the-great-american-baseball-road-trip-a-guide-to-major-league-baseballs-ballparks-sundance-vacations-post

The Great American Baseball Road Trip

The crack of the bat, the smell of the grass and the taste of a slightly stale hot dog along-side a warm beer.

A baseball game can be an assault on the senses.

It can also be an amazingly fun way to spend an afternoon with some of your closest friends.

Long known as America’s Pastime, baseball has been embedded in the culture of North American’s since the early 1800’s and quickly gained popularity.  By the 1860’s the sport had gone professional and has stayed that way to the present day.

Many rule changes have come and gone, teams and players have certainly changed, but one thing seems to be a constant.  American’s love baseball.

As the Major League Baseball (MLB) season is well underway – especially with the MLB All-Star Game played yesterday, signifying the half-way point of the season – and the summer vacation season is upon us, perhaps traveling baseball fans could consider this:

Combine two of America’s favorite summertime things.  Road trips and baseball.

No matter where you live around the United States, there are strings of games and ballparks that are ready and willing to let you experience one of the nation’s oldest sports.

Whether you are following your favorite team, or just checking out some of the nation’s greatest fields, baseball fans will get a lot of enjoyment out of a trip like this.  As with any sport, for true fans, the love of the game runs deep, and no matter the teams or outcomes of the games can change that.  Take a look at some of the suggestions we have below and check out even more ideas on BallParksOfBaseball.com.

The Northeast

Philadelphia Phillies (Citizens Bank Park)

citizens-bank-park-philadelphia-phillies-stadium-sundance-vacations-travel-blog

Citizens Bank Park is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Although the team is currently struggling with only 29 wins on the season, making them literally the worst team in baseball right now (does anyone detect a little bit of jaded fan here?), there are still a number of charms that make this Citizens Bank Park a great place to watch a game.

With a number of statues, plaques and amazing pieces of art work throughout the stadium, spectators can take a look back at the history of not just the Phillies, but the game itself.  Other cool features include the bi-level bullpens which allow fans to see in and watch both home and away team pitchers warming up, a number of shops and stores for finding that perfect souvenir, a massive video display board and a 35-foot by 50-foot light up Liberty Bell that rings after every Phillies homerun.

As for concessions, Citizens Bank Park is no slouch.  Fans can grab themselves an iconic Philly Cheesesteak at Tony Luke’s, sample the famous Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab Fries or even grab a traditional hot dog.  Healthy food lovers as well as vegetarians can also take comfort in knowing that this ball park has been named the number one MLB ballpark for vegetarian options six out of the last seven years.

Philadelphia is a historic city that features a great modern baseball venue, definitely worth a place on your list of must visits when on a baseball road trip.  For more information about Citizens Bank Park, check out the page for it on the Philadelphia Phillies website.

New York Mets (Citi Field)

citi_field_mets_new_york_sundace_vacations

Citi Field is the home of New York Mets baseball.

The new home of the New York Mets is located just across the street from where Shea Stadium once sat.

More relevant than in the past few seasons, the Mets are just a modest two games behind the Washington Nationals for the lead in the National League’s East Division, as of the All-Star break.

Citi Field, a 1.4 million square foot facility, features an interactive Hall of Fame and Museum where people can learn more about the teams of old as well as see the franchise’s World Series Trophies and Rings.  Fans can also check out the Met’s Home Run Apple that was once displayed in both Shea Stadium and the new Citi Field.  The Apple would pop out of a magic hat after every Met’s home run and was located inside the park until 2010, when it was moved outside.

As for food, fans can sample some burgers from Shake Shack, some delicious barbecue from the Blue Smoke restaurant stand as well as a number of other traditional ballpark delights.

Despite being the smaller of the two teams in New York City, the Mets really provide a great experience to all visitors.  The Museum is offers a look at some really cool things and plus, this is the only stadium in the MLB that uses orange foul poles, a tradition carried over from Shea Stadium!  A very unique place to check off your list of places to see a game.  For more info on Citi Field, hit up the page for it on the New York Mets website.

New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium)

1280px-yankee_stadium_upper_deck_2010

The current incarnation of Yankee Stadium is still hosting on of baseballs favorite teams, the New York Yankees.

One of the most popular teams in all of baseball, and rightfully so as they have won the most World Series Titles in the history of the sport (27), the New York Yankees play in the newest incarnation of Yankee Stadium.

As of the All-Star break, the Yanks are currently 3.5 games up in the American League East Division and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.  I’d imagine it can be hard to try a leave your seat when a team is playing well, but there are a number of really cool things inside of Yankee Stadium that will want to check out.

Monument Park, which is located in centerfield, is an open air museum that features monuments, plaques and more honoring past Yankee greats.  Make sure you get to the stadium early however, as visitors can only access this area of the park until 45 minutes before the start of a game.  There is also a museum onsite that fans can check out.  Furthermore, history is literally all around you as the architecture of the stadium was designed as a tribute to the 1923 version of the stadium.

If you are headed to a game and happen to be hungry, consider sampling some of the Garlic Fries, grab a Hebrew National hot dog, get an amazing sandwich from either the Parm or Premio Sausage stands, or enjoy a meal at the onsite Hard Rock Café.

Fans can check out what the game would look like from their seats using the new virtual venue tour on the Yankees website, you can compare seats and see what works best for you and your travel companions.  Visit the virtual tour here: “Yankee Stadium Virtual Tour”

For more information about the stadium itself check out the page featured on the New York Yankees website.

Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park)

fenway_park_boston_red_sox_major_league_baseball

The oldest baseball stadium in the MLB today, Fenway Park, is the home of the Boston Red Sox.

Probably the most well-known baseball venue in the world and the oldest MLB stadium still in use today, Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox.  Despite the age and long storied tradition of Fenway, the park has had some face lifts over the years keeping it up-to-date and helping to include modern technology.  This is pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to destinations on your baseball road trip.

Although the Red Sox are in last place in the American League East Division, they are only a modest 6.5 games behind the leaders, the New York Yankees.  The tightly contested division will certainly go through a few more standings changes before the end of the season as there is still a lot of games to be played.  Frankly, even if Boston had zero wins in the last 20 seasons, you would still probably want to go check out Fenway Park.

Built in 1912, this venue probably has more history in its walls than most museums.  There are statues honoring the greats like Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom Dimaggio.  There is a single, red seat located in the right field stands that commemorates the longest home run ever hit inside the stadium.  There are a number of plaques around the park that list facts, milestones and important features of Fenway.  The giant left field wall known as the Green Monster.  Just so much to see and do for baseball fans.  So much history and so much tradition!  Any baseball fan should be literally tickled to death to take a pilgrimage to Fenway, whether you are a Red Sox fan or not.

In the area of food, Boston again delivers.  With traditional baseball fare, including hot dogs, nachos, french fries and even pizza, any fan can have a plethora of decisions on their hands.  Add in some more specialty foods like Cuban sandwiches, fish sandwiches and even Lobster Rolls.  As for beverages, be careful!  Beer at Fenway can be among the highest prices in the league, but the selection is quite good, including hometown favorite Sam Adams.

For people who are looking to be lavished in comfort and enjoy all the modern amenities that most newer ballparks offer, this is certainly not the place for you.  However, if you want to see a game, the way millions of people for hundreds of years have, Fenway can be an awesome experience.  Just based on the history alone, along the same way that Wrigley Field in Chicago is considered, this is a mecca for baseball fans and lovers of the game.  For more information about Fenway Park, visit the page for it on the Boston Red Sox website.

Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park at Camden Yards)

oriole-park-at-camden-yards-baltimore-maryland-baseball

Oriole Park at Camden Yards plays host to all Baltimore Oriole games.

Opened in 1992, the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards was quickly touted as a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern amenities.  Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, this state-of-the-art, yet quaint stadium offers a really unique experience for fans of the game of baseball.

Currently sitting in third place, just four games back of the first place Yankees, the Orioles have been a constantly-improving baseball team over the last few seasons.  With four of their players in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, tying them for fourth most representatives, anyone can see that the team is vastly improved.

A visit to Camden Yards is certainly one that any baseball lover should have on their list.  The ballpark features a number of attractions away from the game itself, offering a great experience.  A Memorial Wall, which was built to honor residents of Maryland that were killed in service of the United States is one of these features.  Also, in 2005, the Babe Ruth Museum, which was already located onsite at Camden Yards, opened an expansion called the Sports Legends Museum.  More so than just baseball, the 22,000 square foot facility features 10,000 artifacts from the Orioles, Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Maryland’s minor league teams and much more.

If you are looking for some delicious eats while at the game, you can again experience some really unique choices.  Former Orioles First Baseman John Wesley “Boog” Powell, a two-time World Series Champ, runs a Barbeque stand inside the ballpark and is usually there for every game.  You could also grab some nachos or sample some world famous Maryland Crabcakes while at the game.

Before or after the game, fans can stroll down Eutaw Street and find a ton of plaques, in the exact spots mind you, where homerun balls have landed on the street.  These plaques include the team, player’s name and date of the game and are updated yearly.  For a full list of the plaques, check out this site, “Eutaw Street Home Run Tracker”

A trip to Camden Yards can easily eat up a full day, but can also provide an awesome day to remember for any baseball fan.  To learn more about the stadium and what it has to offer check out the page on the Baltimore Orioles website.

Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

nationals-park-sundance-vacations-blog

Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, is one of the newest ballparks in the MLB.

Just south of the Capitol, the Washington Nationals host their games at Nationals Park.  The park was opened in 2008 and is one of the newest stadiums in the league.  Making for a new place that even some of the most seasoned baseball road-trippers may not have seen yet.

Since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington DC and became the Nationals in 2005, the team has done well.  They have two National League East Division Titles under their belt (2012, 2014) and are currently sitting in first place of the division for the 2015 season.

The more than $611 million dollar stadium is home to the DC Sports Hall of Fame, a place where fans can learn more about Washington baseball players and pays respect to the city’s former baseball team, the Senators.  The stadium also features a state-of-the-art 4500 square foot display board and sound system.  Oh and don’t forget to stay in your seats during the fourth inning as the Nationals have the “Presidents Race” each and every game.  Five former Presidents of the United States, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, William Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, compete in a mascot race with a political theme!

When your stomach starts to growl, head to the Shake Shack stand for a delicious burger or milkshake, grab a vegetarian option at “Field of Greens”, or try a bowl of chili from Ben’s Chili Bowl, a local stand.  The park also offers Gluten Free options, Maryland Crabcakes and even Asian-inspired dishes at a stand called “Intentional Wok”.

As one of the newest and most modern baseball stadiums in the league, Nationals Park is a definite must-see when it comes to today’s version of the national pastime.  For more information about the stadium, check out the page of the Washington Nationals website.

Great Lakes Region

Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field)

1280px-progressive_field_indians_baseball

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio is the home of the Indians.

Opened in 1994, Progressive Field is where the Cleveland Indian call home.  The architecture of this park certainly pays homage to the industrial nature of the city of Cleveland and baseball fans will find small touches throughout the stadium that will help make this visit memorable.

With the All-Star break upon us, the Indians are a team much like the Philadelphia Phillies.  Struggling.  As of July 14, they are 11 games back from the first place Kansas City Royals in the American League’s Central Division.

Despite the team’s setbacks this season, a trip to this park offers fans more than just a game.  To lead off, if you are bringing the kids along, the stadium offers an area where kids can play around.  On Sunday’s especially, kids can run the bases for free and during the game the concourse outside of left field is filled with activities that will keep them busy.  In addition the park offers free Wi-Fi, meaning you can always occupy the little ones with electronic devices, if need be.

Progressive Field also has an area behind centerfield, similar to that of Yankee Stadium, where they honor past greats of Cleveland baseball.  The Indians version is known as Heritage Park and is a great place to experience the past of the sport as well as get a front row seat for the live local pregame show before every home game.

For some local flavor, Smuckers, which is based in Ohio, offers their Uncrustable Sandwiches.  You can also sample a number of craft brews including ones from the Great Lakes Brewing Company, which is also located in Cleveland.  There is also an abundance of the normal concessions throughout the park, so no matter what you are looking for, you’ll be able to find it.

Even though Cleveland doesn’t have the biggest scoreboard, the newest stadium or biggest amount of off-field attractions, it certainly does provide a spectacular experience for the fans who truly love the game of baseball.  For more info about Progressive Field, check out the stadiums page on the Cleveland Indians website.

Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park)

great_american_ball_park_reds

Great American Ball Park is the home of the Cincinnati Reds and also played host to the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

To the southwest of Cleveland, the city of Cincinnati heads to Great American Ball Park to see the Cincinnati Reds take the field.  Opened in 2003, the stadium played host to this year’s MLB All-Star Game.

Cincinnati Reds fans got quite the show during the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby, as Reds Third Baseman Todd Frazier became only the second player in the history of the event to win it inside of his home stadium.  On his very last hit of the night, he crushed a homer, walking off with a 15-14 victory in the finals over Joc Pederson.

During the season, fans can check out the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, featuring memorabilia, statues and more.  Another thing that may bring people to the park is the amount of secret nods to longtime great Pete Rose.  Although he may be banned from the sport of baseball, fans of the sport and Reds fans know that he will always be a huge part of not only the team’s, but the sport’s history.

When it comes time to chow down on some food, visitors can check out a number of local favorites, including the ever-popular Skyline Chili.  One thing that sets this stadium apart from others is the fact that you are allowed to bring in outside food.  Anyone coming into the park can bring any food items and drinks, except for alcohol, in a soft cooler provided it is no bigger than 16x16x8.

With over $4.5 million put into the Great American Ball Park in preparation for the 2015 season and the MLB All-Star Game, now is the perfect time to visit the city of Cincinnati and see a game.  For more information about the Reds Stadium, check out its page on the Cincinnati Reds website.

Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park)

pnc_park_home_of_pittsburgh_pirates_mlb

The Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball inside of PNC Park.

Opened in 2001, PNC Park is one of the most gorgeous settings for a ballpark.  With wide open architecture, fans can admire the skyline of Pittsburgh and see the recently successful Pirates play America’s game.

A resurgence that really started in 2012 has propelled the Pittsburgh Pirates back into the spotlight.  A team that missed the playoffs for a large number of years, the Pirates finally cracked the mold and made it into the post season the last two years.  Currently the team is just 2.5 wins back from the National League Central Division leading St. Louis Cardinals.

For a team that has been in the same city for 115-plus years, the Pirates and Pittsburgh are definitely doing something right when it comes to seeing a game in the Steel City.  From the fact that the right field wall rises up 21 feet, in honor of Pirates great Roberto Clemente, to the amazing classic look and feel of the ballpark, PNC Park is filled with nods to the sport itself.  Plus you can see some statues of Pirates greats!  With almost constantly running promotions, the Pirates are one of the most affordable tickets in all of professional sports, making this stop on your road trip that much better.

If you are worried about the baseball cuisine, don’t be.  PNC Park brings some Pittsburgh classics right into the stadium, allowing fans to get a taste of the city while seeing a game.  The famous Primanti Brothers Sandwiches, where everything from coleslaw to fries are put right on the sandwich, are available as well as the Pennsylvania-made Mrs. T’s Pierogies.  Fans will struggle to walk away from any of the food options here.

Although PNC Park may not have all the huge bells and whistles that most other modern fields have, it certainly makes up for all that with its historic charm.  The views from here are some of the best in baseball and the stadiums classic styling will make you feel like you are watching a game back before the age of technological distractions.  For more information about PNC Park, visit its page on the Pittsburgh Pirates website.

Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park)

Detroit-Tigers-Comerica-Park-Baseball-Road-Trip.jpg

In the heart of Detroit, Michigan, Comerica Park is the home of the Detroit Tigers.

In Detroit, Michigan the Tigers take the field at Comerica Park.  The more modern, $300 million project was completed in 2000 and has turned into quite the attraction for baseball fans.

As one of the more successful teams in the last five years, the Tigers have gone to the post season four out of the last five, one of which where they fell just short of a World Series Title.  As of the All-Star break the team is nine games behind the lead of the American League Central Division.

It’s not often that you can go to a baseball game and come back saying that you rode a Ferris wheel and Carousel while there.  At Comerica Park you can do just that.  The Fly Ball Ferris Wheel is a 50-foot attraction with cars that are shaped like baseballs and can seat up to five passengers each.  The Comerica Carousel features 30 hand-painted tigers and two chariots and is great for children. The stadium also has a water feature that can be choreographed to any music, six large statues of Tiger greats and a Walk of Fame throughout the concourse area that allows fans to see Tiger history simply by taking a stroll around the park.

The food situation features more than just the traditional baseball fare.  Sure they have hot dogs, hamburgers and fries, but they also add in things like tacos and one of my personal favorites, Macaroni and Cheese.  Seasonal favorites can be found as well, including strawberry shortcake and apple cider donuts.

Comerica Park offers fans a chance at experiencing baseball and a little bit more.  This one would be great to visit with the kids, but can be just as much fun as adults.  Bottom line is, any baseball fan, young or old would be satisfied after seeing a game here.  For more information about Comerica Park, visit its page on the Detroit Tigers website.

Chicago White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field)

us_navy_100406-n-1232m-001_sailors_assigned_to_various_commands_at_naval_station_great_lakes_unfurl_an_american_flag_before_the_2010_home_opening_chicago_white_

Renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003, this park is home to the Chicago White Sox.

As another city with two teams, Chicago, Illinois literally has over 200-plus years of baseball history spread across both the White Sox and the Cubs.  The younger, but not by much, White Sox play in what has been called U.S. Cellular Field since 2003.

Although it has been a while since the Sox were really a heavy hitter, they did win the World Series in 2005, one of three World Titles.  Presently they are in last place in the American League’s Central Division, tied with the Cleveland Indians at 11 games back.

Although many people have argued that the Wrigley Field is the more interesting park in the Windy City, there are a number of features at “the Cell” that offer something cool for baseball fans.  As a tribute to the olden days, fans can enjoy the exploding scoreboard that does so every time the White Sox hit a homer.  As a tribute to a time when a Cleveland Indians’ Manager threw a baseball at the scoreboard during a Yankees game in frustration, this is a unique piece of history that is not just for White Sox fans, but all baseball fans.  A number of statues adorn the property, both inside and outside of the park and one other cool feature is that of the bullpen bar.  Visitors can stop in and have a drink, similar to any other bar, but at the same time watch pitchers warm up in the bullpen, with only a single sheet of glass between them.

At the concessions stands, fans can expect to find a number of different things.  A special French fry dish, known as Irish Nachos, is a great tribute to the area the baseball park resides in and is equally delicious.  Hungry patrons can also find baked potatoes, amazing pizza and much more.  If you are hungry for dessert, consider the 12 scoop ice cream sundae, whether you decide to share it or not is your call.

Even though I personally believe that the Cubs steal most of the attention from the city of Chicago, the White Sox and U.S. Cellular Field provide a very solid experience for any baseball fan.  For more information about the park, visit its page on the Chicago White Sox website.

Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field)

1280px-wrigley_field-chicago-cubs

Historic Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the MLB and is home of the Chicago Cubs.

In 2014, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field celebrated 100 years of baseball in the Windy City.  As one of the most iconic baseball stadiums of all time, especially in this modern era, Wrigley and its Ivy covered walls is one of the first places on fans’ baseball bucket lists.

Regardless of the Cubs record, Wrigley is a great place to see a game.  At the All-Star break however, the Cubs are eight games back of the National League Central Division lead.  Although the more recent teams have been striving to reclaim the greatness that the Cubs of old showed, they have only made post season appearances in four of the last 20 years.  A pain that most Chicago fans know all too well.

Statues of some of the greatest players in Cubs history surround the park, so be sure to do a lap around before you enter.  The history is palpable here.  From Babe Ruth’s legendary “called shot” to the more recent stuff like Sammy Sosa hitting his 60th homeruns in 1998, 1999 and 2001. Diehard fans, celebrities and players alike all enjoy the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley, as it is known for its “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” sing-a-long.  As the second oldest stadium in the MLB, fans will find tons of old charm that will make this trip memorable for them.  This one is literally a must see.

Fans can experience the Chicago favorite Italian Beef sandwich, remember to get it dipped, along with a number of other delicious treats.  From a Chicago Hot Dog to pizza and chicken tenders to a Cubs helmet full of nachos, you can be sure that you won’t leave hungry.

As the majority of games here are played during the day, it makes this field even more unique.  As literally the last ballpark that installed lighting, they managed to hold out until 1988, Wrigley Field provides a perfect day for a baseball fan.  Everything about this place screams nostalgia and even if you aren’t a Cubs fan, you’ll be able to appreciate the history here.  For more information about Wrigley Field, check out its page on the Chicago Cubs website.

Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

miller-park-brewers-baseball

The Milwaukee Brewers play in one of only six MLB stadiums that have a retractable roof, Miller Park.

As one of the smaller-market teams in the MLB, the Milwaukee Brewers opened Miller Park in 2001 and it became one of only six MLB stadiums with a retractable roof.  Despite it being in a smaller market, this stadium has something for kids, adults and baseball historians too.

Another team that is currently struggling, the Brewers are in last place in the NL Central Division and are a hefty 18.5 games back from the lead, second worst only to the Philadelphia Phillies.  Although the Brewers have appeared in a few post seasons, including one World Series (1982), they are still searching for their first World Title.

Miller Park offers a number of things to do for children, including batting cages, fast pitch machines and even a sign making area.  As for adults there are a number of amazing food and beverage choices, the game itself and more.  People interested in the historical aspect can walk around the stadium during a game and experience the “Walk of Fame” that features pictures, facts, statues and more about Wisconsin Baseball, the Brewers and their previous stadium.  Another major selling point for this park is the retractable roof.  You don’t have to worry about checking the forecast for the day, if it’s cold or bad weather the roof is closed, on sunny warmer days the roof will open creating the ability to attend a game no matter what the weather is.

According to a number of reviews and websites, Miller Park is hands down one of the best places for food and drink in the entire MLB.  Beer is plentiful here as it is home to some of the biggest beer companies in the world, specialty stands also offer the chance at mixing two beers together to make a blend all your own.  What goes better with a frosty beverage than a bratwurst or hot dog?  Not much.  Other Wisconsin favorites, so essentially anything with cheese, can be found on the menu and there are a number of restaurants that allow for sit down service too.

A smaller market doesn’t always mean a diminished experience.  The Milwaukee Brewers and Miller Park prove that.  With activities to keep fans both young and old occupied and a food menu to wow the senses, this may be one of the best values and best kept secrets in the MLB.  For more information about Miller Park, visit its page on the Milwaukee Brewers website.

The Midwest

St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium)

busch_stadium_st_louis_cardnials_sundance_vacations

Busch Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Opened in 2006, Busch Stadium is the new home of the St. Louis Cardinals.  With tons of extras aside from the game itself, this ballpark is one of many that can keep you or your kids busy with about a million activities and attractions.

With two World Series Trophies in the last nine years, this team has been one of the better teams in the MLB, making the playoffs six times out of those nine season.  At the All-Star break, the Cards are in first place of the National League Central Division with a 2.5 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Although the allure of a stellar game of baseball may keep you in your seat, there are a number of things that can end up distracting you from that.  For baseball historians and lovers of the game, you may want to head to the game a little early and experience everything the Ballpark Village has to offer.  There, travelers will find an 8,000 square Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, second in size only to the actual Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown, New York.  There are plenty of stores inside and outside of the park to allow you to buy that all-important souvenir, but only one of them sells authentic, game-used merchandise.  Inside the ballpark, that store offers fans the chance at owning baseballs, batting helmets, jerseys and more.

For the kids, there is a pavilion where they can hit in the batting cages, a play area and even a Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Kids can make exclusive stuffed animals, which include some Cardinal themed ones, and more to keep them busy.

When it comes to food at Busch Stadium, there are a number of things to keep you busy there as well.  With the normal foods you’d find at a ballpark, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos and more, anyone can be over whelmed with choices.  The nice thing about this stadium is that they do offer a number of combos which will pair your favorites with a soda, bag of chips or fries.  Another thing, which isn’t advertised by the ballpark, is the fact that you can bring your own food or drink into the park.  There are some exceptions, which include no cans, glass or opened bottles, but this can undoubtedly save families attending the game a large chunk of money.

There isn’t much more you can ask for when attending baseball game.  Fun activities, a great team that’s playing some great baseball and affordable food.  This stadium would be perfect for a family night out, or for the die-hard baseball fans that just want to see a great game and experience some history.  For more information about Busch Stadium, check out its page on the St. Louis Cardinals website.

Minnesota Twins (Target Field)

1280px-target_field_april_2010

Target Field is a whole new ball game for the Minnesota Twins. The Stadium allows them to play outdoors on nice weather days as it has a retractable roof.

The Twin Cities are the home the appropriately named Minnesota Twins.  In the city of Minneapolis, Target Field is where the Twins play.  Built in 2010, this is one of the newer stadiums in the MLB and recently replaced the Metrodome as the home of the team.

As of July 20, the Twins were in second places inside of the American League Central Division.  Just six games back of the first place Kansas City Royals, the Twins are poised to make a move as the 2015 season continues.

This stadium is a whole new ballgame – pun intended – as the Minnesota Twins have really only played inside of a dome since the 1980s.  Target Field also offers baseball lovers who really get into the game the chance at keeping track of the game’s stats up-to-the-minute.  With the most state-of-the-art scoring system, a game at Target Field will allow stat-loving fans to never miss a thing.  Around the stadium, fans will find a number of pictures and historical things about the Twins organization and players.  Another thing to consider is the fact that this is a newer stadium, meaning that more updates and upgrades are most likely on the way.

What’s on the menu at Target Field?  More like, what isn’t?  Aside from the normal food that you’d find around the baseball diamond, there are a huge number of fancier dishes as well.  From Cuban Sandwiches to Asian classics and a huge selection of craft beers, no fan will ever be hungry or thirsty inside Target Field. A local favorite, the Juicy Lucy (essentially a cheeseburger with cheese inside the burger), can also be found at one of the two sit-down restaurants inside of the ballpark.

Similar to what the New York Yankees did, the Minnesota Twins have recently added a 3D view of the stadium to allow people to see what the view would be like from their seats.  To check that out, visit the site here: “Target Field 3D View.”  For more information about the new home of the Twins, check out Target Field’s page on the Minnesota Twins website.

Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium)

kauffman_stadium_at_night_2009

Kauffman Field is one of the older parks in the MLB today, but is certainly a beautiful place to see a Kansas City Royals game.

Home to the leaders of the American League Central Division Kansas City Royals, Kauffman Stadium is a definite jewel in the Midwest region.  With some off-field activities, a huge scoreboard and some natural beauty as well, this stadium can easily make for a memorable stop on anyone’s baseball road trip.

Opened in 1973, the home of the Royals has been helping wow Kansas City crowds since the Athletics franchise left in 1968.  Since Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains”, due to that fact that it has the second most fountains than any other city in the world (Rome, Italy has the most), the baseball stadium added a water fountain to honor that and has captured that beautifully.  Visitors can check out the fountains before the game starts, or see them during the game from pretty much anywhere in the stadium which really adds an aspect of natural beauty that not a lot of parks have.

Couple that with the 12-story high, high-definition scoreboard from a recent $256 million renovation of the park and you can see why even though it may be an older park, the “K” as it is affectionately known is such a great place to see a game.  During that renovation, the Royals also added a hall of fame area, where historians and baseball lovers can learn more about the team and former players.

Kansas City is well-known for its barbecue and visitors will certainly be able to sample that while at a Royals game.  Probably the “must-have” dish in the park, there are a number of stands that offer BBQ sandwiches, beef brisket, baked beans and more.  For those fans that don’t enjoy barbecue, there are also the traditional favorites like pizza, chicken tenders and nachos.

Kauffman Stadium has really brought together a number of things in the ballpark.  Flavors of the region are evident at the concession stands, tributes to the area and natural beauty can be found in the fountains and baseball fans will love the stadium’s technological advances as well as the Royals Hall of Fame.  The combination of these amenities will make for a great stop on your baseball road trip.  To read more about Kauffman Stadium, check out the page for it on the Kansas City Royals website.

Colorado Rockies (Coors Field)

coors-field-colorado-rockies-baseball-stadium

Coors Field in Denver, Colorado is the home of the Colorado Rockies.

In the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado resides the Colorado Rockies, who play their games at Coors Field.  Combining the rugged beauty of the west as well as the modern technology and forward thinking of the city of Denver, Coors Field is a perfect place to watch a game.

The Rockies are a team that is currently having a bit of a hard time this season.  With only 39 wins this season, as of July 20, Colorado is 12.5 games back from the NL West Division lead.  Despite the team not playing the best baseball this season, there are a few off-field attractions that will make you want to visit the city of Denver.

At 5,200 feet above sea level, Coors Field has quickly become a hitter’s paradise for baseball players.  The thinner air in the Denver area allows for more home runs to be hit and the views of the Rocky Mountains from inside the stadium are the stuff that should be on post cards.  Also inside the confines of the Field is a nature area that features a pond, water fountains, rocks and trees.  Visitors may also notice a ring of purple seats that run around the stadium.  Those seats are specifically colored different from the normal green seats to signify that they are exactly one mile above sea level, a pretty neat touch.

When your stomach starts to growl inside the stadium, you have a number of options as you would anywhere else.  BBQ sandwiches, cheesesteaks, nachos, hot dogs and burgers are aplenty here.  Fans who are looking for adult beverages can find a good balance of domestic and craft brews.  This mix includes the popular Blue Moon, which was invented in Denver.  Coors Field is also one of the few stadiums that allows fans to bring in their own food and drink.  Regulations do apply to this so it is best to check ahead of time, but it can be a nice savings for the family on a budget.

Although there isn’t a huge number of historical goodies for baseball fans, they can certainly admit that the increased chance of home runs could offset that point.  The sheer beauty of this park is really its selling point, because let’s be honest, the Rockies aren’t playing the best baseball right now.  Regardless, it is certainly an awesome field that is unique in its own ways.  For more information about Coors Field, check out the page on the Colorado Rockies website.

Texas Rangers (Globe Life Park)

The last five seasons have been good to the Texas Rangers, who play inside of Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.  Just about 30 minutes outside of Dallas, the 49,115 seat stadium was opened in 1994.  It offers visitors the chance at checking out a retro-look field with some recently great baseball played by the Rangers.

Texas has appeared in two World Series during its franchise’s history.  Both of those appearances have been in the last five years (2010 and 2011).  Although the Rangers were unable to seal the deal, playoff baseball is enough to create excitement for any fan.  Currently, as of July 20, the Rangers are just 7.5 games back from the AL West leading Los Angeles Angels.

Baseball lovers should be sure to visit the onsite Texas Rangers Hall of Fame that is located in right field.  You can learn more about the history of the team and some of its great players.  Modeled after the great Oriole Park in Baltimore, Globe Life was made to look old-school, but still has some touches of today.  Visitors can find a phone charging station inside, which can literally save your (battery) life should you have a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

You’ve no doubt heard that “everything’s bigger in Texas.”  Well, the food inside the ball park is no exception.  The Rangers sell a $26 dollar hot dog called the “Boomstick,” that is two feet long and covered in chili, cheese and other assorted toppings.  Adding to that is the Texas-sized Kaboom Kabob, a two foot long kabob with chicken and vegetables, a selection of Texas Barbecue and even a Texas-Size Pretzel.  All of these items can be a little on the lofty side in terms of price, but you know what they say, “everything’s bigger in Texas!”

With some exciting baseball, zany food selection and the down-home feel of Globe Life Park, the Rangers have really created a unique experience for their fans and baseball lovers alike.  For more information about the stadium, check out the page for it on the Texas Rangers website.

Houston Astros (Minute Maid Park)

minute-maid-park-houston-astros-baseball-team

Minute Maid Park is one of six stadiums with a retractable roof and is home to the Houston Astros.

The Houston Astros, who were once named the Colt .45’s, changed their name to the Astros when they moved into Houston’s Astrodome in 1965.  As the first real dome in professional sports, the Astrodome was a modern marvel for a number of years.  In recent times, with dome starting to fall into disrepair, and most of the players hating the highly criticized “astro-turf”, it became time to explore building a new stadium for Houston’s baseball team.

Enter Minute Maid Park, one of only six stadiums with a retractable roof, to save the day.  Opened in 2000, the $250 million dollar stadium has a host of modern amenities for guests to use as well as the ability to watch a game played on real grass, even if it rains.

Although Astros fans have not had much to cheer about in the last 10 or so seasons, the 2015 campaign is proving to be slightly different for the team.  As of July 20, the team sits just a single game behind the Los Angeles Angels for the lead of the American League West Division.

For the lovers of the game, there are two statues you may be interested in.  They are outside of the park, but near each other, and depict Craig Biggo throwing to Jeff Bagwell in what appears to be a double play.  For families and people bringing children to the game, be sure to see the Squeeze Play area (both a baseball and Minute Maid reference), where children can hit in some batting cages and learn some of the baseball basics.

Don’t expect too many awesome tailgate parties where you can mingle with the locals, in fact, don’t expect any of these.  Ever.  The Astros have banned tailgating on their property and parking lots, for what reason, who knows, but don’t get your hopes up for games, food and fun before the game.  At least not in the parking lot.

Inside of Minute Maid Park, fans can enjoy local Tex-Mex favorites, barbecue and even chicken inside of a waffle cone.  As another one of the parks that allow for people to pledge that they will be the designated driver for the night, the Astros will give the DD a coupon that entitles them to a free 20 oz. soda.  Also, which started in 2012, fans can now bring outside food and drinks into the park.  Of course there are regulations and rules that apply, but this can really save families a lot of money.  If you’ve noticed a trend, the majority of Midwestern teams allow people to bring their own food, perhaps that’s a product of the hospitality of the population?

Despite the last few years of horrible baseball, the Astros seem to be a team on the comeback trail.  With this relatively new stadium and a list of things to keep you busy while you are there, Houston will be an excellent place to take in a game and then check off your list on your baseball road trip.  For more information, check out the Minute Maid Park page on the Houston Astros website.

The Southeast

Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)

turner-field-atlanta-braves-baseball-georgia

Turner Field has been the home of the Atlanta Braves since 1996, but the Braves will move into a new stadium in 2017.

Opened in 1996, Turner Field is the home of the Atlanta Braves.  It has been announced however, that come 2017, the Braves will be moving to a new stadium, Sun Trust Park.  This means you really only have a few seasons left to get to a game inside of Turner Field.  A stadium that has seen a lot of post-season play, Turner Field has played host as the Braves made the playoffs, 13 out of the last 19 seasons.

Just seven games back in the NL East Division, as of July 20, the Braves are poised to make a move down the stretch and attempt to make the playoffs for 2015.  With five World Series appearances in the last 24 years and one World Title (1995), the Braves are one of those teams that has been a consistent favorite in baseball for a very long time.

For the baseball historians and lovers, or even the casual fan, the onsite Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame is a must see.  Head to the game a little bit earlier and check out all of the history of this long and storied franchise.  Another interesting piece of history about this ballpark is the fact that it was originally used built and used for the 1996 Olympics.  Although the stadium was re-purposed and downsized slightly, it is still one of the largest in the MLB in terms of seating (50,096).  Fans can obviously also enjoy a great game of baseball while at Turner Field.  Sit down and take it in, cheer for the home team and even help the crowd do the “tomahawk chop” when prompted by the 27-foot long neon tomahawk at the top of the scoreboard.  To check out the tomahawk in action, watch this video: “Atlanta Braves Tomahawk”

When the Braves left their former home, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, it was destroyed to make a parking lot for the new facility.  Although the demolition removed a lot of history from Atlanta, the Braves did it tastefully.  The team left much of the original foundation in place and even created a brick path that illustrates where the actual baseball diamond used to be.  Furthermore, there is a piece of the fence from the old stadium where Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball hit, allowing him to break Babe Ruth’s record.

Looking at all these cool baseball mementos and pieces of history will no doubt work up your appetite.  Inside of the stadium fans can choose from a number of the traditional items found at a baseball game.  For something different, visitors can check out the Chop House restaurant, which offers seating, or get a taste of southern fast foods at either Chik-fil-A or Waffle House locations.

With only a short amount of time left to be able to check out Turner Field and so much history to see there, the real question is, what are you waiting for?  For more information about Turner Field, or the “Ted,” check out the page on the Atlanta Braves website.

Tampa Bay Rays (Tropicana Field)

1280px-tropicana_field_playing_field_opening_day_2010

Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is the last remaining dome in the MLB.

As the only remaining ballpark in Major League Baseball that is a permanent dome, Tropicana Field was constructed in 1990.  It was originally used for arena football and ice hockey, but when the city of Tampa Bay was awarded a MLB expansion franchise in 1998, it became the exclusive home of the new Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays sit just five games behind the New York Yankees in what is becoming a tightly packed American League East division.  As of July 21, Tampa Bay has 47 wins on the season and is just below the .500 mark.

Tampa Bay and the surrounding area is known for its heavy Thunderstorms and the city of Tampa is also the self-proclaimed “Lightning Capital of the World.”  This may help fans understand why you might consider playing baseball in a dome in Florida, however with a lot of newer parks opting for the retractable roof stadium, it makes Tropicana Field seem like a relic.  Despite the old look of the dome, which many say looks like something from the 80s, there are a lot of things to see and do to distract you from the alien look of this place.

The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, located inside the dome, is really an attraction for all baseball lovers.  Whether you are a Rays fan or not, you can be sure that you will find something enjoyable here to learn and see.  Another area, called the 162 Landing Area, is placed in the spot where a very important game-winning home run landed during the last game of the Rays season in 2011, pretty cool even if you aren’t a fan of Tampa.

If you have kids with you, there is an area filled with games to keep the busy as well as a tank where actual live Rays swim.  You can get into the area and feed them, a pretty cool treat for the kids, or the adults too.

Unlike most stadiums, where concession stands are strewn about the concourse area, causing a lot of traffic backups, Tropicana Field has four food courts.  The areas are wide open and allow people you get in and out without getting trampled.  With a number of chain restaurants having stands inside as well as your normal baseball foods, no one should ever have trouble finding something they like.  Plus, as one of the few ballparks that do this, Tropicana Field allows people to bring their own food and drink items, check their website for regulations.

Despite the fact that the dome seems to be a dying trend for baseball, there are a few redeeming qualities at Tropicana Field that will make you want to see a game there.  Worst case scenario, you won’t have to worry about getting rained on.  On the flip side, you could see a great ball game and check out some amazing history of the game as well.  For more info on Tropicana Field, check out the page for the dome on the Tampa Bay Rays website.

Miami Marlins (Marlins Park)

marlins_first_pitch_at_marlins_park_april_4_2012_cropped

Marlin Park, opened in 2012, is the home of the Miami Marlins.

As one of the newest ballparks in the MLB, Marlins Park was opened in 2012 and is one of the six current MLB stadiums that has a retractable roof.  It was also recently announced that the new 37,000-seat facility will be the home of the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Although the fish won the World Series in 1997 and in 2003, the baseball has been pretty rough of late.  After the World Title in 2003, the Marlins have since gone 11 years without a postseason berth.  As of July 21, the Marlins are looking to make it 12-straight years.  They are currently 13 games behind the Washington Nationals for the lead of the National League East Division.

Away from the games, fans and baseball aficionados can check out the Bobble Head Museum, where hundreds of bobblers are made to nod by a rather ingenious design for the shelving they are kept on.  All MLB teams are represented in the museum, so anyone can find a favorite among the crowd.  For a slightly different experience, fans can buy tickets to the Clevelander Section of the park.  It resides behind the left field wall and allows patrons to have a drink and watch the game through Plexiglas walls.  There is also a pool that you can take a dip in if you really want to.

Another thing that makes this park one-of-a-kind is the giant home run celebrating contraption in center field.  It is one of many pieces of local art displayed in the stadium, but has a little something extra.  Each time the Marlins hit a home run, the large, colorful artwork lights up with neon and mechanically moving waves, flamingos and, of course, marlins.  Check out a video of it in action here: “Miami Marlins Home Run Sculpture in Action”

With a number of food options, fans will never walk away hungry from a Marlins game.  There are plenty of traditional options at the stadium, but they also offer a lot of food with Cuban flair, which pays homage to the local area.  They also have included some delicious Mexican dishes that you should consider trying while here as well.

One of the most uniquely styled ballparks today, Marlins Park is certainly a sight to behold.  With a lot of interesting things that no other stadiums offer, this is a definitely must-see along your baseball road trip.  For more information about Marlins Park, check out the detailed page on the Miami Marlins website.

The West Coast

Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

safecofield-sundance-vacations

Safeco Field is the home of the Mariners, the only team in the Pacific Northwest.

Opened in 1999, Safeco Field is the only MLB Park in the top left (northwest) of the United States.  Since Seattle and the state of Washington are best known for being rainy, it’s no wonder that Safeco is one of the six current stadiums in the MLB with a retractable roof.

The Mariners have been in a bit of a post season drought as of late, missing the post season the last 13 seasons.  The first few years of baseball in Safeco Field were pretty good though, seeing the Mariners win the AL Western Division Title twice and in 2001 the team tied the MLB record for most wins in a season with 116.  Currently, as of July 28, the Mariners are 10 games out of the AL West lead.

One thing that certainly sets this park apart from the others is size.  Not of the actual stadium, even though it seats 47,860, but the scoreboard.  The thing is massive!  Second in size only to that of the one in Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, the screen is an impressive 11,425 square feet (57-feet high by 201-feet wide).  By comparison, the next largest one would be in Kauffman Stadium, measuring 84-feet high by 105-feet wide.  Apparently the screen is the equivalent of 2,182 42-inch-flat-screen TVs.  Wow.  With a screen like that, I don’t think anyone could ever miss a play.

Aside from the ginormous, technological marvel, the Mariners have also added a museum inside the ballpark that features exhibits about baseball in the Pacific Northwest.  They have a lot of history there including information on the Pacific Coast League (PCL).

If you have the kids with you, be sure to check out the Kidzone.  It features some play areas, a fountain and the team’s mascot.  You can also find a concession stand there that offers some kid-sized fare, but it comes at a great value.

Safeco Field has one of the widest selections when it comes to food inside the ballpark.  Visitors can try traditional stuff, but why would you when there is so much more!  Enjoy a BBQ sandwich, try some fresh seafood dishes of, if you are feeling adventurous, try the sushi.

According to many review sites, this is one of the most laidback places to come and see a baseball game.  Although, it doesn’t provide the historic charm of a Wrigley or Fenway, Safeco will have you enjoying the sights, the sounds, the food, and, of course, the baseball.  For more information about Safeco Field, check out the page for it on the Seattle Mariners website.

San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park)

San-Franciso-Giants-Stadium-Sundance-Vacations.jpg

AT&T Park has seen three World Series Titles in the last five years.

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, was opened in 2000.  Since that time it has seen a lot of amazing baseball.

In the last 13 seasons of baseball, the Giants have been in the World Series four times.  Even more impressive, San Fran has won the World Series Title three out of the last five years.  As of July 28, the team is in second place of the National League’s West Division, just a half game back from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For the lovers of the game of baseball there is a history walk before you even get into the stadium.  It includes a few statues and 42 plaques that fans can check out as they walk around the park.  Be sure to check out the Willie Mays statue too.  There are also a number of cool quirks like street signs that show you how far it is to the 49ers Stadium and the water cannons that shoot off every time the Giants hit a home run.

The Giants are also one of the most active teams in terms of integrating their social media in with the game experience.  So for the tech savvy fans, you can snap selfies in the stands, send tweets and more and there is a good chance you’ll end up on the scoreboard.

Families with children can also check out the Fan Lot, where the Giants have setup slides, a miniature version of the field where kids can play ball, a speed pitch and more.

AT&T Park is another one of the many ballparks that has mastered the art of amazing grub.  Other than Canada, where can you expect to find Poutine?  AT&T Park that’s where.  Bacon-wrapped hot dogs, pulled pork nachos and even a Ghirardelli chocolate stand that has fudge, ice cream and more.  Bring someone with you when you see a game in San Francisco as they may have to roll you home.

As it seem the West Coast of the United States is becoming a very progressive area.  San Francisco and the Giants have really embodied that statement.  Bringing together a family environment, implementing the use of social media and technology and paying tribute to the past all while providing a great place to see a game.  For more information about AT&T Park, check it out on the San Francisco Giants website.

Oakland Athletics (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)

mcafee_coliseum_oakland-athletics

The Oakland Coliseum is home to the Oakland Athletics.

I literally saved this park for last to write about, as it is consistently ranked as one of the single worst places to see a game.  Opened in 1966, the place looks pretty nice from the inside, however many a fan has been scorned by the team and the stadium.

In the past, the A’s have had a lot of success.  With six World Series appearances and four titles (1972, 73, 74 and 89), Oakland has some really rich history.  After all the franchise has been around since 1901.  The team has made the playoffs the last three years, but they currently sit in last place of the AL West Division, 12 games behind the leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The city of Oakland is a pretty tough place, leaving it sort of devoid of tourists.  Meaning that there really isn’t much in the way of fanfare outside of the park, other than the tailgaters.  The A’s try to offset this by having a number of promotional nights each season, which sometimes include super-cheap tickets.  This could be one of the redeeming factors of this aging park.

As for food, again Oakland seemed to miss the boat.  They have tried to accommodate the fans and changing times, but with limited space the Athletics are really unable to do justice to food.  They fall very short of what a lot of the other parks are offering now a days, but again, I believe this is limited by location, not want.  One section of the park, known as the West Side Club does have craft brews and the chance at some brick oven pizza, which is totally worth checking out.

If you want to hit all the MLB ballparks in your lifetime, you’ll have to brave a trip to Oakland.  That is unless the team moves to San Jose like many have been saying.  Despite its lack of extras and amenities, the Coliseum does offer a glimpse into former greatness.  For more information about it, check out the page for it on the Oakland Athletics website.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)

dodger_stadium_field_from_upper_deck_2015-10-04

Dodger Stadium has been home to the Los Angeles version of the Dodgers since 1962.

The largest stadium in Major League Baseball, seating 56,000, Dodger Stadium has been home to the LA version of the Dodgers since 1962.

Since that time there has been a lot of baseball played there, both regular and post season.  Since 1962, the Dodgers have made the post season 18 out of the last 53 years.  Dodger Stadium has also seen eight World Series bids, four of which have been successful (1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988).  As of July 28, the Dodgers are a half-game ahead of the San Francisco Giants and are leading the National League West Division.

Baseball fans may be surprised at this fact, but the Dodgers really do not have much of their history on display for the public.  You won’t find a hall of fame, trophies or flags anywhere.  Supposedly there are some really cool historic displays behind the scenes, but not for the average ticket buyer to see.

As one of the older stadiums in the league, this place definitely need an upgrade.  That came a few years ago when the Dodgers updated the bathrooms, added HD screens and even Wi-Fi.  Regardless of the lack of off-field attractions, Dodger stadium itself is a sight to behold, from the view of Los Angeles to the amazing sunsets it experiences each day.  Plus with the team playing so well, it can be a backdrop for some really great games.

In terms of food, the Dodgers have the ever popular Dodger Dog and about 400 other variations of hot dogs.  There are also more traditional options like pizza and BBQ sandwiches too.  Dodger Stadium is another one of the few parks in the MLB today that allows you to bring your own food.  There are always rules and regulations associated with this, so make sure you check the Dodgers website.

Despite its lack of public history, Dodger stadium is just one of those places you need to see a game in.  It also recently hosted an outdoor hockey game, adding to the allure of how cool the place is.  With the Dodgers currently in first place, you can be sure that you will also see a great baseball game too.  For more info about Dodger Stadium, check out the page on the Los Angeles Dodgers website.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angel Stadium of Anaheim)

angel_stadium_of_anaheim_sundance_vacations

Although they have gone through some name changes, one thing has remained a constant for the now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, that’s Angel Stadium.

As the second team to belong to the city of Los Angeles, even though the team still plays in Anaheim, the Angels are having some definite success this season.  Still located in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the team is just about an hour away from the city of LA.

As one of the older fields in the MLB today, Angel Stadium was opened in 1966 and currently seats 45,050.  Despite the team changing its name four times over the course of its existence, the Angels have played every season here with the exception of five.  As of today, July 28, the Angels are leading the AL West Division and are ahead of the Houston Astros by just a single game.

In the more recent years the team has done a great job of integrating history with the ballpark.  As soon as you walk in, at the 100 level, you’ll be greeted with tons of plaques, pictures and even the 2002 World Series Trophy.  Check this out before the game as the Angels have been playing some pretty good baseball as of late, which means you may not want to leave your seats.

This is one of those ballparks however, where you could walk around, check things out, not see an inning of baseball and still leave happy.  There are so many little quirks and sights to see, in addition to the numbers of years of history inside of the stadium.

There are a few chain restaurants that can be found inside the stadium, including: Jersey Mike’s, Jack-in-the-Box, Panda Express and more.  You can also find BBQ, Mexican favorites and even a gourmet grilled cheese stand.

No matter how weird the naming situation is currently with the Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim Angels, California Angels, sorry, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, fans will be sure to enjoy a visit to this park.  With a ton of things to see and do, plus some great baseball courtesy of the team, visitors will be happy they made the trip to Los Angeles, or Anaheim, or wherever.  For more on Angel Stadium of Anaheim, visit the page for it on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s website.

San Diego Padres (Petco Park)

1280px-petco_park_interior

Petco Park is home to the San Diego Padres and it really tries to be a part of the retro trend.

As a product of the more recent movement to make ballparks look retro, the Padres opened Petco Park in 2004.  The stadium is built around the Western Supply Building, which gives it a pretty cool retro feel and a unique look.

As of July 28, the Padres are 8.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in the NL West.  Regardless of how well the team is playing, or not, Petco Park offers a number of cool features that will have baseball fans wanting to come back again.

On Sunday afternoons, the Padres do a great job of honoring the men and women of the United States Military.  As San Diego is home to a large number of servicemen and women, the Marine Corps. Hymn is sung during the fourth inning, plus there is usually some military exhibits on display right inside the ballpark.

Baseball fans will enjoy the retro theme of this field as well as some of the statues that surround it.  Tony Gwynn and long-time Padres Broadcaster Jerry Coleman are immortalized in statues outside of the stadium.  Be sure to head inside the Western Supply Building as well, it houses the team store, but is also a historical landmark in San Diego.

When it comes to food and drink, San Diego is on the ball.  Known as one of the nation’s biggest craft beer scenes, the Padres made sure that this was present in Petco Park.  One specific bar inside the park, boasts over 27 different kinds of beer.  As for food, fans will find mostly traditional foods with the addition of seafood.

The retro trend in ballparks has been one that has grown over the years, San Diego was able to put together a great combination of new amenities and retro look, which makes it a great place to make a stop on your baseball road trip.  For more information on Petco Park, check out this page on the San Diego Padres website.

Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field)

1280px-flyover_at_diamondbacks_season_opener_2010-04-05_baseball_road_trip

Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, is one of six MLB parks with a retractable roof.

As one of the expansion teams in the 1998 MLB season, the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a place to call home.  Thus came Chase Field, a 49,077-capacity stadium located in Phoenix, Arizona.

For a team that has only really been around for 18 seasons now, the Diamondbacks have had some pretty good success.  They made the playoffs five out of those 18 seasons and won a World Series Title in 2001, just four years after coming into the league.  Currently, the D-backs are eight games behind the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

If you enter the park from the West Entrance, near the ticket office, you will be greeted with a rotunda that is covered in Arizona sports history.  There are murals and more and you can even see the 2001 World Series Trophy.

Another feature that everyone will like is the retractable roof.  It means your games will never be delayed or canceled AND you’ll stay dry while watching them.  As one of only six parks in the MLB that has this feature, you can be sure that the fans appreciate this that much more.

Something else that many know Chase Field for is the pool area.  It’s not open to the public, so you can’t just head to the game in your swimsuit and dive in, but if you rent the entire pool area, you can your other companions can see a baseball game in a really unique way.

Chase Field has all of your typical baseball game foods, but they also tie in a lot of chain restaurants like subway, Cold Stone and TCBY.  Also adding to this selection is a Texas-Ranger-esque $25 corndog.  I’ve been told that one of the most authentic tastes, at an affordable price, can be found from Rey Gloria’s Tamales near the left field foul pole.

If you are visiting Phoenix and are looking for a baseball fix, Chase Field and the Arizona Diamondback will be more than happy to oblige.  Although it may not be the fanciest of all the ballparks, it is certainly one that’s worth the trip.  For more info on Chase Field, find it on the Arizona Diamondbacks website.

The Lone Team from the Great White North (Canada)

Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

1280px-rogers_centre_blue_jays_baseball_stadium

Rogers Centre is home to the only remaining MLB team in Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Toronto Blue Jays are the only MLB team that plays outside of the United States, and even though this is entitled, “The Great American Baseball Road Trip,” it just wouldn’t be fair to exclude our neighbors to the north.  Especially because they were gracious enough to share ice hockey with us.

As of July 28, the Jays are tied with the Baltimore Orioles, just seven games behind the AL East leading New York Yankees.  The early 90s were just about the best baseball played north of the border, as the Blue Jays were able to win two, back-to-back World Series Titles (1992-93).  Since that time however, Toronto has failed to make the post season for over 20 years, the longest current drought in the Majors.

The 49,282-capacity stadium that the Blue Jays call home is another one of the six MLB parks that has a retractable roof.  This will allow baseball fans to see a game even if it’s raining, or in Canada’s case, snowing.  There is also a hotel built into the stadium, in which people can watch a live game from their room.  Many view this as the untraditional way of watching a baseball game, so frankly, I don’t think it counts unless you are in a seat.

Rogers Center offers a number of traditional options for visitors in terms of food.  There is a good mix of concessions and even sit down restaurant for you to sample different fares as well as a Canadian favorite, Poutine.  Also, unknown to many fans, is that fact that you can bring your own food into the park.

Although this happens to be one of the more average experience for baseball fans, it’s still technically a necessity for fans to check off their list of all Major League teams.  The city of Toronto is a pretty cool place and has a lot of interesting things to see and do.  Plus the fact that the team is getting better could be all that you need to want to see a game here.

For more information about a visit to Rogers Centre, visit the page dedicated to it on the Toronto Blue Jays website.

The best part about all of these awesome baseball parks?  You can find most of them within an hour or so of Sundance Vacations properties.  In the Northeast, travelers can stay in at the Jersey Shore, in the Pocono Mountains, the Cape Cod area of Massachusettes or in Maryland and be just hours away from most of the ballparks mentioned.  In the Great Lakes region, travelers have options like Wisconsin Dells in Wisconsin or even Port Clinton in Ohio.  The baseball trip of your dreams could easily be made a reality simply by staying with Sundance Vacations and with all the money you’ll be saving along the way, you’ll be able to afford a few extra souvenirs, food at the park and tickets too!

For more information, updates, travel tips and news from Sundance Vacations, be sure to follow us on the following social media outlets:

Editor's Note: The American League All-Stars managed to defeat the National League All-Stars, 6-3 in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 15, 2015 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati Reds Third Baseman Todd Fraizer won the 2015 Home Run Derby on July 14, 2015 by hitting a total of 39 home runs.  He became the second player ever in the history of the event to win the derby in his home stadium.

Sundance Vacations: The Great American Baseball Road Trip

Sundance Vacations Travel Blog
The Great American Baseball Road Trip
Article Name
The Great American Baseball Road Trip
Description
Sundance Vacations takes a look at the prospect of the Great American Baseball Road Trip! Read more about all Major League Baseball Stadiums right here!
Author

Comments

comments