The XXII Olympic Winter Games are underway in Sochi, Russia! In honor of the festivities, we look back at five U.S. cities that have hosted the Games. A visit to each of these destinations is steeped in tradition. Follow the steps of the Olympians who made history here. If you’re planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage – use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the Olympic fun the moment you land.
1. Lake Placid, New York
The legendary U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet Union on its way to winning the gold medal at the 1980 games in Lake Placid. Today, the Olympic Center hosts public ice skating. The Lake Placid Olympic Museum tells the story of how the sleepy mountain town came to host the Games in both 1932 and 1980. Whiteface Mountain offers 360-degree views of the Adirondacks and, beyond, the Montreal skyline when the skies are clear. Skiers flock here in the winter; in the summer, Whiteface Mountain offers gondola rides, hiking and biking.
2. Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Coliseum plays host to the USC football team every fall. It hosted the Olympic Games twice, in 1932 and 1984, and is a National Historic Landmark. The Olympic Cauldron is still lit during the fourth quarter of USC games and for special occasions, such as during the Olympics. The Rose Bowl, used for cycling in 1932 and soccer in 1984, and also a landmark, is the home of the New Year’s Day game of the same name and the UCLA Bruins.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
Opened for the 1996 Games, Centennial Olympic Stadium hosted a variety of events, including the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium was renamed Turner Field after the festivities and is now the home of the Atlanta Braves (at least through 2016 when the Braves will move out of downtown Atlanta). The 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park also opened in 1996 and welcomes millions of visitors a year because of its close proximity to the World of Coca-Cola museum, Georgia Aquarium, a children’s museum, CNN’s world headquarters, and SkyView Atlanta, a 200 foot Ferris Wheel. The park features an interactive fountain and children’s splash pad in the shape of the Olympic rings that move to synchronized jets and lights.
4. Olympic Valley, California
Located on the west side of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley was home to just two families when local residents bid on the 1960 Olympics. Today it welcomes more than 600,000 visitors each year who come to take on the KT-22, which has been called the best lift in America. It climbs 1800 vertical feet in the first six minutes and is not for the faint at heart.
5. St. Louis, Missouri
The first U.S. city to host the Olympic Games was St. Louis back in 1904, in conjunction with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Francis Field opened just in time for the Games and is currently home to the Washington University in St. Louis track and field, soccer and football teams. Glen Echo County Club is the oldest 18-hole private golf course west of the Mississippi River. It was the second and final appearance of the sport at the Olympics (until they debut again at the 2016 Summer Games).