Editor’s Picks: Your Guide to Top Ultimate Urban Destinations

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem in North Carolina may be famous in the collegiate world due to being home to Wake Forest University, but this charming city has much more to offer our facet when it comes to the sports tourism industry. While many may think of Winston-Salem as a small town, it is quite the opposite. With a population of nearly 250,000 and growing, this city is a favorite for many families and travel tournaments nationwide. Home to plenty of walking trails, restaurants, and other nightlife excursions, a visit to Winston-Salem ranks as a top destination.

Winston-Salem is a charming East Coast town with a sports-focus.

Must-Eat: Winston-Salem is home to one-of-a-kind Moravian cookies that can not be found anywhere else in the country. These thin, crispy, and intensely flavored delicacies will have you wanting to come back for more before your trip is complete.

Must-Do: Hanging Rock State Park not far from Winston-Salem is home to peaks of bare rock, forests, gorgeous waterfalls, and views of the piedmont plateau that stretch for miles to serve as a picturesque backdrop for those perfect Instagram photos.

Orlando, Florida

While Orlando is famous for containing two of the world’s most sought-after amusement parks—Disneyworld and Universal Studios—Orlando is home to the Orange County Convention Center. The OCCC routinely hosts large tournaments throughout the year in various sports. In 2021, the OCCC hosted the largest youth volleyball tournament to date with over 150,000 people in attendance. In addition to the OCCC, Orlando also offers a variety of fields and indoor facilities including the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus, several golf courses, outdoor terrain, biking trails, fishing, and other outdoor sporting/recreation options.

Orlando is home to some of the world’s most famous theme parks including Disney World and Universal Studios.

Must-Eat: Recently, television show Atlanta Eats hosted a special segment featuring top restaurants in top destinations nationwide. Several Orlando restaurants were featured including Bull & Bear, Maxine’s, Pharmacy Orlando, and Plant Street Market.

Must-Do: When you are not visiting Disneyworld or Universal Studios, Orlando has a wide variety of other entertainment options. Ziplining over Gatorland will act as fun for the entire family and is a great way to get outdoors.

Miami, Florida

Miami, Fla. Further south, Miami has great options that make the beach city an ultimate destination for tournaments. One key takeaway from Miami is that it is warm year-round, making it easy to plan outdoor and water-based tournaments during the rest of the country’s off season from October through April. Miami also has a variety of shopping and attractions that will make it an ideal vacation the whole family will remember. Key West also serves as a possible day trip making it easy to get away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach.

South Beach, Miami is a haven for beachgoers worldwide.

Must-Eat: Due to the migration of millions of Cubans in the 1960s to get away from the Castro reign, Miami food culture is heavily influenced with sweet and spicy flavors. Little Havana in Miami is home to several restaurants that serve an authentic Cuban meal to go alongside the downtown that has kept its old charming and colorful buildings.

Must-Do: Since there is a population of over one million in the metro-Miami area, there is never a shortage of things to do. Miami offers a day pass you can purchase online that has discounted entry rates to several museums and attractions city-wide. In addition to the day passes, Miami is also home to the infamous Versace Mansion where you can grab a quick lunch before heading across the street to the beach.

Atlanta, Georgia

In the heart of Georgia encompassing nearly three counties is metro Atlanta. While Atlanta is famous for its professional sports stadiums, nearby in Cartersville is none other than famous LakePoint Sports Facility. With over 125,000 sq. ft. of facilities, fields, and batting cages, LakePoint also has new playgrounds, parking, concessions, and bathrooms.

Atlanta, Georgia is one of the most populated places in the south making it an excellent location for city tournaments.

Must-Eat: With the new installment of Taste ATL on Direct TV, it is not secret that Atlanta is a food-minded city. From farmers markets to soul cooking shacks, you will never go hungry. One of the main places to grab a quick bite is the iconic Buford Highway consisting of restaurants for miles with every cuisine imaginable.

Must-Do: Atlanta offers a day pass for all visitors that can be purchased online. The day pass includes your choice of three: the Zoo, World of Coke, CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium, the Civil Rights Museum, and the College Football Hall of Fame. Also check out an Atlanta Braves game during the spring and summer to see the 2021 World Series Champions in action.

Boston, Massachusetts

Sitting in a prime spot on the East Coast is none other than popular sports town, Boston. Home to the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, the New England Patriots National Football League team, and the Boston Celtics, it is safe to say that Boston is a sports-minded city. The city, even with its old-New England charm and cobblestone streets, has become a recent urban destination thanks to the efforts of city officials and locals to transform their beloved Boston into a hub of trendy restaurants, shopping centers, and historically themed cafes.

Boston is home to some of the most world-famous sporting teams including the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Celtics.

Must-Eat: It is no secret that Boston is known for its wonderful and delicious seafood options thanks to its location. However, Boston also has a wide variety of other cuisines to offer including contemporary American, Italian, and top steakhouses.

Must-Do: Since Boston is a sports-themed town, it is no secret that one of the top things to do in Boston is visit the nation’s oldest—and one of the smallest—Major League Baseball venues, Fenway Park. After watching a game at Fenway, take a sailing cruise around Boston Harbor and check out the sites from the Boston Tea Party.

Seattle, Washington

The home of the Seahawk’s and beloved American television show, Grey’s Anatomy, lies the iconic city of Seattle. While people often associate Seattle with gloomy weather and cold rain, they often also associate it with the other half of the perfect combination—the home of Starbucks coffee. On the other hand, Seattle has a booming youth sports scene. With Seattle Southside in charge of most of the area’s sports, many events happen each week. With seven soccer venues, eight aquatic centers, seven softball and baseball fields, 13 indoor courts, and eight other miscellaneous fields, Seattle is a multi-sport haven.

Seattle, while still being a metro minded city, is a great sports destinations for people who want to get away and relax.

Must-Eat: With Seattle overlooking Puget Sound, eating world-famous Puget Sound oysters when going to the Pacific Northwest is a must-do, a must-eat, and a bucket list item for many foodies around the globe.

Must-Do: Since Seattle is home to the first Starbucks, grab a coffee and explore nearby PikePlace Market—the name of one of their iconic espresso roasts. Another must-do in Seattle is to take a food and wine tour that goes throughout the city for the entire afternoon.