Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Missing the World Cup? How to plan your visit to the US cities hosting the 2026 games

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The 2022 World Cup is over and football fans have a four year wait until it comes round again.

If you’re already missing the games, then why not start looking ahead to the 2026 edition?

The next World Cup will be hosted by the USA and FIFA has already announced the 11 US cities where you can watch the matches.

Travel website Visit The USA has produced a handy guide to the host cities so you can organise your travel plans before the crowds descend.

Here’s everything you need to know about the destinations both on and off the pitch.

Enjoy cheeseburgers and a panoramic view in Boston, Massachusetts

In Boston, heritage and innovation blend, with cobblestone streets opening out to skyscraper-lined boulevards.

World Cup matches will be played at the Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, which lies about halfway between the cities of Boston and Providence.

If you’re feeling hungry, head down memory lane at the original inspiration for the TV show ‘Cheers’ in Beacon Hill.

The pub, now named after the programme, welcomes customers with a buzzing atmosphere and delicious cheeseburgers.

In between games, visit the Skywalk Observatory for a 360-degree view of the Boston skyline and waterfront from 50 storeys up.

Munch pre-match roast pork in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, the first World Heritage City in the USA, will host matches at the Lincoln Financial Stadium, nicknamed ‘The Linc’.

Supporters in need of sustenance should sniff out a famed local cheesesteak or follow the foodies in the know to find a roast pork sandwich.

DiNic’s Roast Pork is one of the most popular joints, attracting queues around its Reading Terminal Market outpost every day.

Culture buffs should take time off from footie to delve into US history at sites like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Soak up sunshine in Miami, Florida

Known for its endless sunshine and pristine beaches, Miami also has a thriving arts and cultural scene.

The World Cup game will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium, which has hosted the Super Bowl six times.

Food-lovers should head to Little Havana for food trucks selling classic Cuban sandwiches and late-night salsa clubs like Ball & Chain.

After the game, delve into the city’s Caribbean heritage in Little Haiti or its Bahamian foundations in West Coconut Grove.

Eat in one of the USA’s best restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia

Dubbed the gateway to the South, Atlanta is a city of spectacular skylines and lush forests situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

The World Cup match will be held in the newly built Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.

Ten minutes away, epicureans can find the Westside Provisions District, a former meat packing zone of upscale restaurants like Bacchanalia, one of the top 20 restaurants in the country.

Film enthusiasts can join an Atlanta movie tour which visits the filming sites of blockbusters like ‘_The Walking Dead_’, the Marvel franchise, and ‘_The Hunger Games_’.

Savour barbequed snacks in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is a lively hub of jazz music and barbeque joints. It will host World Cup games at the Arrowhead Stadium, a 15-minute drive from the downtown precinct.

In the city known as the Barbecue Capital of the World, visitors should savour the grilled meat at iconic restaurants like Gates and Bryant’s or lesser-known local favourites such as Scott’s Kitchen.

Away from the pitch, visit one of the city’s 40 jazz clubs like The Phoenix or The Blue Room.

Sing along to soulful blues in Houston, Texas

After watching the match at the NRG Stadium, enjoy one of Houston’s 10,000 restaurants.

Make sure you stay for a few days to sample everything from sushi at Uchi, Texan dishes like wild boar and persimmon sorbet at Oxheart and authentic Mexican cuisine at Picos.

For a musical interlude, explore Houston’s rich blues history at its myriad bars and clubs.

Shakespeare’s Pub is a go-to spot for blues every night of the week, with cheap but tasty beer and no cover charge.

Indulge in southern comfort food in Dallas, Texas

The Lonestar State is home to the Dallas Cowboys, margaritas and a sprawling arts district.

World Cup matches will be held at the AT&T Stadium, a 20-minute drive west of Dallas, which has one of the largest HD screens in the world.

Those craving classic Southern comfort food should head to Bubba’s in Frisco for some of the best fried chicken in town. Served on-the-bone or as tenders, it is only improved by adding gravy dipping sauce.

For a culture break, explore the sprawling Dallas Arts District. Here, you can find Picasso artworks, Rodin sculptures and Beethoven performances.

Cruise along the coast in Seattle, Washington State

Seattle, tucked in an enclave in the Pacific Northwest, enjoys a spectacular coastal setting.

World Cup games will take place in the Lumen Field located in Seattle’s SoDo neighbourhood.

Coffee lovers will have no problem getting their caffeine fix as the city has one of the greatest concentrations of coffee houses of any US city. Stop by boutique roaster Victrola Coffee and Cloud City Coffee and take a tour of Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

Time away from the pitch should be spent on the water sailing, fishing or taking a whale watching tour along the Pacific coastline.

Find glitz and glamour in Los Angeles, California

America’s entertainment capital is blessed with year-round sunshine and a vibrant cultural scene.

The World Cup match will be held as the SoFi Stadium, located in Inglewood, California about 5 km from the centre of Los Angeles

When in LA, don’t miss the Korean cuisine. Find traditional, authentic food at Quarters Korean BBQ where the top picks include the traditional marinated short rib and the pork bulgogi, coated in a mildly sweet but spicy gochujang sauce.

Post-match, explore the world of cinema at the newly opened Academy Award Museum, located on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

Splash out on Michelin-starred suppers in San Francisco, California

Watch the World Cup at the snazzy, 68,500-seat Levi’s Stadium located just outside the San Francisco Bay Area, in Santa Clara.

Afterwards, take your pick from the greatest concentration of Michelin-star restaurants in the US. Choose between the coveted Atelier Crenn, Benu and Quince, each boasting three Michelin stars.

In your free time, explore San Francisco’s multitude of culturally diverse neighbourhoods. Art lovers can admire the vibrant murals in Mission District whilst food fanatics will be spoilt for choice in San Francisco’s iconic Chinatown.

Feel the finale buzz in New York City, New York

If the finale is going to be as showstopping as this year’s, it needs an iconic location.

Where better than New York City, a vibrant collection of boroughs filled with independent bars and restaurants, Broadway entertainment and rich museums.

The final match of the 2026 World Cup will be played at the MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey, just 8 km west of New York City.

Fans feeling peckish should head to Café Matisse in central Rutherford, now considered an institution for fine dining, or Matera’s on Park for an old-school Italian market vibe.

First-timers will probably want to squeeze in some of the city’s instantly recognisable landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building.

Those more familiar with NYC may want to venture out to the new restaurants and bars in Queens and Brooklyn or take a trip to Governor’s Island.



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