First Events at Minnesota’s New US Bank Stadium

US Bank StadiumUS Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings is nearing completion just in time for the upcoming NFL football season and several pre-season events.

An open house is scheduled for the weekend of July 23 & 24. The open house will provide visitors with a sneak peak of the main concourse, club space, and other interior locations. The open house is a free event but does require tickets, which will be available through Ticketmaster.

Soccer – The first event scheduled for the new stadium is a Premier League soccer match between AC Milan and Chelsea FC, August 3rd.

Luke Bryan Concert – Country music star Luke Bryan brings his Kill the Lights tour to US Bank Stadium August 19th.

Metalica – Heavy metal band Metalica performs at US Bank Stadium August 20th.

The Minnesota Vikings will take the field at their new stadium for the first time at a pre-season match-up against the San Diego Chargers is scheduled for August 28th.

The Vikings’ first regular season game at home will be September 18th against the Green Bay Packers.

Tours of the new stadium will be available beginning August 24th. Tour tickets will go on sale beginning May 26th. Tours include a behind the scenes look at the well-appointed clubs and suites, the press box, and the Minnesota Vikings Locker Room.

Hotels: The new US Bank Stadium is located in the Downtown East section of Minneapolis, on the same site as the former Metrodome Stadium.  There are many downtown hotels located within a mile or less walk to the stadium.  The Aloft Minneapolis is the closest, located between the stadium and the river. Other hotels are located in the central downtown area and include the Hilton Minneapolis, W Minneapolis, Best Western Plus Normandy Inn, The Hotel Minneapolis, and The Grand Hotel Minneapolis.

Map of hotels near US Bank Stadium.

2016 NCAA Women’s Softball World Series

The 2016 NCAA Women’s College World Series will take place June 1 – 8 at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

Track each team’s progress toward the World Series: NCAA softball bracket

Tickets are on sale now and include both standard the “fan experience” versions. The fan experience tickets come with extra perks, such as entry to an exclusive air conditioned tented area with live tv broadcast.

Hotels: There are plenty of hotels near the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.  The most convenient are located the area around the intersection of Interstate 44 and Interstate 235. You’ll find many national chains there, including Best Western Plus, Travelodge, Wyndham, Sleep Inn, Courtyard by Mariott, and Hyatt Place.

Additional hotels are located in nearby downtown Oklahoma City.  Stay near the city’s Bricktown neighborhood and you’ll be close to dining, shops, and lively nightlife. Downtown options include the Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown – Bricktown, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oklahoma City Downtown – Bricktown, and Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Oklahoma.

Map of hotels near the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Schedule

NASCAR has announced the 2017 schedule of races months earlier than usual. NASCAR fans can use early notice to get a jump on their travel plans for 2017. We’ve listed the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule below – follow the racetrack links for information about the closest hotels.

The Xfinity Series is sort of the minor league for NASCAR. It’s a great place to see up-and-coming racers as they make their way to the big NASCAR Cup series.

We posted the Nascar Cup Series schedule recently and the Truck Series schedule will follow soon.

 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Schedule

2/25/17 – Daytona International Speedway
3/4/17 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/11/17 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3/18/17 –  Phoenix International Raceway
3/25/17 – Auto Club Speedway (aka California Speedway)
4/8/17 – Texas Motor Speedway
4/22/17 – Bristol Motor Speedway
4/29/17 – Richmond International Raceway
5/6/17 – Talladega Superspeedway
5/27/17 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/3/17 – Dover International Speedway
6/10/17 – Pocono Raceway
6/17/17 – Michigan International Speedway
6/24/17 – Iowa Speedway
6/30/17 – Daytona International Speedway
7/7/17 – Kentucky Speedway
7/15/17 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/22/17 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7/29/17 – Iowa Speedway
8/5/17 – Watkins Glen International
8/12/17 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
8/18/17 – Bristol Motor Speedway
8/26/17 – Road America
9/2/17 – Darlington Raceway
9/8/17 – Richmond International Raceway
9/16/17 – Chicagoland Speedway
9/23/17 – Kentucky Speedway
9/30/17 – Dover International Speedway
10/6/17 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/21/17 – Kansas Speedway
11/4/17 – Texas Motor Speedway
11/11/17 – Phoenix International Raceway
11/18/17 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

2016 Wrigley Field Concerts

Baseball stadiums are not only great places to enjoy baseball games, but they make good concert venues too. You’ll find concerts scheduled as many of the big league stadiums throughout the summer.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field has a great lineup of concerts scheduled for 2016.  Jam band Phish plays there two nights in June, classic acts James Taylor and Jackson Browne perform at the stadium later in the month. August brings Pearl Jam, Billy Joel, and Luke Bryan. That’s a home run concert lineup for the iconic Wrigley Field!

Stay in one of the hotels close to the stadium, or pick a nearby downtown Chicago hotel (you can take the red line train from downtown to the stadium).

2016 Wrigley Field Concerts:

June 24 & 25 – Phish

June 30 – James Taylor and Jackson Browne

August 20 & 22 – Pearl Jam

August 26 – Billy Joel

August 27 – Luke Bryan


2017 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

NASCAR has announced the 2017 schedule of races months earlier than usual. NASCAR fans can use early notice to get a jump on their travel plans for 2017. We’ve listed the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series schedule below – follow the racetrack links for information about the closest hotels.

We’ll post the Xfinity Series and Truck Series schedules and hotel information soon.

2/18/17 Daytona International Speedway (Unlimited)
2/19/17 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying)
2/23/17 Daytona International Speedway (Duel)
2/26/17 Daytona 500
3/5/17 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/12/17 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3/19/17 Phoenix International Raceway
3/26/17 Auto Club Speedway (aka California Speedway)
4/2/17  Martinsville Speedway
4/9/17  Texas Motor Speedway
4/23/17 Bristol Motor Speedway
4/30/17 Richmond International Raceway
5/7/17  Talladega Superspeedway
5/13/17  Kansas Speedway
5/20/17 Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR All-Star Race)
5/28/17 Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/4/17 Dover International Speedway
6/11/17  Pocono Raceway
6/18/17 Michigan International Speedway
6/25/17 Sonoma Raceway
7/1/17 Daytona International Speedway
7/8/17  Kentucky Speedway
7/16/17 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/23/17 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7/30/17  Pocono Raceway
8/6/17 Watkins Glen International
8/13/17 Michigan International Speedway
8/19/17  Bristol Motor Speedway
9/3/17  Darlington Raceway
9/9/17 Richmond International Raceway
9/17/17 Chicagoland Speedway
9/24/17 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
10/1/17 Dover International Speedway
10/7/17  Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/15/17  Talladega Superspeedway
10/22/17  Kansas Speedway
10/29/17 Martinsville Speedway
11/5/17 Texas Motor Speedway
11/12/17 Phoenix International Raceway
11/19/17 Homestead-Miami Speedway

InterContinental Buckhead: TheRealPlaces Featured Hotel of the Day – May 16, 2016

InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia
In Atlanta (Buckhead) offers online reservations for 149 hotels in Atlanta, including InterContinental Buckhead.This Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts property is one of six 5-star hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. It is located in the Buckhead neighborhood on the north-ish side of town, at 3315 Peachtree Rd NE – which should be no problem finding because there are only 752 roads in Atlanta named “Peachtree” (i.e. use your car’s GPS). Neighbors include the upscale Lenox Square mall and more high-end hotels, with names like Ritz-Carlton, Grand Hyatt and Mandarin Oriental.
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2017 Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition

The 2017 Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition will be held June 14 – 16, 2017 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

This biannual event is sponsored by the Southern Forest Products Association. Exhibitors representing many types of forestry-rated equipment take part in the event. More than 180 companies exhibited at the 2015 event, displaying products such as band saws, chippers, conveyors, dry kilns, feeders, moister meters, saw guides, sorters, stackers, trailers, and veneer machinery.

The World Congress Center is a convention facility with over a million square feet of exhibit space. The facility is located in the convention corridor of downtown Atlanta and has multiple buildings on a 200 acre campus. The exposition is scheduled to take place in Building A.


Some of the closest hotels to the World Congress Center include the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown and the Embassy Suites Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park.  There are many more nearby hotels to choose from.  See a map of hotels closest to Atlanta’s World Congress Center.

Visit the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Expo website for details about the event.

Courtyard Madison East: TheRealPlaces Featured Hotel of the Day – May 9, 2016

Courtyard Madison East in Madison, Wisconsin
In Madison (Burke) offers online reservations for 56 hotels in Madison, including Courtyard Madison East.This 3-star Courtyard by Marriott hotel is located at 2502 Crossroads Drive – that’s on the northeast side of town, at the intersection of I-90 and East Washington Avenue (US 151). The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott next door also gets great reviews.
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Top 10 Holiday Inn Express Hotels in Louisiana: May 4, 2016

There are 32 Holiday Inn Express hotels in Louisiana. Listed below are our the Top 10 in the state, according to evaluation of service, amenities, value and customer satisfaction.

#1: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Baton Rouge East

10989 Siegen Holiday Circle – Baton Rouge
Nearby Places To Visit:
Isle of Capri Casino (2.1 miles)
Baton Rouge Ballet Theater (2.1 miles)
LSU Rural Life Museum (2.7 miles)

#2: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites New Iberia – Avery Island

318 W Highway 90 Frontage Rd – New Iberia
Nearby Places To Visit:
Shadows on the Teche (2.7 miles)

#3: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, a Baton Rouge-Port Allen

2860 N Westport Drive – Port Allen
Nearby Places To Visit:
Goldmine Casino (0.2 miles)
Loves Casino (0.6 miles)
River Port Casino (0.8 miles)

#4: Holiday Inn Express Covington-Madisonville

69354 Stirling Blvd – Covington
Nearby Places To Visit:
St. Tammany Art Assn (3.3 miles)
H J Smith and Sons (3.5 miles)

#5: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Baton Rouge North

4047 Highway 19 – Zachary

#6: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lafayette

3903 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy – Lafayette
Nearby Places To Visit:
Blackham Coliseum (3.3 miles)
Cajundome (3.7 miles)
University Art Museum (3.9 miles)

#7: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gonzales

2806 West Highway 30 – Gonzales

#8: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Shreveport South Park Plaza

8751 Park Plaza – Shreveport
Nearby Places To Visit:
Pioneer Heritage Ctr (1.3 miles)
Meadows Museum of Art (4.2 miles)
Stephens African American (4.7 miles)

#9: Holiday Inn Express New Orleans Downtown

334 O’Keefe Ave – New Orleans
Nearby Places To Visit:
Louisiana Philharmonic (0.1 miles)
Junebug Productions Inc (0.1 miles)
Young Audiences Inc (0.2 miles)

#10: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lake Charles

402 N Martin Luther King Hwy – Lake Charles
Nearby Places To Visit:
Children’s Museum-Lake Charles (2.2 miles)
Mardi Gras Museum (2.4 miles)
Players Casino (2.6 miles)

Pullman Miami Airport: TheRealPlaces Featured Hotel of the Day – May 3, 2016

Pullman Miami Airport in Miami, Florida
Near Waterford at Blue Lagoon offers online reservations for 106 hotels in Miami, including Pullman Miami Airport.This 4-star hotel is located at 5800 Blue Lagoon Drive, just south of Miami International Airport. Overlooking a lagoon, the Pullman offers 281 guest rooms and suites, outdoor pool, complimentary airport shuttle and the La Riviera restaurant.
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