There’s more to traveling than sprawling out beachside at luxury resorts and indulging in five-star meals at lavish ski lodges (although these activities can certainly add to the experience). Sometimes a destination is worth visiting for the events it hosts. Sports tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism as people embark on vacations to catch the game instead of some rays.
Here are some must-see sporting events to jet off to in 2022.
May 6 & 7
This spring, history and sports collide at the world’s most iconic racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky for the 148th annual Kentucky Derby. Thoroughbred horses have been running laps around Churchill Downs since 1875, making this the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the United States. Don your favorite Kentucky Derby hat, sip a mint julep, and take in the sights. Once the race is over, head to downtown Louisville and eat your way through Logan Street Market or indulge in a customized bourbon tour.
June 13 – June 19
The 2022 U.S. Open will take place at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts in June. Since 1895, this national golf championship has drawn crowds of spectators with an appreciation for the club-and-ball sport. Official travel packages include accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Boston, access to the event, daily roundtrip shuttle transportation, and a custom itinerary. Charter your jet and let the folks at On Location take care of the rest.
June 27 – July 10
If you’re planning to attend a sporting match this year, why not make it the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world? Since 1877, sports fans have poured into the Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London to watch the best of the best go head-to-head on the court. While Wimbledon is undoubtedly known for tennis (duh!), the championship touts food offerings filled with high quality, seasonal, and sustainable British fare. Eat, drink, and get served!
July 1 – July 24
Sure, anybody can turn on their TV and watch the most famous cycling event on earth from the comfort of their sofa. Or better yet, head to their neighborhood pub with friends and cheer on their favorite cyclists while sipping a frothy pint of beer. The ultimate way to catch the annual multiple-stage bike race, however, is in person. Amuse-toi bien! (This is French for have fun! Better brush up before you go.)
November 21 – December 17
The most popular soccer match in the world will be held in Qatar this winter. And while the games will be at the forefront of attendees’ agendas, Qatar is known for its luxury beachside resorts like the Sealine Beach Resort and stunning weekend destinations like Al Ghariya Beach. Come for the soccer and stay for the ambiance.