restaurants, check out Redsmoke Barbecue, Bucharest Grill, or Vecente’s Cuban Cuisine.
While in Detroit Michigan, stop by the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn, Michigan.
Green Bay Wisconsin
The Green Bay Packers hail from this town of 100,000 people. The Lambeau Field has a seating capacity of over 80,000 people.
The Packer fans who want to stay close by can find lodging at the Hilton Garden Inn Green Bay, Best Western Green Bay Inn Conference Center, Quality Inn Stadium Area, SpringHill Suites Green Bay, or the Tundra Lodge Resort and Conference Center.
Green Bay Wisconsin has the distinction of having the smallest population of a NFL team at a little more than 100,000.
The Minnesota Vikings call Minneapolis Minnesota home. Games are played at TCF Bank Stadium, a temporary stadium and the smallest in the league capable of handling just over 52,000 people.
If you are looking for a place to stay, then consider the Aloft Minneapolis located downtown in the Mill District.
While you are there, look for good eats at Manny’s Steakhouse, Yard House Restaurant, Origami, 112 Eatery, Haute Dish, and The Local. All of these restaurants are located in the downtown area with the exception of the Yard House.
Speaking of football, the famous Mall of America located in Bloomington is the size of approximately 84 football fields – 4,870,000 square feet for Mall of America / 57,600 for a typical football field that includes the end zones.
The Houston Texans play at the NRG Stadium. Contrary to what you might think, the Houston Texans were NOT previously the Houston Oilers. The Tennessee Titans have that honor.
Nearby accommodations include the Crowne Plaza Houston, Quality Inn & Suites, Comfort Suites, Extended Stay of America Houston. If you want to be closer to downtown, there is the Embassy Suites Houston – Downtown, The Westin Houston Downtown, or the Magnolia Hotel Houston.
For restaurants, you can dine at Hugo’s, Mark’s American Cuisine, The Breakfast Klub (no dinner, no surprise there), or Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse.
For some trivia … “Houston” was the first spoken word from the moon.
While most of the United States associates Indianapolis Indiana with the Indy 500, most citizens of Indianapolis are more interested in football.
The Colts play their home games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
If you want to live large in Indianapolis, then have a meal at St Elmo Steak House – a landmark in downtown since 1902. And if that isn’t old enough, Lorenzo Acuna has been proudly serving at St. Elmo’s since 1976.
Jacksonville was considered one of the least likely cities to be awarded the latest expansion teams. But, in the early 1990’s the city became home to the Jaguars.
Games are played at the EverBank Field which is also host to the Gator Bowl.
Accommodations can be found nearby at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Omni Jacksonville Hotel, or across the St Johns River at the Hampton Inn Jacksonville Downtown I-95.
Nashville Tennessee known for being the home of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville is also home to the Tennessee Titans, previously know as the Houston Oilers. Games are played at Nissan Stadium.
If you are looking to stay in the heart of Nashville, book a room at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel or The Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
Not only is Atlanta Georgia headquarters for Coca Cola, but is home to the Falcons who play at the Georgia Dome currently, and soon at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Staying close to the Georgia Dome is as easy as booking a reservation at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Embassy Suites Atlanta – at Centennial Olympic Park, or Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown. You can’t really get much closer than these hotels, less than half a mile away.
And if you are looking to eat at a restaurant before or after a game, then McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks is right there.
Charlotte North Carolina
The Carolina Panthers use the Bank of America Stadium to play football.
For those traveling to Charlotte, staying close by means booking a hotel at a place like the Westin Charlotte, Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte, or the DoubleTree. All of these hotels are within walking distance of the stadium, less than a mile away.
For good eating, there is a McCormick & Schmick’s just like in Atlanta. Or try the Capital Grille just a little further down the road.
And if you are in town for awhile and are outdoorsy at least a little bit, check out the U.S. National Whitewater Center which is great for whitewater rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and hiking.
New Orleans Louisiana
Oh when the saints go marching in, oh when the saints go marching in … The Saints play their games at the Superdome in New Orleans.
If you want to stay close to the Superdome, and I do mean close, then the Hyatt Regency New Orleans is right there, less than a quarter mile away. Slightly farther away is the Wyndham Garden Baronne Plaza New Orleans, JW Marriott Hotel New Orleans, The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, and the Hilton New Orleans on St. Charles Avenue.
And for food nearby, there is Borgne a seafood restaurant, Walk-On’s sports bar, Horinoya for Japanese sushi, and Juans Flying Burrito which surprisingly is not Mexican food – it is Asian food.
Side note, while New Orleans is associate with and celebrates Mardi Gras in a big way, Mardi Gras started in Mobile Alabama.
Raymond James Stadium is home to the Buccaneers, an expansion team from 1976, the same year that the Seattle Seahawks were added.
If you want hotels close to the Raymond James Stadium, you will within a couple of miles. For some that is a great walk, for others that would be a short Uber ride.
You can lodge at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, Residence Inn Tampa Westshore Airport, Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, Hyatt Place Tampa Airport / Westshore and the Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport Westshore.
For eating, the Levy Restaurants is right next to the venue, Texas de Brazil which serves all you can eat grilled meat, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Roy’s which serves Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion fare.
Buffalo New York
The Bills have been playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium since 1973 and has a reputation of passionate fans and incredible tailgate parties. The Bills have the distinction of being the only team to make four consecutive Super Bowl appearances – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993. The closest they came to winning was Super Bowl XXV when they lost to the New York Giants by 1 point, 20 to 19, when Scott Norwood missed a last second field goal attempt.
If you want to enjoy the experience of taking in a Bills game, then staying close is not an option and the Big Tree Inn is not a place to stay – note well that this is not the Big Tree Inn that is located in Geneseo New York – not by a long shot. Other places to stay within a few miles include the Best Western Plus The Inn Of Lackawanna or the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson.
A few nearby easting establishments are Jack Devine’s Pub, Danny’s South, O’Neill’s Stadium Inn, and Pino’s Pizza.
Some trivia, Buffalo chicken wings originated in Buffalo New York.
You will find the Dolphins playing at Sun Life Stadium.
Nearby hotels include Stadium Hotel, Hotel Roma Resort, Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale/Miramar, Hilton Garden Inn, Best Western Plus Hollywood/Aventura, Courtyard Miami Aventura Mall, and Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club.
Miami is famous for the beaches, and especially South Beach.
The Patriots play at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady has been part of the New England Patriots organization since being drafted in the 6th round in 2000. He and coach Bill Belichick form the most successful coach-quarterback relationship in professional football history.
Hotels nearby include Residence Inn Boston Foxborough, Comfort Inn, Courtyard Boston Foxborough/Mansfield, and Holiday Inn.
The number of restaurants within walking distance of Gillette Stadium is long. You can eat at Skipjack’s for classic seafood, Bar Louie, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Tavolino pizzeria, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Sagi Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, and Twenty8 Food & Spirits.
Boston Massachusetts is where the first American lighthouse was built in 1716.
New York New York
Jets & Giants
The Jets share MetLife Stadium with the New York Giants. MetLife Stadium is one of the largest stadiums able to hold 82,500 fans. MetLife Stadium replaced the Giants Stadium.
Hotels nearby are Hilton Meadowlands, Homewood Suites by Hilton East Rutherford, Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel, and Hampton Inn Carlstadt.
While MetLife Stadium might not be located in downtown New York where you would find any food you could possibly want, there are plenty of restaurants near the stadium including Feelgood Restaurant & Lounge just over the bridge
AT&T Stadium home to the Dallas Cowboys has the largest capacity at over 85,000 people.
Looking to stay near AT&T stadium? The closest hotel is the Days Inn Arlington Six Flags/Ball Park/At&T Stadium – how is that for a mouthful. Nearby hotels are Courtyard Dallas Arlington/Entertainment District, Holiday Inn Arlington NE-Rangers Ballpark, Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas-Arlington North-Entertainment District, and Sheraton Arlington.
Restaurants nearby are Tailgate Tavern appropriately named, CiCi’s Pizza, and Chaucer’s.
The Eagles play at Lincoln Financial Field.
Nearby hotels are the Holiday Inn Philadelphia Stadium, Ramada Philadelphia City Center. Closer to the city center, places to stay are the Windsor Suites, Omni Hotel at Independence Park, Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, and Embassy Suites.
The absolute closest place to eat near Lincoln Financial Field is XFINITY Live! with over a dozen dining and entertainment options. For example, the Victory Beer Hall – what an optimistic name!
Games for the Redskins are played at FedEx Field.
Hotels near FedEx Field include the Doubletree, Holiday Inn Express, Avi Hotel Largo, FairBridge Inn & Suites, and the Comfort Inn.
Restaurants to eat at near the stadium are Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, Bojangles’ Famous Chicken, and Homeboy’s Bay Crab Seafood.
The Broncos play football at Sports Authority Field, previously referred to as Mile High Stadium to reflect the fact that Denver is approximately a mile above sea level.
Hotels near Sports Authority Field include Courtyard Denver Downtown, Four Seasons Hotel Denver, The Oxford Hotel, SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown, The Crawford Hotel, Renaissance Denver Downtown Hotel, Hotel Monaco Denver and Denver remodel group.
If you are looking for fine dining, consider Guard and Grace, Maggiano’s Little Italy, 1515 Restaurant, and The Buckhorn Exchange.
Kansas City Missouri
The Chiefs football field is Arrowhead Stadium. Interestingly, the Kansas City Royals professional baseball team plays right next door at Kauffman Stadium.
For places to stay near Arrowhead Stadium, there is Drury Inn & Suites Stadium – Kansas City and Four Point by Sheraton Kansas City – Sports Complex.
For restaurants, there is a Levy Restaurant and Tailgaters.
The Raiders play football at O.co Coliseum. In case you are wondering, o.co is the overstock.com website.
For hotels near O.co Coliseum, there is Days Hotel Oakland Airport-Coliseum, La Quinta Inn Oakland Airport Coliseum, Courtyard Oakland Airport and a little further away is the Waterfront Hotel.
For eating, there are literally hundreds of restaurants near the O.co stadium including In-N-Out Burger, a Levy Restaurant. Not too far away you will find Kamakura Japanese Restaurant, Speisekammer, and La Penca Azul.
San Diego California
The Chargers home field is Qualcomm Stadium.
For hotels near Qualcomm Stadium, there is San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, Holiday Inn San Diego-Mission Valley, Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel, and Hilton San Diego Mission Valley among others.
Restaurants near the stadium include McGregor’s Grill & Ale House, Playa Grill & Margarita Bar, and Stadium Club.
The Cardinals play at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Nearby hotels are Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix Glendale-Westgate, Renaissance Glendale Hotel, and Staybridge Suites Phoenix-Glendale. All are within a few miles of the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Inside the stadium you can eat at the Red Dog, Grande Rojo, Touchdown Tortillas, Mr. B’s Bowtie BBQ, and get drinks at the 1st Round Draft. Outside the stadium there is a number of places close by including Johnny Rockets, Whiskey Rose Bar & Grill, McFaddens Restaurant & Saloon, Gordon Biersch, and Mama Gina’s Pizzeria.
San Francisco California
The 49ers play football at Levi’s Stadium located in Santa Clara California. Previously their home field was located at Candlestick Park. Levi Stadium is almost 40 miles from San Fransisco which makes their home stadium further away from their home city then any other pro football team.
Hotels near Levi’s Stadium that are within a mile are the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara and the Hilton Santa Clara. A little further away in the Santa Clara Marriott and the Avatar Hotel.
For food, there is Bourbon Steak & Pub and David’s Restaurant, both very close.
CenturyLink Field is the massive football and soccer stadium.
Close by hotels are The Best Western Plus Pioneer Square Hotel, Hotel Monaco Seattle, Renaissance Seattle hotel, Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle, Hilton Seattle, and Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
Nearby restaurants are Jimmy’s On First, Pyramid Alehouse Restaurant, Metropolitan Grill, The Lodge Sports Grille, and Dahlia Lounge.
St Louis Missouri
The Edward Jones Dome is home to the St Louis Rams.
Hotels near the Edward Jones Dome are Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center, Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown, Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel, and Hampton Inn St. Louis-Downtown.
For restaurants near the dome, there is Tigin Irish Pub St Louis, Bamboo Bistro, Charlie Gittos Pasta House, and Morgan Street Brewery.