Sports Getaways for Nov. 2-5


Sun., Nov. 5

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.

This is the game of the year in the AFC. The conference's two best teams face off -- perhaps in a preview of the AFC Championship -- at Gillette Stadium (1 Patriot Pl.). The Colts' Peyton Manning has proven it all -- with the exception of winning the big one. The Patriots' Tom Brady has won the big one -- but is he past his prime? The bigger question is: Can either of these teams beat the Bears?

Web site: http://www.patriots.com/homepage/

Do: Yes, Philadelphia hosted the Continental Congress. But Boston is the true cradle of our nation's independence. Walk the city's 2.5-mile Freedom Trail (Web site), a 16-stop tour of Revolutionary War-era historical sites. You'll pass Paul Revere's house, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Bunker Hill Monument, the Old North Church, Boston Common and the USS Constitution, among other highlights.

Stay: Stay in Boston, 33 miles northeast of Foxboro. Try the 4-star Sheraton Boston Hotel (39 Dalton St.), where rooms start at $199, or the 3-star Holiday Inn Select Boston-Government Center (5 Blossom St.), with rooms from $207.

Eat: Dine at Grill 23 & Bar (161 Berkeley St., Web site), Boston's gift to beef aficionados. Order the 10-ounce Kobe cap steak or the 14-ounce dry-aged New York cut.

Sat., Nov. 4

Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

This annual race among Thoroughbreds three years and older is considered by many the most prestigious running of all. Often, the winner is anointed the horse of the year. Who will it be this year? Giacomo? Lava Man? Lawyer Ron? Head to Churchill Downs (700 Central Ave.) and find out. The purse is $5 million-the biggest of the year.

Web site: http://www.ntra.com/

Tickets: http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=other&id=4572&style=purple§ion=bc

Do: Arrive Thu, Nov. 2, and head directly to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (2800 S. Floyd St.) for a major matchup of undefeated Big East rivals as No. 6 Louisville hosts No. 4 West Virginia in a game with BCS implications.

Stay: Talk about cheap dates. Stay at the 3-star America's Best Inns Clarksville (342 Eastern Blvd., Clarksville, Ind.), where rooms start at $47, or at the 3-star Holiday Inn Louisville-North (505 Marriott Dr., Clarksville, Ind.), with rooms from $110.

Eat: Dine at Morton's the Steakhouse (626 W. Main St., Louisville, Web site), for the city's best beef. Try the double-cut filet mignon with sauce Bernaise or the Chicago-style bone-in rib-eye steak.


Sun., Nov. 5

New York City

This race, second only to the Boston Marathon in prestige, attracts 37,000 runners, including the world's top professionals -- as well as a crowd of more than two million. The 26.2-mile route begins in Staten Island and passes through all five boroughs, ending at Central Park's famous Tavern on the Green. Who will be first to cross the finish line -- Italy's Stefano Baldini, Ethiopia's Worku Beyi, Kenya's Daniel Cheribo?

Web site: http://www.nycmarathon.org/

Tickets: The event is free. Watch from anywhere along the route (SportsTravel spectator guide/map).

Do: Attend a Thurs., Nov. 2, taping of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report (513 W. 54th St., Tickets). See the master of sarcastic charm bamboozle the newsmaker of the day.

Stay: This is going to cost you. Stay at the 3-star Holiday Inn Manhattan-Downtown/Soho (138 Lafayette St.), where rooms start at $386, or the 3-star The Exchange Hotel (129 Front St.), with rooms from $395.

Eat: Go to Craftsteak (85 10th Ave., Web site), home to some of the city's finest beef. Order the grade-11 New York strip steak or the corn-fed, house-aged T-bone. Take full advantage of the excellent wine list.

Sun., Nov. 5

Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth,

Three to go. With the Dickies 500, held at the 1.5-mile quad-oval Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (3545 Lone Star Circle), NASCAR's Chase for the Cup enters its final lap. Heading into the Atlnata race (Oct. 29), Matt Kenseth holds a 36-point lead over Kevin Harvick.

Web site: http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/

Tickets: http://texasmotorspeedway.com/tickets.aspx?p=Individual

Do: See country music star Tracy Lawrence at Billy Bob's Texas (2520 Rodeo Plaza, Ft. Worth, Tickets), which advertises itself as "The World's Largest Honky Tonk." Built in 1910 as an open-air cattle barn, Billy Bob's is now a combination concert hall (capacity: 6,000)/dance hall/pro bull-riding arena. Talk about a party scene -- Billy Bob's once sold 16,000 bottles of beer during a Hank Williams Jr. concert. Merle Haggard once bought a round of drinks for everyone in the club.

Stay: You'll like the prices. Book a room at the 2-star Care a Lot Inn (1111 W. Lancaster Ave.), which has rooms starting at $79. Or try the 2-star Ambassador Hotel and Suites (2425 Scott Ave.), where rooms start at $98.

Eat: Head to Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House (812 Main St., Web site), the best beef palace in this cattleman's city -- which is saying quite a bit. Try the 16-ounce prime rib-eye steak or go for it all and have the 26-ounce, bone-in Double Eagle strip steak.



Various airlines are offering flight deals to Dallas. Tickets are limited, so hurry: Orbitz deals

NBA road trip! Travel to Dallas' American Airlines Center (2500 Victory Ave.) Thu., Nov. 2, to see Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs take on Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. The next morning, head to Cowboys Golf Club (1600 Fairway Dr., Grapevine, Tex., Web site), and play the nation's first NFL-themed golf course. The clubhouse doubles as a Cowboys Hall of Fame, and markers along the course recall great players and moments in the team's history.


Various airlines are offering flight deals to San Antonio. Tickets are limited, so hurry: Orbitz deals

Get back on the road. Follow the Spurs home to the AT&T Center (1 AT&T Center Pkwy.) Fri., Nov. 3, to see San Antonio play LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before the game, amble along the three-mile-long Riverwalk (Web site), a dining and entertainment district one level below street level that meanders along either bank of the San Antonio River.


Sat., Nov. 4
This is a great day for college football fans. Travel to Tennessee's Neyland Stadium (Phillip Fulmer Way, Knoxville, Tenn.) to see QB Erik Ainge, WR Robert Meachem and the No. 7 Vols host QB JaMarcus Russell, WR Dwayne Bowe and No. 14 LSU. Or visit Nebraska's Memorial Stadium (10th St. and Stadium Dr., Lincoln, Neb.) to see QB Zac Taylor, RB Marlon Lucky and the No. 17 Huskers face QB Chase Daniel, WR William Franklin and No. 24 Missouri. Or trek to Cal's Memorial Stadium (210 Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif.) to see QB Nathan Longshore, WR DeSean Jackson and the No. 11 Golden Bears play rival TB Chris Markey and UCLA.


Fri., Nov. 3

Downtown Las Vegas

Once a month, the downtown streets of Vegas turn into a huge block party, with artisans, local bands, fortune tellers and artists serving as the backdrop for a festival celebrating the city's cultural scene and the arts. Most of the action takes place in the six square blocks bordered by Commerce, California, S. 3rd and Imperial Sts. (Web site).

Also, head to Boyd Stadium (Tickets) Sat., Nov. 4, to see UNLV's Homecoming game against TCU.


Sun., Nov. 5

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, India

The ICC Champions Trophy is cricket's second most coveted title, after the Cricket World Cup. Ten nations will vie for the championship: England, Australia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and Zimbabwe. Head to Brabourne Stadium (Churchgate, Mumbai) Sun., Nov. 5, for the finals (Tickets).
The match will be noise and tumult. For an oasis of peace, visit the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum (19 Laburnam Rd., Web site), the quaint, three-story home where Gandhi lived -- and where, in 1921, he went on a four-day fast to quell unrest in the city. You'll find photographs, Gandhi's books and artifacts of his struggle to win India's freedom. You'll even find his old spinning wheel, where anyone can sit and weave cloth.