Want to knock one out of the park the next time you hit the highway to see the country? Here are the best baseball stadiums worth a road trip.
We look forward to three big things every spring: nice weather, baseball, and getting out of the house and far away. With an end to lockdowns, we considered ways to combine those three by taking a trip to see America’s pastime in its natural environment — ballparks. When considering a vacation destination, we make a ballgame in that town’s Major League Baseball stadium the centerpiece of our stay. Some folks set a goal to visit every park. Not possible? Make a smaller goal of seeing baseball in the nation’s prettiest and oldest parks. To help, here are our rankings for the best baseball stadiums worth a road trip.
History rules with Boston’s Fenway Park (4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA), the oldest active MLB stadium in the country. Built in 1912, the Red Sox’s home was rebuilt in 1934 and offers plenty of nostalgia for the good old days. We always look for famous features in a park, and Fenway has plenty, including the Green Monster in left field and the single red seat in the right-field bleachers where Ted Williams hit the longest home run in the stadium’s history (502 feet). Fenway hosted other greats too, such as Babe Ruth, Carl Yastrzemski, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Carlton Fisk, who hit his famous walkoff home run here in the 1975 World Series.
Entering its 60th season, Dodger Stadium (1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA) is the oldest “modern” stadium in baseball. Set in Chavez Ravine in the hills above downtown Los Angeles, the top deck of “Blue Heaven on Earth” has breathtaking views of the whole city and beyond. Janet-Marie Smith, who previously worked on creating Oriole Park at Camden Yards and renovating Fenway Park, headed up renovations to Dodger Stadium after the 2019 season, and because of the pandemic, 2021 will be the first time fans get to see the work they’ve done. Dodger Stadium is one of the most beautiful places to take in a ballgame, and any trip to Los Angeles would be incomplete without it.
Are you planning on visiting the Windy City? When considering the best baseball stadiums worth a road trip, seeing Wrigley Field is on our agenda. Follow the directions given in The Blues Brothers and stop by 1060 W. Addison St., in Chicago. Built in 1914, Wrigley is the second oldest park in MLB, but the oldest in the National League. Originally called Weeghman Park, the stadium was home to the long-extinct Chicago Whales, became Cubs Park, then later Wrigley Field when purchased by chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. Known as “The Friendly Confines,” Wrigley Field is a classic park with its ivy-covered outfield and fiercely loyal fans.
When we’re looking for a beautiful day of baseball, San Francisco’s Oracle Park (24 Willie Mays Plaza) is on our list. Sitting beside the city’s famous bay, the stadium is accessible by ferry and is also the only park where fans float by in kayaks, hoping to catch a homer. It’s chilly by the water, but you can still enjoy the park’s wide-open design. Another fun aspect: you can nab a free viewing area where you can watch part of the game by going behind a fence in right field.
The current Yankee Stadium at 1 East 161st St. in The Bronx, New York, opened in 2009. It may not be the original “House That Ruth Built” (the first was demolished), but there’s still a lot of Yankee history in the walls of “Baseball’s Cathedral.” Besides watching the Yankees play, there’s plenty to see and do. We plan to take the tour to see Babe Ruth Plaza, Monument Park, the Yankees Museum, and hopefully, the press box and dugout!