THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Changes to our Big Apple 2 and NYC Destination 4 Baseball Tours

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 @ 02:34 PM

Big League Tours in New York

We've made some changes to our Big Apple Tour 2 and New York Destination Tour 4 in August. It was necessary for us to move the start date of both tours to Aug. 20 based on the game times for the Yankees and Mets. Other game details, schedules, and pricing have also changed. If you are interested in these tours, please click on the links below to get all the new info.

Big Apple Tour 2 NEW INFO

New York Destination Tour 4 NEW INFO

If you would like an updated brochure for either of these tours, just click the brochure button on the webpages.

Please call or email with any questions.


Tags: baseball vacations, baseball road trips, New York, baseball trips, baseball games, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball hall of fame, baseball vacation, baseball road trip, baseball tour, ballpark tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, New York City

Navigating New York City 101—Baseball Vacation Style

Posted by Kayla Wininger on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

We know one thing about people who purchase a Big League Tours package, they love to travel! Something else we know; travelling the world can’t even prepare you for what New York City will throw your way. With two ballparks and countless other baseball attractions, it’s crucial to make sure you know the best way to explore the city before you head out on your own.  

Here’s the run down of “Navigating NYC 101”:

Using public transportation is a MUST:

Ride the subway at least once!

manhattan

When you first enter a station you’ll want to purchase a MetroCard from a self-service machine. Fares are (as of 9/25/12) $2.25 each way and usually allow you to switch lines without paying another fee, just make sure you don’t exit the station. I would recommend a minimum of $5 every time you add money to your card in case of an emergency. MTA is the subway system in NYC and the fastest way to get from point A to B. 

Once you get your card, enter the turnstiles by sliding your card through the machine, look at the image on the machine so you know which way to place your card. After you swipe the card, you’re remaining balance will show on a small screen and you can now enter through the turnstiles.

Now that you’re inside you’ll look for the colored circles with the number or letter of the line you want to take. Subway lines are color-coded depending on where they go and you’ll want to pay close attention to if the signs say “Uptown” or “Downtown”.  Uptown heads north and Downtown south. If you aren’t travelling to Queens or Brooklyn, these are the main things you’ll need to know about directions. If you accidently get on the wrong train, exit at the next stop and consult a map on how to get back to where you were. 

Subway doors close quickly so make sure you’re ready when the train arrives. 

NOTE: If you have an iPhone, maps will provide you with which line you should travel to get to your destination. 

yankee stadium

Directions to Yankee Stadium from the Grand Hyatt Hotel

-Walk to Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street

-Take the 4 Subway towards Woodlawn (Uptown)

-Exit at 161st Street/Yankee Stadium

-Walk 500ft. to Yankee Stadium

Note: Returning you'll take the 4 (downtown) to Grand Central Terminal/42nd Street 

Hail your first cab in NYC.

You’ll see cabs everywhere you look; it really is just like the movies! Be aggressive because they’ll take advantage of tourists without thinking twice!

So here’s how it works… Cabs with their lights on are available, just step off the sidewalk, stick out your arm, and they will come. Hailing a cab from a sidewalk may make them think you’re unsure. Be aggressive and you shouldn’t have a problem. 

When giving your location to the driver, it’s important that you seem very sure of where you’re going so they don’t try and take you the long way. 

For example, say you’re trying to spend your afternoon at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse to grab a few souvenirs. Try this:

I’m headed to 11th Street between University Place and Broadway.

This way the driver knows that you know exactly where you want to go.

Throw on your walking shoes.

Walking in New York City is the best way to take in the sights as you travel to your destination. It also gives you some time to people watch. The concierge desk always has great directions but don’t forget to grab a map just in case you end up somewhere you hadn’t planned on!

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So there you have it. My main suggestions for exploring NYC like you've been there a dozen times. They may seem simple but it’s easy to get lost in a city of more than 8 million people. New York City has an endless amount of baseball destinations outside the stadium; take advantage of them without getting lost!

Check back in the next few weeks to see a list of our 2013 Tours and get signed up for the trip of a lifetime in one of America’s most exciting cities!

Tags: baseball vacations, Citi Field, travel, New York, east coast baseball tour, ballpark tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, New York City, Baseball

Baseball and Koala Bears

Posted by Kayla Wininger on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

I headed to the East Coast for my first Big League Tours adventure, flying solo! Although I could have spent days enjoying the city, it was down to business when the wheels hit the ground at Boston Logan.  enway will always hold a special place in my heart since it was the first Major League Baseball game I ever attended. I was glad to be back and start sharing what I knew about the stadium with our guests!

IMG 3476After meeting BLT Host and permanent Boston resident, Mike G. for some secrets of Fenway and a little confidence boost, it was time to hit the hotel and meet my guinea pigs!  I’m thrilled to say that my first ever tour group couldn’t have been more fantastic. Within the first five minutes, the Australian’s had the whole group rolling with laughter while comparing their accents to the Texans on the trip.

We quickly learned that we’d be helping each other a lot over the next week as most of the group learned how to ride a metro system! Once we made it to Fenway the group was off exploring the stadium and checking out one of the best gift stores in MLB.  Secret #1 that I discovered, the Bleacher Bar is a must! Enjoy a cheap (for a sporting event) beer while watching batting practice from the outfield!

Secret #2 of the trip, be selective when you try to escape the heat in the Yankee Stadium gift shop, they aren’t all air-conditioned! I’m not sure what he was doing, but the weather god wasn’t looking down on us in New York. With temperatures in the 100’s on Wednesdays and 60’s on Friday at Citi Field, I thought I was back in Indiana’s crazy weather.

The heat and rain couldn’t keep our die-hard fans away, especially the Lantz’s who had seen every stadium in the country prior to the addition of six more. With a tour of Yankee Stadium and private meet and greet with 1969 World Series Champion, Art Shamsky, they were thrilled to see more than just a game.

IMG 3537 resized 600

Outside of the scheduled events, our group became very close and spent most of our free day exploring New York City together. With a trip to Lombardi’s Pizza, the first coal oven pizza place in the United States, and then the World Trade Center Memorial, the off time was definitely used for more than testing the pillows in the hotel room. 

There were definitely lessons learned on my first tour and one of those was how quickly a group of strangers can turn into a temporary family.  We even added a few family members, thanks to the Aussie’s who gave us stuffed koalas as a souvenier! I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share my first trip with, hopefully it won’t be the last time we’ll be seeing each other!

Tags: Red Sox, Citi Field, New York, ballpark tours, Fenway Park, MLB tours, sports vacation, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Mets

New Tour Just Added - Fenway Park & Yankee Stadium in September

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 11:15 AM

Fenway ParkHere's your final chance to visit two of the most iconic stadiums in baseball this season with Big League Tours. We have put together an exciting tour that will make stops at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium over a long weekend in September.

We will start in Boston when the Orioles visit Fenway Park on September 21st. While in Boston, we'll enjoy luxury accommodations at one the finest hotels in the area. Then on the 22nd, we'll travel by train to New York's Midtown Manhattan to check into another first class hotel, and catch the A's vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Our guests will depart at their leisure on the 23rd.Yankee Stadium

Not enough baseball for you? CLICK HERE to see additional game options that can extend your tour. Or, give us a call to discuss your requests. 

Get all the information on this new Boston and New York tour below: 

Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium - September 21-23 

Don't miss out on this great, late season tour! 

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, Orioles, New York, baseball trips, Fenway Park, Yankees, A's, Yankee Stadium

Hall of Fame Tour Travelers Pick Up a New Glove?

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

Later this month and again in July, we'll host a couple of groups of baseball tour travelers to one of our favorite destinations, Cooperstown, New York. Our tours will spend the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame - looking into the past of the nation's favorite sport. 

Here's a fun video about a man who's looking to change an important element of the game - the baseball glove. Looks to me like our guests will have to swing into his shop to check out what he's been developing...

Our 2012 Hall of Fame Tours include games at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park as well as a full day in Cooperstown. For more information or to join us for the baseball vacation pacakge, visit the Hall of Fame 4 webpage.

Tags: Boston, Citi Field, New York, east coast baseball tour, baseball tours, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips, hall of fame, Cooperstown

Brandon Phillips Tackles Bizarre Food in NYC

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Jun 01, 2012 @ 06:57 AM

New York City has so many locations for dining. When we were just out there for our Big Apple baseball tour, we dined in a couple of restaurants that were suggestions from friends and absolutely loved our experience. 

One major-leaguer who loves his food is Brandon Phillips, All Star 2nd baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. If you follow @DatDudeBP on Twitter, you'll often see tweets about food. On the Reds recent trip to New York, Brandon had dinner with Bizarre Food's host, Andrew Zimmern. 

Check out Brandon's reaction to these dishes... 

Tags: sports travel and tours, New York, baseball tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium

Cool Foodie App for Travelers - Group Travel Tours or Flying Solo

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 06:45 AM

We often talk about how much we enjoy exploring local restaurants when we're on our baseball tours across the country. Besides asking the locals for recommendations or just stumbling into our own finds, we often map out our meals based on places we've seen on Food Network or the Travel Channel.

Now that job has just been made easier...

Cheddar biscuits and gravy at Lucky's CafeHere's a site, TV Food Maps, that allows you to search for restaurants based on the show, the episode or the location of the business. This is great if you saw a show featuring a business that you wanted to see but you couldn't remember the name.

For instance, Guy Fieri featured a Baltimore pit barbeque shop on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, but I couldn't remember the name of it. A quick search on this app reveals that it is Chaps Pit Beef. So now as I plan my trip to Baltimore on our East Coast Baseball Tour this summer, I can be sure toHiatt w blueberry float at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland incorporate a visit to Chaps.

We've enjoyed some great dining experience on our tours as a result of these shows. Here are some past blogs that featured our stops: Lucky's Cafe (Cleveland), The Stand (NYC), and Flip Burger (Atlanta).

Here's a shot of the Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy (above) that we tried at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland last year. They were fantastic. After talking with Chef Heather Haviland for a few minutes, she brought out a blueberry float for my son to try. It must have been good because he didn't let anyone else at the table have a chance to sample it! You know that our tour guide will be making their way over to Lucky's on our Midwest 2 tour again this year!

So check out the TV Food Maps app and use it when you are planning your baseball trips and tours this summer. Or better yet, join up with us on a 2012 baseball tour and we'll experience them together!!

Tags: baseball road trips, sports travel and tours, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, east coast baseball tour

Next Stop: Citi Field

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:30 PM

July 1, 2011 - After meeting Art Shamsky in Midtown Manhattan, our group headed out to Citi Field to see the Mets host the Angels. It's always interesting to see the reaction of our travelers as we reach the Mets' new ballpark. View from our seats at Citi Field

So much raquet is made about Yankee Stadium, the history and of the team, the House That Ruth Built, etc., etc. But the fact is, almost everyone who has been to the new Yankee Stadium and then walks into Citi, says, "Now this is a ballpark."

Comparing the two baseball stadiums, one notices things like the rich colors at Citi Field versus the lack of color at Yankee Stadium. The Mets' outfield wall and centerfield walkway provide interesting sitelines (at least to our guests in the lower-level and between the bases...). And the throwback appearance with the nod to Ebbets Field make Citi Field look and feel like a ballpark whereas Yankee Stadium looks like a mammoth municipal building.

Don't get me wrong. I love seeing games at Yankee Stadium. The team's rich history and great players, makes every baseball fan respect their success. What I am pointing out, however, is that when in New York, whether for work, vacation, or specifically on a baseball road trip, fans should make their way to Citi Field. They won't be disappointed.

Tags: Citi Field, baseball road trips, New York, baseball stadiums, Yankee Stadium, Angels, Baseball, Mets

First Time Tour

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:15 PM

June 23, 2011 - This was our first baseball tour of any kind. So, we really have nothing to compare it with. But, we were very pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it. GREAT HOST! Great seats at each game. Everything was first class. Very well organized. All of our needs were efficiently met. Travel time and events, during the tour, flowed very well. We would definitely join the tour again and would highly recommend Big League Tours.

Name: Tom & Judy King
City: Muncie
State: Indiana
Country: US
Your Trip: New York, Cooperstown, Boston

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, New York, Yankees, testimonials, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Cooperstown, Baseball

Our Dream Trip

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:00 PM

June 23, 2011 - The accommodations and seats on our recent baseball trip were excellent. Glenn, our tour director, went out of his way to assure we were comfortable. The parks visited were excellent, as well as the baseball stadium tours. The variety of transportation was very good, although the subway travel was a bit tiring. Trip to Hall of Fame was excellent with ample time to see all. Bus selection was excellent. Train trip from Washington to New York was interesting. Glenn did an excellent job in guiding us. The player interface was interesting. Would we go with BLT again? Absolutely!

Name: John H. Gulick
City: Anaheim
State: CA
Country: USA
Your Trip: East Coast-Touch Em All

Tags: stadium tours, New York, baseball trips, baseball stadiums, big league tours, testimonials, hall of fame