Spectator Sports
If sweat and injuries aren't what you look for in a vacation, grab a pair of binoculars and some serious fan gear -- giant foam hands, anyone? -- and make a weekend out of watching other athletes do the heavy lifting.

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

Summer X Games VIII
August 15–19

Tip Sheet: Annual X-treme Olympics for skateboarding, motocross, BMX, and "aggressive in-line skating." Dread your hair, throw on your baggiest shorts, and prepare to worship Tony Hawk as a god.
Where to Stay: Loews Hotel, Philadelphia

Riverhead Raceway
Riverhead, N.Y.
April 27–September 29 weekends only

Tip Sheet: Nothing beats a day at the races -- except maybe the demolition derby, the school-bus relays, and the nascar Modifieds. Riverhead has 'em all, and drinking Bud out of the can is required.
Where to Stay: The Atlantic, Southampton, N.Y.

Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge
July 13–August 17
Saturdays only
$10 per car

Tip Sheet: Don big brimmed hats and replace divots with A-listers like Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, and Russell Simmons.
Where to Stay: Bridgehampton Inn, Bridgehampton, N.Y.

Head of the Charles Regatta
October 19–20

Tip Sheet: Join droves of BC, BU, and Harvard students cheering from the banks of the Charles River; keep warm with cups of clam chowder.
Where to Stay: Fifteen Beacon, Boston


Loews Philadelphia: Doubles from $225; spring for a corner room with a skyline view (215-627-1200).

The Atlantic Southampton: Doubles from $300; ask for a room in the back, farther away from noisy Route 39 ( 631-287-0908).

Bridgehampton Inn: Doubles from $270; request room Nos. 4 or 5, which face the quiet back lawn (631-537-3660).

Fifteen Beacon Boston: Doubles from $395; Studio suite has its own fireplace and whirlpool tub (617-670-1500).

Photograph: top to bottom, Shazaam/ESPN; courtesy of Riverhead Raceway; courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge.