City Guides

So you're thinking of visiting Boston for a Sounders match? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

Chicago. The Windy City. Chi-Tow n. Second City. City of Big Shoulders. Shitcago. No matter what you call it, the pizza is deep and the hotdogs are covered in salad. Oh, and this guy, Michael Hadley, co-owns a tattoo shop with two other ECS Members. It is just a short train ride into the south suburbs. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested in getting tattooed while you are here, our artists are loading up on blue and green pigments, but appointment spots are limited!

GETTING THERE

AIRPLANES

Chicago O’Hare is the world’s biggest cluster-muff, so I would absolutely recommend flying into Midway if possible. O’Hare, however, is the hub for American and United, and “focus city” for Frontier and Spirit (discount airlines). Midway is a “focus city” for Southwest, and isn’t that far from stadium in Bridgeview. 

I’m not going to pretend to be an airline whiz, but it’s Chicago. There are a ton of flights from a bunch of places that all come to Chicago in one way or another. You’re going to pay around $200-$300 for airfare, unless you can snag sweet deal on Frontier or Spirit. My wife and I flew for $172 total, combined, roundtrip, on Frontier. There are no frills there, but it can be done for cheap if you’re on a budget.

DRIVE

From Seattle, it sucks. You can do it but…fly. From anywhere in the Midwest, if you can connect to I-55, I-90, I-94, I-80, I-65, or I-57 from where you are, it’s a straight shot to somewhere around the city. If you’re staying in the city proper, you’re going to want to park and keep your car there if possible, many places won’t give you in-and-out privilege. More on that next…

GET AROUND

BY CAR

Like any major city, rental cars are all over the place. Uber, Lyft, and taxis are ALL over the place. Driving can be a major pain in the butt, especially finding parking and/or dealing with rush hour (3pm-7pm Monday-Friday). If you’re going to drive, or want to use your own car, I recommend staying outside of the Loop (downtown) area and in a neighborhood around the city. That way you can take city transit around into downtown if needed, then have your own car for other things away from the insanity that is Chicago proper.

CITY TRANSIT

Chicago has their mass transit group (CTA) like any city, with an extensive rail and bus system to get you just about anywhere you want. The “L” (elevated trains) run all throughout the city, from the Loop (downtown) to all the major neighborhoods, including O’Hare (Blue Line) and Midway (Orange). All-told, the city has eight different train lines to get you around. There are tons of busses as well, but if it’s me, I’d stick to the trains.

SEE/DO

List of Things to Do

Note: Chicago is a World Class city. And if you’re bored around here it’s your own damn fault. The possibilities are quite literally endless no matter where or for how long you’re staying. From the world class museums to world class shopping, there is honestly TOO much to do. For your reading pleasure, I’ve broken it down by name and by a few awesome neighborhoods rather than just listing a couple of things. 

Millennium Park & The Bean, Crown Fountain, etc., Shedd Aquarium, Willis (SEARS.) Tower, Field Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Park or Brookfield Zoo, Museum of Science & Industry, Grant Park (Married with Children fountain), Adler Planetarium, Wrigley Field (Cubs), Chicago Children’s Museum, John Hancock Center & Skydeck, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Lakefront Trail, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago Theater, Riverwalk, National Museum of Mexican Art, Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, International Museum of Surgical Science, DuSable Museum of African American History, Pullman National Monument, Garfield Park, Driehaus Museum (fashion) and finally my favorite, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Yes, I’ve done these, and yes, they are all worth it.

Neighborhoods/Suggestions (Alphabetical)

Note: These are just a few that stick out as “you should go here” type places. For a complete list of neighborhoods to visit, use Google.

Hyde Park – Metra Stop 59th Street (U of Chicago)

Remember when we had a guy named Obama as president? Once you’re done sobbing, this is where he is from! The University of Chicago is nestled in this park-filled neighborhood, rounded out by the Museum of Science and Industry. Major attractions also include Washington Park, Jackson Park (on the lake), the Oriental Institute Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Frederick C. Robie House, and plenty of coffee shops to relax in.

Lakeshore East – Blue Line Stop Washington

For the Bougie Supporter, Lakeshore East is where some of the poshest restaurants are located. Mastro’s Steakhouse, RPM Steak, Joe’s Seafood, and Girl & The Goat highlight this area, along with 4- and 5-Star hotels like the Langham and LondonHouse. 

“Magnificent Mile” aka Michigan Avenue District – Tons of Stops, All Forms of Transit

The Magnificent Mile is prettier in the winter time, but MUCH EASIER TO WALK AROUND during the late spring. If you are looking to go full-tourist, this is the place to be. Listing all the attractions, restaurants, hotels, and shopping you can find here is basically impossible, but check out the interwebs for a complete list. 

“Museum Campus” – Green, Orange, Red Line Stop Roosevelt

This is the best place to go in Chicago if you’re a nerd like me. My wife and I have a membership to Shedd, one of the world’s best aquariums, and we can go from open to close and still rush through the last few displays as we’re chased out. The Field Museum displays Sue the T-Rex, in addition to exhibits from Egypt to the Hall of Birds (hi Kyle!) and the Hall of DNA. Rounding out the campus is the Adler Planetarium and its star (HA) attraction, the Doane Observatory, one of the only research-active, public urban observatories in the world. All three of these incredible facilities are on the same 57-acre plot of land, and are extremely easy to access from anywhere.

Wicker Park – Blue Line Stop Damen

I’ve only recently become acquainted with this area, but it’s a nice little part of town! Nothing too flashy, filled with small bars, secondhand stores, and great food like Devil Dawgs (if you don’t get a hotdog while you’re in Chicago, why did you even come??) or the Taco Bell that serves beer. There are a few great bars here, too, including one, Emporium, that is also a huge arcade.

Wrigleyville – Blue Line Stop Belmont

Focused around, you guessed it, Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville is an upper-middle class neighborhood filled with slightly overpriced bars that are always full of 20- and 30-somethings. There’s not much shopping around, but it’s perfect for walking around before and after a Cubs game, which I STRONGLY recommend if you are at all a fan of baseball. 

Also Visit: Boystown and Lakeview

EAT/DRINK

PIZZA

Unless you’re Tom, Chicago Style Pizza is a must-have while you’re in town. Chicago Style Pizza is basically the size of four pizzas stacked on each other, starting with super thick and fluffy crust topped FIRST with cheese and whatever else you get, then sauce last. It’s huge, it’s pie, and it’s fantastic. Giordano’s, Gino’s East, and Pizzeria Uno are all over the city, plus there are tons of smaller joints like Pequod’s (Lincoln Park & Morton Grove locations) and Lou Malnati’s (River North) you can try. This list from Thrillist is perfect for finding a Chicago pizza pie.

HOTDOGS

Chicago Style Hotdogs have a neat story behind them, and you can get them from just about anywhere and they’ll be awesome. A proper Chicago Style Hotdog has yellow mustard, neon green relish, fresh chopped onion, two tomato wedges, a pickle spear, two sport peppers, and celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun. There are quite literally thousands of places to get hotdog from, of any kind, just don’t ask for ketchup. Some places don’t even have it. My new favorite hotdog place is Devil Dawgs in Wicker Park (but there are multiple locations), where I get the Bull Dawg. 

OTHER PLACES

I promise I’m not being lazy when I say this: You basically can’t go wrong with food in the city. From Al’s Beef to Stan’s Donuts, if it’s remotely local, it’s going to be good. Why do you think we’re all so fat around here?? It’s the food. It’s heavy and delicious. 

SLEEP

Being such a major city, there are hotels everywhere. But, in all seriousness, unless you must stay near Midway (the stadium is close to that airport), I would spend the extra money and stay closer to the city proper, or a neighborhood you identify as somewhere you’d enjoy. The area around Midway isn’t the best, and you’d be better off getting to know the actual city itself. If you are flying into O’Hare, the area (Rosemont) there has some pretty good chain restaurants, in addition to plenty of lodging and a huge outlet mall.

MEMORIES

Chicago Away 2010 was the first match my wife and I ever went to, way back when I had a mohawk (see photo). It was nasty out, and my wife told Matt Gashk she had to pee about 15 times, but Blaise Nkufo (remember him??) scored the game’s only goal in the 88’ which led to a very happy beer shower in our section. We were hooked, and never looked back, and have joined so many of you already here in Chicago for games. 

More personal memories include meeting Blyan for the first time, joining up with the Heartland Horde for the first time (while we were members of SSE living in Pennsylvania), and taking our English friends to their second football game in the states. 

Overall, games in Chicago are a blast. We always have a HUGE turnout, and because Section 8 (their supporter group) just says FIRE over and over (no, seriously…) we are always the loudest group in the stadium. As usual for away days, we are always stuck around kids and families, but it never matters. 

HISTORICAL RECORD

AT CHICAGO: 3W 2D 1L … FORM: D W D W W L

(2009) 1-1 Draw…SSFC (Tyrone Marshall, 74’)

(2010) 1-0 Win…SSFC (Blaise Nkufo, 88’)

(2011) 0-0 Draw…No SSFC Goals

(2012) 2-1 Win…SSFC (Chi. Own Goal, 39’ + Eddie Johnson, 67’) **EJ’s first SSFC goal**

(2014) 3-2 Win…SSFC (Obafemi Martins 31’ + 38’ + Lamar Neagle 78’) **Oba red card game**

(2015) 0-1 Loss…No SSFC Goals

Welcome to the least clicked page on the whole ECS website.  If you are here, you must really like to explore, just like Columbus, am I right?  Right?!  Anybody?!?!

GET THERE

Air
Being the 15th largest city in the U.S., it is easy and inexpensive to fly into (and not over) Columbus.  Unfortunately the only three major hubs that do not have direct flights are Seattle, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City.  Flights typically average $400 RT, though if you cruise the cheaper airlines like Frontier or Spirit you can get under $250 RT.  Although it used to be a giant pile of poo (not literally), the newly upgraded John Glenn International Airport is surprisingly easy to navigate.

Driving
Columbus has the the largest percentage of the U.S. population within 500 miles of it than any other U.S. city.  So there's a good chance you're actually driving here.  Ignore the above paragraph.

GET AROUND

Rental Car

This is probably the best way to get around town, as Columbus is a typically-sprawled Midwestern city.  The airport has most rental companies available and run from $22/day for economy to a wallet-shattering $30/day for an SUV.

Transit
Now that Kansas City built a street car system, Columbus is the largest metropolitan area in the country without a local rail system.  ODOT is currently exploring the idea of Ohio Hub, which would be high-speed rail linking Cincinnati and Cleveland through Columbus, which may give more flight options as well.  

COTA is the city's bus system, and is, well.. ok.  You can purchase a day pass for $4.50.  Or you could get a beer.

If you brought your bike, or want to use CoGo Bike Share, Columbus is actually an easily bikeable city, nearing 165 miles of trails.

City transit should be improving rapidly, and soon.  In June 2016 Columbus beat out 77 other cities to win the $40 million "Smart City Challenge."  They also were awarded a $10 million Vulcan Inc. Grant from Paul Allen.  This will all be put directly to integrating innovative transportation into the city's system, including self-driving cars, connected vehicles, smart sensors, and upgrading to electric buses.

Uber/Lyft
Both operate in Columbus.  If planning on being out on the town, this is probably your best bet anyway.  Practice safe surge price awareness, kids.

SEE/DO

Arena District
Just north of downtown, the Arena District is location of several large venues.  Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL's Blue Jackets, Huntington Park the home of the Cleveland Indians AAA affiliate Columbus Clippers, and Lifestyles Pavilion (formerly PromoWest), an indoor/outdoor concert venue, all call the Arena District their home.  The Arena District also is home to several bars and restaurants and hosts the Columbus Jazz & Rib festival, typically in late July.

German Village
Just south of downtown is German Village, with the Brewery District just to the west.  This was named one of America's Great Neighborhoods in 2011 by the American Planning Association.  A collection of historic homes, small eclectic shops, and some of the best restaurants in Columbus, German Village is a walkable must-see.  Don't miss Schmidt Sausage Haus http://www.schmidthaus.com/ for the all-you-can-eat sausage buffet (cool it..) and the best cream puffs (seriously, cool it..) you've ever had.  Also, just click this link for another place you cannot pass on: https://thethurmancafe.com

Short North
This is by far the most unique part of Columbus.  It is essentially a non-ending line of art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses extending from downtown to Ohio State's campus.  It has a monthly "gallery hop," and is the location of the yearly Pride parade.

Zoo
Thanks to the undying efforts of Jack Hanna, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is consistently ranked in the top 3 of zoos in the country.  Though easy to see an area or two in an hour, if you want to see the whole zoo then plan an entire day.  Zoombezi Bay is an attached water park.  https://www.columbuszoo.org

COSI
The Center of Science and Industry is a 320,000 sq ft building just across the Scioto River from downtown that hosts over 300 interactive science exhibits.  It is also operates the largest outreach education program of any science museum in the country.  Keep an eye out for any of the special exhibits that may be hosted when you are in town.  http://cosi.org

Cedar Point
If making a weekend or longer trip of it, do not miss out on the opportunity to drive 2 1/2 hours north to Sandusky and go to the best amusement park in the world.  No, seriously.  Cedar Point is consistently topping the charts with the most innovative roller coasters, all on the shores of Lake Erie.  https://www.cedarpoint.com

Festivals
Should a match happen in June, check to see what festivals are happening in town.  This month typically plays host to Park Street Festival, Pride, ComFest, and Juneteenth.

EAT/DRINK

Columbus is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Midwest, and its demographics nearly match the national average.  This makes Columbus one of the nation's premiere test markets for stores and restaurants.  Add to that a robust immigrant population, and Columbus has nearly any style of food you could wish for.  This is good, as there is no "stereotypical Columbus cuisine" other than the tears of That Team Up North.

To be honest, there are so many places to try, so here are a few links to explore: http://bit.ly/2gk8r9U, http://bit.ly/2iuEt2P

Columbus also has a burgeoning craft brewery scene, changing the whole game from being "just another Anheuser-Busch brewery town."  There are a couple dozen, all with taprooms and most with food.  Most recommended would be Wolf's Ridge and Land Grant.

SLEEP

Forget staying close to the stadium or airport.  It is completely worth the price to stay at a nicer place near downtown.  You will more than make up for the difference in transportation costs to other things to do.

MATCHDAY

It made sense back in 1999 to make a stadium at the fairgrounds that could easily be converted to something else when MLS folded.  However, there are high school football stadiums in town that are better than Crew Stadium (what's a Mapfre?).  Anthony Precourt has yet to make good on his plans for a downtown stadium, so in the meantime we have to deal with a bad stadium in the worst part of town.  At least it's in our town, right Dallas?  Red Bulls?  Rapids?

Matchdays typically have consisted of either a Heartland Horde hosted or non-hosted tailgate.  Depending on the size of the group for certain matches, we can also look into a pre-func location with a bus to and from.  And never forget: #hatweek 

MEMORIES

Three points. Family. Hats.

Considering a trip to the “Big D” (Dallas) to support the Sounders? Here’s everything you’ll need to know.

GET THERE

Air

Non-stop flights from Seattle to DFW are available on Alaska and American Airlines. Booked in advance, round-trip flights on Alaska go as low as $240 and American usually has similar prices. If you book in advance you will find the best prices (average round-trip: $250-$280) and most availability. Waiting closer to time or after many flights are already booked will result in your flight being $300-$450 round-trip.
If you don’t mind a connecting flight with a stop (or multiple stops) along the way then there are other airlines including Spirit, Delta, United, Virgin America, and Frontier. Spirit offers the cheapest base fare (usually around $200-$225 round-trip) however, it’s Spirit and they have many other fees and you will end up paying more in the end. Delta, United, Virgin America, and Frontier all usually run between $275-$340 round-trip but each airline will occasionally offer a sale or promotion and you might be able to find cheaper prices if you don’t mind the stop on the way.
Every carrier except Southwest Airlines flies into DFW Airport, which is located roughly 20 miles east of downtown Dallas and 25 miles southwest of the stadium. Southwest Airlines does offer non-stop flights as well as connecting flights from Seattle to Dallas Love Field (DAL). Flights on Southwest are as low at $250 round-trip and average around $280 round-trip. Love Field located 5 miles from downtown Dallas and approximately 25 miles south of the stadium.

Driving
Deathly afraid of flying? Want to put ~4,200 miles on your vehicle in the span of a week? The drive from Seattle to Frisco (where Toyota Stadium is located) is approx. 30 hours of drive-time (60 hours round-trip) so you will need to plan out multiple days to make the road trip.

If you’re traveling from the surrounding states or the Heartland (shout out to the Heartland Horde sub-group) then the major interstates that you’ll likely be traveling that lead to the DFW area are I-20, I-30, I-35, and I-45. The stadium itself is in Frisco (28 miles north of downtown Dallas) and is connected via the Dallas North Tollway (DNT). If you are staying east or west of Frisco, the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SH-121) runs along this direction and intersects Dallas North Tollway. If you are looking to stay off the tollway and travel parallel to it, use Preston Road (Texas State Highway 289) up to Main Street in Frisco. Accordingly, if you use the tollways in and around Dallas/Frisco you will be billed, even if you have out of state plates. For more info on the tollways check out the North Texas Tollway Authority website
https://www.ntta.org/

GET AROUND
Rental Car:
Renting a car is pretty much a requirement for Dallas since there is very little public transit and NO PUBLIC TRANSIT TO THE STADIUM. Toyota Stadium is located 28 miles north of downtown in a suburb called Frisco. It is possible to stay in a hotel near the stadium but even then a rental car would be advisable to get to and from the airport and to and away from the stadium on game day.

Public Transit
Mass transit is literally impossible. Frisco does not have a mass transit system. The only public transit is in the immediate Dallas-Fort Worth area which is the DART rail and bus system. DART offers rail service from DFW Airport to downtown Dallas via the Orange Line. Rail service runs from downtown Dallas as far north as Plano which is still 20 miles (by car) to the stadium. For more info on DART check out their website (here is a link to the DART rail map).  
https://www.dart.org/maps/printrailmap.asp

Uber
The Dallas area has a lot of Uber drivers. I have utilized the Uber service in the DFW area and it’s a better alternative to a taxi but will still end up costing you more than a rental would cost. The “fare estimate” for downtown Dallas to the stadium is as low as $30 and averages around $48. The “fare estimate” for DFW airport to Toyota Stadium is around $30 up to $70. To check out more about Uber and see fare estimates go to this website. 
https://www.uber.com/fare-estimate/

 

SEE / DO
Dallas offers a surprisingly wide array of fun and interesting experiences, only a small number of which involve livestock.

Dallas
Sixth Floor Museum
Located in the former Texas School Book Depository, this museum chronicles the life and times of JFK as well as well as his assassination.
http://www.jfk.org

Dallas Arts District
Home to several art museums, an opera, a symphony house, and a theater. Centrally located and offering about as much culture as Dallas can muster.
http://www.thedallasartsdistrict.org/

Dallas Arboretum
Located on the southeast side of White Rock Lake and a perfect place to shake off the Seattle winter doldrums.
http://www.dallasarboretum.org/

Dallas CityPass
So if the Sixth Floor Museum and Dallas Arboretum sound like a couple of things you might like to do then why not try the Dallas CityPass which includes admission to both as well as the iconic Reunion Tower (Observation deck) and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Much like Seattle’s CityPass (same company) this is the best value if you want to visit multiple attractions.
http://www.citypass.com/dallas


Fort Worth
Ft. Worth Stockyards
Located in nearby Ft. Worth (think Tacoma to Seattle) the stockyards are a sprawling complex of rodeos, honky-tonks, and western wear shops.
http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

Arlington
AT&T Stadium
While most of us are NOT Cowboys fans and we love our CenturyLink field; if you’ve ever been to “Jerry World” you have to admit this place is pretty stunning. If you want an experience while in town, make the trip out to Arlington (20 miles west of downtown Dallas and approx. 40 miles from Frisco) and do an AT&T Stadium tour. You’ll have to check their website for “Blackout” dates and tour availability but you can buy tickets online. http://attstadium.com/tours

The Colony/Allen
TopGolf
I’m not the biggest fan of watching or even playing golf but I am a fan of TopGolf and I think they have something going for them. This Dallas-headquartered company has expanded to dozens of locations since opening its first location in the U.S. in 2005. The Dallas area now boasts 4 locations. The concept is that of a driving range except for imagine combining darts with golf. The premise is to wave your club in front of a sensor which dispenses a ball. Each ball is microchipped and after you hit the ball it tracks where the ball goes. The object is to hit the ball into different color-coordinated targets which are in the ground. TopGolf is hard to explain to first timers but it is a load of fun. Now couple TopGolf with a wide-variety of drink offerings (from craft beers to mixed drinks), food (from appetizers and snacks to burgers), and you have quite the fun experience in the making.
The Colony is a city about 5 miles from Frisco and offers the closest location (9 miles from the stadium) however in my experience the Allen location is the best venue. Allen is located 15 miles southeast of Frisco. Here are the links to both locations
http://topgolf.com/us/the-colony/        http://topgolf.com/us/allen/

Frisco
National Videogame Museum
Looking for something a little closer to the stadium? Are you a gamer or perhaps you grew up in the 70s, 80s, or 90s in the “glory days” of video games? Well then you would definitely enjoy the National Videogame Museum, yes the NATIONAL museum for this is located in Frisco, Texas. It has an amazing display of all the gaming systems ever produced including prototypes and it even has many hands on displays. Many people’s favorite part is at the end of the museum where you get to play in the arcade and enjoy a lot of the “classics”. You get tokens as part of your admission but they have additional tokens for purchase for the avid arcade junkies. http://nvmusa.org/

 

EAT / DRINK

BBQ

The Dallas area is home to many legendary BBQ places, plan ahead because several of these places close when they run out of food for the day (and that happens quickly). 

  • Pecan Lodgehttps://www.yelp.com/biz/pecan-lodge-dallas-3
    A destination that can legitimately claim to be the best BBQ in the world. If you're late (like, not in line when the bell rings...) you'll probably find yourself without food. This is a place where locals take those from out of town to show them good Texas BBQ.
    http://pecanlodge.com/
  • Lockhart Smokehousehttps://www.yelp.com/biz/lockhart-smokehouse-dallas Order by the pound, no utensils, and meat so good that you won’t even need BBQ sauce (they do have sauce available though). They cut to order... so you can ask for brisket, extra bark, and light on the fat (for example). They have a location in downtown Dallas and one in Plano as well. Check their website for their menu, hours, and directions. http://www.lockhartsmokehouse.com/
  • Hard Eight BBQhttps://www.yelp.com/biz/hard-eight-bbq-coppell
    Sit on the outdoor deck, watch sports on the TV at a picnic table, drink draft beers, and come away smelling like BBQ. As you walk up to the line you will smell the BBQ from the parking lot and it will work up your appetite. There are two huge BBQ pits with all the assorted meats on them. You pick your selections a la carte and they are weighed individually and priced by the pound or half pound. I recommend the jalapeno sausage, brisket, and chicken or shrimp poppers which are wrapped in bacon. After selecting your meats you go inside and pick at the fixins (sides) that you want. Hard Eight opened a new location in The Colony in 2016 and it is only about 10 minutes from the stadium. The BEST location is in Coppell which is about 5-10 minutes from DFW airport. Check out their website for the menu, pricing, and the location and directions.
    http://www.hardeightbbq.com/

Tex-Mex/Mexican Food
After BBQ, Tex-Mex is the 2nd most popular cuisine in Texas. The Dallas area has several prestigious Tex-Mex chains and a few local places that rank as some of the best Tex-Mex in the entire state.

  • La Hacienda Ranchhttps://www.yelp.com/biz/la-hacienda-ranch-frisco
    Mariano Martinez was a Mexican-American high school dropout, however he was an entrepreneur and went on to invent the frozen margarita machine (who doesn’t love frozen margaritas?) and the La Hacienda Ranch restaurant chain. La Hacienda ranch uses the highest quality beef and chicken for their fajitas (my recommendation) and they have very good Tex-Mex dishes. With a location in Frisco just 5 minutes away from the stadium, LaHa (as it’s referred to by locals) is just the place to get Tex-Mex in Frisco. They also have locations in Dallas, Colleyville, North Dallas, Carrollton, and Arlington.
    https://www.laharanch.com/about-us/
  • Meso Mayahttps://www.yelp.com/biz/meso-maya-dallas-4?osq=tex+mex+restaurants  
    Meso Maya is arguably the most popular Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas and it is one of the highest rated on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other social media sites. Meso Maya’s main location is in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas which is downtown. There are a few other locations as well so check their website to see which one is most convenient to you as the service and quality is pretty consistent among all locations.
    http://www.mesomaya.com/
  • E Barhttps://www.yelp.com/biz/e-bar-dallas-2 
    E Bar Tex-Mex restaurant is located in Uptown Dallas. The food at E Bar is high quality but the prices aren’t reflective of a high-end restaurant so that makes E Bar one of the best value Tex-Mex restaurants in all of Dallas. Pair their amazing food with a great Happy Hour and drink specials and you have something special in E Bar. They only have one location which is in Uptown Dallas about 2.5 miles northeast of downtown.
    http://www.ebartexmex.com/



Other areas/places around Dallas:

Uptown Dallas

Get your fancy eat/drink on… Centered around McKinney Ave west of downtown and featuring restaurants like Shake Shack (made famous in NYC) this is where upscale Dallasites go to shop and eat.
http://www.uptowndallas.net/

Deep Ellum
Get your not so fancy eat/drink on... Just north of downtown Dallas. Home to several tattoo parlors, barber shops, coffee shops, restaurants, a major local brewery (Deep Ellum Brewing), and a few concert venues.
http://deepellumtexas.com/   http://www.deepellumbrewing.com/

Trinity Hall Irish Pub
Entirely mediocre, but the best place to catch early games from Europe; opens at 6:30 CST most Saturdays and Sundays.
http://www.trinityhall.tv/

British Lion Pub
Located in Frisco adjacent to the parking lot (Red lot) for Toyota Stadium, this pub serves as the most obvious (and official) place to pre-func for Sounders fans before we march to the match. The British Lion Pub (formerly “The Londoner”)… the name may have changed but the service and beer selection have remained the same. They always welcome us when the Sounders are in town and we seem to have a good relationship with this place. Be aware this is an official Manchester City bar for City games so those take priority while those fixtures are on, any other time it’s your average soccer pub. http://www.thebritishlionpub.com/

 

SLEEP
There are very limited hotel options right near Toyota Stadium in Frisco. There are many hotels from major hotel chains in Frisco however they are not within walking distance but are a short drive to the stadium. The one hotel right by the stadium that is within walking distance to the pub and the stadium is the Comfort Suites Frisco.
https://www.choicehotels.com/texas/frisco/comfort-suites-hotels/txa76

Staying closer to downtown Dallas will offer more opportunity to enjoy the rest of what Dallas has to offer. If your preference is for a certain chain hotel this can no doubt be accommodated.

Omni Hotel Dallas is immediately downtown and has become a part of the Dallas skyline and often displays graphics and light effects on the exterior of the building. Since it is located near Reunion Tower and the Convention Center it is in a popular area and is a bit more pricey than most chains but it is also one of the higher-rated hotel properties in Dallas. https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/dallas

The Joule, The Adolphus, and Magnolia hotels are all luxury hotels near one another in downtown Dallas. They offer a relatively unique experience. They are a bit more expensive, but often discount their rooms heavily.
http://www.thejouledallas.com/
http://www.magnoliahotels.com/dallas/magnolia-hotel-dallas.php
http://www.hoteladolphus.com/

 

MATCHDAY
Matchday festivities typically begin and end at the British Lion Pub in Frisco across the parking lot from the stadium, check with the travel monkeys and the trip thread to confirm.  Parking is available for free at the stadium. Usually we meet up as a group to march over to the match. Dallas provides a security escort to lead us over to the stadium and through the gate.

 

GET HOME
With three points.

Want More Dallas tips?  Check out wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Dallas

Get There

Air
Roundtrip non-stop flights from Seattle to Kansas City (MCI) start around $300 in the off-season and can climb up to around $450 in the summer.  Non-stop providers are Alaska and American Airlines.  One-stop airlines include United, Delta, and Southwest.  Prices are slightly higher for those airlines.  An alternative to MCI would be Omaha (OMA), three hour drive to the north.  Flights are generally $100 cheaper than to MCI, but then you have to get to Kansas City…  Another alternative would be St. Louis, 3.5 hour drive to the east.  Prices are comparable to flights to MCI.

Driving
Easy.  Take I-90 to I-29 near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Hang a right to go south. Take the I-435 south exit in Missouri.  Exit 14B when you get into Kansas.  On Parallel Parkway make an immediate left and you’ll end up at Children’s Mercy Park.  Hang a right and we usually gather on the second left, near the entrance to the Kansas Speedway.  I recommend overnight stops in Bozeman, MT, and Rapid City, SD.

Get Around
Rental Car
MCI has the usual car rental jockeys.  Rental rates start around $30 for an economy class car and can go up to about $60 for a full-sized SUV.  Rates will go up if you wait until you get there so plan ahead.  Zipcar is also available at $10/hr or $79/day.  Kinda pricy if you ask me.  Uber and Lyft are also available.  Of course, there are a lot of Heartland Horde folks with their cars in town, just ask.

Transit
Kansas City covers two states – Kansas, where Children’s Mercy Park is located, and Missouri, where most attractions will be.  KCATA does cover all of Kansas City, so don’t worry about getting around.  Route 101 goes directly by Children’s Mercy Park and the Kansas Speedway.  It starts in the Missouri side and crosses over fairly early.  There are two major bus intersections.  The first on 7th & Minnesota where you can transfer from routes 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, and 546.  The second on 4th and State Ave.  There you can transfer from routes 102, 106, 107, 113, 115, and 116.

Taxi
Don’t do it.  Get a friend or two and call an Uber if you have to.

See/Do
There’s so much to do in Kansas City.  My personal favorites include:

WW1 Museum
https://www.theworldwar.org/
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s only museum dedicated to sharing the stories of the Great War through the eyes of those who lived it.  Interactive displays, thought-provoking films and eyewitness testimonies help guide visitors through one of the largest collections of WWI artifacts in the world.  From the first shots fired in 1914 to the last attempts at peace in 1919, this award-winning museum offers a global perspective of “The War to End All Wars,” and includes firsthand accounts from the battlefield and home front alike.

Steamboat “Arabia” Museum
http://1856.com/
The Arabia Steamboat Museum is a unique Kansas City attraction: a time capsule of life on the American frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.  She was one of many casualties of the perilous Missouri River.  In September 1856, the Arabia was carrying over 200 tons of cargo intended for general stores and homes in 16 mid-western frontier towns.  The steamer was still fully loaded when it hit a tree snag and sank just 6 miles west of Kansas City.

American Jazz Museum
https://americanjazzmuseum.org/
The American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibitions and films, visual arts exhibitions in the Art Gallery and Photography Gallery, the Blue Room Jazz Club, and the Gem Theater performing arts center. Public programming for all ages and youth education enliven the history and music.

Kansas City Zoo
https://www.kansascityzoo.org/
It’s a zoo, so…  You probably know what you’ll find there.

World of Fun/Oceans of Fun
https://www.worldsoffun.com/
Your senses come alive as you enter the gate, the sights and sounds take over, and the little ones in your family take your hand. Breathtaking views from towering coasters, hair-raising thrill rides, and a kids area that is the playground for new memories. Oh, and lots of water and slides.

Schlitterbahn
http://www.schlitterbahn.com/kansas-city
At Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City, families enjoy shared experiences, such as an interconnected river system that takes them through more than a mile of rapids, currents, and tidal waves. Guests challenge towering water slides and a thrilling water coaster, then ride the wave on the Boogie Bahn surf ride. Kids splash and play on 13 mini slides. Relax on beaches, in private cabanas, or in a heated pool with a swim-up refreshment bar.  It was closed last year because a kid was launched off one of the slides, but I hope they fixed that.

Eat/Drink
Food (non-BBQ)
Longboards
http://longboardswrapsandbowls.com/
Longboards is the Wrap Shack. We love surf lifestyle and the island state of mind, that’s why we make filling flavorful wraps and bowls with the best flavors of the Pacific coasts of Hawaii, California, Japan, China, Mexico, and beyond.

Zaina
https://zainakcmo.com/
Zaina opened in 1976 to create Mediterranean dishes for all of Kansas City to enjoy. From our famous chicken shawarma to the delicious vegetarian falafel, our fresh ingredients and original flavor will leave you wanting more!

LCs Hamburgers
https://www.facebook.com/LCs-Hamburgers-Etc-142031210139/
A little hole in the wall, but the burgers are fantastic.

Korma Sutra
http://kckormasutra.net/
Two locations.  Some of the best Indian cuisine this side of the Ganjes.

Papu’s
https://www.facebook.com/Papus-Cafe-186288011403495/
Hands down the best <$10 food in all of Kansas and Missouri.  Did I mention it’s in a gas station?

Food (non-BBQ)
All KC BBQ is good, take your pick (Diner favorites in parenthesis):
Q39 - q39kc.com (Burnt End Burger) *
Jack Stack Barbecue - jackstackbbq.com (Brisket or Ribs) *
Char Bar - charbarkc.com (Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Duck Gumbo) * #
Arthur Bryant’s (The original KC BBQ) - arthurbryantsbbq.com (Everything)
BB’s Lawnside BBQ & Blues - bbslawnsidebbq.com (Ribs, Pulled Pork,and BBQ Sundae) *
Gates BBQ -
gatesbbq.com (Brisket) *
LC’s Bar-B-Q - lcsbarbq.com (Ribs) *
Smokehouse BBQ - smokehousebbq.com (Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends & Cheesy Corn)
Smokin’ Guns - smokingunsbbq.com (Burnt Ends, Brisket Sandwich) %
Danny Edward’s BLVD BBQ - dannyedwardsblvdbbq.com (Brisket) *
* = TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
# = 2016 pre-funk location for the Heartland Horde
% = A Guy Fieri favorite

Beer
Boulevard
boulevard.com
Oldest and most famous of KC breweries. Tour the new facility.

Cinder Block Brewery
cinderblockbrewery.com
Nice atmosphere.  Also serve brandy from Jamaica and Kentucky bourbon straight from the barrel.  Just north of downtown KC.

The Big Rip Brewing Co.
bigripbrewing.com
A portion of their profits go back into the local community. Their English Pale Ale won some awards.  The taproom is small but has an attached patio.

KC Bier Co.
kcbier.com
German biers and German food.  Good food and great beers.  Tours on Saturday for $10, includes three beers and a KCBC glass.

Double Shift Brewing
doubleshiftbrewing.com
Opened in 2015 by a firefighter.  Roomy bar.  Good beer and pizza.

Taprooms to try:
The Belfry – features premium craft beers and bourbon.
Tapdade – with a retro arcade and 45 seat theater.
Green Room Burgers and Bar – “Nano-brewery” with fancy burgers and sandwiches.
Bier Station – Award winning taproom with German style pub grub.

Sleep
If you’re in town only for the game and nothing more or don’t want to go too far on game day, you can always stay at the Country Inns & Suites, right across the street from the location historically designated for our tailgates.  (https://www.countryinns.com/kansas-city-hotel-ks-66111/kskcvwst).  Other hotels in the area include Chateau Avalon, Hampton Inn Kansas City Village West, Holiday Inn Express Village West, Candlewood Suites Kansas City (for extended stay). Check the travel thread to see where others are staying and book accordingly.

Matchday
We’ve historically partnered with the Heartland Horde and held a no-host tailgate party, but check the travel page and matchday thread for specific plans. Before the tailgate we usually meet at the Kansas Speedway, but this may be subject to change. Sporting KC usually provide two buses for transportation to and from the stadium.  Port-a-potties are provided, but can be yucky, so plan accordingly.  Children’s Mercy Park is located near a large and outdoor mall and shopping area that includes acceptable food and bar options, most of which can be found in other malls around the country, nothing local except for an Arthur Bryant BBQ location near the stadium.  If driving, please do NOT park in the mall parking area, SKC provide us with a parking area near the tailgate location with quick access to the main streets.

The sunshine is calling! You’ve decided enough is enough with this rain.  It’s time to see blue skies, the ocean and the Sounders without your poncho. Welcome to LA away! Here is all you need to know about traveling to SoCal.

Getting Here

For those travelling by air, know that the most regular and reliable flights from Seattle to Minneapolis/St Paul are on Delta; however there are often less expensive flights available from Sun Country Airlines (direct) or Alaska Airlines . All major airlines do serve MSP, so check for deals. As of today, the cost of the August weekend flights are only a few dollars apart.  The more awkward the hours you want to fly, the cheaper the flight.  Regardless of how you fly in, you will land at MSP.  There are two terminals at MSP – creatively named “Terminal One” and “Terminal Two” (They used to have real names like Lindbergh and Humphrey, but someone thought that was too complicated.)  If you are coming in for the game, whether this year when the game will be at the University of Minnesota’s Stadium (TCF Bank Stadium) or next year when the soccer specific stadium will be erected in the Midway area of St. Paul, both stadiums are on the light rail system which serves both terminals at MSP. If you land at terminal one, you will need to take a short shuttle ride and follow signs for light rail access. While MSP is not a tough area to drive in, for a short trip to see a game you may not need a car at all to enjoy the cities.  If you have family to visit in the suburbs or plan to go up north for some time at our lakes and trails, you will need a car.  If you do need to rent a car, all major car rental companies are at MSP. Beware that hotel parking can be pricy, and even if you do rent a car, plan on public transit to the game.

Amtrak will get you right from Seattle to Minneapolis in about 38 hours, but if you want to make a trip out of this, schedule yourself with a few days at Glacier Park to break the trip up.

If you want to drive, I have no special advice for you unless it is between September and May, in which case be comfortable with ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain, interstate closures and whiteout conditions. Be warned:North Dakota is NOT scenic.

Ground Transportation

As mentioned above, the metropolitan light rail runs from the airport to many important places—downtown Minneapolis, the Mall of America (for those of you who like that kind of thing,) Stadium Village, where the game will be played, and even to the site of the new stadium, where ground has not yet been broken….but it is hard to break ground when the low this week was -20.  For most of the places on this guide, the light rail will get you there or will bus service.  We have an increasingly high Uber and Lyft presence and good taxi service (two most popular linked) as well.  The Twin Cities also have a great public bicycle program called Nice Ride (you can register online before you arrive) and one of the most extensive dedicated bike path systems in the US (either MSP or Portland tends to win the annual award for best bike access.  I know who you are rooting for.) Saint Paul bike paths are not as often dedicated, but also well done. If you are staying downtown Minneapolis or near the stadium, you can make the trip by bike quite easily.  If none of this works, we are a zipcar city as well.

Welcome to the Twin Cities

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are geographically contiguous, and have long lived with a bit of a rivalry.  The common view is that Saint Paul is the last Eastern City and Minneapolis is the first Western city, whatever that means.  At risk of overstating the cases, here are the core differences

 

 

St Paul

  • Older and smaller
  • Home to State Capitol and the seat of state government
  • Home to second largest US Hmong Community
  • Home to one of the  nation's longest preserved stretch of Victorian and Edwardian era homes (along Summit Avenue)
  • Thriving artistic community in the Lowertown Area
  • Home to the History Center, Science Museum and Children’s Museum, all world-class and great for families
  • Cool funky neighborhoods and liberal art colleges such as Macalester, Hamline and Concordia
  • The best strip of small ethnic restaurants in the Twin Cities (and on light rail) on University Ave
  • Not built on a grid.  Ask for directions, but beware that everyone’s directions will be different. You will get confused.
  • Home of the State Fair – a cultural phenomenon
  • Spirit Animals: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Schultz and Herb Brooks (miracle on Ice) 

 

Minneapolis

  • More “big city” feel with a more modern and dense downtown
  • Home to all of the major sports stadiums except hockey
  • Largest US Somali Community centered in Cedar Riverside (referred to by some as “Little Mogadishu”) a neighborhood on the West Bank of the Mississippi near the U of M.
  • Home to Minnehaha Falls, a Twin Cities must see.  This is in a huge urban park that offers up Sea Salt, where you can sit under the trees, listen to the sound of the falls and eat fresh seafood with your Minnesota beer.
  • High concentration of music venues such as the famous First Avenue and amazing food in every zip code. Triple Rock Social Club is also phenomenal.
  • Home to the chain of lakes, a beautiful urban chain of greenspace, outdoor entertainment and eating establishments.
  • Thriving arts community and distilleries, breweries and restaurants abound in Northeast although be warned, this is NOT on the light rail, but is accessible by bike and bus.
  • Home to the flagship campus of the University of Minnesota
  • Major arts are here.  The art institute, Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center, home to the famous Spoon and Cherry , part of a sculpture garden to be reopened this summer.
  • Spirit Animals: Prince, the Coen Brothers, Louis Anderson (Bob Dylan lived here but was born in Hibbing, MN)

 

Food

When the President last visited, he went to Matt’s Bar for a juicy Lucy—basically an inside out cheeseburger.  This is a big deal here.  There are rivalries and claims about who makes the best or first juicy Lucy, although Matt’s Bar says they originated it here (where it is called the Jucy Lucy.)  I’m not wading into the battle, so here is a link to the top Juicy Lucies in the Twin Cities.

As mentioned above, University Ave in St. Paul is great for little ethnic places and the Minneapolis equivalent is “Eat Street.”  Special mention to Quang Deli for authentic, inexpensive Vietnamese, Glam Doll donuts for outrageously unique donuts, and Icehouse for some of the best bloodies, food and often live music.

For those wanting to stick near downtown, a couple of huge standouts and favorites with folks coming to see sports are Pizza Luce (actually several locations,) a pizza joint with a tattoo and piercing vibe, killer wings and salads and an attitude to love. They will do everything vegan as well as gluten free and their pies are legendary.

A local favorite and a place to go for the experience, the food and the great vibe is Hell’s Kitchen. Great food, great drinks, locally sourced, scratch stuff in a cool environment.  A few more downtown hotspots include Smack Shack, where you can get lobster rolls and whole lobsters in a loud, pub-like atmosphere, and Crave which has an almost-always crowded rooftop bar.

Drink

We have breweries.  Lots of breweries.  If you only want to visit one, make it Surly Brewing Company’s destination brewery with a beer hall, restaurants, a full tour and some fine, fine beer.  Check out others, however, as each has their own character; most don’t have food but will have food trucks available.  If you want to go big, there are some brewery tours. If you want to go little, try Steel Toe Brewing , in an industrial park a half block off of the Southwest bike trail, which connects to downtown by the Cedar Lake Trail.  A great afternoon’s ride. Another notable option is the Eastlake Craft Brewery.  This wind-powered brewery is located in a corner of the Midtown Global Market, which means you can grab food from adjacent local legends such as Taco Cat, Manny’s Tortas and Hot Indian Foods.  If you are planning to take in a Twins game, try Fulton Brewery, steps away from Target Field, which opens two hours prior to Twins home games

If you want to try some other beverages, there is a burgeoning distillery scene as well.

Party

For hopping nightlife, the Uptown area of Minneapolis is the place, and since its summer, you might want to check out the rooftop bars at Stella’s, Libertine and the Uptown Tavern

Sports

The Minnesota Twins may not be the most winning team in baseball, but their downtown stadium is a fabulous place to take in a game and sample some of Minnesota’s great food. The three time WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx start their season the first week of August.  The Science Museum in St. Paul has an exhibit called “Sportsology” that focuses on the science of athletes and includes some compelling soccer related portions.

The downtown soccer bars are Brits Pub, where you can lawn bowl on the roof, and The Local where they will pour you a nice Guinness and Jameson.

 

Top Things to Do

Links Above:

  1. Take your picture with the Prince star outside First Avenue
  2. Take your picture with the Spoon and Cherry at the Walker Sculpture Garden
  3. Ride the ten mile path around the chain of lakes or just do one lake.
  4. Go to the destination brewery at Surly and eat in the beer hall
  5. Ride the light rail from Minneapolis to St. Paul and eat along the way
  6. Visit one of the great St. Paul museums
  7. Catch a Twins or Lynx game
  8. Do the breweries and distilleries of Northeast
  9. Have a brunch to tell your friends about at Hell’s Kitchen
  10. Eat a juicy Lucy to say you did it.
  11. Check out Minnehaha Falls and remember your Longfellow from high school

 

Stay

There are some hotels in the University area that would allow a shorter trip to the stadium, but your best bet is to stay downtown.  There are a wide variety of hotels available at every price point.  The closer you are to the light rail, the easier your trip on game day.

Game Day

Since this is new, we are still working on the details. I’ve contacted the Dark Clouds (MU supporters group) to find out where their official pre-game gathering place will be and will then id an alternative. They are not rushing to respond. Watch for communication from the travel peeps.

 

Before we even start City Guide : Montréal, go grab your Passport. Go on now, don’t wait around all day. Verify that it is current and that it won’t expire within six (6) months of travel. If not, follow this link to renew.

HOW TO GET TO MONTREAL : 

BY AIR

Roundtrip flights from Seattle to Montréal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL)   often range from approx. $473.00 CAD for off peak to $625.00+ for peak, with the majority of affordable flights being through Delta or United. There are no non-stop flights available, so you will require a connection, however, where you connect does not overly affect the cost of the trip. Transport from Trudeau is fairly easy with a majority of cabs available (approx. cost $37.00 CAD -  $65.00 CAD to downtown centre) or the local transit system between buses/subway for approx. $13.50 CAD (cost of a weekend pass). There is also a 24/7 Shuttle Bus that runs from Trudeau to the main transit station in downtown Montréal, 747 Aéroport P.-E.-Trudeau.

The only other real option for alternative airports outside of Trudeau International is Burlington (BTV) in Vermont (153 KM/95 Miles south of Montréal). Starting costs are about the same for non-peak, however, peak cost can go well north of $700.00 CAD. Although, if you take this option you would only require your Enhanced Driver’s License or Passport Card to enter Canada, vice your full Passport. The downside to this option is that you will require a Rental Car.  

BY CAR 

If taking a straight shot drive of 4691.56 KM / 2915.2 miles is your cup of coffee (proper Seattle coffee, of course), then this option is totally for you. This also gives you more options for Border crossings as you can jump in to Canada at almost any time, depending on how much of the US/Canada you wish to see. Parking can get expensive in Montréal if you don’t know where to go. Downtown will usually set you back anywhere from $20.00 CAD to $50.00 CAD a day, so be sure to shop around where your hotel is located for the best option.  

If you take the “Fly in to Burlington” option and rent a car, you’re looking at about a 2hr drive plus the border crossing (approx. 60min on a good day). 

GETTING AROUND THE CITY :

PUBLIC TRANSIT

While there are Taxis available, the Société de Dransport de Montréal (STM) is going to be the best bet for easy travel around the city. Comprised of both a subway & a bus system, you use the same tickets and have no need to shop around. 

The station(s) you would require to get to Stade Saputo and Stade Olympique are on the GREEN LINE and are called “PIE-IX” & “VIAU

THINGS TO SEE & DO IN “THE CITY OF A HUNDRED STEEPLES”

Montréal did not receive its nickname of “The City Of A Hundred Steeples” for now reason. The city holds some of the oldest churches & cathedrals in Canada. The most famous of these is Montreal's oldest Catholic church, the Notre-Dame Basilica. Built in 1656, is known for its intricately designed interior, which includes stained glass chronicling the history of the city. 

Old Montréal is an historic part of the city that offers a little bit of everything and has the feel of stepping back in time to Old France. From the beautiful Hotel Place d’Armes, the thought provoking Museum Pointe-à-Callière prestigious 18th century Château Ramezay, the delicious Les 400 Coups, and finish with a walk down the cobblestones of Rue Saint-Paul. 

Founded in 1860, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts houses over 41,000 works from Antiquity to today, comprised of paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects displayed in four pavilions. If the fine arts are not for you, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal might be. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever growing public.

No trip to Montréal is complete without a stop at L’Espace Pour La Vie. The Space for Life is the largest natural science museum complex in Canada and comprises the Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The institutions are interdependent, and designed to inspire visitors to adopt a new way of experiencing nature. 

If you plan for a few days and truly want to see everything that the city has to offer, you can pick up a Passeport MTL that will give you access to 23 of Montréal’s best attractions for a portion of the costs of if you were to do them individually. 

EAT, DRINK, & BE MERRY 

Montréal is, first and foremost, a food town. You can experience this first hand and earn yourself the title of “Foodie” by taking one of the city’s two food tours, The Mile End & The Old Montréal. Then again, if you prefer to drink your meals, you can take the Montréal Craft Beer Tour. 

Speaking of Craft Beer (when are we not?), you can’t go wrong by sampling a pint (or 12) at one of MTL’s brew-pubs. Grab a stool at Brutopia, Benelux Brasserie Artisanale, L’Amère à Boire, or Saint-Bock. If a night of cocktails is more your thing, there’s no better stops in the city than Le Mal Necessaire or Le Distillerie. (Distillerie is VERY highly recommended by the author of this guide). 

No trip to Montréal is complete without one of the city’s signature dishes. I’m talking about, of course, a Smoked Meat Sandwich. Now, the obvious spot is the legendary Schwartz’s Deli, the oldest deli in Canada (serving good eats for 80+ years) and (arguably) the greatest Smoked Meat sandwich in the city. If you don’t want to wait in the insanely long lines (think of the Starbucks at the Public Market in peak summer. Those kinds of lines.) you can head to Lester’s Deli to curb your appetite.  

And then… There’s Poutine. Glorious, glorious poutine. The absolute best spots for this delicious, quintessential Canadian dish are: Frites Alors!, Chez Tousignant, La Banquise, Lafayette, and Montréal Poutine (obviously).

WHERE TO STAY

From the vibrant Downtown, to the historic Old Montréal, to the fabulous Quartier des Spectacles, there are no lack of hotels to choose from to suit every budget & want. It honestly all depends what else you’re interested in doing, other than giving your Full 90.  

MATCH DAY 

First and foremost, we need to address the potential language barrier that may occur at times. While Montréal is a modern Québec City that is generally bilingual in both of Canada’s official languages, there may be times where this is not the case. Take a few moments before you head to La Belle Province to brush up on your French/Français (or, if you’re really keen, your Québécois). 

To start your match day, head Downtown to arguably the best Irish Pub in the city, Mclean’s Pub. It’s far enough from Stade Saputo that there should be no conflict with local fans, and has a very welcoming, East Coast atmosphere. When purchasing your transit tickets, buying them earlier in the day (rather than just before the match) will save you a lot of time and hassle. The station(s) you would require to get to Stade Saputo & Stade Olympique are on the GREEN LINE and are called “PIE-IX” & “VIAU. As for pre-func bar closer to the stadium & the March To The Match, details will be posted in the Away Match thread and on the Travel Page.

GET HOME

Allez vers le sud du 49e parallèle et déclarez 3 points à la frontière.

So you're thinking of visiting Philly for a Sounders match? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

GET THERE

Air

Most major U.S. airlines offer service to and from Philadelphia (PHL), which is a hub for American Airlines.

Driving

If you have the motivation to drive from Seattle to Philadelphia just make sure to allot yourself at least 3 days to make the trip a comfortable one. For those of you on the east coast, you will want to use I-76 or I-95 to reach the city.

GET AROUND

Transit

To get to Talen Energy Stadium, head to station at Temple U, Jefferson Suburban or 30th St. and take the SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail line to the Chester Transportation Center (6th & Welsh Street). There will be a free shuttle service to Talen Energy Stadium and back, with service beginning four hours prior to game time.

Uber/Lyft

This is probably the best option for getting around the non-walkable parts of the city. Don’t worry, the ban here only lasted 2 days and has been lifted.

SEE/DO

Philadelphia has a large variety of tourist traps and entertainment spots, you’re sure to find something to get into while you’re here. Below are some of the recommended areas:

Center City East
Philadelphia's beautiful City Hall, the Convention Center, Chinatown, Washington Square West, the gay-friendly Gayborhood, and the Broad Street Arts Corridor.


Center City West
West of Broad Street and City Hall, includes the art museum district, Rittenhouse Square, shopping resembling an outdoor mall with dining on Chestnut and Walnut Streets, and a good portion of the central business district with Philadelphia's tallest skyscrapers.

Old City
Philadelphia's oldest historic quarter, where the roots of the American Independence began. Located between 6th Street and the Delaware River, it features Independence Mall and historical landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, and Independence Hall. Also of significance are the art, design and fashion businesses and galleries, making Old City a vibrant and culturally diverse neighborhood with an 'old world' European aesthetic. Evening hours bring added excitement with great restaurants, bars and clubs.

South Philly
South Street, the Italian Market, the Sports Complex, endless cheap dive bars, and Philly cheesesteaks (Jim’s, Pat’s) 

North Philly
Working class neighborhoods, some of which are struggling with crime problems, but also the home of Temple University and Northern Liberties. 2nd street in Northern Liberties is lined with bars pubs and storefronts with a bohemian hipster feel. The Piazza at Schmidts located at 2nd & Germantown Ave is a mixed use development with a large European style plaza surrounded by and old brewery turned apartments with bars and shops at ground level. The stretch of Frankford Avenue running through the Fishtown neighborhood from Delaware Avenue to E. Norris Street is home to many galleries, renown restaurants, the Sugarhouse Casino and a plethora of nightlife options, including The Barbary, Barcade, Johnny Brendas and Frankford Hall.
 
Northwest
The off-the-beaten-path northwestern reaches of the city, most notable for historic Germantown; the scene of a key Revolutionary War battle at Cliveden, and the home to historic colonial and victorian era homes such as Ebenezer Maxwell mansion as well as middle-to-upper class residential neighborhoods of Manayunk, Chestnut Hill, East Falls and Mt. Airy.

EAT/DRINK

Breweries

Yards Brewing Company is open noon to 7pm daily and offers tours and pub food as well as pool tables and shuffleboard. Philadelphia Brewing Company is located in one of the oldest buildings in the city and also offers tours and tastings, however they are closed Sunday and Monday so make sure to hit them before the match if you’re planning to.

Reading Terminal Market

Open daily and offering a wide array of foods and other wares from the local area. This place is known to be VERY crowded so plan on spending a few hours if you plan on hitting everything, especially on Friday/Saturday.

 SLEEP

Talen Energy Stadium is technically located in Chester, which means most you will most likely need a ride to the stadium regardless of where you stay. The airport is only a few miles north of the stadium, so you will be able to find plenty of hotels near there if you prefer to not stay in the city or use Airbnb. 

MATCHDAY

For the last match in Philadelphia we held a no-host tailgate party, but check the travel page and matchday thread for specific plans. We will most likely be given access to our own part of the lot for this, but please stay tuned for more information.

 GET HOME

With 3 points.

You’re planning on traveling to Salt Lake City with the mighty ECS, here’s some things you’ll need to know while visiting one of the driest state in the union. Also, be aware that if you’re in SLC on a Sunday, mostly everything will be closed. It’s worth noting that Real Salt Lake does not play in Salt Lake City, but in the city of Sandy, Utah. Rio Tinto Stadium is located at 9256 South State, Sandy, UT 84070 and is just south of SLC.