There’s No Place Like An NFL Away Game: A Trip to Kansas City and San Diego.
Added by Alessandra S. on September 14, 2012.
Among other things, Kansas City is known for their beautiful fountains, including this one in front of Union Station.
The greatest unconventional excuses to go see your home team away from home, and how to plan an unrivaled vacation on the enemy’s turf.
You’d be hard pressed to find a football fan who doesn’t find the idea of attending an away game enticing. Tailgating in a new environment, experiencing the energy of a new stadium and traveling with friends or loved ones.
All any die-hard fan ever needs is the right excuse, so for the next eight weeks, a plethora of unconventional reasons to cheer on your team in their away jerseys will be provided to help you plan your next sports-themed getaway.
To kick off this week, we’ll start with two teams in the AFC West: The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers.
Granted, when most Americans think of Kansas, they picture Judy Garland with French braids, blinged out red shoes and the original purse dog. However, Kansas City, Missouri is actually pretty awesome, and home to the KC Chiefs. Anyone living outside of the Midwest might be unfamiliar with the fact that there are two Kansas Cities—one in Kansas and one in Missouri—and the Kansas City in Missouri is actually a fantastic destination for an adventurous sports fan.
KC, MO is officially known as the “City of Fountains,” featuring over 200 fountains throughout the city, making KC second only to Rome. As far as sight-seeing, it would absolutely be worth it to take a drive or stroll just outside Downtown through Country Club Plaza, or “The Plaza” as Kansas Citians call it. The Plaza is home to a large number of the city’s fountains, as well as breath-taking mansions for the sake of aesthetics and “over/under” real estate value guesstimations. (Hint: The Midwest is about half as expensive to call home as the East Coast.)
Planning a trip with the bros? KC has the grub to fuel your manly appetite, with some stellar barbecue that you’ll talk about for years. Enjoy gambling? There’s no shortage of casinos, just make sure you don’t blow through all your spending money like a twister through Tornado Alley.
A trip with your significant other will have plenty of options for dates as well; the Kansas City Ballet is world-renown and Kansas City Jazz can be heard and enjoyed all throughout downtown. The two of you will have no problem socializing; Kansas Citians are engaging, genuine and über friendly. The relaxed atmosphere will help fuel a Corona-esque mood—minus the part about being as far as humanly possible from a beach.
Families will have a fantastic time as well; Kansas City Union Station is both an enjoyable and educational venture. Union Station features exhibits, events, a planetarium and Science City, where kids are not only allowed, but encouraged to play and interact with the various displays. The history buff in the group will also enjoy the Titanic Artifact Exhibition, featuring photos, artifacts and an abundance of informative supplements.
For mouth-watering food, unique sightseeing, vivacious nightlife and enlightening fun, Kansas City is an ideal destination for an unmatched away game experience. Go on, click your heels three times, and catch the home team away from home.
San Diego is full of attractions for visiting fans, including the Gaslamp District which is full of great bars and much more.
San Diego: Home of the San Diego Chargers and Ron Burgundy. I know, not the most original in terms of the unconventional destinations. However, there are some wonderful little-known reasons to visit, which extend past the Pacific Utopian climate.
Coronado Island, which is accessible via bridge, is a wonderful getaway to a “quieter” part of Southern California. A shell’s toss away from Mexico (see what I did there?), Coronado is also home to the U.S. Navy’s air station and SEALS center. The beaches are quaint, peaceful and not crowded, minus the aircraft that frequent the Western sky. No fist pumping here, folks. And the sand is pristine and soft. Crazy, right?
In addition to the fantastic atmosphere in Coronado and its family friendly environment, the San Diego Zoo is a great place to bring the youngsters, as long as you don’t go for a pre-season game in the summertime. The zoo is fairly inland, and the temperature can really escalate compared to the areas closer to the beach. Sea World is another fantastic option, with the dolphins, killer whales, penguins and rides! Between the Atlantis rollercoaster, Turtle Reef exhibit, Sesame Street Bay and the 4-D Theatre, the options are limitless.
One of the more exciting locations in San Diego is Pacific Beach. Undoubtedly drawing a crowd of younger people from high school ages to young professionals, PG-13 swimwear is commonly donned by the sun kissed Californians. Related: Does having a natural habitat consisting of perfect weather aid in weight loss? Hot damn. Much like KC, the people in San Diego are incredibly sociable and welcoming; don’t be surprised if you end up making friends on this trip!
For the 21+ groups, the Gaslamp Quarter is a must. The historic heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is one of the most exciting parts of Downtown, and features a superfluity of bars for the thirsty sports fan. There’s also culture and stuff if you’re into that—ya know, theatres, galleries, shops—if you’re a man and with a lady friend, you might wanna make that drink a double.
It’s not uncommon to be a bit nervous while traveling—holding more cash than usual, driving a rental car, being unfamiliar with the surroundings, etc. The good news, is that San Diego ranks in the top 10 safest cities in the U.S., so you can breathe a sign of relief (as soon as your team has a bit of a cushion on the scoreboard, of course.)
Any seasoned traveler or tailgater knows the importance of a quick, greasy, satisfying meal. And after a long day of sightseeing, sometimes a large cardboard box to go or a large silver plate dining in is exactly what’s needed to satiate the sports loving jetsetter’s ferocious appetite. Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego is the spot to be, or so say the locals and Guy Fieri. He might have ridiculous facial hair and the most atrocious hairstyle on the Food Network, but everything that overly enthusiastic host eats on his show is drool inducing.
For the outdoorsy, adventure-seeker, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs, CA is within driving distance (90 miles or so), from San Diego. It might be a bit of a hike, but you’re interested in literally hiking, that’s totally an option at this desert paradise. The third largest Pal Oasis in California, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an aesthetically pleasing water oasis filled with trails to conquer and flora and fauna to fawn over. Bighorn sheep call the desert their home, and they are frequently spotted in their natural habitat. Camping and tours are always an option, and an overnight stay would certainly justify the travel time to get there.
For beautiful beaches, nightlife, and an unrivaled outdoors experience, a Chargers away game in sensational San Diego is a must. Until next week, Stay Classy, away visitors.