With the NCAA tournament bracket recently released, March Madness fans are gearing up for some great basketball. The most die-hard fans will also be packing up to follow their beloved teams on the journey to the big title.
Here are 5 games we think could be close and exciting matches, as well as some suggested hot spots for the fanatics who have hit the road to cheer on their team!
Colorado (8) vs Conn (9) - Des Moines
· Want some fried bananas and peanut butter on that patty? Known for their crazy burgers and shakes, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab is a Des Moines staple for creative and ravenous appetites!
· Need to fix that sweet tooth craving? Head to Scratch Cupcakery and try one of their many freshly baked cupcakes with flavors like Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry Love, and Crunchy Caramel Pecan! Get one for now and a box to bring with you for your drive back home!
· You can’t come to Des Moines without stopping for some beer at Exile Brewing Co.! Stop by the restaurant for some grub or take a seat in the beer hall and get a glimpse of the brewing process while enjoying a tasty flight!
USC (8) vs Providence (9) - Raleigh
· Take a break from the “madness” and visit North Carolina’s oldest museum and the biggest science museum in the Southeast! If you’re brave enough, make sure to stop by the “Living Conservatory” to see some snakes and tarantulas. Who knows, you may even see a two-toed sloth!
· Visit this chocolate factory (any Willy Wonka fans out there?) and learn about their bean-to-bar chocolate making process. Make sure to stick around and enjoy all sorts of chocolate products!
· Take a ride at America’s 5th oldest operating amusement park and first public park in North Carolina! This 66 acre public park features picnic areas, pedal boats, a miniature train and carousel. Pack a picnic or grab a bite from the cafe and enjoy some sun!
Arizona (6) vs Vanderbilt (11) - Providence
· Need a quiet break from all the March Madness? Visit one of the nation’s oldest libraries and discover books, paintings, sculptures and more throughout the building and its collections. You can even bring your dog inside (the Circulation staff has treats)!
· Take a stroll back in time through the streets of Federal Hill. Browse unique shops and make sure to enjoy some delicious Italian food and baked goods from the many local eateries.
· Take an adventure and explore one of the nation’s oldest zoos! Opened in 1872, the zoo is home to more than 100 species of animals, including giraffes, elephants, bald eagles, camels, kangaroos and more.
Texas (6) vs Northern Iowa (11) - Oklahoma City
· Zipline your way across the Oklahoma River or challenge yourself on the world’s tallest adventure course, all at Riversport Adventures! You can also take a kayak excursion, enjoy a dragon boat, and more.
· Start swinging your lassos and discover the art and culture of the American West. With collections focusing on the American cowboy, rodeos, Native American culture, and classic and contemporary Western art, this museum has something for everyone to enjoy!
· Sit back and relax at one of Oklahoma City’s classic pitstops: Bricktown Brewery. Enjoy one of their signature beers, as well as some great food in a friendly environment.
St. Joseph’s (8) vs Cincinnati (9) - Spokane
· Take a trip to Japan in this 90-acre park, featuring a Japanese garden, dahlia garden, pond and conservatory full of tropical plants. This 90-acre park has something for everyone with trails, picnic areas, and lots of open space to explore!
· Can you imagine waterfalls in the middle of a city? Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants overlooking the falls for a truly enjoyable experience.
· Housed in a 100-year old warehouse, this winery offers tastings alongside a gallery showcasing local artists. They also have a second location in the heart of downtown Spokane, giving visitors a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city.