Ranking the 49ers' upcoming road trips for 2023 season


The 49ers have several great road trips to start planning for in the 2023 NFL season, and we’ve made a list to help the Faithful prioritize which to book first.  

There are the usual NFC West divisional games that are on the schedule each year, but this season the club faces the AFC North, offering destinations that the 49ers haven't been to for nearly a decade. In their conference matchups, the 49ers will clash with the NFC East, which always provides “lively” competition (Just trying to be P.C. here, OK?).

9. Week 15 at Arizona Cardinals

When: Sunday, Dec. 17, 1:05 p.m. PT

Division matchups always are worthwhile endeavors, but let’s face it, the Cardinals have been a mess lately. Injuries devastated the club in 2022, leading to a 4-13 record. Their quarterback Kyler Murray will return from an ACL injury this season and should be healthy by the time this game rolls around. It also could end up being a game that matters for divisional rankings. 

Phoenix also is the home of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. If he is under center, as expected as the leader of the clubhouse, there will be a lot of hubbub around the game as his homecoming. In 2022 the 49ers' game in the desert occurred two weeks before Purdy took over the starting role. 

The benefit of this game being held in mid-December is that it should be a nice time for a desert trip, with the climate being warmer than in the Bay Area. There also are an infinite number of hotels and places to eat in the Phoenix area. A drawback is that the stadium is in Glendale, which is a long way from most of the hot spots in the Phoenix area and can be a little cumbersome to get to. 


8. Week 17 at Washington Commanders

When: Sunday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m. PT

A trip to the nation’s Capitol always is a good venture. There are a lot of sights and and historic landmarks that can make the cross-country trek worthwhile. Matchup-wise, this could be an interesting battle as the Commanders try to better their 8-8 record from 2022. 

The NFL schedulers, however, placed this game on New Year’s Eve, which knocks it down a few pegs on our list. While D.C. is known for its spectacular fireworks shows, it is not necessarily a top New Year’s Eve destination. The game is early enough that it could allow a train ride to New York City or Philadelphia for the evening, but the stadium is located in Landover, Md., which makes a timely exit challenging. 

7. Week 6 at Cleveland Browns

When: Sunday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. PT 

This matchup with the Browns could be an exciting one, and it comes at the perfect time of the year before the freezing cold of winter hits Cleveland. It hopefully will be perfect football weather during this mid-October matchup for the 49ers. 

The Browns will be looking to improve from their 7-10 record from 2022 after spending an extraordinary amount of draft capital for their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson. The 49ers' offense will face the combination of Myles Garret and Za’Darius Smith in the trenches. 

The 49ers have not traveled to play the Browns in Cleveland since the 2015 season. First Energy Stadium is located right next to Lake Erie near downtown, which makes it a walkable destination from any hotel in the city. Cleveland has a solid craft brewery industry and a well-known food hall -- Westside Market -- but if you make the trek, save some extra time to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

6. Week 7 at Minnesota Vikings

When: Monday, Oct. 23, 5:15 p.m. PT 

The week after the 49ers play in Cleveland, they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings and Kirk Cousins. It doesn’t appear the team will stay on the East Coast as they have in the past, as this game is one of San Francisco's five primetime contests, this time on Monday night. 

These two teams know each other well, especially after joint practices during the 2022 preseason/training camp. This game should be very competitive with both teams coming off 13-4 seasons last year. 

Minnesota is a great city with a lot of great restaurants, and it is easy to navigate. U.S. Bank Stadium is one of the premiere venues in the league, so if you haven’t been, this is one to check off your bucket list. There is a museum inside you can visit on game day that features a display showing a football for every touchdown caught by Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss. 


Of course, Moss is second only to 49ers Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who holds the record for the most receiving touchdowns in NFL history with 197, but Moss’ display is still impressive. 

5. Week 12 at Seattle Seahawks

When: Thursday, Nov. 23, 5:20 p.m. PT

I love a good visit to the Pacific Northwest, but the fact that this game was scheduled on Thanksgiving evening is less than ideal. There’s nothing better than comfortable clothes and watching a triple header of football from your own couch. 

Part of the attraction to visiting Seattle is the local seafood and restaurant scene, but it looks like anyone who hits the road for this trip will be eating stadium food for Thanksgiving dinner. Still, this is a matchup that will be worth seeing in person. 

The Seahawks are a team on the rise, and with what looks like a favorable 2023 NFL Draft for the club, they could improve on their 9-8 record from 2022. What really makes this an attractive destination is seeing the red of the 49ers Faithful taking over the blue of Lumen Field. 

If you have time to spend the weekend in Seattle, the University of Washington Huskies host the Washington State Cougars on Saturday for the Apple Cup, which is a great rivalry game at a stunning venue. 

4. Week 2 at Los Angeles Rams 

When: Sunday, Sept. 17, 1:05 p.m. PT 

If you like to double up on your weekend sporting events, the 49ers' first 2023 matchup with the Rams offers that option. UCLA hosts NC Central the Saturday before the divisional clash at SoFi Stadium. 

The Rams' venue is not the easiest to get in and out of, but it is a remarkable facility that offers a great view of the field. If you can only get your hands on seats in the upper bowl, the oculus provides a crystal-clear live image of what is happening on the field. 

Los Angeles offers great night life and extensive cuisine options to supplement your visit. It’s also a fun road trip to make knowing you’ll be amongst your own at “Levi’s South.”

3. Week 13 At Philadelphia Eagles

When: Sunday, Dec. 3, 1:25 p.m. PT

Eagles fans' hospitality (or lack thereof) does make Lincoln Financial Field a little more challenging to visit. Even 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan shared his wife Mandy won’t head to the City of Brotherly Love for this NFC Championship Game rematch. 

Our suggestion is to wear neutral-colored gear to the stadium, but go to Philadelphia for what the city offers -- great food and a lively night life. It also is an easy city to navigate, and the stadium is a quick ride from downtown. 

Seeing how the 49ers match up against the Eagles with a healthy quarterback should be worth a trip east. 

2. Week 10 at Jacksonville Jaguars

When: Sunday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m. PT

What’s not to like about a warm-weather venue in the middle of November? The “Baalke Bowl” will be a nice reprieve from what normally is the cold season in the Bay Area. This, of course, will not be the first time, nor the last, that the 49ers will face the team of former general manager Trent Baalke. 


While Jacksonville has more of a resort vibe than a few other stops for the 49ers this season, it is a great destination. Miles of beaches surround the city that will host an entertaining match up for the 49ers facing Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who started to hit his stride closing out the 2022 season and helped lead the team to a 9-8 record and a trip to the divisional round.

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The NFL felt this game was so important that the option of it being selected as an international game in London was nixed. A 6 a.m. PT kickoff on the West Coast just wouldn’t offer the same viewership as a later time slot. That should be reason enough to head to Florida. 

1. Week 1 at Pittsburgh Steelers

When: Sunday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. PT

There’s nothing like the season opener to head out on the road for a 49ers game, especially since the last time the team ventured out to the Steel City was in 2015. The Steelers are coming off a 9-8 season and looking to prove they can succeed with 2022 first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett under center. 

The Pittsburgh sports scene is picturesque with multiple venues along the Ohio River, although when the 49ers are in town, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be playing Braves in Atlanta. There are, however, a few college games in the vicinity if you want to make it a double-header weekend. 

Pitt hosts Cincinnati on Sept. 9, and while it is a little further away, Delaware will be visiting 49ers rookie Ji’Ayir Brown’s Penn State Nittany Lions. Sporting events as well as a thriving craft beer industry are more than enough reasons to book your tickets for Week 1. 

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