Skip to main content
  • The Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, D.C.
    View more

    Catch a Game in the Nation’s Capital

  • Water taxis docked at Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland
    View more

    Historic Neighborhoods and a Baseball Legend in Baltimore, Maryland

  • Bustling King Street in Alexandria, Virginia
    View more

    Exploring Alexandria, Virginia, and More D.C. Sites

  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
    View more

    All About American Football in Columbus and Canton, Ohio

  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio
    View more

    Music Mecca and One More Game in Cleveland, Ohio

Watching an Orioles game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland
View more

Fly-Drive Sports and Culture Trip from the USA’s Capital Region to Ohio

  • Route distance:
    1,036 km
  • Suggested Time:
    5 days

Follow a winning itinerary filled with hoops, history and hearty eats that begins in Washington, D.C., and lands in the storied city of Cleveland, Ohio.

With the right game plan, you can experience the excitement of professional basketball games, learn the stories of sports legends and roam hallowed halls of fame. You’ll even have time left on the clock to chow down on local eats and shop at hip boutique shops in cool neighborhoods filled with hidden gems. Fly into Dulles International Airport (IAD), rent a car and check into the AC Hotel by Marriott Washington D.C. Convention Center to start your trip.

01
The Smithsonian Institution Building in Washington, D.C.
View more

Catch a Game in the Nation’s Capital

Attractions, restaurants and shops are clustered together in Washington, D.C.’s neighborhoods, making it a fun city to explore on foot. From your hotel, stroll a pleasant 2 kilometers through D.C.’s bustling downtown and the manicured lawns and impressive museums of the National Mall. (Ride-hailing services are also readily available.) Your first destination is the Smithsonian Institution Building, known as The Castle. Built in 1855, it serves as the Smithsonian Visitor Center and is a great starting place to learn all about the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Many of its 21 museums are free and within walking distance. Take the docent-led tour of The Castle to see photos, paintings and other exhibits, and if you’re hungry, grab a quick bite at the on-site Castle Café. As evening approaches, get ready for a night of excitement at nearby Capital One Arena, home of National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Washington Wizards. Time your visit to a date when the Wizards are in town (the NBA regular season runs from roughly December to May), and buy tickets to see a game. Fill up on your favorite snacks and drinks from the concessions, then find your seat to cheer on the home team. NBA games are a high-energy experience, keeping fans engaged in game breaks with clever mascots, dancing, giveaways and more. After the game, grab a drink to celebrate (or commiserate) with the locals in a nearby bar, but make sure to get enough rest for your road trip tomorrow.

124 km
2 hours by car
02
Water taxis docked at Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland
View more

Historic Neighborhoods and a Baseball Legend in Baltimore, Maryland

Start your day with a one-hour drive on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Baltimore, Maryland. Charm City, as it’s known, includes many distinct and effervescent neighborhoods. Fells Point is a historic district on the Patapsco River waterfront east of the popular Inner Harbor. Here, you’ll find an endless string of hip pubs, restaurants, record stores and boutique shops lining the cobblestone streets. Seafood is king in this town, and you shouldn’t leave without having a Chesapeake Bay crab cake or other crab delicacy at Thames Street Oyster House or Bertha’s Mussels. After lunch, head on over to the home of baseball icon Babe Ruth. While forever linked to Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, The Babe was born in Baltimore, and his life and history is captured at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum near Oriole Park at Camden Yards (where the Baltimore Orioles play). Spend the evening exploring more shops and restaurants in the vibrant and quirky Hampden neighborhood. You’ll have no problem finding a high-quality restaurant along The Avenue, its main drag. Offerings range from cocktails and bistro fare at The Bluebird to Sicilian food and wine at Cosima, one of the city’s best restaurants built into a historic mill. After dinner, drive an hour back to your hotel in Washington, D.C.

40 km
1 hour by car
03
Bustling King Street in Alexandria, Virginia
View more

Exploring Alexandria, Virginia, and More D.C. Sites

Start your day early with breakfast at the hotel, then check out and drive 30 minutes to Alexandria, Virginia. This historic and charming city on the Potomac River is teeming with galleries, shops and restaurants on its walkable, brick-paved sidewalks. Check out the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s unique art galleries while also learning about the city’s naval history – the building was once a naval munitions factory. For lunch, try the upscale farm-to-table offerings at Virtue Feed & Grain or go sophisticated American with steak or seafood at The Warehouse, one of Alexandria’s most popular restaurants. On your way back to D.C., make a stop at Theodore Roosevelt Island, which stands as a tribute to the USA’s 26th president. With kilometers of easy-to-navigate trails through woods and swamps, it pays homage to Roosevelt’s standing as one of history’s great outdoorsmen. Another historic waterfront neighborhood awaits in Georgetown, the perfect blend of classic and modern in everything from its architecture to shopping and dining. This picturesque stop is an ideal place to say goodbye to D.C. before your evening flight from Reagan National Airport (DCA) to Ohio’s John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH). Once landed, rent another car and check in to the Hilton Columbus Downtown.

519 km
2 hours by plane
04
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
View more

All About American Football in Columbus and Canton, Ohio

After a restful night, check out of the hotel and kick off your day with a hearty breakfast – you’re going to need it for a visit to massive Ohio Stadium, home of college football’s Ohio State University Buckeyes. Reservations are required for a behind-the-scenes tour of “The Horseshoe” – as the stadium is known – that may include a look at the press box, a view of the field and a chance to check out the band room and its luxury suites. This city that lives and breathes American football also has an artsy side. Wander the Short North Arts District, where you’ll find more than 30 colorful murals, boutique shops, coffee houses and art galleries. Enjoy lunch nearby in the German Village & Brewery District. Here, you can experience real-deal German cuisine at Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus (beer, schnitzel and live oompah music sound good?), or go for harvest-inspired brunch fare at Skillet. After lunch, drive just over 2 hours to Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Featuring state-of-the-art theater experiences and an array of exhibits and artifacts, the Hall of Fame is a must for any fan of the National Football League. Relive the excitement of your tour over a delicious meal downtown at Bender’s Tavern, Canton’s oldest restaurant dating to 1902. Next stop: Cleveland, Ohio and the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade, which is a one-hour drive away.

328 km
4 hours by car
05
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio
View more

Music Mecca and One More Game in Cleveland, Ohio

Fuel up for a day with the giants, starting with the biggest names in music history at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Prince – you name it. All the greats are featured in hundreds of exhibits at the I.M. Pei-designed museum on downtown Cleveland’s Lake Erie waterfront. Check out The Garage, a whole floor where you can pick up instruments and play in a variety of settings. You’ll have worked up quite the appetite after all that rocking out, and the place to go for both quantity and quality is West Side Market, the city’s historic and sprawling public market. Choose from more than 100 vendors offering everything from pierogis and pasta to Middle Eastern and Cantonese fare. At night, it’s time to hit the court again for a Cleveland Cavaliers NBA game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Cleveland is the home of LeBron James, and even though The King has moved on, the city is a great place to catch another thrilling matchup before starting your trip home from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) the following morning.

Explore more
Fantastic scenery in Lake Tahoe, Nevada
View more

Experience