THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Glenn Dunlap

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2014 Southwest and Sunbelt Baseball Tours, Part II

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 03:35 PM

Our Southwest and Sunbelt Tours took us next to Arlington, Texas, home of Globe Life Ballpark and the Texas Rangers. Rangers Ballpark is known for the unique view of the offices in the outfield, where blending work and fun would be easy to do 81 days out of the year! (Come to think of it...why aren't our offices there???)Rangers Ballpark, Bacon on a Stick, stadium tours

You've seen lots of pictures of ballparks, even Rangers Ballpark. But have you seen bacon on a stick? I didn't thinkGreat seats on our baseball tour at Rangers Ballpark so... Well, now you have. I didn't know that could be done! If you're a meat lover, there are lots of great food selections at this stadium.

Looks like the seats in the lower levels are named by the season ticket holders (?). Reminded me of those terrible four-person "cells" or "cubicles" at Shea Stadium that were named and had metal rails around

them. However the names at this stadium were right on the seats themselves. Here's a shot of my seat. Seems like someone's a fan of Talledega Nights? I expected the seats on either side to be Walker and Texas Ranger...

We really enjoyed the game. It was close the whole night and the fans were really engaged. To top it off, we saw the Rangers put up a couple of runs in the bottom of the night, including a two-out, walk-off hit off of Fernando Rodney. (MLB Game Summary)

More about this combination of baseball tours to come!

Tags: baseball road trips, sports vacation, Rangers Ballpark

2014 Southwest and Sunbelt Baseball Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

Our touring season kicked off in April with our Southwest and Sunbelt Tours. Although different in a few ways, the tour itineraries overlapped in Dallas and Houston. The Southwest TourChase Field from the seats on our baseball tour included Phoenix, Dallas (Arlington), Houston and Denver while the Sunbelt Tour included Dallas (Arlington), Houston, Miami, Tampa and Atlanta. We had guests from California, New York, and states in between. 

One reason we planned this tour so early in the season was to beat the heat, hoping to see the roofs open in the domed stadiums. We had pretty good luck all across our tour. We had a beautiful night in Phoenix at Chase Field. The night didn't go so well for Bronson Arroyo and the Diamondbacks, but our fans had a great time, nonetheless. (MLB Game Summary)

We've hosted tours in Phoenix at different times in the baseball season. When it's 110 degrees, you're thankful for the roof and air conditioning. But we love to see baseball outdoors, don't you? We enjoyed being at Chase Field with the roof open. It was a much better experience. We highly recommend going early or late in the season in hopes of seeing the roof open. 

Tags: Chase Field, baseball road trips, baseball travel

Finalizing Our 2014 Baseball Tour Itineraries

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Yawkey Way, part of Fenway ParkNow that the 30 Major League Baseball teams have released most of their game times, we're able to put the finishing touches on our tour itineraries. Since we've been planning and offering baseball tours to our guests for nine seasons now, we have come to expect certain things, but always have to wait for the times to be published before we can firm up the trip schedules. 

We expect that Thursdays and Sundays are "getaway days" for the teams. Those are usually the last days of a series of games and the days that one or both teams have to get on the road to their next destination. Knowing this, we try to avoid a long trip into a city that could have us rushed on arrival. Sometimes that's the way it works out. Other times, we expect an afternoon game and teams surprise us with an evening game. This happened on our first couple of tours this year, our Southwest Tour and Sunbelt Tour. The Astros are hosting a getaway day game at 7:10PM which just gives us more time to arrive in Houston and get settled before the game.

On our trips to California in June, the game time in San Diego works out perfectly for us. We expected an early afternoon game but the team released it as a 3:40PM game time. We're driving down from LA just for the game and going back to LA that night. This game time will be perfect for seeing the game, grabbing dinner in the Gaslamp Quarter, and then heading back to LA before it's too late. This schedule effects our West Coast June, California Gold June, and Southern Cal June tours. 

On all of our baseball vacation packages, we attempt to minimize the amount of time that you actually spend traveling and to give you more time to enjoy the great cities you're visiting. We also stay in great hotels in the hearts of the cities so that you can immerse yourself in the sites and culture of the best cities in the United States. 

If you're considering a baseball trip this summer, we hope that you'll consider joining us on a tour. We'll take care of the details for you and let you sit back and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: baseball vacations, sports travel and tours, baseball tour, MLB road trips

Midwest Tour: Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis & Kansas City

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 06:45 PM

Target Field,Twins,Midwest baseball tour,sports travel,baseball vacation packagesThe Midwest is home to some fantastic baseball stadiums and this tour takes you to six of them! The tour starts in Minneapolis at Target Field, the home of the 2014 All Star Game. We'll take in a Friday night game when the Twins host the Rays. Make sure you try the kettle corn and some of the State Fair food that they offer at the ballpark. Truly unique!

Then we'll fly to Chicago on Saturday to settle in for a four-night stay in the heart of the Windy City. You'll have the evening on your own to explore the city. On Sunday, we'll go to Sox Park to see the Astros play the White Sox in an afternoon game. 

Monday we'll take a short trip up to Miller Park where the Brewers are hosting the Reds. We'll get there in plenty of time for some tailgaiting at the ballpark and for you to explore the grounds. We'll head back to Chicago after the game. 

Busch Stadium,midwest baseball tours,family vacation packages,baseball trips

You'll have Tuesday to explore more of the city before we head out to Wrigley Field to see the Padres and the Cubs. Knowing the Cubs, this might be an afternoon game. Either way, it's always a great time at Clark & Addison!

The baseball tour will then head south to St. Louis on Wednesday, to see a game at Busch Stadium (pictured on the left). We'll then finish up our last day of the tour, Thursday, in Kansas City. We'll see the Royals host the Indians at Kauffman Stadium. (Yes, you'll be able to pick up some KC barbeque at the ballpark!)

You will stay in the finest hotels with easy access to all the attractions, sit in lower level seats for each game, and enjoy a Big League Player Experience. Don't miss out on this extensive tour.

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: Miller Park, baseball vacation package, Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium, Target Field, Midwest baseball tour

Heartland Tour: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit & Chicago

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

A new baseball tour for 2014 is The Heartland Tour that features 5 of the most outstanding newer ballparks in the Major Leagues, along with a visit to historic Wrigley Field. Your tour starts on Tuesday with a downtown stay in Cleveland. Make sure to arrive early on the free day so you can check out the attractions like the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. The Indians will host the Red Sox in an afternoon contest on Wednesday at Progressive Field.baseball road trip,baseball tour,great american ballpark,cincinnati,reds

You will take off for Cincinnati on Thursday for a game at Great American Ball Park. It's a getaway day for the Giants, so we expect it to be an afternoon game. We'll stay in the heart of Cincy with lots to see and do in the evening. To the right are some of our guests on a stadium tour with Reds broadcaster, Chris Welsh. Notice that most of them are eating ice cream out of the freezer that belongs to Chris' fellow broadcaster, Jeff Brantley. (But if you see Cowboy, don't mention anything about the missing ice cream!!)

On Friday we'll head to Pittsburgh for a night game at PNC Park between the Brewers and the Pirates. Then on Saturday we'll make our way to Detroit to see the Tigers host the Red Sox at Comerica Park

Wrigley Field,baseball road trips,ballpark tours,Chicago vacation packagesThen, two nights in Chicago (Sunday and Monday) at a 4-5 star hotel with games at both ballparks. On Sunday, we'll see the Marlins and Cubs at Wrigley Field for an afternoon game. You'll have the day to yourself on Monday to explore the city of Chicago before we take the short trip to the city's south side to see Sox Park

You'll enjoy lower level seats at every game, great hotels in the city center or near the ballparks, a Big League Player Experience and all the Big League Tours extras.

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: Comerica Park, baseball vacation package, baseball road trip, Wrigley Field, PNC Park, Great American Ball Park

East Coast Tour, May 2014: Boston, New York, DC, Baltimore & Philly

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 03:10 PM

Fenway Park,Yawkey Way,Red Sox,Boston,baseball trips If you're a baseball fan and you have a bucket list, then this East Coast Tour is for you. You'll start this tour in Boston, home of Historic Fenway Park. The game should be a night game so arrive early and see some sites before we head over to the park and enjoy all the fun around Yawkey Way.

You'll leave mid-day on Saturday to make the trip to New York where you will have the evening on your own and plenty of time to explore Manhattan from your Midtown hotel. Sunday we'll head to Yankee Stadium, for, what we expect to be, an afternoon game when the Yankees are hosting the Pirates. We'll head back to Manhattan after the game and you'll have the evening on your own in the Yankee Stadium,group tours,baseball stadium tours,baseball trips,baseball road tripscity.

You an option on Monday to direct the itinerary the best way for you and your companions. You can choose to spend the day in the city or take the day-trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Tuesday will allow you more time to see some sites in the city and then we'll head out to Citi Field to see the Dodgers and Mets game.

After 4 great nights in New York, the tour will head to Washington, DC on Wednesday. We should arrive early afternoon in the district and get checked into the hotel, which will give us plenty of time to get over to Nationals Park for the game between the Reds and Nationals. 

Oriole Park at Camden Yards,Baltimore baseball tour,baseball road tripOn Thursday, we'll take a short trip up the road to Baltimore. We'll be staying near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor. The game will probably be an afternoon game which will give you time to grab dinner at one of the restaurants nearby.

We'll most likely take a tour of Oriole Park Friday morning before heading to Philadelphia for you final night of the tour. It's a short trip to Philly, where we'll be staying in the heart of the city - close to sites like the Liberty Bell and Freedom Hall and close to Citizens Bank Park

Along the way, there will be stadium tours, an MLB player Experience and other Big League Tours extras. You could also consider coming into Boston early or staying over in Philadelphia. Let us know if you'd like to customize your tour in anyway. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: east coast baseball tour, baseball road trip, baseball tour, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

West Coast Tour, May 2014: LA/Anaheim, San Diego, San Fran & Oakland

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

An always popular baseball tour is a trip to the West Coast to see all of the California baseball stadiums plus Safeco Field in Seattle. And that's just what this tour has to offer. You'll have three nights in Los Angeles/Anaheim to take in a couple of games as well as explore some sites.

The first day of the tour, you'll see the Yankees play the Angels at Angel Stadium. We expect this to be a night game so you'll have time to get to the hotel, check in and get settled, and then meet the tour group to go to the ballpark.

Dodger Stadium,West Coast baseball tour,baseball trips,great seats

The next day is a completely free day. You could spend the day at Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm, take a tour of Hollywood, or hang out on the beach. It's completely up to you.

The following day offers a game at historic Dodger Stadium. You'll be amazed that this ballpark is over 60 years old! You'll arrive early with time to explore the stadium before settling into lower-level seats for the game. The last day in Southern California is in San Diego, where we'll stay in the Gaslamp Quarter and be there in plenty of time for a game at PETCO Park.

Then, on Saturday, it's off to San Francisco. It's a short flight and then you'll check into theAlcatraz,baseball trips hotel in the heart of the city. You'll have the evening on your own to explore the city, eat at a great restaurant, or just relax. On Sunday, the game is at AT&T Park between the Braves and the Giants.

Monday, you'll have more time to take in the Bay Area sites. This would be a perfect day to go to Alcatraz, take a trip up to wine country, visit Ghirardelli square, or take a ride on a San Francisco trolley. Then you'll meet up with the group to catch the game at the Oakland Coliseum between the Rays and Athletics.

The final day of the tour has you jumping on a quick flight to Seattle, taking in a game at Safeco Field, and staying at a hotel in the middle of the action in Seattle. Extend your stay in Seattle or plan to leave late in the day so that you can see the Space Needle, visit Pikes Place Market, or take in some beat poetry in ways that only Seattle can serve it up. Want some food suggestions? Let us know - we can help!

As always, you’ll enjoy first class hotels, lower level seats, stadium tours, an MLB player experience and memories that will last a lifetime. No tour company does it like Big League Tours. We hope you will join us on this extensive tour. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014


Tags: baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball road trip, AT&T Park, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park, Safeco Field, Giants, A's

2014 Sunbelt Tour: Dallas/Arlington, Houston, Miami, Tampa & Atlanta

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 08:15 AM

One of our first baseball tours of the 2014 season is our Sunbelt Tour. As with our Southwest Tour, we wanted to get to these baseball stadiums before the heat of the summer. This tour starts in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers. The Mariners are in town to take on their American League West rivals at Rangers Ballpark

Miami,Marlins Park,baseball trips

The next day we'll drive down to Houston's Minute Maid Park to see the Astros and Royals in what's likely to be an afternoon game. We'll check into the hotel after the game and spendthe evening in Houston.

Friday morning you will fly to Florida to catch games at Marlins Park that evening and Tropicana Field on Saturday evening. We'll drive between those cities and get to both ballparks in plenty of time to explore them to see the fish tanks behind home plate and the ginourmous structure in the outfield in Miami and the tank of Rays and the Ted Williams Museum in Tampa Bay.Turner Field,Braves,baseball trips

On Sunday we'll head to the airport and hop a quick flight to Atlanta. We'll stay downtown where you'll have access to attractions like the CNN and Coca-Cola headquarters, the Georgia Aquarium, and lots of shopping and restaurants. Monday night we'll head out to Turner Field to see the Braves host the Marlins.  

As always, you'll stay in first class hotels, sit in lower level seats, and enjoy a Big League Player Experience. Don't miss your chance to visit these stadiums on one great tour. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: Marlins Ballpark, Turner Field, baseball trips, baseball stadiums, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark, Tropicana Field

The 2014 Southwest Tour: Phoenix, Dallas, Houston & Denver

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sun, Oct 20, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

The Southwest Tour is a new offering from us in 2014. We wanted to offer an early season baseball tour for those who wanted to get out early. In addition, we wanted to get to a few of these cities before it gets too hot to really enjoy them. So we'll kick off the season's tours in Phoenix.

Chase Field, Phoenix, Diamondbacks, Baseball stadium, baseball trips, baseball toursWe'll stay in downtown Phoenix, within walking distance of Chase Field, where we'll see the Diamondbacks host the Mets for a game on April 15. Want some extra time in Phoenix? Come in early and play golf at one of the city's great courses, go horseback riding at one of the parks, and enjoy some of the city's fantastic dining and entertainment.

From Phoenix we'll fly to Dallas/Arlington to see the Mariners and Rangers play at Rangers Ballpark. We'll stay near the ballpark here, too, but not within walking distance. As long as the game time allows, we'll likely have a stadium tour of the Ballpark at Arlington. Make sure to get a bacon-wrapped hot dog and a Shiner Bock at the game to complete your experience! 

On Thursday, we'll drive down to Houston. The game at Minute Maid Park is between the Royals and Astros. We expect it to be an afternoon game as it's a getaway game for both teams. So we'll (most likely) drive straight to the ballpark, catch the game, and then check-in at the hotel afterward.

Coors Field,Rockies,baseball trips,ballpark tours,baseball stadiums

Then, on the last day, you'll fly to Denver to catch a game at Coors Field. This is the perfect way to finish off this trip. Downtown Denver, where we'll stay, has a lotto offer. The ballpark is located in the warehouse district with a ton of restaurants and brewpubs. By the way, it would also be a great place to extend the tour and stay an extra day or two. Let us know if you'd like to stay another night or two.

As always, you'll stay in first class hotels, sit in lower level seats, and enjoy a Big League Player Experience. Don't miss your chance to visit these stadiums on one great tour. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: Coors Field, Chase Field, Rangers, baseball tours, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark

Trip to Marlins Ballpark

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

The new Marlins Ballpark was opened in 2012. It was the first new Major League ballpark since the Twins' new facility, Target Field, opened in April 2012 in Minneapolis. If you had ever gone to a Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium, you knew it would be great if the team had a facility that was dedicated to baseball. 

Marlins Ballpark exterior

Unlike Dolphin Stadium, which is right off the interstate and very easy to get in and out of, Marlins Ballpark is tucked into a neighborhood that makes it harder to get in and out of the game. For this visit, we were headed to the ballpark not as a group tour, but just as a family tour. We paid for stadium parking in advance, which at least eliminated our concern about where to park. It didn't help us get out any faster, though. 

The outside of the ballpark is very space-age looking. The columns in this picture support the roof when they open up the stadium. There was a threat of thunderstorms when we were there so they kept the roof closed. 

View of Marlins Ballpark

Inside, the park carries the sites and sounds of Miami throughout - Latin-influenced and very colorful. Even the smells in the stadium were different than others because of the wide range of food offerings. 

My overall impression? It's a much needed improvement over Dolphin Stadium to see a baseball game. My opinion is undoubtedly tainted in that I don't like watching baseball games under a roof. I understand the reason for it, but I think it kills the atmosphere of a game that's supposed to be played out doors. (My opinion is the same of all dome or retractable roof stadiums in the Majors...)

What could have helped? If the roof would have been open, I'm sure it would have influenced my opinion. If the ballpark had been built in a neighborhood that either grew up with it (think Fenway Park or Wrigley Field) or had developed around it (think Coors Field or Camden Yards), then it could have been a better experience. (Once you go in doors, though, it doesn't really matter.) The locals will tell you that fielding a better team would make all the difference in the world. I can't blame them...

Without any new ballparks under construction anywhere in the Majors, Marlins Ballpark will remain the newest park for the next several years. If you're planning to make a trek to Miami for a game, my suggestion would be to go at night (hoping the roof will be open), choose an opponent with a large road following (so there will at least be somebody's fans in attendance), and give yourself plenty of time to get in and out of the ballpark. 

Tags: baseball vacations, Marlins, Marlins Ballpark, Miami, baseball road trips, family tours