The Best Cities for Baseball Fans to Visit

Enjoy quirky traditions, amazing food and thrilling games in these 10 cities.

U.S. News & World Report

The Best Cities for Baseball Fans to Visit

View of a young child at a baseball game, looking out onto the baseball field.
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Check out the best spots for baseball aficionados across the country.

Summer in America is synonymous with warm weather, vacations and baseball. Whether you're a team fanatic or just enjoy peanuts, Cracker Jacks and other ballpark foods, taking in a game is a quinessential summer activity for many. But why limit yourself to a local team? Great baseball cities not only offer exciting sports cultures, unique stadiums and distinct personalities, they also boast lots to see and do outside of the ballpark. Taking into consideration what teams and stadiums offer, as well as the sports culture and attractions beyond the ballpark, U.S. News compiled a list of America's best baseball cities.
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10. Pittsburgh

For starters, the Pittsburgh Pirates stadium, PNC Park, sits less than 500 feet from the Allegheny River and offers one-of-a-kind views of the city skyline. Even better, the scene is just as breathtaking from the cheap seats. When you're not admiring the view, sample one of Steel City's signature eats, a Primanti Brothers sandwich (traditionally piled high with sliced steak, coleslaw, tomatoes and french fries). After the game, get to know the City of Bridges by visiting its popular attractions, such as the Carnegie Science Center and the Heinz History Center. To take in a bird's-eye view of the city, hop on the Duquesne Incline.
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Check out the best spots for baseball aficionados across the country.

Summer in America is synonymous with warm weather, vacations and baseball. Whether you're a team fanatic or just enjoy peanuts, Cracker Jacks and other ballpark foods, taking in a game is a quinessential summer activity for many. But why limit yourself to a local team? Great baseball cities not only offer exciting sports cultures, unique stadiums and distinct personalities, they also boast lots to see and do outside of the ballpark. Taking into consideration what teams and stadiums offer, as well as the sports culture and attractions beyond the ballpark, U.S. News compiled a list of America's best baseball cities.

10. Pittsburgh

For starters, the Pittsburgh Pirates stadium, PNC Park, sits less than 500 feet from the Allegheny River and offers one-of-a-kind views of the city skyline. Even better, the scene is just as breathtaking from the cheap seats. When you're not admiring the view, sample one of Steel City's signature eats, a Primanti Brothers sandwich (traditionally piled high with sliced steak, coleslaw, tomatoes and french fries). After the game, get to know the City of Bridges by visiting its popular attractions, such as the Carnegie Science Center and the Heinz History Center. To take in a bird's-eye view of the city, hop on the Duquesne Incline.

9. Philadelphia

Philadelphia fans are notoriously passionate (that's putting it mildly), so even if you're not interested in the game, Citizens Bank Park is a prime location for people-watching. Plus, your options at the concession stand aren't limited to cheesesteaks: the ballpark offers some of the most vegetarian options in all of baseball, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. After you've seen the team's fanatical fans, you can explore all the historical attractions the City of Brotherly Love has to offer, including the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs made famous by the "Rocky" franchise.

8. Detroit

Some may say the Motor City has been down on its luck for a while, but the Tigers are still a source of pride for Detroit, with two division titles and five playoff appearances in the last decade. Fans also take pride in the team's stadium, Comerica Park. Visitors will find a humongous fountain with choreographed "liquid fireworks," a 50-foot Ferris wheel and a tiger-themed carousel. Outside the ballpark, the spirit of Detroit is alive and well. Outdoor spaces like Campus Martius Park and the open-air art community known as the Heidelberg Project provide activities the whole family can enjoy.

7. Los Angeles

With two teams – the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – LA gives visitors options when it comes to baseball. While the Angels play about 30 miles southeast of La-La Land, the ever-popular Dodgers have called their stadium home since 1962, making it the third-oldest stadium in the MLB. Grab a 10-inch Dodger Dog before exploring the many other sites in the City of Angels. You can stargaze (figuratively at the Hollywood Walk of Fame or literally at the Griffith Observatory), enjoy one of the many area beaches or splurge at the shops on Rodeo Drive.

6. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is a small city with a big love for baseball. Taking home the American League pennant for the past two years – not to mention the World Series championship title in 2015 – means the winning spirit is alive and well in the Show Me State. Average home game attendance jumped almost 40 percent between 2014 and 2015, and shows no signs of letting up in the 2016 season. With its Midwestern charm, unique history and signature barbecue style, which you can find in the outfield concessions at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City is an affordable, accessible city for baseball fanatics.

5. New York City

While the Yankees are arguably the most well-known team in all of baseball, New York Mets fans will tell you that even with their stadium's slightly smaller size (the stadium can host up to 41,800 fans compared to Yankee Stadium's 50,287 seats), Citi Field is more intimate and easier to navigate. After you take in a game in the outer boroughs, you'll find no shortage of things to do throughout the city that never sleeps. From green spaces like Central Park and the High Line to the cultural experiences found everywhere from Broadway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there's something for everyone to explore.

4. Chicago

Chicago is another city steeped in baseball history – and plenty of rivalries. The first and most notorious involves the two home teams, the Cubs of the North Side and the White Sox of the South Side, which dates back to 1906. Since then, the two teams have picked up rivalries with almost every other Midwest team from the Detroit Tigers to the St. Louis Cardinals to the Cincinnati Reds. When you're not enjoying America's favorite pastime, the Windy City offers a beach, breathtaking architecture, delectable food and high-end shopping, among other attractions.

3. St. Louis

There's no argument that the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best teams in baseball. Two World Series championships and three National League titles in the last decade prove that. But a winning record isn't the only reason St. Louis is a great baseball city. St. Louis is also known for its spirited fans. Each home game sees more than 40,000 attendees – the highest in all of the MLB. The ballpark food offerings (including a Food Network hot dog bar and a build-your-own nacho joint) won't disappoint either. And don't worry, you can walk off the calories after the game on the Gateway Arch Trail, which winds its way right outside the stadium.

2. Boston

You can't think of baseball without thinking of Boston. The 104-year-old Fenway Park is a landmark for the sport. After the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series and broke the famous Curse of the Bambino, the city virtually shut down to celebrate. Fans come from all over the world to see the Green Monster, the nearly 40-foot-high, 231-foot-long left field wall and its classic hand-operated scoreboard. Even the atmosphere outside the stadium is abuzz on game days: Lansdowne Street is lined with sports bars packed with fans not lucky enough to score tickets.

1. San Francisco

The City by the Bay may not pack as much baseball history as Boston (the Giants didn't move to San Francisco until 1957), but the city's offerings make for a truly unique experience for baseball lovers. Not only does San Francisco boast three World Series championships in the last decade and massive fan support, but it also offers show-stopping views of the San Francisco Bay from AT&T Park. Home runs can splash into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field fence. Plus, how many other MLB teams can say their ballpark has direct ferry access?
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Gwendolyn Shearman, Staff Writer

Gwen Shearman is an Editor/Digital Producer for the Travel section at U.S. News where she ...  Read more

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