Sports aren’t necessarily for everybody, and even dedicated fans tend to gravitate toward specific sports, teams, and leagues. There are some sporting events around the world however that just about anyone can enjoy – even if it’s not a sport that’s usually of interest, or even if a person doesn’t particularly love sports to begin with! There may in fact be dozens of events that fit this description, but we’re highlighting five of them.
The Summer Olympics
The Summer Olympics already thrive by way of showcasing a lot of sports that aren’t popularly watched otherwise. Swimming and gymnastics, for instance, tend to dominate the airtime on television. Visiting the Olympics is also special, however, because they tend to showcase more than sports. A city hosting the Olympics often reinvents itself to some degree in order to host millions of fans and showcase itself to the world. Case in point, Tokyo is working on everything from new stadiums to wheelchair accessibility in hotels in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. All in all it’s almost like visiting some kind of prolonged, semi-futuristic festival as much as it is attending a sporting event.
The Australian Open
Any of the major tennis tournaments around the world would be fitting selections for this list. Tennis provides a very different environment than most major sports, in part because people don’t have strong rooting interests (patriotism aside). But we’ve selected the Australian Open because it’s arguably the most festive of them all. It takes place in January in Melbourne, lasting for two weeks and inviting fans the world over to experience the charms of the Australian summer, the incredibly appealing grounds of the tennis complex, and the matches themselves.
The Cheltenham Festival
A popular event with horse racing fans, tourists, enthusiastic bettors, and even folks who just want to dress up and sip cocktails, the Cheltenham Festival truly lives up to its name. From a sporting perspective, it’s seen as the premier event in the UK’s National Hunt Jump seasons, which, for those who don’t follow horse racing, basically translates to “rich and important series of horse races.” For fans though, it’s a four-day getaway to the beautiful English countryside, and a chance to enjoy various celebrations around the Cheltenham Racecourse grounds. It’s every bit as much a cultural festival as a sporting event, though you should also take time to watch some of the races, as they’re fairly incredible to behold in person.
The Monte-Carlo Grand Prix
This is another event that’s equal parts festival and sport. It’s probably the most famous car race of any kind in the world, and certainly the most iconic of the Formula 1 grand prix events. It also happens to take place on the winding streets of Monte-Carlo, with the stunningly beautiful backdrop of the yacht-filled harbor and Mediterranean sea behind it. While the race is a single event, the grand prix effectively takes up a few days in town, during which the city is buzzing with activity and excitement. Basically it’s a great excuse to visit and enjoy one of the more impressive places on the planet.
There are entire write-ups of why The Masters should be on everyone’s travel bucket list, and it’s hard to argue against them. Golf certainly isn’t for everybody, and The Masters means long hours outside walking along the course. They even make you give up your phone for your time on the course, so in a way there is a determined focus on the sport itself. However, that also means you get to focus on the fact that you’re essentially strolling through a magnificent park, typically with picture-perfect weather. It’s simply a pleasant way to spend time, perhaps before unwinding with a sunset cocktail at the end of the day. And as cliché as it sounds, the main attraction can’t be described. There’s simply an air, or aura to The Masters that has to be experienced in person.