From August 29 through September 11, the world's best tennis players will converge at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY, for the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. The event is without question the most anticipated tennis event on U.S. soil, with thousands of fans attending it every year. If you are planning on getting U.S. Open tickets this year, here are some of the great things you have to look forward to.
Inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery
Each year, the International Hall of Fame & Museum creates a special exhibit for all the visitors to the U.S. Open, and the 2011 exhibit is titled "Serving Their Countries: Tennis and War." The official U.S. Open website describes the exhibit like this: "War has always been an integral part of civilization. From the earliest days, war between nations has greatly impacted how we live as a society. For more than a century, sports and war have intersected on and off the playing field. Baseball, football, golf and basketball have, at some point, been intertwined with the war effort. Tennis is no exception."
The Hall of Fame gallery is great for tennis fans who like to look, but the SmashZone is perfect for those of us that like to do. SmashZone is an interactive exhibit for fans to test their tennis skills. People can record their own version of a previous U.S. Open championship point or test the speed of their serve. If you have kids, this will be the highlight of the event.
The U.S. Open is definitely not short on choices for food. From bars to fine dining restaurants, it's tough to walk very far around the venue without passing a different option. I mean, they have a place called "Food Village," case closed.
The venue offers sushi, pizza, deli sandwiches (not just any deli sandwiches, Carnegie Deli sandwiches), barbeque, burgers and much more. Looking for a more refined choice? The tennis center has on-site restaurants including Aces, Champions Bar & Grill and the U.S. Open Club.
Click here for more information about events at the 2011 U.S. Open »
Around the Area
Although the U.S. Open takes place in Flushing, the event gives fans the opportunity to see all parts of the Big Apple. The easiest way to do that is by taking the train. Right around the corner is the Mets-Willets Point Station, where you can pick up the 7 train into Manhattan, including a stop at Grand Central Station. Click here to check out all the stops on the 7 train's route.
If you take the 7 train into Manhattan, there will be an abundance of entertainment for you, your family and your friends. You can check out the many shops and landmarks or you could take in a Broadway show, including the Tony Award-winning musical "The Book of Mormon," which will have 16 shows during the duration of the U.S. Open.
If you want to stay local to the event, you could just take a quick walk around the corner and go to a New York Mets game at Citi Field. The Mets will welcome the Florida Marlins from August 29 to September 1 and the Chicago Cubs from September 9 to September 11.
Once you step out of the U.S. Open Tennis Center and into the city, you can find just about any type of food that you crave. Personally, I have never been to the U.S. Open, so I thought I would rely on some sources that have.
The first recommendation comes from SeriousEats.com, who last year published an article called "Great Eats on the Way to the U.S. Open." Their #1 choice was a restaurant named P.J. Horgan's located on Queens Boulevard. They described the spot like this: "In the mood for a burger, a pint, or some Shepherd's pie? Sunnyside is the place for Irish food, and P.J. Horgan's has some of the best. Don't miss the Sunnyside Burger—topped with Irish bacon, cheddar cheese, and fried onions." Check out the full list of recommendations at SeriousEats.com.
The second recommendation is from About.com, which suggested the restaurant Dim Sum at Gala Manor as part of its "Top 10 Restaurants Near the U.S. Open in Queens" article. Here is what they said: "You'll be above the fray at the Gala Manor, second-floor Hong Kong-style dim sum restaurant. Dim sum has got to be the perfect meal before a day at the Open. It's elegant, yet casual, and tasty, but not super filling. You'll be able to scamper out the door whenever you want to head one subway stop back to Flushing Meadows." Check out the full list of recommendations at About.com.
Other Sites’ Restaurant Recommendations:
In New York, there are countless ways to spend your time. If you are going to New York for the U.S. Open and have good recommendations for the area, please let us know in the comments section below!