Minnesota Hockey Journal

December 2015

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BIGSTOCK; MICHAEL RUSSO Nashville is widely known as a fan-favorite travel destination. 3. Nashville If you're a country music fan, you can't go wrong in Music City before, during or after games. Besides the fact there's always a band playing in the arena during intermissions, just walk up and down Broadway at night, mosey on in to every bar and you'll get your honky-tonk on and be blown away by the live music. Tootsie's is a must. There are three f loors, and each one has a live band. If the weather is nice, my favorite part is the top f loor because of the outside patio. Legends and Honky Tonk Central are other fun spots. I don't find it a great foodie place, but The Southern is good and I love Merchants. 4. California I love the California trips. The sunshine, the ocean, the great restau- rants and the sightseeing makes hockey in California perfect. The chance to walk around Beverly Hills, see celebrities (I just walked right into Larry King at Nate 'N Als in October), eat at L.A. Live, go to Studio City or Burbank or University Studios, it's all fun in L.A. and the O.C. That's southern California, but I love San Jose, too, if for no other reason than a chance to go check out the Redwoods, San Francisco, or, to be frank, the wineries of Napa and Sonoma. Check out the caves at Miner or Pride Mountain. 5. Best of the rest This is a copout, mostly because I'd say I love the majority of road trips. So here are some other roadies I love taking: • New York: It's where I was born, it's where I have the most friends and it's where I feel the most alive. The energy of New York City can't be topped. • Chicago: I love walking along Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and exercising in Grant Park. The restaurants are second to none, and frankly, so is the experience at United Center. • Montreal, Toronto and Boston: Combining this one because it's hockey history. The nightlife and food is incredible in Montreal and the experience at a Habs game is electrifying. The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is a must-see if you're a hockey rube like me. Boston, the history of this city, you just feel it every- where. Oh, and go to Little Italy. • Carolina: You have to go to the Angus Barn. • Denver: It's one of my favorite places. Downtown is cool (except for the vagabonds everywhere). The restaurants, arena and hotels are great. Red Rocks, the greatest musical venue I've ever been to, is not a far drive. Michael Russo covers the Wild and National Hockey League for the Star Tribune. He co-hosts a podcast on malepatternpodcasts.com, can be heard weekly on KFAN and seen on Fox Sports North. Downtown San Jose is electric on game nights. DECEMBER.2015 // MINNESOTAHOCKEYJOURNAL.COM 29

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