Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Baseball is the quintessential summer sport, and for diehard fans baseball parks are more than just sports venues – they’re meccas worth traveling to visit. Here are nine parks, both historic and modern, that are well worth a weekend trip this summer.

Wrigley Field (Chicago)

Home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is the second oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, having celebrated its 100th anniversary this past season. Known for its ivy-clad brick walls and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” sing along during the seventh inning stretch, Wrigley is a must-see for even the casual baseball fan. (For SPG members, Wrigley is especially worth the visit since your membership entitles you to lots of great perks.) 

Hotels Nearby

4.4 miles from The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago Hotel

5.6 miles from Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers

6 miles from Aloft Chicago City Center

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Fenway Park (Boston

The oldest park in the major leagues, Fenway Park is a portal back in time. Home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway is famous (or infamous) for the “Green Monster,” a 37-foot-tall wall in left field, and its “Sweet Caroline” singalong during the seventh inning stretch. In 2012 the park earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places -- all the more reason you should take an official tour of the stadium. Available on game days, the one-hour tour takes you through the entire park, including a visit to the top of the Green Monster and a shrine to Red Sox greats like The Kid himself, Ted Williams. 

Hotels Nearby

.1 mile from Sheraton Boston Hotel

1 mile from W Boston

1.5 miles from The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston 

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Dodger Stadium (LA

Built in 1962, after the Dodgers relocated to the City of Angels from Brooklyn, Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park in the major leagues. The stadium is carved into the Chavez Ravine -- which is also its nickname -- and boasts a view of the San Gabriel Mountains, a spectacular backdrop for a California sunset. The Dodgers are lead by back-to-back Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a once-in-a-generation talent whose curve ball is must-see for all baseball fans. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the Hollywood celebrities who regularly attend Dodgers games. Just don’t lose track of that foul ball coming your way!

Hotels Nearby

1.7 miles from The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

2 miles from Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel

7 miles from W Hollywood

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Yankee Stadium (NY)

The home of the MLB’s most storied franchise since 2009, Yankee Stadium is the epitome of the modern ball park. Located in the Bronx, it is one of the most expensive stadiums ever built and features one of the largest HD scoreboards in the country, more than 1,100 high definition televisions throughout the park and a Hard Rock Cafe inside the park. But enough about the amenities. Technically, the new Yankee Stadium may not be “The House that Ruth Built,” but baseball is still its main attraction. It’s considered a hitter’s park because of its short right field wall, so you should probably bring your glove if you’re sitting in homerun territory. Also, make sure to check out Yankees Museum on the second level behind the right field seats. There you can see all types of Yankee memorabilia, including a “Ball Wall” with signed baseballs by Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson and other Yankee legends, past and present.

Hotels Nearby

1.9 miles from Aloft Harlem

7.3 miles from The St. Regis New York  

7.7 miles from Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel 

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Petco Park (San Diego)

Home of the Padres, Petco Park captures the unique character of San Diego with its sandstone and stucco exterior (evocative of the nearby cliffs and beaches), its bunker-like staircases (an homage to the city’s strong military population) and its ocean-blue seats. Visitors can lie down and watch the game at the “Park at the Park,” a grassy lawn located behind center field. Petco Park is also famous for incorporating the Western Metal Supply Co. building into its stands. Built in 1909, this historic building makes up part of the left field bleachers and foul pole.

Hotels Nearby

.4 miles from THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego 

1 mile from The Westin San Diego 

1.1miles from The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore)

Camden Yards opened in 1992, but you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in a classic ballpark. The stadium is retro by design, an homage to the good ol’ days of baseball parks centered around, well, baseball. A big part of the vintage atmosphere is the brick facade of B&O warehouse behind right field, which looks like it’s part of the stadium itself though it’s actually across the street. Before the game you can visit Babe Ruth’s nearby birthplace or take a picture in front of the Cal Ripken, Jr. statue. Across from the bars you will find vendors grilling fresh food and pan-fried crab cakes that you can take with you into the stadium. Swap out your cracker jacks for some crab cakes and enjoy a game at one of the more charming parks in all of baseball.

Hotels Nearby

.1 miles from Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel

8 miles from The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport - BWI

9 miles from Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel - BWI

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Busch Stadium (St. Louis)

Home to the perennially competitive Cardinals, Busch Stadium boasts one of the most loyal fanbases in all of sports. Attendance is always high at Cards’ games, so you can expect a playoff atmosphere even in the dog days of summer. If you do manage to nab a seat, take a moment to take your eyes off the game and look further afield: the St. Louis skyline and the iconic 600-foot Gateway Arch are visible from most of the seats in Busch Stadium.

Hotels Nearby

.13 miles from The Westin St. Louis

8 miles from Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis

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AT&T Park (San Francisco)

Home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park is can't-miss for all baseball fans. The stadium is famous for its beautiful bay backdrop and the kayakers who wait patiently for home run balls to splash in the water. Before the game you can literally stroll through history by visiting the statues of Giants greats like Willie Mays and Juan Marichal that encircle the stadium. Inside make sure to try AT&T Park’s famed garlic and poutine fries, the crab sandwich from Crazy Crab’s behind centerfield and/or the pulled pork nachos from McCovey’s BBQ. Don’t worry. You can work off the calories by taking a walk along the park’s promenade, which offers gorgeous views of San Francisco Bay.

Hotels Nearby

.3 miles from The Park Central San Francisco

.4 miles from The St. Regis San Francisco 

.6 miles from W San Francisco 

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PNC Park (Pittsburgh)

Home of the Pirates, PNC Park sits on the shores of the Allegheny River, and every once in a while the Gateway Clipper cruise ship floats by the stadium and lets out a loud blast of its horn. The statue of a Pirates legend greets you at each of the park’s five entrances. Inside you’ll be greeted by the smell of lots of good eats. Perhaps the most famous is the fried-egg-and-bacon hamburger served between two glazed donuts (sporting yellow and black sprinkles, of course) at the Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club. Good thing you’ll be sitting in the bleachers watching the game instead of running around the bases.

Hotels Nearby

1 mile from The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh

1 mile from Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square

11 miles from Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel  

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