Words and Images by Jo Ann Lawery—
I used to work as a sports writer. This gave me an opportunity to visit many cities in the United States in my lifetime. Do not be surprised if cities on this list have professional sports team located there. I hope you get the chance to see one or more of these places, if not all of them.
Top 7- Washington, DC
When you visit America’s capital, it is all about the three M’s- Memorials, Monuments, and Museums . Most of them are free . Best time to go visit the city is from March until December , especially when the Cherry Blossoms come out. Best time to visit the monuments and memorials is either early in the morning or late in the evening when there are little crowds.
Top 6- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The plaque above tells you that you have entered the city on the Three Rivers– Ohio, Allegheny , and Monongahela , better known as The Golden Triangle.
Once you enter the city on the Ohio, Allegheny , and Monongahela Rivers, you’ll notice one thing. This city has bridges,a lot of bridges . More than any other city in the United States . There are more than 400 or so bridges in the city , and to experience the city, I would advise you to take a walk on one or all of them, if you can. Most people in town walk on the bridges that are affectionately known as, “The Three Sisters”, because they’re designed the same and they’re right next to each other. Their official names are the Rachel Carson, Andy Warhol, and the Roberto Clemente Bridge . All three of them were icons in the city. If you walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge , you’ll notice the padlocks on the bridge , just like you see in Paris. Another thing you’ll notice about the city are the colors , black and yellow. They seem to dominate the city from the bridges to their three professional sports teams, whose colors are all black and yellow.
While you’re in town, join the locals at either a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, a Pittsburgh Steelers football game or the Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game if there is one going on. When is the best time to visit Pittsburgh? During the months of February until October is best. Make sure to visit a Pittsburgh institution while in town. It’s Primanti Brothers. You can’t go wrong with a sandwich made with meat, thick slices of Italian bread made in Pittsburgh , lettuce , tomatoes and topped off with Cole Slaw AND FRENCH FRIES ! You just know you HAVE to have one of these mouthwatering Primanti Brothers sandwiches. They say sammich in Pittsburgh
Top 5- Nashville, Tennessee
They call this city, “Music City”, not just because it’s known for that type of music, but because other types of music are made here too. They also call Nashville , “The Athens of the South” because of all the colleges here. Don’t be surprised if you happen to be walking around Vanderbilt University and you see a building that looks like the Parthenon in Greece, complete with the statue of the Goddess Athena. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. It is a replica . You could visit the Country and Western Museum, but visit the place where it all began, Ryman Auditorium , home of the Grand Old Opry, where those legends got their start . You can even take a tour of the new Grand Old Opry and stand on that famous stage just like the singers do.Want to do a little shopping or even get in a little exercise while shopping ? Visit the largest mall in the South, Opry Mills. It’s right across the street from Opry Mills . Want a little bit of nightlife? Nothing beats walking down “Honky Tonk Row”, better known as Broadway . It’s pedestrian friendly . Don’t forget those cowboy boots and hats and be sure to practice your line dancing .
Top 4- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It’s known as “The City of Brotherly Love”, and before there was even a Washington DC , Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. You’ll learn a lot about United States history if you come to Philadelphia .See where the Declaration of Independence was written in Independence Hall, stand next to the real Liberty Bell. Visit Constitution Hall, and grab a Phily Chessesteak, made with either Chicken or Beef . No problem if you’re vegetarian . Visit either the Reading Terminal Market or The Philadelphia Bourse for non meat treats. Visit the Philadelphia Museum and run up the stairs like that fictional Philadelphia boxer, Rocky did. Take a tour of Philadelphia City Hall, the building with the big statue of founder William Penn on top of it.
Top 3- Baltimore, Maryland
This city is located right down the road from Washington DC , and the best times to visit are from April until October. It’s so close to Washington DC that you can do a day trip there and be back in time for dinner in Baltimore, maybe at one of the many seafood places or in the Little Italy section of town. Baltimore is known as “Charm City ” and there’s even four buses ,the Purple Orange, Green and Banner line that’s known as The Charm City Circular that get you around the city. Best of all, they’re free. You might want to take the Banner Line out to Fort McHenry where the United States National Anthem was written. You could also visit the Inner Harbor and see one of the premier aquariums in the country, the Baltimore Aquarium.Eat and shop your way at the oldest market in the country , the Lexington Market. As the state of Maryland was founded by Roman Catholics fleeing persecution in England , visit the first cathedral in the United States , the Baltimore Basilica and see the home of the first American saint , Mother Elizabeth Seton. Make some time to eat that food that the state is famous for crab cakes and Maryland blue crabs.
Top 2- Las Vegas, Nevada
What can you say about the city of Las Vegas that hasn’t been said before ? Everyone , no matter where they’re coming from NEEDS to visit Las Vegas at least once in their lives. Then you should go a second and a third time because you really want to know if those dancing water fountains at the Bellagio, those circus acts your children liked at Circus Circus or that castle at Excalibur was for real. Not to mention that big ferris wheel called the High Roller or the hotel with that big sphinx in front of it. That’s the Luxor by the way and you saw it as your plane landed at Las Vegas McCarron International Airport . You want to see that Welcome to Las Vegas sign that everyone talks about and takes pictures of. You want to go to where the city actually began in Downtown Las Vegas. You want to see the Fremont Street Experience , that pedestrian friendly area with the light show every night and the zip line that shoots you out of a slot machine called Slotzilla. You don’t have to gamble in Vegas, but try your luck at the slot machines anyway if you’re over 21. Definately take in one of the shows at one of many casinos that try to outdo each other in everything that is outrageous . What’s the best time to visit Las Vegas? ANY TIME OF THE YEAR! There’s always something going on. But if you visit during the months of May to August, bring your bathing suits and sun screen with you. Pools are open and the temperature goes between 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit . Drink plenty of water because you’re going to need it.
Top 1- Boston, Massachusetts
This city was my home for 13 years . When I want to escape the madness that is New York City, I go to that city on the banks of the Charles River. It’s Boston , and it’s all about the history here too, past, present, and future. A lot of tourists who visit the city say that Boston is a very European looking city. It is, more so than other city on the East Coast of the United States . Boston, like Baltimore , is all about the seafood. Cod, shrimp, lobster and of course, have a steaming hot bowl or cup of New England Clam Chowder while you’re visiting Quincy Market. Oh, we say Quin- zee by the way , not Quin-cey. Say hello to that big statue of Samuel Adams in front. Yes, just like the beer. You can take a free tour of the Sam Adams Brewery in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plains also . It’s $2 donation and if you’re 21, free samples of beer! Visit the neighboring cities of Cambridge, where you can walk around Harvard Yard and see M.I.T. and Lexington , where United States fought for their independence. Walk down the red brick road known as “The Freedom Trail” and see American History come alive in front of you.
About the author:
Jo Ann Lawery is a former freelance sports writer. She is now a sports and travel blogger. Follow her blog , 30 Plus Teams , 30 Plus Dreams at sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com .