10 Best Baseball Cities


It's nearing the end of August and that means we are getting close to saying goodbye to summer but we still have two good months of baseball left! This is the time of year that the boys of summer really push for the top of the leader board and for fans, there is no better time to get out and see a game! Every baseball game from here on out is going to be exciting and I am here to give you the 10 best baseball cities. It's not just about having a great team or having an architecturally interesting baseball field, the surrounding city has to offer something as well!

When my family and I head out for a game it usually means a few hours in the car or airplane so we do our best to make a fun trip out of it. Each of the cities I am recommending have great restaurants, museums, local attractions and sometimes just the city itself is great. Nice walks, pretty architecture (I'm looking at you Boston!), friendly locals, and beautiful green space all enhance ones visit to a new city.

A few of these places I have been to (I'll link out to the post where applicable) and others are high on my bucket list of cities to see a baseball game in. For the cities I have not yet been to, these are places I have read about and have had recommended to me by other baseball travellers. So without further ado, I give you my list of the 10 best baseball cities (in particular order).

Los Angeles Dodgers


I have had the pleasure of seeing a game at Dodger Stadium on two separate trips. The first time we had our two boys with us and the second time it was a couples only trip. Whether you are out on your own or have the whole family in tow, I guarantee you will have a great time seeing the Dodgers. They are a consistently good team and I recommend you take the tour before a game, that way you get to see all of the beautiful stadium! During the tour you get to see artifacts from the Brooklyn Dodgers and learn all about the move to LA. The concessions at Dodger Stadium are plentiful and I recommend the Dodger Dog (a foot long hot dog). New last year they introduced the bacon wrapped Dodger Dog which I know my teenagers would be big fans of.

LA is one amazing city. You can do all the downtown touristy stuff like walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spend the afternoon at Griffith Park or head to Disneyland in nearby Anaheim. I am a big fan of the surrounding cities like Calabasas (one of my most favourite places to visit!), Malibu and a little further out, Pasadena. LA is famous for their traffic (I swear it's not as bad as people make it out to be) so I really recommend renting a car and bringing your GPS along to cruise some of the most beautiful highways. LA is home to some of the world's best restaurants and if you're a celebrity watcher you just might see someone famous while dining at The Ivy. Big city adventure or ocean side escape, you really can have it all in LA.

Washington Nationals


At the very top of my baseball bucket list is the Washington Nationals. They are one of the few teams that I have never seen play in person! Like everyone else, I'm a big Bryce Harper fan (he makes baseball very entertaining with his incredible homers) and I'm hoping the rumours (which I believe he started) are true, that he will be in the home run derby in 2018 when the Nats host. I am doing my best to see both a regular season game and the home run derby in 2018! Nationals Park opened in 2008 and is the youngest park on this list. Something that I am personally excited to see when I finally visit is the panoramic views of the Navy Yard, riverfront and national monuments from the stadium.

While I have not yet been to the park, I have been to Washington D.C. before and this is the city for history buffs! There are more museums than you can possibly image and they all offer free admission. The White House is always nice to see (I was able to visit the interior on a tour during the Clinton years) and if you can only visit one memorial, make it the Lincoln Memorial. Say hello to Honest Abe, grab yourself an ice cream and sit on the stairs overlooking the Reflecting Pool (that's what my family did and it was great!). The Metro subway system is incredibly easy to use and it quickly connects you to Arlington National Cemetery, the U Street food corridor and many other sites including Nationals Park! Don't forget to stop in Georgetown to stroll the historic cobblestone streets and to visit Georgetown Cupcake.

San Diego Padres


It has been a few years since I saw a Padres game in Petco Park but considering they just hosted the All-Star Game this year, I'm sure the park has only improved! It is a very family friendly park - there are many pre-game activities for young ones like a mini ball field where they can play a few games and make some new friends, and a picnic area in the outfield. And it wouldn't be Petco Park without a few pets! Each year they host the Padres Dog Days of Summer where up to 500 dogs are allowed to come and watch the game with their family. Situation on the Pacific Ocean, it is a water lovers dream! If you sit high in the 300 level at the game you can see the ocean and view the U.S. Navy ships, yachts and other pleasure craft that are in the water. The parks incredible views combined with family and pet friendly policies make up for them trading Matt Kemp to the Atlanta Braves (I'm a big fan of Kemp).

San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is a beautiful district to walk and view the city's incredible architecture. The nightlife, which I have yet to experience, is supposed to be great (I was there young kids and did not get a chance to check it out, but I have heard great things about the bars and clubs). Belmont Park is a retro beachside amusement park and La Jolla beach is not far away. If you get the chance, cross the Coronado Bay Bridge and stay at the famous Hotel del Coronado (it is where they filmed the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot).

Toronto Blue Jays


My hometown team! The Rogers Centre, formerly the SkyDome, built in 1989, has seen a number of improvements over the last two years that have been well received by fans. The party deck is a popular spot to meet up with friends and a large concession area was created to provide you with a multitude of dining options including such Canadian classics as poutine and peameal bacon on a bun. Each year there is a new addition and I'm excited to see what the future holds. Theme days are the best time to visit - Country Day, Beach Day and Cottage in the City are the most popular. The festivities start pre-game near the gates and carry on inside. Also a great time to visit is on a giveaway day. My recommendation for bobblehead days and jersey days (the most popular), line up early. The last one we went to, Russell Martin jersey day, we lined up at 9 am (gates didn't open until noon) and while it was a long wait, we all got a jersey! There are always kids activities outside the gates and Jr. Jays can run the bases on Saturdays. Oh, and seeing the dome open is beautiful thing. Such an engineering feat and the view of the CN Tower is incredible (Drake not included).

Toronto is a fabulous city and what I like the most about it, is you can pretty much walk to everything from the Rogers Centre. The entertainment district is two blocks away on King Street, Chinatown is 4 more blocks with Kensington Market only a few blocks after that. Or, you can walk in the opposite direction and visit St. Lawrence Market and the Distillery District. Trinity Bellwoods and Yorkville have some of the best shopping in the city and Riverdale has the prettiest parks. Those areas are a bit of a walk so I recommend public transit. Or if a day at the beach is more your speed, head to the waterfront and board the ferry to Centre Island where you can spend the day at the Centre Island theme park or if it's big theme park adventure you are after, head to nearby Vaughan to visit Canada's Wonderland!

St. Louis Cardinals


Another team I have not had the pleasure of seeing, the St. Louis Cardinals. I stopped in St. Louis a few years ago on a return trip from Memphis. We stopped for a few hours to let the kids burn off some energy in the park under the Gateway Arch and to visit the museum at the base (which is fab BTW). Busch Stadium is a fully open stadium, which truth be told is my personal favourite. Fresh air, sunshine and that view! You can actually see the Arch just passed the outfield.

The Mighty Mississippi is a stones throw from the arch and Ballpark Village, a dining and entertainment district, is right next door to the stadium. City Museum is the home of massive slides and a maze of caves and for even bigger adventures, there is a Six Flags near by. And you can't visit St. Louis without trying some of their regional eats like St. Louis style pizza at Imo's and of course, St. Louis style BBQ (a listing of the top BBQ restaurants in the city).

Detroit Tigers


The last time I was at a Tigers game my kids were on diapers so I am long overdue for a trip to see a game! Comerica Park has a lot to offer during games besides just baseball (although that is pretty fantastic on its own). There is a carousel made of tigers, tiger statues throughout the park but its the baseball ferris wheel will always be a favourite of mine. Make sure you don't venture off too far from the game because you will want to see the water fountain in the outfield start when a Tigers player hits a home run! It's coordinated to fireworks and music, a must see! Kids can run the bases and have the opportunity to high five PAWS, the Tigers mascot who is usually waiting by first base. 

 I am a huge fan of the city and I'm just so happy to see it on the rise. I last visited in November (my Detroit City Guide) and had a fabulous time skating, shopping and eating in the downtown. Even though it was Thanksgiving weekend and very (very, very) cold we still walked down to see the ballpark all tucked away for the winter. Detroit is an easy city to walk around in and the people mover (monorail) is easy to use and connects you to so many hot spots. Downtown is full of urban restaurants, shopping and some of the greates architecture you will see in all of North America. I did a self created walk tour of newly renovated historic hotels and it was great fun! 

Cleveland Indians


Cotton candy sunsets and trendy city skylines are only a few of the things to enjoy while taking in a game at Progressive Field. Children of all ages can play in last years addition, the Kids Clubhouse, a multi floor space with interactive games, batting cages, a pitching area, little league field, toddler play areas and a two story slide shaped like a baseball bat! I visited with my family last summer just after this space opened and it truly is state of the art! For adults there is Right Field District, a place to connect with friends or unwind after work (how I wish I lived in Cleveland!). For a mere $13 you get a ticket to this standing room area and your first drink is on the Indians! You can choose to hang out in The Corner Bar and sample some foodie delights in The Neighbourhood while keeping an eye on The Tribe. 

Downtown Cleveland is a jewel. The architecture, the restaurants (hello Morton's!), the upscale grocery store set in an old bank, and the can't miss Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland really does rock! I always say that the coolest things I have ever done is tour a WWII US submarine which I did right on the shore of Lake Erie.

Boston Red Sox


I have seen more grown ups getting choked up talking about Fenway Park than any other ballpark. Even though there is no crying in baseball (except for this month, everyone's retiring and crying!) you really can't fault anyone for feeling so emotionally attached to this club. The Boston Red Sox history is wildly know and their World Series win in 2004 after an 86 year drought brought out the Red Sox fan in all of us. I was lucky enough to tour Fenway a few weeks before their historic win (I've always said that I am their good luck charm!) and for any baseball lover, this is a must do. The tour, like many ballpark tours, takes you behind the scenes into areas that past and current player use and that the public does not normally see and the guides provide the history and high points of the team. As much as I love sitting third base line, I would definitely want to watch the BoSox from the top of the Green Monster, the giant left field wall with standing room capacity for 269 of your fellow Red Sox fans. Fenway Park is the oldest stadium in the MLB. Built in 1912 the park has seen many upgrades and improvements, from 2002 to 2011 they have upgraded everything from waterproofing the concession areas to replacing the video display systems, but they have never lost the charm of an early 1900's ballpark. Fenway Park also plays host to summer concerts, this summer Zac Brown Band has the honour of playing on this historic field. And I can't mention the Red Sox without talking about Big Papi. David Ortiz is the face of this team and has been since he joined in 2003. Papi is retiring at the end of this season and just like when Mariano Rivera retired from the Yankees in 2013, Papi is receiving gifts and standing ovations from every team he visits. A home run hitter with a bigger than life laugh and personality, he rallied a city, nation and world with his speech following the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. He will be missed by many.

The city of Boston really needs no introduction. If you are interested in American history, this is the city to visit. Founded in 1630 the city really has seen it all. You can take guided walking tours through cobblestone streets, visit museums and historic homes and if you are up for a little drive, Salem, Mass., the site of the infamous witch trials in the late 1690's, is only 30 minutes away. If shopping is more your speed, Newbury Street is the place to find gifts, clothing and more. Cross the bridge and visit Harvard University, making sure to stop for coffee or lunch in Harvard Square. It's a great place to people watch. Boston has been the backdrop for some popular shows and movies. The exterior of "Cheers" is in Beacon Hill and sites from "Good Will Hunting" and "The Departed" are easy to find. Of course my favourite thing to do in Boston is walk the city just taking in the architecture. It's not everyday that you get to see a house or a building from the 1600's! Fun fact - the oldest building in Boston is the Paul Revere House circa 1680. I've always said that Boston is my most favourite city in the world and with each visit that just gets stronger. If you have never visited Boston before plan a trip soon! Boston in the fall is not to be missed.

Cincinnati Reds


Last year, on the way back from a visit to Kentucky, AMH and I stopped in Cincinnati to see if we could take a tour of The Great American Ball Park. It was such a last minute thing that I had no time to research the city or the field so I really wasn't sure what to expect. I knew they had just hosted the All-Star Game and while waiting for the tour we were told about the extensive renovations so I figured we were in for a real treat. And we were! The ball park is beautiful, has great concession areas and kids areas, as well as a self serve beer bar! Yeah, I need to come back and investigate that further. There are so many great details at the ball park like the smoke stacks in the outfield, pictures and statues everywhere of past players and an onsite museum! 

Cincinnati itself is one cosmopolitan city, starting with the fact that the entire city has Wi-Fi! Of course that's not all the city has to offer (although I'm sure Pokemon Go players sure enjoy that feature!) there are stunning sites like the Roebling Suspension Bridge and the beautiful waterfront with paths, shops and restaurants that all lead to The Great American Ball Park. There is also Findlay Market (open Saturdays) and Hyde Park Square, the upscale shopping and dining district. Both are big draws for tourists. 

Seattle Mariners


Another park I have not yet visited (this one is at the very top of my baseball bucket list). Safeco Field opened in 1999 and quickly gained a reputation of being THE place to see a game. There is a beautiful Seattle skyline and those sunsets over Puget Sound (google it, they are amazing!). On site is the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest that celebrates the Mariners and baseball in the region. The Mariners are known for their concessions which reflects their quality, local,  food movement going on in the city. They offer so much more than just cracker jacks! Liege waffles, gourmet hamburgers, craft wine and beer, and even a healthy food option restaurant can all be found at Safeco Field's concession area.

There is no lack of museums and parks to visit in the city, and lots of activities to see along the Pacific Ocean. Pike Place Fish Market and the first Starbucks are only a 30 minute walk from Safeco Field. The Seattle Art Museum is nearby, just in case it rains, or if it's an adventure on the water you seek, head to waterfront and take a ferry ride.

So there you have it, 10 of the best baseball cities. If you have been thinking of taking a weekend vacation, try one of these places and don't forget to catch a game! Is there some place you would add to the list? Leave a comment below!

You can read all about the baseball fields I have visited with photos and tips for enjoying each city on the "Baseball" drop down menu on the homepage.

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