The countdown to the Opening Ceremonies is on: The Olympics are just a few short days away. Images of games past are plastered across front pages and home pages worldwide, and we couldn’t help but think back to the games held on North American soil.
If you’re not jetting off to London this year to catch your favorite events in person, consider making a pilgrimage to one of the previous host cities in the United States with these offers:
1904: St. Louis (summer)
Available select summer weekends, a 4-star downtown hotel just 15 minutes away from the home base of the games has been discounted to US$119 per night. The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel is not far from Francis Field on the Washington University campus, where the games were largely held. Quite famously, the selection committee had originally selected Chicago for the site of the 1904 games, but the organizers of the St. Louis World's Fair held that same year threatened to host their own games if they were not picked as the host city. The field, which has been updated many times in the 100-plus years for the game, is still in use today. The best way to see the sights is a walking tour of the school’s Danforth Campus.
1932 & 1984: Los Angeles (summer)
LA is known for its sprawl, and the game sites were spread across the city in addition to being based at two of the city’s most famous stadiums, the Rose Bowl Stadium and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. See the Coliseum on a campus visit to University of Southern California and the up-and-coming area around it. Head down to Pasadena to check out the iconic Rose Bowl as well as other famed locations near the UCLA campus. Walking tours are available for download as well. Start your trip-planning by finding flights to Los Angeles on Fly.com. Then find a hotel deal in Los Angeles or another nearby SoCal city.
Read more about the LA games on the From the Deal Experts blog.
1932 & 1980: Lake Placid (winter)
This tiny town was host to the games twice last century and remains quite proud of this feat. The sporting venues are one of the biggest draws to the area, and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum (open daily) displays posters, photographs, uniforms, mascot memorabilia and of course, some famous skates from 1980's "Miracle on Ice". An official Olympic Sites Passport is for sale, offering access to the top of Little Whiteface on the Cloudsplitter Gondola as well as discounts on activities ranging from bobsled experiences to ice skating. Use Fly.com to find discounted airfare to Albany International and Burlington International airports.
1960: Squaw Valley (winter)
Squaw Valley is now as much as a summer travel destination for travelers nationwide as it is a cold-weather one, and in 1960 it was where the winter games were held, bringing in visitors from all over the world. After a day checking out the Olympic Museum at High Peak, featuring treasures from the games, check into a Lake Tahoe hotel if you travel in the fall.
1976: Montreal (summer)
The first games held in Canada is now memorialized in the city's stunning Olympic Park and Montreal Tower, which is the perfect place to get a bird's-eye-view of the green space and the adjacent urban center from the observatory deck. The park, open daily, bustles in the summer months alongside the rest of the city. A 15-minute drive away is a hotel that's cut weekend stays through November by 30% and includes breakfast for guests.
1988: Calgary (winter)
One of the longest Olympic torch relays lead up to the games in Alberta, held at the University of Calgary's McMahon Stadium downtown. The Canada Olympic Park, home to many of the events, is now a public-use facility with skating, zip lining, snowboarding, luge, bobsled rides and more. Plan your visit by finding flights to Calgary on Fly.com.
1996: Atlanta (summer)
Now home to the Atlanta Braves, Turner Field was once called Centennial Olympic Stadium and saw a lot of action during these games. Less than two miles away is a downtown hotel that has cut rates to US$81-US$115 through Aug. 28. The hotel is also a 10-minute drive to the Atlanta History Center, which has a permanent exhibit on games, showcasing torches and medals alongside video displays.
Read more of our coverage of the Atlanta games.
2002: Salt Lake City (winter)
The stunning mountains peeking out behind the downtown buildings of Salt Lake City served as a backdrop to these recent games. On the University of Utah campus sits the Rice-Eccles Stadium, base of the games in 2002. The Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek is three miles from the site and Olympic Cauldron Park, with its popular museum devoted to the games featuring all sorts of memorabilia. Weekend rates at the hotel begin at US$99 for summer visits.
2010: Vancouver (winter)
The most recent games held on North American soil featured events held across B.C., but Vancouver and Whistler served as the main game sites. The feats of the games, as well as other regional accomplishments, are on display at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, which is located at Gate A in BC Place stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held. Summer stay 15 minutes away from here have been discounted for July-August stays, starting at $99 per night.
Hopefully with these deals, you can fulfill the Olympic motto of "Faster, higher, stronger" and add in one other word -- "cheaper."