Can't make it to the Summer Olympics in Paris? Get a medal-worthy experience in these 4 U.S. cities | Nationwide

According to the American Express Travel 2024 Global Trends Report, 37% of frequent travelers are booking a trip to watch a sporting event this year. The Sporting Event Tourism Association (Sports ETA) reports that Americans will take 205 million sporting event-related trips in 2023. A quarter of fans will fly and one in 10 will visit a destination for the first time, fueling leisure travel across the United States.

The Summer Olympics, one of the most important sporting events of 2024, is set to welcome more than one million tourists to Paris between July and September. To take part in the experience, they will spend at least $2,000 per person on airfare and accommodation, according to Priceline.

If you're feeling the Olympics fever but can't make it to Europe, here are four cities across the United States where sports fans can get a great Olympic experience.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis will transform into a gymnastics city in late June, hosting four prestigious events, including the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and hopes of seeing hometown hero Suni Lee and Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history.

Venture to the Twin Cities to watch popular Summer Olympic games and explore a vibrant downtown where art and nature come together. Stroll through the Riverfront District, the city's oldest neighborhood, and see St. Anthony Falls, Stone Arch Bridge, and Mill Ruins Park. End the day with dinner at the famous Native American restaurant, Owamuni. A must-see in the heart of the city, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features 60 sculptures across 11 beautiful acres. It's open to the public year-round and admission is free.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Travelers looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience should head to Indianapolis in mid-June. The city is a vacation spot within a day's drive of more than half the U.S. population. A century after the city hosted the 1924 Paris Olympic swimming qualifiers, it will welcome 250,000 spectators to watch 1,500 of America's top swimmers compete for 52 coveted spots on the U.S. 2024 Paris Olympic team.

“Indianapolis will host the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials this summer, and for the first time ever, it will be held in an NFL stadium and will be the biggest swimming meet ever,” said Patrick Talty, president of Indiana Sports Corporation.

“The Indiana Convention Center will host Toyota Aqua Zone, a free fan festival with attractions for all ages; USA Swimming Live will bring free concerts, art and other fan activations to the streets of downtown Indianapolis; and in the middle of downtown will be a must-see 66-foot replica Eiffel Tower.”

Visitors to the city can visit the Conquer Museum Campus, located just steps from Lucas Oil Stadium, and White River State Park, which features 250 acres of urban green space, three miles of canal-side walking trails, seven family-friendly museums, and a zoo.

Foodies may not win a gold medal, but they can boast having successfully sampled St. Elmo Steakhouse's infamous shrimp cocktail. The famous joint is known for its sinuses-clearing shrimp cocktail sauce and freshly grated horseradish.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is home to several attractions perfect for gymnastics fans visiting the area, including Garden of the Gods, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), more than 35 national Olympic governing bodies, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and Museum.

“The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs does an incredible job showcasing the history of the modern Olympics and the athletes that make the Olympics so special. The interactive exhibits are so much fun to explore,” says Karee, a frequent traveler and founder of A Woven Journey. “It's a fascinating experience for everyone, but our visit was especially special for my 10-year-old daughter. She was born with a physical disability, and seeing the accomplishments of some of the world's most famous Paralympians was so inspiring not only for her, but for all of us.”

Test your athletic prowess on the Olympic-caliber ski and snowboard simulators at Lemon Lodge Ski Bar, or on the Manitou Incline, one of the most challenging runs in the country, attracting runners, military personnel, Olympians and hikers alike.

Plan to join in the festivities in Olympic City USA during the last week of July: On Saturday, July 27, the Downtown Summer Fest festivities will feature athlete meet-and-greets, demonstrations and live entertainment, while coverage of the Paris events will be broadcast on the big screen at Museum Plaza.

Lake Placid, New York

Escape the summer heat with a trip to Lake Placid, home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics and the second-largest collection of Winter Olympics artifacts in North America. Visit the Olympic Center Museum or watch off-season ski jumpers practice their water landing skills. Ride a thrilling mountain coaster at Mount Van Hoevenburg or enjoy spectacular views from the gondola at Whiteface Mountain.

Amateur athletes and visitors can explore the six million acres of protected Adirondack Mountain region by hiking, kayaking, mountain biking or just taking a leisurely nature walk, or play a round at one of America's oldest golf courses, where some of the game's historical greats have played.

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