Beaches, outdoors, theme parks, relaxation and luxury all meet in Carlsbad, Calif., a small city just north of San Diego where the sunsets spill gently into the Pacific Ocean in a shimmering display of perfection. About two miles east of the Pacific Ocean sits the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, a sprawling property with more than 600 rooms, eight swimming pools, restaurants, two golf courses, a spa and so much more. A weekend was enough to sample everything the Omni la Costa has to offer, but it doesn’t mean you’d ever want to leave.
There are three things that stand out about the Omni Royal Orleans hotel in New Orleans: its location, awesome rooftop and quiet rooms. Being in the heart of the French Quarter gives the Omni Royal Orleans a major check mark. But being in the heart of the Quarter could be a problem for those wanting a good night sleep, which is why the peace and quiet at the Omni Royal Orleans is a second feather in the hotel’s cap. And the third, well, that rooftop and its great views of the Mississippi River and nearby St. Louis Cathedral speaks for itself.
If location is king, then the Omni Hotel at CNN Center rules the roost in Downtown Atlanta. The two towers of the Omni are connected to CNN Center and Phillips Arena, and is across the street from the Georgia World Congress Center. For the purposes of our NBA Road Trip visit to see the Hawks play against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Omni Hotel at CNN Center would play a prominent role in determining if our Atlanta weekend would be a success.
Visiting Atlanta for sports isn’t a new concept for me. My first visit came in 1996 for the Summer Olympics. My second visit was in 2003 for a weekend of baseball fun with the Atlanta Braves. I’ve been in town for a Georgia Tech football game, in addition to the non-sports weekend getaways Stacey and I have made through the years. But this weekend trip would be different. It was all about experiencing the city for an Atlanta Hawks game. So how did we spend our Atlanta NBA road trip weekend? Let me count the ways.
Two of my favorite things are sports and travel, so it only makes sense that I would combine the two when possible. I’ve been on numerous weekend getaways that centered on a baseball or football game. I’ve traveled a few times for college basketball games, and even made a four-hour drive from Memphis to St. Louis to catch a hockey game. But I’ve never traveled for an NBA game.
Considering my son and I are regulars at FedExForum to watch our Memphis Grizzlies play, I figure the 2013-2014 season is high time to hit the road and check out a few NBA arenas. We had a taste of NBA travel in September when we spent a long weekend in Indianapolis and had our own version of an Indiana Pacers road trip thanks to a tour of the team’s palace of an arena, Bankers Life Fieldhouse.