Diehard football fans look forward to August in much the same way that children look forward to Christmas morning. After a five-month post-Super Bowl hiatus, the National Football League finally starts staging games again every August. The slate begins, as always, on August 3 with the Hall of Fame Game, which features the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills this year. The 2014 NFL regular season kicks off a month later on Thursday, September 4, when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks. If four weeks of exhibition games aren’t enough to satisfy your football urges, we recommend checking out the following NFL training camps:
Pittsburgh Steelers, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
With six titles, the Steelers are the most successful team in the Super Bowl era. Since 1967, they’ve been training in Latrobe, hometown of the first Rolling Rock brewery, golfer Arnold Palmer, and Fred Rogers (a.k.a. “Mr. Rogers”). If you’re hoping to watch the Steelers train, consider staying in Pittsburgh, which is 40 miles from Latrobe and offers world-class attractions.
Green Bay Packers, St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin
The Packers, the only publicly-owned team in the NFL, have captured four Super Bowl titles. 2014 marks their 57th straight year of training in De Pere, a suburb of Green Bay. Visitors can take in all of the charms and amenities of the third-largest city in Wisconsin, including Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Botanical Garden, and more.
Oakland Raiders, Marriott Napa Valley Spa and Resort, Napa, California
The Raiders have three Super Bowl rings, not to mention perhaps the nicest training-camp location in the NFL. Since their 1995 return to Oakland, the Raiders have been working out in Napa Valley, i.e., Wine Country, which boasts approximately 400 wineries across the county. A renowned tourist destination, Napa offers plentiful accommodations to suit every taste.
Dallas Cowboys, River Ridge Playing Fields, Oxnard, California
The Cowboys, named “America’s Team” by NFL Films after losing Super Bowl XIII to the Steelers, have five Super Bowl titles, tied with San Francisco for second all-time. They return to Oxnard in 2014, the ninth time they’ve held camp there. A coastal city about 40 miles southeast of Santa Barbara, Oxnard visitors can catch the Ventura County Fair, Concerts by the Sea, and other events when they’re not watching the Cowboys train.
(Please note that public training sessions for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in Renton, Washington, are already sold out.)
Travel Plus, Everywhere, USA
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