If the sport itself isn’t enough to get you to a Major League Baseball game this season, the stadium experience might be. The ballpark sets the stage for a good time. You want history, comfort, good design, great food, and a talented team to watch (well, maybe). Here are five of the best MLB stadiums in the nation to go catch a game.
Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox
Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em (or you’re another one of those bandwagon fans with the iconic ballcap), the Red Sox home field has a ton of history. Combine that with their popular lobster rolls and you’ve got yourself a winning combination, baby! Fenway Park opened in 1912 – yeah, that’s over 100 years ago – so it holds the stuff of legends and memories. The Green Monster in left field is one of its most recognizable features, but they’ve also got a sneaky bar underneath center field where you can watch the game. In terms of comfort, sure, the seats are tiny, but that’s the price you pay for feeling like you’re literally on the field. The Red Sox broke the MLB record for selling out the most consecutive games (okay, that’s counting the tix they gave away for free), so you know the atmosphere is guaranteed to be great. And the team doesn’t suck either. Since breaking the curse of the Bambino with a World Series win in 2004, they’ve snagged two more titles.
AT&T Park – San Francisco Giants
Okay, first off, this ballpark gets points for being located in a great city. Second, AT&T Park is optimally located right on the Bay with views of downtown and trolley access. You can pretty much avoid blustery days here, and when it’s summer, this place is nothing short of magical. It’s retro, classic, and just outside right field is McCovey Cove where kayakers gather during games to snag “splash hits,” because of course they do, it’s San Francisco. There aren’t any bad seats, but some of them do have views of the Bay Bridge… ah, so lovely. They may not be great this season, but the Giants have won three World Series in the past eight years. Also, as if you needed another reason to visit this fabulous ballpark, they have some of the best food in baseball, with artisan pizzas, crab sandwiches, and all things garlic at The Stinking Rose. Aside from being a spectacular stadium with primo location, it’s also got a fun atmosphere and crowd (the bleachers are known to get especially rowdy).
Petco Park – San Diego Padres
San Diego’s Petco Park is a wonder. Located right in the middle of the city, its contemporary aesthetics are refreshing. Opting for a modern look, they’ve even incorporated the once-abandoned Western Metal Supply Company into the outfield, and skyscrapers provide a nice backdrop to the game. And you don’t have to make a trek out to the ballpark because it’s woven right into downtown, surrounded by plenty of bars and restaurants for your pre and post-game pleasure. Plenty of bathrooms and beer stands make this a comfortable stadium to visit and navigate, plus it still feels new since it opened in 2004. No, the team isn’t that great – they’ve never won a postseason home game (womp) – but the weather is perfect and the food and drink options are plentiful. The concessions mirror local San Diego fare with craft beers, ramen, tuna poke, and fish tacos galore.
Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles
Another classic, Camden Yards is one of the oldest stadiums in baseball (even though it only opened in 1992 – crazy, right?). Like Petco, they incorporated surrounding buildings like the B&O Warehouse into the stadium rather than demolishing them. Back in the day, this retro stadium set future standards for how ballparks were built. Despite the Orioles not being very, uhh, good lately and only selling out about half the seats, Camden Yards makes up for that by being a fabulous place to eat. With crab dip-everything and Boog Powell’s BBQ, they’re one of the best foodie ballpark destinations in the country. Another cool feature? You can check out statues of famous players and wander down Eutaw Street alongside the stadium to see bronze plaques where home run balls have landed. Camden Yards also has views of the downtown skyline and a famously friendly staff, making the MLB experience here even nicer.
Coors Field – Colorado Rockies
Renovated in 2014, Coors Field has it all – the food, the beers, the scenery. No really, they have a bar with 52 beers on tap and a party deck in right field. Need I say more? Okay, well the higher altitude of Denver (they say) makes this one of the best home run parks in baseball, so you’ve got your action there. Sunsets are amazing, sightlines are great, and the staff and fans are super nice. It’s one of the biggest MLB parks in the nation, so there are plenty of tickets and getting the nicer seats won’t break the bank. Lots of the food is locally inspired stuff, with Biker Jim’s serving up sausages made from wild meats like elk and reindeer. There’s obviously a lot of craft beer options, but you can also get wine in a can or hit up the full-service bar if you’re in need of something stronger. The Rockies aren’t a bad team either – they’ve just crept above .500 this season!