With a 162-game regular season, Major League Baseball is being played almost every day throughout the gorgeous American summer. This means there is no shortage of opportunities to get out and soak up some sun while watching the world’s best players ply their trade on the diamond.
The lengthy season also opens up a huge list of reasons to visit a city that houses one of the 30 teams making up the League. Most stadiums are centrally located and can become the perfect springboard to a multi-day getaway built around elite-level sport. To help narrow the choices down, here are 10 ballparks that act as an exciting gateway to discovering a new city.
10 Fenway Park, Boston
Hosting its first baseball fixture in 1912, every step taken in Fenway Park further unravels the storied history of one of baseball's most beautiful ballparks. It also doesn’t hurt that the Red Sox have gone from strength to strength since breaking the dreaded ‘Curse of the Bambino’ in 2004.
Casting an eye over the playing surface will see the gaze of even casual fans drawn to the 37-foot tall Green Monster that towers over the outfield, challenging and intimidating every batter that steps into the box. Admirably, Fenway Park makes the most of every inch of space available and as such, every seat will have you feeling as though you are in amongst the action.
9 Coors Field, Denver
Home to the Colorado Rockies, Coors Field is not only a great destination to watch some high-quality ball, but it is also a brilliant spot to get your fill of locally produced, delicious food. Between innings, try the chicken and slaw tacos, short-rib nachos, lamb burgers, loaded hot dogs and everything else your appetite will allow.
Then, as the game enters its later stages, sit back and enjoy the best sunset view of Denver available anywhere. You also won’t have too much trouble securing a seat thanks to Coors Field sporting the MLB’s third-largest capacity.
8 Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
The moment you enter Citizens Bank Park in Philly, the recommended thing to do is head straight for the outfield bar that serves authentic cheesesteaks and ice cold beer sure to enhance your baseball experience.
Once the game gets going, melt comfortably into your seat and enjoy some exciting competition all set against the stunning backdrop of the Philly skyline. The young ones are expertly catered for as well thanks to wiffle ball stations, foam hotdog launchers, and a 30-foot climbing wall all designed to keep the next generation entertained.
7 Wrigley Field, Chicago
Wrigley Field has that indefinable quality that simply elevates every experience within its walls. Something that grows on fans like the ivy crawling along the brick walls in the outfield and never dies like the hand-operated, heritage scoreboard that casts a shadow over center field.
You will never feel lonely when taking a trip to Wrigley Field, with most games well over 80% capacity despite the huge 162-game regular season schedule. This amazing attendance record is without a doubt due in large part to this wondrous 105-year old stadium that only gets better with age.
6 Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
This stadium was revolutionary when introduced in 1973, setting the standard in modern ballpark construction with its multi-purpose design. A renovation in 2009 has served to once again transform the experience for fans and brings the venue into the 21st Century while also holding onto its much-loved elder qualities.
Kauffman Stadium is, unfortunately, a bit of a trek from downtown Kansas City, but the jaunt is certainly worth it thanks to a raucous party atmosphere and wide open center field walls that give the almost 40,000 capacity stadium a local ballpark feel.
5 T-Mobile Park, Seattle
If a picturesque view is high on your list of desires when attending sports events, T-Mobile Park (formerly known as Safeco Field), home of the Seattle Mariners, may just be the place for you. Boasting views of the beautiful city skyline and granting a peek at Mount Rainier from many seats, watching a Mariners ballgame will leave you feeling as though you have explored the whole city.
While the Mariners may not be the most successful team in baseball, they haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2001, there are still plenty of reasons to attend an MLB fixture at T-Mobile Park. The food is second-to-none thanks to the addition of vendors making delicacies like sushi and dumplings by hand from the first to last pitch.
4 Petco Park, San Diego
When it comes to perfectly placed sporting arenas, not many surpass Petco Park in San Diego’s downtown. The glorious views and excellent seat map combine with the always lovely West Coast weather to provide fans an elite experience every time they visit.
Sadly the Padres have not been setting the world alight when it comes to their on-field performance in recent years, but that just means you can secure a sensational seat within Petco Park for much less than you would expect to pay elsewhere. Enjoy the craft beer selection and game day activations even if the action on the field doesn’t blow you away.
3 Oriole Park At Camden Yards, Baltimore
Rather than demolishing the old warehouse that stood on the site of the planned Oriole Park, architects made the genius decision of using it as the focal point of the stadium. It now stands proudly in right field and brings a historical feel to the otherwise modern venue.
Camden Yards has been rated in the past as the best stadium for food in the majors and vendors like Boog Powell’s BBQ in center field show why this is the case. This venue carefully straddles the line between retro and modern and the result is a wonderful experience no matter what the final score happens to be.
2 Oracle Park, San Francisco
As with so many things in San Francisco, the home of the Giants is quite simply beautiful. Constructed right on the bay, it is one of the few sporting venues in the world that will occasionally see a well-hit ball fought over by fans on boats after it lands in the icy water just beyond the ballpark's limits.
The Bay Bridge is also able to be viewed past the left field wall and with the Giants playing consistent baseball now for several years, there is no reason not to visit this wonderfully unique ballpark.
1 PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Views from sporting arenas don’t come much more stunning than PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Constructed near the meeting point of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, absolutely every seat within this incredible stadium grants fans the wondrous scene of the skyline and Three Sisters bridges that are so iconically Pittsburgh.
On game days, only pedestrian traffic is granted access to the Clemente Bridge, making the journey to the stadium a relaxing and exciting experience all on its own. The on-field action may not be currently at its best, but a trip to a Pirates game is so much more than watching balls and strikes.