Are you one of the millions of Americans who will be taking a weekend getaway to celebrate Independence Day? Whatever your destination this Fourth of July, traveling brings new sights, sounds, and bowling centers. You read that correctly—the United States is home to many unique bowling centers. Read all about them in Mike Walsh’s Bowling Across America: 50 States in Rented Shoes.
But first, here’s a little backstory to Bowling across America. After the unexpected passing of his father, author Mike Walsh quits his advertising job. He then honors a variation of his dad’s dream—bowl in each of the 50 states. His journey of bowling across America produced wild adventures. Check out the book to learn more about his journey and the centers.
But there’s nothing’s better than experiencing these bowling center gems firsthand. If you happen to find yourself in any of these top Fourth of July vacation destinations, we hope you try out these centers and see for yourself:
Chicago, Illinois: Southport Lanes
If you’re wanting a bit of history with your game of bowling, Southport Lanes delivers. Built by the Schlitz Brewery in the early 1900s, this center is one of the only remaining manually-set bowling alleys in the country. Don’t forget to tip the pinsetter—you never know how much your score could improve if you do!
New Orleans, Louisiana: Rock ‘N’ Bowl
If you want to experience the native flavor of New Orleans, look no further! Along with bowling, Rock ‘N’ Bowl has become more recognized as a staple to the music scene in the area, playing Swing, Zydeco, Motown, or R&B, depending on the night. Get a game in and enjoy the tunes!
New York City, New York: Bowlmor
Right in the center of the hustle and bustle of NYC, the Times Square bowling center adds a little panache to the game. With state of the art lighting and sound, posh seating and lanes, and plenty of signature cocktails, you’ll certainly be entertained (any maybe even see a celebrity or two!).
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bryant Lake Bowl
Eat artisanal food, attend theater performances or comedy skits, and bowl—all in one location! But don’t worry about it being too swanky, the center wants you to change up your typical game in a fun, laidback way: They suggest their “BLB Crazy Bowl,” which brings a new challenge in the way you bowl for each frame, such as using the hand you don’t normally use and bowling while kneeling.
Brunswick, Maine: Yankee Lanes
A family owned and operated bowling center in the heart of Maine’s MidCoast Region, experience both the diversity of the locals and enjoy a game of bowling at Yankee Lanes. Furthermore, don’t be alarmed when you have a group of lobstermen on your right and college goers on your left!
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: JB’s on 41
Published in 2008 before our renovation, Walsh’s Bowling across America doesn’t include JB’s on 41. But if you’re staying in the Milwaukee area, adventures await! Look no further than JB’s on 41 for Fourth of July fun. We’ll be open at 4pm on Independence Day. Grab a pair of rental shoes and try your hand at bowling in luxurious Suite 41. Experience custom cherry wood lanes, light show, and big screen TVs with family and friends. Additionally, to thank the countless men and women who serve our country, all military members bowl free with Military ID on the Fourth of July! As a special bonus, Summer VIP Club members enjoy 2 free games, as well (sign up here).
Wherever your Independence Day travels take you, check out any one of these cool bowling centers. Then add a picture below of your times bowling across America in the comments. Have fun and enjoy a game or tow of bowling this Fourth of July!