If viewing tourist attractions and scenic natural landscapes is not your ideal way to spend a weekend or vacation, the next best way to soak in some local culture is cheering for the local California sports team or sing along with your favorite band at one of California’s famous concert venues.
California is a hotbed for baseball as soon as spring training begins with teams like the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics calling the Golden State home. Between AT&T Park, Petco Park, Dodger Stadium, Angels Stadium and the Oakland Coliseum, each stadium offers a unique look, feel, sound and scent with varied club history, local food vendors and architecture. So bring your mitt, munch on stadium food and watch the big leaguers play ball! You can find Vagabond Inn Hotels nearby these baseball stadiums in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.
The West Coast has a long history on the hardwood with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings all competing in the NBA Western Conference. While the LA Lakers are perpetually a championship level team, the LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings offer exciting styles of play that make for entertaining basketball games. Check out Staples Center - home to the LA Lakers and Clippers, Oracle Arena – home to the Golden State Warriors and Power Balance Arena (formerly Arco Arena) – home to the Sacramento Kings. Staples Center always has a few Hollywood stars in attendance like die hard Laker fan Jack Nicholson while Oracle Arena and Power Balance Arena provide an electric fan crazed atmosphere. Enjoy four quarters of slam dunks, crossovers and buzzer beaters California style! For lodging near these basketball arenas, there are Vagabond Inn Hotels in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.
California’s pleasant temperatures and mild seasons create a perfect venue for flying pigskin and bone crushing tackles on the gridiron. Spend a Sunday tailgating with the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Sit in the Black Hole at Oakland Coliseum, soak in the sun at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and feel the bay breeze at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Score a touchdown by staying at nearby Vagabond Inn Hotels in San Diego and San Francisco.
California is not only diverse in culture, but in sports as well. Don’t forget about NHL teams like the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks. The LA Kings share the Staples Center with the other Los Angeles basketball teams while the San Jose Sharks have the HP Pavilion or “The Shark Tank” and the Anaheim Ducks play in the Honda Center or “The Pond”. The International game of football (or Soccer in the US) more your type of game? Visit the Home Depot Center just minutes from Santa Pedro, CA to watch the LA Galaxy fly around the pitch or visit Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA to watch the San Jose Earthquakes take shots on goal.
There is no better game day atmosphere than college sports. Add a crosstown rival into the mix and you got yourself a can’t miss event. Score some tickets to a UCLA vs. USC event at the Rose Bowl, LA Coliseum, Pauley Pavilion or Galen Center and choose Bruins or Trojans. Or check out Northern California’s rivalry between Cal and Stanford football as they play out the “Big Game” at Stanford Stadium or Memorial Stadium. Or catch a competitive PAC-12 basketball game at Maples Pavilion or Haas Pavilion. A few other contenders reside in California as well like the San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose Spartans, San Luis Obispo Broncos, Long Beach State 49ers, Fresno State Bulldogs and Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners.
If you prefer to watch undrafted or up and coming players proving themselves on the smaller stage, the NBA Developmental League and MLB Minor Leagues offer a great stage. The NBADL or the D-League features teams like the Bakersfield Jam who play at the Jam Events Center, Los Angeles D-Fenders who play at the Toyota Sports Center and the Reno Big Horns who play at the Reno Events Center. California has a few teams in the AAA Pacific Coast League and High-A California League with nearby Vagabond Inn Hotel locations. Watch the AAA Fresno Grizzlies and Sacramento River Cats swing for the fences at Chukchansi Park and Raley Field or scout a diamond in the rough among the Bakersfield Blaze, Modesto Nuts and San Jose Giants who play at Sam Lynn Ballpark, John Thurman Field and San Jose Municipal Stadium.
* Requires affiliation in respective organization.