If the NFL’s upcoming clash between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals has you considering a February trip to Los Angeles and SoFi Stadium, you’re not the only one. But Forbes travel writer Brittany Anas has some extra advice: Don’t limit yourself to just the Big Game.
In her article, “Headed to the Super Bowl? Here’s Where to Extend Your California Vacation,” Anas describes a recent sports-themed trip to Los Angeles, where she tested out a few itineraries to extend a Super Bowl–inspired vacation. Head south from Los Angeles County, for instance, to explore the culinary and cultural scenes in San Diego—including hot new places to eat in Old Town and the recently opened Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Or, Anas suggests, head north to San Luis Obispo. This hidden-gem town offers idyllic Central Coast-meets-farm-country scenery, and a food and drink scene to match, including the SLO CAL Sustainable Wine Trail and 30-barrel brewhouse SLO Brew Rock.
The heart of Anas’s trip, though, featured L.A., and her sports-travel theme easily plays beyond the gridiron. She shared details about her travels, which started in Inglewood at the 3.1-million-square-foot SoFi Stadium, which offers behind-the-scenes tours of the $5.5 billion facility. “You learn lots of fun details on the tour, like that the field has 76 million blades of artificial grass,” Anas says. You’re not just ogling from afar, either. “I loved that there are games to play on the field, like throwing footballs at targets. At the end, you can run through the tunnel and onto the field. Music is pumping, and, once you’re on the turf, you get this sense of the enormity of SoFi. It’s exhilarating.”
Anas also explored the L.A. Live entertainment complex in Downtown Los Angeles, taking in the entire NBA experience. “I love the energy in L.A. Live,” she says. “I went to a Los Angeles Clippers game at Crypto.com Arena while I was visiting, and the excitement on game day is palpable. There’s a good selection of food at L.A. Live, too, from sushi rolls at Katsuya to catfish nuggets and shrimp and grits at Fixins Soul Kitchen.”
Indeed, it’s easy to plan more sports-themed SoCal getaways as the seasons shift—which could include stops at recently upgraded Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, and/or San Diego’s wonderful Petco Park. (Before heading to any sporting event in California, check out the latest on protocols.)
“As a big-time basketball fan, I can’t wait to see the Clippers’ new arena, the Intuit Dome, when it debuts [in Inglewood] in 2024,” says Anas, but passionate sports fans will find plenty to do in the meantime in L.A.: “You can immerse yourself in baseball history at the iconic Dodger Stadium, or witness the high-tech modern masterpiece that is SoFi Stadium. I love that you’ve got a mix of old and new.”