6 Top East Coast Baseball Experiences

Affinity Travel, Entertainment, Magazine Features

Looking for a professional sports experience in some of the country’s most iconic stadiums? These East Coast baseball venues hit it out of the park

Watching Major League Baseball players in action could be a highlight of your next tour of the East Coast, but even if you don’t include game tickets, you can still give your travelers the big-league experience. Try arranging a ballpark tour, visit to the team store or meal at a stadium restaurant that’s open year-round. On hour-long tours, east coast baseball fans and non-fans alike enjoy going behind the scenes with peeks into the dugouts, clubhouses, press boxes and luxury suites.

1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

BaltimoreOriole Park

Debuting in 1992, this architectural gem of green steel and red brick inspired a generation of ballparks built with a retro look. The outfield area artfully incorporates the historic B&O warehouse, the longest building on the East Coast. Food options include Boog’s BBQ, where former Orioles All-Star first baseman Boog Powell may be seen serving up his barbecue beef, pork and turkey. Experience some local flavors at Harris Creek Oyster and Lobster Hut, where you can dine on jumbo lump crab cakes or fresh lobster rolls served with Old Bay seasoning. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is two blocks away, and the shops and tourist attractions of the Inner Harbor are a 12-minute walk. Private ballpark tours can be scheduled throughout the year. (baltimore.orioles.mlb.com)

2. Fenway Park

Fenway Park east coast baseballBoston

Just as much a Boston landmark as Faneuil Hall and Paul Revere’s house, the oldest operating ballpark in Major League Baseball looks much as it did opening day in 1912. Sacred ground to Boston Red Sox fans, the classic park is best known for its 37-foot-high left field wall, the Green Monster. Sit atop the fabled wall, view the manual scoreboard, and hears tales of Red Sox greats like Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski on daily tours, offered year-round. Besides the usual ballpark fare, fans can get a lobster roll or New England clam chowder. Live music, souvenir tables and food carts create a carnival-like atmosphere on Yawkey Way, a public street that’s closed to traffic on game days. Fenway Park offers daily tours year-round; online tickets are available for purchase up to 30 days prior to each date. (boston.redsox.mlb.com)

3. Yankee Stadium

New York

Yankee StadiumOne of the most expansive stadiums ever built, the “new” Yankee Stadium replaced the “old” home of the Bronx Bombers in 2009. Despite the loss of some history with demolition of the original, the team’s storied past lives on through exhibits in the New York Yankees Museum and in center field’s Monument Park, a shrine to greats like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Design elements borrowed from the old “House That Ruth Built,” such as the imposing arched windows, have been incorporated into the new design of this east coast baseball stadium.

Yankee Stadium offers a plethora of dining options, including the 99 Burger (two 4 oz. American Wagyu beef patties, New School American Cheese, caramelized onions, secret sauce), but get it early as they only sell 99 per game. Mighty Quinn’s BBQ is on site featuring fan-favorite items from their NYC-based restaurants. Tours for groups of 15-35 can be scheduled year-round, with lunch or dinner at the stadium’s Hard Rock Café part of the package. (newyork.yankees.mlb.com)

4. Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park east coast baseballPhiladelphia

This amenity-laden park, with the largest video scoreboard in the National League and the city skyline as a backdrop, ranks as among the best in America. Opened in 2004, Citizens Bank Park gets high marks for its food and often places first in vegetarian ballpark fare. Popular options include Shake Shack “roadside” burgers, Uncle Charlie’s Steaks, named after 2008 world champion Charlie Manuel, and Harry the K’S, an outfield sit-down restaurant named for late Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas. For true Philadelphia flavors, try a cheesesteak or hoagie. Ashburn Alley, named for Phillies legend Richie Ashburn, is a festive outfield entertainment area that includes the Phillies All-Star Walk, Memory Lane and Phillies Wall of Fame. The 35-by-50-foot Liberty Bell in right-center field rings after every Phillies home run. Tours are available Monday to Friday during the regular season and select Tuesdays and Thursdays in the off season. (philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com)

5. Citi Field

New YorkCiti Field

Dark blue exposed steel and dark green seats accent state-of-the-art Citi Field, built in 2009 to replace 45-year-old Shea Stadium as home to the New York Mets. The classic design features a façade of red brick, granite and cast stone that mirrors Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, with the front entrance featuring a rotunda named after Brooklyn Dodgers legend Jackie Robinson. Citi Field, located in Queens, is nationally known as one of the best ballparks in the country for food. Celebrity chef Danny Meyer has played a big part in upping the quality, serving barbecue, burgers and tacos at Blue Smoke and El Verano Taco. When a Mets player hits a home run, a giant apple with a Mets logo lights up and rises from center field. Group tours include the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum. (newyork.mets.mlb.com)

6. PNC Park

PNC Park east coast baseballPittsburgh

With sweeping views of the Allegheny riverfront and downtown skyline, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ classic-style PNC Park opened in 2001 as one of the most beautiful and smallest parks in the majors. On game days, Roberto Clemente Bridge is closed to vehicular traffic and fans are met with a dynamic retail and sports pavilion beyond right field. PNC food choices include Primanti Bros. sandwiches and Manny’s BBQ, a barbecue spot run by former player Manny Sanguillen. Or grab a ballpark hot dog at Deli Dogs & Nachoritas, along with their upscale nachos featuring fresh toppings. Groups of 25 or more can book a ballpark tour, with or without lunch, for weekdays and select Saturdays from early April to early October. (pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com)

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