Sports Getaways for Aug. 10-13

Updated: August 8, 2006, 7:32 PM ET
By Ron Berler | Special to ESPN SportsTravel

  Sports Getaways for Thurs.-Sun., August 10-13

  MAIN EVENTS

Thurs., Aug. 10

WORLD SERIES OF POKER (FINAL TABLE), LAS VEGAS

$12 million. That's what the last nine at the final table will be playing for. And where else would they hustle for this kind of scratch but in Vegas? The venue is the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino (Web Site) -- the emphasis being on casino.

Web site:http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com/

Tickets: Free

Do: It's Las Vegas, baby. You can do anything. Cruise the Strip. Play golf. See a show. Dine at a world-class restaurant. Head to the hotel bar and invent a whole new you.

Stay: For as low as $79 per night, you can bunk at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino (3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) or New York-New York Hotel & Casino (3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S.); both are on the Strip. Check for hotel deals.

Eat: Yes, Picasso (3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., in Bellagio Las Vegas; Web Site) will cost you an arm and a leg. But at least in Vegas, you have a chance to win your money back. The setting in Vegas's finest restaurant is French country-style, with romantic nooks and accented with flowers. $30 million of original Picasso oils and ceramics decorate the room. The menu is a match for the art. Do not, do not, pass up dessert.

Sat., Aug. 12

ARLINGTON MILLION, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL.

The world's best turf horses gather each August at this jewel of racetrack in Chicago's northwest suburbs to battle as only true athletes can. Think the horses don't know what's at stake?

Web site:http://www.grandprix.ca/site_content.html

Tickets: http://www.arlingtonpark.com/

Do: Head to Chicago Friday. Make your way to U.S. Cellular Park -- The Cell -- home of the Chicago White Sox. They play the first-place Detroit Tigers that night. (Tickets)

Stay: Chicago is no cheap date. But you can book a room at the four-star Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers (301 E. North Water St.), along the city's Magnificent Mile, from $199 per night.

Eat: Pizzeria Uno (29 E. Ohio St.) is where Chicago-style deep-dish pizza was invented. A waiter will arrive at your table with a round, deep, blackened dish and a heavy spatula. In the dish is a 1 -inch deep pie of meats, sauce and spices, baked for half an hour. The spatula is the only means to scoop it onto your plate. The restaurant does not take reservations Friday or Saturday, so there may be a wait. If there is, scoot around the block to sister restaurant Pizzeria Due (619 N. Wabash St.). Same food, shorter line.

  UNDERCARD

Thurs.-Sun., Aug. 10-13

AVP MANHATTAN BEACH OPEN (VOLLEYBALL) MANHATTAN BEACH, CA

Four days at a glorious, Southern California beach, a cold drink in your hand, watching tanned, scantily-clothed hard bodies playing Olympic-level volleyball. What could be better?

Web site: http://avp.com/

Tickets: Click on: Buy Tickets Now!

Do: Peel yourself off the beach and head to Dodger Stadium Friday night to see the locals play their archrivals, the San Francisco Giants. (Tickets)

Stay: Bunk in style by the beach. Reserve a room at the Belamar Hotel (3501 Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach) starting at $168 per night.

Eat: On the way to Dodger Stadium, stop for dinner at Ciudad, (445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, Web Site) a joyous, eclectic Latin- and South American-influenced restaurant. Their rum-ilicious mojitos will make even a home team loss bearable.

Fri.-Sun., Aug. 11-13

U.S. NATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS, SHREVEPORT, LA

Talk about heavy lifting. These guys are the champs. Literally. Get an early look at the 2008 U.S. Olympic lifters.

Location: U.S. Weighlifting Development Center, Shreveport, La. (318-795-4241)

Do: Saturday night, see the Shreveport Sports (unaffiliated team, Class AA) take on the Coastal Bend Aviators. (Tickets). Or take your chances at one of the many casinos lining the Shreveport-Bossier City corridor. (Web Site)

Stay: Small cities have their advantages. Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Shreveport-Airport (less than two miles from the city center) for as little as $69 per night.

Eat: Uncle Buck's Smokehouse (2920 Jewella Ave.) serves up finger-lickin' Texas/Louisiana/Arkansas-style barbecue.

  DEALS

SAN DIEGO

As if you needed an excuse to visit San Diego. Various airlines are offering late summer deals there -- non-stop from Washington, D.C. to San Diego for as low as $216, for instance. Saturday night, see the independent minor league San Diego Surf Dawgs play to Fullerton Flyers at Tony Gwynn Stadium. (Schedule)

Getting there: Orbitz Beach Guide

HONOLULU

Delta is running specials on roundtrip flights to Honolulu -- from New York, for instance, for as little as $505. You'll need to book your flight at least seven days in advance. Head to Waikiki and watch the world's top surfers practice for the winter season.

Getting there: Fare sales

  SCHEDULE WATCH

Sat., Aug. 12

PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL: PITTSBURGH AT ARIZONA

Are you ready for some football? Travel to Phoenix to see the NFL champion Steelers -- and a hopefully healthy Ben Roethlisberger -- take on the Cardinals at the gorgeous new Cardinals Stadium in suburban Glendale. The game is sold out, but there are always ticket brokers who will be happy to help you.

  SPORTS PLUS

Fri., Aug. 11

NETFLIX ROLLING ROADSHOW:
FIELD OF DREAMS SCREENING, DYERSVILLE, IA.

Twenty years ago, they built it and you came. Now the ghosts of baseball want you back again. Picnic in the hallowed outfield surrounded by endless rows of corn, and watch the classic movie outdoors. Kevin Costner will be there; his new band is the opening act. Admission is free (Info). Saturday night, drive an hour to Clinton, Iowa, to see the Clinton LumberKings, a Class A Texas Rangers farm club, play the Kane County Cougars (Tickets)

  INTERNATIONAL PICK

Thurs-Sun., Aug. 10-13

KLM OPEN, EUROPEAN GOLF TOUR (KENNEMER GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, ZANDVOORT, THE NETHERLANDS)

The pros who've won here read like a Who's Who of golf: Payne Stewart, Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie Bernhard Langer, to name a few. The course is rolling, verdant, absolutely beautiful. (Tickets) Zandvoort is one of the country's major beach resorts, and an important stop on the Circuit Zandvoort auto-racing circuit./p>