How to Plan an East Coast Major League Baseball Vacation

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You have loved baseball your entire life, and that love of the game has been transferred to your children as well. You have seen your hometown teams play quite a bit of baseball in the smaller stadiums where you live, but now you want to take your brood on a swing up the east coast to see some of the more famous stadiums. However, it's not just a matter of packing up the car and going up for the drive. You have to plan your trip and come up with tickets if you want to make sure there are no disappointments and long faces.

  • You must be alert for the release of the major-league schedule for the upcoming season. That is usually sometime in late November or early December. Since your trip involves seeing games in as many as six stadiums in four different metropolitan areas (Baltimore-Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston), you want to look at the schedule to see when you can plan a trip so that all six teams (the Orioles, Nationals, Phillies, Yankees, Mets and Red Sox) will be home. They don't all have to be playing at home throughout the duration of your trip, but they need to be at home when you get to that city.

  • After you have laid out the schedule, find a 1-week to 2-week period that you would like to take your trip. Two weeks is better because it gives you more of a variety of dates to choose from and it gives you time to do other things besides go to the ball park. Start your trip with a visit to Washington and Baltimore. In addititon to going Nationals Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, you will be able to take in traditional tourist venues such as the Smithsonian Institute, the White House and the FBI in Washington and the many seafood restaurants in Baltimore. Procure your tickets as soon as possible. The easiest way to go is to each team's website or to the Major League Baseball website which will give you the opportunity to purchase tickets.

  • Drive about two hours on Interstate 95 from Baltimore to Philadelphia so you can take in a game at beautiful Citizens Bank Ballpark. The Phillies played at a drab cookie cutter of a stadium called Veterans Stadium for years. While "the Vet" provided a decent homefield advantage, it was a colorless concrete monstrosity and has been replaced by one of the most beautiful, fan-friendly ball parks in the big leagues. Additionally, the Phillies are a very entertaining and solid team that features power hitter Ryan Howard, outstanding shortstop Jimmy Rollins and potential MVP candidate Chase Utley. Philadelphia has a great history and is the home of the Liberty Bell and Ben Franklin.

  • Drive two more hours from Philadlephia to New York City. Both the Mets and Yankees will have brand new homes in 2009 and tickets to Citi Field (Mets) and Yankee Stadium (Yankees) will be at a premium. If tickets are not available through the website, you may have to search out premium ticket brokers or scalpers to continue your tour of the ballparks. Since this is a once in a lifetime trip that will make many memories, it is worth the expense. While not at the ballpark, visit Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty and the superior restaurants found all over the city

  • Cap your trip with a 3 1/2 hour drive from New York to Boston. You can actually make that time if you avoid traffic, construction and bad weather. If not, the trip could take another hour. Fenway Park is a jewel of a baseball stadium that has housed the Red Sox since it was built in 1912, and it is revered by Bostonians and baseball fans from all over the country. Tickets are always at a premium, and you will almost certainly have to go to a ticket broker to find them unless you have connections in the city. Boston is a historical city with much to do and many things to learn. A trip down the Freedom Trail will give you and your family a chance to see the Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere's house, the site of the Boston Massacre, Old Ironsides and many other historical references. Boston is also home to some of the best seafood in the nation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan your trip in December when Major League Baseball releases its schedule for the following season. In addition to procuring tickets, you will need to make hotel reservations.
  • Try to get tickets by going to the Major League Baseball website. That's the cheapest and easiest way to get your tickets but that may not help at popular venues like Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. In those cases, premium ticket agencies or scalpers may provide your best alternative.
  • Have plenty of alternative activities for your trip to make the best use of your time. You also want to do something besides sit in your hotel room in the event of a rainout.

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