The South’s Best Sports Venues You Need to Visit

General view of the Par 3 Course at Augusta National
The best-known par-3 course in golf is the one at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Southerners love sports. Whether it’s the friendly (or not so friendly) competition, the communal atmosphere, or just the love of the game, there are a million reasons we’re hopelessly devoted to watching, playing, and just being around sports. In our neck of the woods, football is a fifth season and there’s no tradition more sacred than hosting an annual Kentucky Derby or Masters party. But our penchant for athletics goes beyond the television screen. While we can’t deny the allure of an at-home watch party or backyard viewing, nothing beats being there in person. The energy, the fans, the unusual traditions—we love it all. We’re so committed to our teams that we’ll travel cross-country to attend playoff games, and often we'll plan an entire trip around those matchups. If any of the above sounds like you, you’ll want to keep reading for our list of 10 bucket list sports venues to visit in the South.

01 of 10

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Home Teams: Atlanta Falcons & Atlanta United

After a $1.6 billion build, Mercedes-Benz Stadium took over for the famed Georgia Dome in 2017. The new-and-improved Atlanta home stadium was designed with fans in mind. The 100 Yard Club is a concession stand and gathering space that runs the entire length of the field, and the AT&T Perch features a video wall airing other games. One of the best things about this stadium is its concessions program. Fan-first pricing means soft drinks are just $2 (including free refills) and beer is only $5.

02 of 10

Kyle Field

Kyle Field. James Thompson

Location: College Station, Texas

Home Team: Texas A&M Aggies

Home to Texas A&M University’s college football team, the energy inside this nearly 100-year-old stadium is absolutely electric. With a capacity of 102,733 people, the stadium is the largest in the SEC and the fourth largest in the country. Often regarded as one of the most intimidating stadiums in the country, this is a must-visit for college football fans everywhere.

03 of 10

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Clubhouse
Augusta National/Getty Images

Location: Augusta, Georgia

As the backdrop to one of the world’s biggest golf tournaments, and one of the South’s biggest traditions, making a trip to Augusta National Golf Club is at the top of many Southerners’ bucket lists. Each April, the world’s most talented golfers descend on this beautiful course to battle it out for the honor of wearing the prestigious green jacket.

04 of 10

Churchill Downs

USA, Kentucky, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby
Joseph McNally / Getty Images

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Another bucket list sporting venue, Churchill Downs has been hosting the biggest horserace in the world since 1875. The ‘fastest two minutes in sports”, along with several days of festivities and events, takes place at this National Historic Landmark each May. If you go, proper attire is required. Don’t forget to bring your hat and seersucker!

05 of 10

AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium will be the home of WrestleMania 32
AT&T Stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Location: Arlington, Texas

Home Team: Dallas Cowboys

Wisconsin’s got Lambeau, but in the South, we have America’s Team and their home field, AT&T Stadium (also known as Cowboy Stadium). Often referred to as Jerry World after longtime Cowboys manager Jerry Jones, the stadium is known for being big and bold—just like its home state. The giant replay screen is absolutely something to write home about.  

06 of 10

Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 12: Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR

Location: Daytona Beach, Florida

When it comes to race car driving, there are two main locations: Talladega and Daytona. The South claims both. Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959 as a NASCAR track. Today, it also hosts ARCA, AMA, and motocross racing, in addition to its seven annual NASCAR races. Most folks will want to visit for the Daytona 500, the sport’s biggest race and a true spectacle.

07 of 10

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium aka the Swamp. James Thompson

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Home Team: Florida Gators

The Swamp has been home to the University of Florida Gators since 1930. Back then, it was known as Florida Field and only had room for 22,000 fans. Today, the stadium can seat over 88,000. When it’s not in use for the Gators’ home games, students can access the stadium for workouts or to just sit in the stands and marvel at the historic stadium’s glory.

08 of 10

Cameron Indoor Stadium

Cameron Indoor Stadium
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 18: Tyus Jones #5 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against Isaiah Hicks #22 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 18, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images).

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Home Team: Duke Blue Devils

While college football is largely king across the South, the temperature shifts when you enter the Triangle thanks to the intense rivalry between the UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils. With a capacity of 9,314, the Blue Devils' home stadium is thought of as the crown jewel of college basketball venues. Its rowdy atmosphere has produced a home win percentage of roughly 85% since the venue opened in 1940.

09 of 10

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega Superspeedway

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Location: Talladega, Alabama

See cars whizz by at speeds of over 200 miles per hour on the world’s longest NASCAR oval. The Talladega Superspeedway, or Dega for short, opened in 1959 and can hold up to 175,000 NASCAR fans at once. The venue is cool, but what’s even more impressive is the culture of tailgating and fan fun that accompanies races here.

10 of 10

Grayson Stadium

Savannah Bananas, Grayson Stadium

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Location: Savannah, Georgia

Home Team: Savannah Bananas

No notable games were played here, and the stands hold only 4,000, but what Grayson Stadium lacks in pomp and circumstance, it more than makes up in spirit. In 2016, the stadium received new life when it became the home field for the Savannah Bananas, part-baseball team, part-variety act that’s an absolute riot and brings ridiculous amounts of fun. Games at Grayson are so coveted that they sell out for the entire season within days of being released. Another huge perk of seeing a game here? Your $25 ticket price includes all-you-can-eat concessions of burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, cookies, and all the peanut and Cracker Jacks you can stomach.

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