11 Baseball Cities Worth Visiting With Your Team This Season
April 2, 2017
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably been to plenty of home games, but have you ever followed your team to root for them on the road? They need some friendly voices in the crowd, so you can accomplish two things by taking a trip to a new ball park. Support your team at the game – and then explore a new city.
After you check the schedule, decide where to go, and buy a ticket, you can start planning your trip. Hotels, restaurants, highlights, night life? Even if you’re an avid fan, this trip is not just about baseball. These out-of-town ballparks are in diverse cities you might not otherwise visit. Spend a day or two before or after the game, see the sights, sample local specialties and regional foods, and get to know a new town.
No need to rent a car or figure out directions or parking, because most parks offer convenient transportation. Just remember to pack your team’s colors and be ready to cheer them on.
The World Series Champion Cubs and American League White Sox both play in Chicago, so after seeing the Cubs at classic Wrigley Field or the Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, don’t miss a chance to explore the Windy City.
With many hotel options, you might decide on the trendy ACME Hotel Company. It’s a stylish, hip downtown hotel with in-room Alexa and DIY cocktail kits. The Magnificent Mile, an upscale section of Michigan Avenue, offers several choices including the luxurious Conrad and Four Seasons.
Millennium Park in the downtown Loop area near the shore of Lake Michigan is the home of the iconic Cloud Gate, a 110-ton polished stainless steel sculpture nicknamed “The Bean” because of its shape. Be among the crowds taking selfies each day in that popular spot. The Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the western hemisphere, is an entertaining and educational option. Art lovers shouldn’t miss Chicago’s Art Institute, home to the works of famous artists Picasso, Caillebotte, Seurat, and Grant Wood.
You can take a cruise on the Chicago River to view the impressive skyline and architecture of the city, including the Chicago Tribune Tower, the Chicago Board of Trade, John Hancock and AON Center. From sea level to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), “The Ledge” lets you stand outside on a glass and steel cube – not for the faint of heart.
Chicago is a foodie town, from its signature deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs to fine dining and celebrity chefs. For a special meal, Cindy’s Rooftop offers inventive food and an open-air terrace with a panoramic view of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Al’s #1 Italian Beef sandwich is a Chicago food creation: thinly sliced beef in a juicy bun with sautéed peppers. At the baseball game, you just might be munching on a snack first sold at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair – that famous stadium treat, Cracker Jacks.
The Cleveland Indians play their games at Progressive Field, part of the downtown Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. A favorite feature of the ballpark is the “Right Field District” with its fire pits, craft beers, and view of the Cleveland skyline. In the Neighborhoods area, the concessions serve dishes that represent popular locales in Cleveland and their cuisine – bratwurst, pretzels, burgers topped with barbecue mayo, tacos, pierogi, and old fashioned ice cream sundaes.
If you decide to save your appetite until after the game, you have lots of choices in downtown Cleveland. Slyman’s Restaurant, a Cleveland classic, serves gigantic corned beef sandwiches to hordes of customers waiting patiently for the mile-high delicacies. Sokolowski’s University Inn, the city’s oldest family-owned restaurant established in 1923, specializes in Polish and Eastern European cuisine with menu favorites such as chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, pierogi, and Salisbury steak. For an array of fresh produce, baked goods, seafood, meats, spices and nuts, head to the West Side Market, Cleveland’s oldest public market.
Stay at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade with its stunning historic architecture, and you can walk to Progressive Field and other downtown attractions. The Westin Cleveland Downtown offers a convenient location, first class rooms, and a view of Lake Erie.
When in Cleveland, don’t miss the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with its photos, videos, and artifacts that detail the history and evolution of rock and roll. (Cleveland’s own DJ Alan Freed is credited with giving rock and roll its name in the early 1950s.) The U.S.S. Cod Submarine Memorial, open May through September, is a National Historic Landmark and a must-see. Visitors are amazed at the small quarters aboard the sub and quickly develop a greater appreciation for the men who served there.
For nighttime entertainment, there’s the Jack Cleveland Casino downtown with slot machines, table games, and a buffet restaurant. Before you leave town, be sure to visit the North Coast Harbor Marina. Go for a paddleboat ride, and be sure to take some souvenir photos of the Cleveland Skyline and beautiful Lake Erie.
7. San Francisco
8. St. Louis
10. Kansas City
The Royals play at Kauffman Stadium, known as “The K,” featuring “Water Spectacular,” a unique fountain and waterfall display behind the right field fence. The waterfall flows constantly, and the fountain does its thing between innings and before and after the game.
You can’t be in Kansas City and not sample – at least a few times – its famous barbecue, slow smoked over wood and slathered in a tomato-molasses sauce. The slightly charred “burnt ends” are a specialty. Near the ballpark, you can find a favorite of celebrities, athletes, and ordinary folks alike – “King of Ribs” Arthur Bryant’s restaurant, serving smoked meats with your choice of Original or Rich & Spicy sauce. Another favorite, Q39, was the winner in a recent burnt ends competition.
Scoping out the best barbecue is not the only thing you can do in Kansas City. Visit the National World War I museum, the nation’s only public museum dedicated to World War I and a memorable educational experience. Listen to live honky-tonk music at Knuckleheads Saloon, jazz at the Green Lady Lounge, or blues at the Phoenix or Blue Room.
For a bit of fun and nostalgia, visit one of the arcade bars that combine food and drink with fun and games. Up-Down, an ’80s and ’90s themed bar is equipped with a giant Nintendo 64, pinball, skee-ball, arcade games, and TV screens showing classic wrestling matches and episodes of “Saved by the Bell.”