One of the best things about travel is having an authentic cultural experiences. In America, a country comprised of many cultures, finding a uniquely American experience can be tough. Baseball, however, is one of those exceptions, but where are the best baseball cities in America?
We love the sport. It was even part of our first trip as a couple when we took a weekend getaway to Boston. More recently we were inspired to create a series highlighting the best sports travel destinations in America.
To find out, we asked other travel influencers to help us assemble the best baseball cities in America. Here are the best US destinations to visit for a baseball game. Each has been nominated by an avid traveler who has also provided things to do and a place to stay in each baseball city.
Use this as a guide to plan your own baseball travel experience and enjoy something that is truly American.
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New York Yankees: New York City
Courtesy of Shobha from Just Go Places
Both the New York Yankees team and the stadium where it plays, Yankee Stadium, are icons of American baseball. The Yankees are probably the most successful baseball team in the US and worth billions. This successful team, for example, has sent 44 players and 11 managers to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Yankees arch-nemesis are the Boston Red Sox. This rivalry is probably one of the best known in the United States. The baseball teams’ rivalry also makes historic sense since Boston and New York are competitive as cities as well. Historically, the rivalry was credited to the curse of Babe Ruth who was transferred from the Red Sox to the Yankees in 1919. The Red Sox went into a spiral of mediocrity shortly thereafter and the Yankees had a series of stellar seasons.
Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx. There’s not much happening in the area for tourists. The subway will bring you from Manhattan straight to a dedicated stop for Yankee Stadium at 161st street. Set in an enormous complex, Yankee stadium itself has 4300 seats and 68 suites. There’s a huge selection of restaurants and snacks. This stadium has gotten a lot of criticism for having the highest priced tickets in the MLB with overpriced concession prices as well.
New York is a sports lovers city. In addition to Yankee Stadium, check out Madison Square Garden for basketball, wrestling and boxing. MSG is in midtown Manhattan and runs regular tours for sports fans. Nearby is the Empire State Building which everyone should visit when they are in New York. We generally stay in Manhattan when we visit New York City, such as for example, the Warwick Hotel in mid-town Manhattan.
Boston: Red Sox
From Mike and Derek
If you are a sports fan, a trip to Fenway Park must be on your bucket list. Fenway is the oldest professional stadium in the US, and a visit here to see the hometown Boston Red Sox play is an unforgettable experience.
The stadium is filled with iconic and unique landmarks. The Green Monster towers over left field, with the famous hand-operated scoreboard at its base. The seats are so close to the field you feel like you are part of the game, while the narrow seats and cramped walkways make you feel like you are stepping back into time.
This is also a stadium that you don’t just drive up to a few minutes before first pitch. Be sure to come early, as the surrounding neighborhood comes to life on game days. There are lots of bars on the streets that surround the park, but the coolest spot is the Bleacher Bar. This is located under the outfield bleachers, and outside of game times you can actually see through the fence into Fenway.
Besides Fenway Park, there is plenty to do in Boston. The city is filled with history, with the famous Freedom Trail retracing America’s colonial history through its cobblestone streets. There are plenty of amazing museums, including the renowned New England Aquarium, and the well-regarded Boston Children’s Museum. But when we visit Boston we enjoy the great food and drink scene. The North End is famous for good Italian food, and there are plenty of great microbreweries around the city, inspired by Sam Adams Brewery (which is also worth a visit.
Boston is full of great neighborhoods, so it is worth staying outside of the city center to get a feel for the rest of the city. We enjoy staying across the Charles River in Cambridge, famously home of Harvard and MIT, and filled with great cafes, bars, restaurants and the energy of a college town.
Courtesy of Kristen from Kids Are a Trip
What’s not to love about a Major League Baseball field with an entire neighborhood named after it? This is true of Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs baseball team and surrounding Wrigleyville neighborhood. Baseball in Chicago is as popular as the local pizza and Chicago dogs, and locals either root for the Cubs or the White Sox, their cross town rivals.
On game days, Wrigleyville is alive with energy as people descend on the area first thing in the morning and stay late into the evening hours. Most tailgating is done in the local bars and restaurants. For old school pre-game fun and traditional Wrigleyville action, head to Sheffield’s, a popular beer garden, or Cubby Bear, a Chicago institution for 50 years. Those seeking newer (and perhaps healthier) options, should try Coalfire, known for its delicious coal fired pizzas, or Mordecai inside Hotel Zachary, serving locally sourced cuisine and killer cocktails.
There are so many things to do in Chicago, so it’s difficult to narrow down a few favorites. Art lovers should head to the Art Institute of Chicago, families should explore Millennium Park (home of the Bean and Crown Fountains) as well as Maggie Daley Park, and history fans won’t want to miss the Chicago History Museum.
True Cubs fans should book a room facing Wrigley Field at Hotel Zachary, opened by the Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs. Another cool option is The Wheelhouse Hotel, with baseball themed decor and memorabilia throughout the property.
Courtesy of Stephanie from History Fan Girl
Philadelphia is a great city for baseball lovers. The 2008 World Series Champions have diehard fans, yet tickets for many games are still affordable. While at the stadium, make sure to indulge in some local Philly food like Federal Donuts or an authentic Philly cheesesteak.
The Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park in deep South Philly. Easily accessible by SEPTA, Philly’s subway system, you can easily spend the entire day here enjoying the festive atmosphere around the stadium and visiting Xfinity Live, and indoor/outdoor beer garden across the street. While tailgating is popular for NFL Eagles games, for baseball games you want to hang out at Xfinity Live before and after.
If you want to take in a bit of sightseeing in Philadelphia before the game, you can go on a free tour of Independence Hall, Philadelphia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site situated right across the street from the Liberty Bell. You can also see the Liberty Bell from outside or go in and visit in person.
Stay at one of the nicer hotels downtown like The DoubleTree on Broad Street. There you have easy access to the Septa subway line that will take you to the stadium. Avoid staying in any hotels in South Philly, though there might be some good AirBnBs available.
Courtesy of Sydney from A World in Reach
One of the best cities to visit for MLB fans is Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the Cincinnati Reds.
Attending a Reds game is a must-do when visiting Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Reds play at the Great American Ball Park, located in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets for Reds games tend to be cheaper than other MLB teams across the country, making attending a game an affordable activity to do while visiting the city. Game days in Cincinnati are tons of fun – the surrounding bars are packed with fans and many sell cheap, red-dyed beer for the occasion.
If you’re spending a weekend in Cincinnati, there’s a ton of great things to do in addition to attending a game. The Cincinnati Zoo became known worldwide when Fiona, its resident hippo, became a social media sensation. Another fun thing to do is walk across the Roebling Suspension Bridge to Covington, Kentucky.
The perfect place to stay for a Reds game is The Guild Downtown/Current, a vacation rental complex located across the street from the stadium. Something to keep in mind that the apartments are above some of the most popular downtown bars, so there can be a lot of noise throughout the night. If that’s a dealbreaker, consider a stay at the 21c Cincinnati, a unique boutique hotel/art museum hybrid.
Saint Louis: Cardinals
Courtesy of Tiffany from Mommy and Me Travels
GO CARDS!!! This chant rings in your ears throughout St Louis, MO during baseball season. The St Louis Cardinals play at Busch Stadium which is located just a short stroll downtown from the STL Arch. On any day that the Cardinals are playing you will see a sea of red around the city. St Louis truly is a town that bleeds cardinal red.
If the Cards are in town playing definitely check out the new additions at Ball Park Village. These bars and pubs will be packed with fans having a great time and eagerly waiting to get into the stadium. The current Busch Stadium is relatively new and does not have a bad seat in the house. Even in nose bleed you will get to see all of the action on the field.
Visiting St Louis for a game and need a place to stay? Check out the many hotels located along Washington St or Broadway. Our personal favorites are the Hyatt Regency Arch on Broadway and the Embassy Suites on Washington St.
While in St Louis, don’t miss a visit to Union Station to discover all the activities you and your family can explore. Union Station recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation. Here, you and your family can take a ride on the Observation Wheel, play Mini Golf, spin on the Carousel, swing from the rafters on the Rope Course, visit the new interactive Aquarium, and so much more. As the gateway to the West, the St Louis Arch is a must see during your visit. Make time to take the tram to the top. You’ll get an amazing view of STL and also a peak into Busch Stadium. Go CARDS!!!
Denver: Colorado Rockies
Courtesy of Tayler from Traveling Tayler
The Colorado Rockies play at the gorgeous Coors Field stadium located right downtown in Denver, Colorado. Because of its central location there are plenty of bars and restaurants to visit within walking distance, before or after the game. I recommend staying at the Crawford Hotel located in the historic Union Station. It’s within walking distance of the ballpark and will keep you close to downtown where there is plenty of nightlife to explore.
And if after spending a whole baseball game watching the sunset over the Rocky Mountains, you may be itching to get outside the city for some outdoor activity. A short drive from Denver is Morrison, CO and the very popular Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Red Rocks is mostly known for being an outside concert venue, but during the day it plays host to visitors and fitness enthusiasts. This is the perfect stop for views of the Denver skyline and a great way to stay fit while traveling!
From Red Rocks, I recommend driving the short 15 miles to Golden, CO to visit this cute little town. In addition to a Rockies game, it’s the perfect addition to your Denver itinerary. Not only does it have a good local vibe, but it is also home to Coors Brewery. Modern Denver loves it’s micro-breweries, but Coors will always be first and forever have a special home in the Rockies.
Los Angeles: Dodgers
Courtesy of Eden from Rock A Little Travel
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a loyal and passionate fan base, making a day at Dodger Stadium a must for any sports fans visiting the city.
Located on the west coast of the United States, Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the world for sports, especially baseball. Since the Dodgers are almost always in the running for the playoffs, a home game at Dodger Stadium is a guaranteed good time.
Visitors to Los Angeles can find Dodger Stadium in the Elysian Park neighborhood just east of downtown. For a variety of reasons, both tailgating and the consumption of alcohol are prohibited in the surrounding parking lots. There is also no entertainment district in the vicinity, so any pregame celebrations will need to occur once inside the ballpark. However, Dodger Stadium is home to plenty of bars and restaurants, so fans will have many options to choose from once inside.
If you’ve got an extra day in Los Angeles, I recommend spending a day along the coast anywhere between Malibu and Venice. The California coast is beautiful and well worth your time whether it be for a drive along the famous Pacific Coast Highway, or to simply enjoy a day at the beach. There are plenty of well known attractions and hidden gems in Los Angeles.
If you’re looking for a hotel I recommend staying at the Andaz West Hollywood. The Andaz has a fun atmosphere, it’s reasonably priced, and centrally located.
How to Plan a Baseball City Trip
Hopefuly you’ve been inspired to plan a trip for a baseball game or to add one to your existing travel plans. Here’s where to go from inspiration to execution and book your baseball city travel.
1. Pick Your Dates and Games
It makes sense that the first thing you want to check is your schedule and the schedule of whichever team you’d like to see play. Don’t limit yourself to just a home game, maybe you can see your favorite team play on the road. Use baseball as an excuse to see a new city or watch your team play elsewhere.
2. Book Your Transportation
The next step is to book your transportation. This is unique to whatever city you decide to visit but if you decide to fly, we always recommend searching discount flights through Skyscanner.
3. Find a Hotel
Of course you need to find a hotel to stay during your travels. We’ve all recommended some great hotels in the baseball cities above.
Everyone has their favorite online hotel search engine, we prefer hotels.com where we get a free night for every 10 nights we book.
4. Book Your Sightseeing
There’s so much to see in any of these destinations covered above, so take some time to see these cities. From food tours to museums and attractions – book some sightseeing during your travel. We always use GetYourGuide when we travel because you can easily browse attractions by destination. They also offer immediate confirmation with online ticketing and free cancellation up to 24 hours before your booking.
5. Insure Your Trip
We never travel without travel insurance. It’s a cheap and affordable way to protect your trip, health and belongings when you hit the road. We use and recommend World Nomads because they offer a free quote and easy to understand plans.