Americans like to keep score. What better way to keep track of who's good, better, and best than by casting bronze busts and collecting premium castoffs, then sticking them all in one place? Baseball may have Cooperstown, but surfing gets Lihue, Hawaii. Here's what else you'll find in our favorite shrines to greatness: » INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME. An ode to 600-plus competitive swimmers, divers, polo players, open-water and marathon swimmers, and their coaches. FETISH ITEM: A life-size wax likeness of Mark Spitz. » U.S. BICYCLING HALL OF FAME. The hall holds far more jerseys than any Foot Locker. FETISH ITEM: A signed maillot jaune from Greg LeMond's 1989 Tour win. » INTERNATIONAL SURFING HALL OF FAME. This one has a grass-shack entryway, houses 40 antique boards, and screens classics like The Endless Summer. FETISH ITEM: A pair of surfer-shaped trophies handed out by Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku. » U.S. NATIONAL SKI HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM. Skiing isn't for sissies: A 30-foot mural honors the Tenth Mountain Division. FETISH ITEM: A display of on-slope fashion from 1935 to 1985. ¡Viva tight sweaters! » AMERICA'S CUP HALL OF FAME. Old steering wheels, a test hull from Stars & Stripes, and ultralight titanium masts are strewn about. FETISH ITEM: More than 80 half-size models of America's Cupwinning yachts. » MOUNTAIN BIKE HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM. In a 15-by-15-foot corner of the Crested Butte Heritage Museum, pilgrims pay homage to ancient components. FETISH ITEM: One of seven original steel Breezer bikes, circa 1977.
Access and Resorcues
INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 954-462-6536, www.ishof.org
U.S. BICYCLING HALL OF FAME, Somerville, New Jersey, 908-722-3620, www.usbhof.com
INTERNATIONAL SURFING HALL OF FAME, Lihue, Hawaii, 808-632-2270, www.intlsurfinghalloffame.com
U.S. NATIONAL SKI HALL OF FAME, Ishpeming, Michigan, 906-485-6323, www.skihall.com
AMERICA'S CUP HALL OF FAME, Bristol, Rhode Island, 401-253-5000, www.herreshoff.org