Planning on traveling to get some first hand action of the March Madness? Want to know the best place to pick up some fresh kicks, or eat some delicious local cuisine?
Dime has your exclusive 2012 NCAA March Madness travel guide. We’ll be breaking down every host city in the tournament, with a look at where the sneakerheads need to visit, places to wine and dine, and even attractions if you’re just looking for a taste of that city’s culture.
Up today is the destinations for the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8, the four cities that’ll be hosting games this weekend: Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston and St. Louis. Since the competition is getting more fierce, we will be giving you some more options in each city.
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Laced Up â€“ 572 Edgewood Ave NE Ste 114, Atlanta, GA 30312
With clientele like Usher, Lil’ Wayne and Andre 3000 you just know Laced Up has some quality merchandise. The boutique has been in the ATL since 2005 and has developed a loyal customer base due to their rare sneaker collection and great customer service.
Wish â€“ 447 Moreland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307
Located in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta, Wish not only has a basement that would make any sneakerhead drool but carries some of the top lines in streetwear. There’s a wide range of lines like Undefeated, Mishka, Alife and Comme des Garcons so you are bound to find something to your liking.
Breakfast â€“ The Flying Biscuit Cafe â€“ 1655 McLendon Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30307
Grits and biscuits are essential Southern cuisine, so you must make a trip to The Flying Biscuit Cafe to get some of their award-winning grits and famous biscuits. There’s quite an extensive menu and breakfast is served all day so get your beauty sleep in before heading over.
Lunch â€“ Carvers Country Kitchen â€“ 1118 W Marietta St NW Atlanta, GA 30318
A true Southern joint that serves up all the Southern favorites like fried chicken, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, and collard greens. There’s even chocolate coca-cola cake! Get the massive Fried Dolly Parton Chicken Breast and you won’t have to eat dinner until late.
Dinner â€“ Fat Matt’s Rib Shack â€“ 1811 Piedmont Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30324
The phrase “Lemme get one rib” will not be uttered at Fat Matt’s. Delicious ribs, bbq and live Blues music at night â€“ enough said.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – 449 Auburn Ave, Northeast Atlanta, GA
Considered to be a national treasure in the heart of Atlanta, a visit to the MLK Jr. National Historic site should be on your schedule when visiting. Tour his birth home, pay your respects at Dr. King’s original gravesite and current tomb, and check out the visitor center which is filled with thought provoking civil rights exhibits.
World of Coca Cola – 121 Baker St., NW Atlanta, GA 30313
Sure it’s extremely touristy but how could you not go to the Coca Cola museum when you are in town?
High Point – 7154 E.Stetson Ste 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Although not right in Phoenix, High Point is one of the top streetwear boutiques in Arizona. Named after the hometown of owner Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson, High Point is the only store in the state that has Nike Quickstrike and Huf accounts so you know what you are getting is quite exclusive in the area. If you are looking to get some rare sneakers or just a fresh new T, High Point has got you covered.
Breakfast: Ronaldo’s Mexican Food – 10639 N 35th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85029
If you have never had a breakfast burrito, you haven’t lived. Ronaldo’s has an excellent variety of breakfast burritos that will fill you up for quite some time. No frills, a hole in the wall and off the beaten path but Renaldo’s is well worth it.
Lunch: Majerle’s Sports Grill – 24 N 2nd, Phoenix, AZ 85004
“Thunder” Dan Majerle is a Phoenix Suns legend, and currently an assistant coach with the Suns and a successful restaurateur. A trip to Phoenix would not be complete without paying a visit to Majerle’s – it’s typical sports bar foods with a Phoenix Suns twist – where else can you eat Joe Kline‘s Chicago Bleu burger or Jared Dudley‘s Grilled Chicken Sandwich?
Dinner: Los Reyes de la Torta – 9230 N 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85020
Don’t discount Los Reyes de la Torta because it was featured on Travel Channel’s Man v. Food – they serve up quality and authentic Mexican food. Get one of their many tortas; don’t know what a torta is? It’s basically a Mexican take on a sandwich, so like most sandwiches it’s delicious.
Cactus League Baseball – Different stadiums in area
This is the last weekend of Spring Training, so if you want to have a sports-heavy weekend, take in some afternoon baseball before watching the games. With the cheap tickets and a chance to watch the pros get prepared for the season, this is a can’t-miss opportunity if you are in the area.
“I’m from the Lou’ and I’m Proud”- Nelly
Dropcents – The Shop – 10060 Natural Bridge Rd., Saint Louis, MO 63134
The Shop boasts a rather impressive shoe wall that showcases Supras and Greedy Genius among other brands. You are bound to find something unique for your closet when you stop by.
Breakfast: Goody Goody Diner – 5900 Natural Bridge Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63120
There is nothing like a good diner: comfortable, friendly staff and quality food. Locals recommend the chicken and waffles and you know it’s a good tip when Goody’s has an entire page on their menu devoted to the dish. Chicken and waffles isn’t your thing? Try one of their many omelets or other solid breakfast options.
Lunch: Blues City Deli – 2438 McNair Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104
Known for their po’ boys and muffulettas, Blues City Deli will have a sandwich or hot dog that will fill you up. This is not your typical deli as there is live blues or jazz music on certain days, a huge variety of chips and unique sodas to accompany your meal.
Dinner: The Shaved Duck – 2900 Virginia Ave., St Louis, MO 63118
You can’t go to the Lou’ and not have any St. Louis-style barbecue. Although the Shaved Duck does have St. Louis style ribs, the menu has a lot of other items that will leave you more than satisfied.
The Gateway Arch – 11 North 4th St., Saint Louis, MO
The iconic Gateway Arch is seemingly in every picture of St. Louis. Of course you can see it from a ways away. But the arch is the tallest national monument in the U.S., so go up close and personal – for $10 you can even take a ride to the top of the arch and see for miles and miles.