THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Nationals Park in Washington, DC

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Jan 03, 2012 @ 05:38 PM

Guests arriving at Nationals ParkJune 16, 2011 - Not to jinx it, but so far we've managed to dodge the rain for all the games on our tour. In fact, as we left our hotel in Washington, DC to go to Nationals Park, it started to rain slightly and then the skies opened up and poured. But the rain stopped about an hour before game time and allowed the teams and groundscrew to get ready for the game on time.

While we've had other baseball tours to NationalCenterfield bar at Nationals Parks Park over the last couple of years, I personally haven't been back since it's inaugural year in 2008. The community around the ballpark, while it still needs some work, has improved immensely in the 3 years since my last visit.

Here are some photos of our guests arriving at the ballpark and some photos from around the stadium. Couldn't help but take some photos of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument from inside the park, too.
Capitol Building from inside Nationals ParkWashington Monument from inside Nationals Park

Tags: Washington D.C., Nationals, tour operator, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, ballpark tours, big league tours, group tours, Nationals Park, Baseball

Free Hotel Night on All 2012 Baseball Tours**

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Dec 26, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

EARLY BOOKING PROMOTION - EXTENDED!!!

Private stadium tour at Fenway Park

We've been getting such tremendous feedback on our Early Booking Promotion that we've decided to extend it until the end of the year!! Book your baseball vacation package with us by December 31, 2011, and you will receive one free extra hotel night per room.  That means you can go to your first destination a day early, or stay a day after your tour, and Big League Tours will pick up the room!!

Check out our 2012 Baseball Tours and book your package this week to extend the trip and lock-in your free hotel night!

**Some restrictions apply.

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, MLB road trips

Looking Forward to an Exciting World Series

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:30 PM

October 19, 2011 - Congratulations to the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals for their League Championship victories. The stage is set for a great World Series.

Since our inception in 2006, we have enjoyed multiple visits to Busch Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. But we have to admit that we have a special affinity for the Rangers organization at Big League Tours.  Our group's reception when we visited Arlington in 2010 was tremendous. Rangers legend Jim Sundberg was especially gracious as he gave our group a private baseball stadium tour and a behind-the-scene look at the Rangers' offices.Group with Nolan Ryan and Jim Sundberg

And then, Jim surprised us all by arranging a meeting with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Nolan and Jim were kind enough to sign autographs and chat at length with our group, too. They even posed for pictures like the one above. If you're ever on a tour with Rob, Mickey, Dianne or Lillian (that's them with the big smiles in the picture), just ask them about that day. They'll enjoy telling you all about it.

Thanks again to Jim Sundberg and Nolan Ryan for making this one of the most special baseball vacation packages we've offered our Big League Tours' guests. We hope to visit the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington again very soon, maybe again in 2012.

Speaking of 2012 baseball tours, if you aren't on our email list to get updates and announcements, Click Here to sign up so that you'll be the first to know about your upcoming sports travel and tours.

Tags: St. Louis, Rangers, sports travel and tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, big league tours, Busch Stadium, Cardinals, Baseball

2012 MLB Schedules Have Been Released

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 03:45 PM

September 16, 2011 -  It might be hard to believe, but it's time to begin making plans for the summer of 2012. With the release of the MLB team schedules for next season, we've begun the planning and logistics for our sports travel and tours. It's a time that brings out a little bit of creativity and a lot of nerd in us!

But hey, if you are planning family tours to baseball stadiums or taking small group tours with some old friends, tell us where you want to go. We would love to hear from you. What stadiums do you want to see, cities would you like to visit, or attractions would you like to stop at in between destinations? What's a spot that you've been to that you think others should see? What's a feature that we should incorporate into our group travel tours? Now is a great time for us to build those items in.

In the mean time, we'll keep plugging away and hope to have our 2012 Tour Packages announced really soon!

Tags: group travel, baseball road trips, sports travel and tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, big league tours, group tours, family tours, Baseball

Final Destination for Our Tour: Fenway Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:45 PM

July 1, 2011 - Saturday morning the 18th, we loaded up the motorcoach and made our way to Boston. For some of the folks on our tour, this will have been the 6th game in 8 days. For others, it would be their third game in four days. But one thing they had in common, all were very excited to get to Boston to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

We arrived in Boston early in the afternoon and checked into the hotel. Our guests then had a few hours to go explore the sites around bean town. Our hotel was located near the start of the Freedom Trail so many folks started there and explored as much as they could in the time that we had.

My wife and I met some friends at Tasty Burger, a great little burger joint within view of Fenway Park. The food was fantastic. We had classic double View from our seats at Fenwaycheeseburgers and split a 50/50 (half fries, half onion rings). This will be a permanent stop on all the baseball tours I host in Boston.

Here's a photo from our seats. I kept waiting for a foul ball to roll up the screen above us, hit the face of the upper deck, and then fall into my outreached hand, but no such luck. I think only one or two foul balls were hit up there all night. Maybe it was the style of the pitchers that night? Or, could have just been the way the game was going. Here's the link to the box score on MLB.com.

This is still my favorite ballpark in all of the Majors. It's size, character, atmosphere inside and outside the park, history, and fans all make it a great place to visit on our MLB road trips.

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, Fenway Park, MLB tours, MLB road trips

Touring Yankee Stadium

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 01:30 PM

June 22, 2011 - Friday morning of our tour allowed our guests some time to explore some sites in New York City. We thenOur group outside Yankee Stadium gathered together to go to Yankee Stadium for one of their escorted tours. Here's the group just outside the House That Ruth Built (v2, anyway...)

I've taken this baseball stadium tour many times and would have to say that our guide, Greg, was the best I've had in the new stadium. He did a great job of incorporating historic details into the presentation as we stood in the museum and monument park. Many times before we would be rushed from place to place in the ballpark but that wasn't the case this time.

Because the team was out of town, we were able to exit the Yankees' dugout and go through the tunnel to see the batting cages and the team clubhouse. I'd love to show you pictures but cameras, cell phones, etc. are strictly off limits in those areas. Steinbrenner monument

To the left is the newest monument in Monument Park. It's obviously to George Steinbrenner, The Boss, who passed away last year. Mr. Steinbrenner had a terrific impact on the Yankees, the improvement of the team's performance, and continuing the legacy of the team's history. It's interesting to note, and comments were being made on this tour as I'm sure they are on other small group tours, that this is the largest monument in the park.

As you set out on MLB road trips, the behind the scenes looks that baseball stadium tours provide are something you should include. This is especially true in New York where the Yankees franchise, love 'em or hate 'em, has such a fantastic history and tradition. It's well worth the visit.

Tags: sports travel and tours, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, big league tours, MLB tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, MLB road trips, Baseball

Side Trip in Cooperstown

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 01:00 PM

June 16, 2011 - When you are in Cooperstown, eventually you are going to have to get something to eat. There are several options along Main Street, many of them offering traditional American pub fare that will be pleasing to the masses of visitors to the Hall and families with young kids playing in tournaments in the Village.

But after spending several hours in the Hall with groups of 9-12 year olds, I was ready for a quite pAlex & Ika Restaurantlace to hang out, eat some fine food, and enjoy the slower pace of Cooperstown with the locals. Fortunately, I knew just the place - Alex & Ika Restaurant.

The Alex & Ika Restaurant is located at 149 Main Street. But while it has a Main Street address, its entrance is down an alley and a little way off the beaten path. Not exactly the place that families looking for a quick bite will go but exactly what I was looking for.

Just as the review from Conde Nast Traveler suggests, "A delightful bistro. The menu is brief but the offerings are creative and delicious." Well-known chef and TV hostess, Rachael Ray says, "It's one of the best lunches in town. Don't miss the Fingerling Fries!"

Since I was on my own and had a few things that I wanted to get done, the manager, Sabrina, suggested that I sit at the bar. She also reccommended the fish tacos which were out of this world. I could have kept plates of those coming all afternoon! (Thanks for being such a great hostess, Sabrina!!)

Cooperstown is also home to a microbrewery called Ommegang. Alex & Ika carried their Hennepin beer which was quite tasty. A fantastic way to unwind with the locals! I also learned that the brewery hosts concerts with greats like Steve Earle, the Avett Brothers, and Kenny Loggins making appearances. You can bet that we'll be comparing their concert calendar to the MLB schedules next year as we plan our baseball road trips!

As you make your way around the country on your sports travels, make sure to find these local gems that will make your vacations unique and memorable.

Tags: baseball road trips, sports travel and tours, hall of fame, Cooperstown

Visiting Baseball's Iconic Stadiums

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 08:45 AM

April 25, 2011 - A recent article named 5 of MLB's baseball stadiums as the most iconic stadiums to visit: Wrigley Wrigley Field under the press boxField, Fenway Park, Camden Yards, AT&T Park, and Citi Field. The article by Fox News outlines the reasons for why you should visit each of the ballparks from the atmosphere, food selection, and unique features like the ivy-covered walls at Wrigley, the Green Monstah at Fenway, and views from the parks in Baltimore and San Francisco.

If you haven't made it to these parks, we would like to invite you to join us on one of our premier sports travel packages this year. We'll not only get you to the ballparks, but we also include several other extras like great seats, great hotels, player appearances, baseball stadium tours, and other trip specific features.

Check out the tour vacations at www.BigLeagueTours.com and book your package today!

Tags: Citi Field, San Francisco, sports travel and tours, Baltimore, baseball tours, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Chicago, Green Monster, MLB road trips, Baseball, Cubs

Planning Our Foodie Stops In Atlanta

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 07:00 AM

March 26, 2011 - If you've browsed through our blogs over time, you'll know that we enjoy discovering new restaurants and trying new food items when we're visiting major league cities on our baseball tour vacations. For us, if it's not the MLB Network or ESPN on the tube, it's most likely going to be a cooking show on Food Network or Bravo. So we've started making our plans for our upcoming road trip to Atlanta and Augusta.

Chef Richard Blais with one of his burger creations from FLIPMy daughter has clued me in that Chef Richard Blais, a finalist in this year's season of Top Chef, has a restaurant called FLIP Burger Boutique with a couple of locations in Atlanta. I'm always up for a burger, especially when you take a gourmet approach to it and bring something new to the table. And looking at the menu, there appears to be some fantastic selections.

The lead off their menu with a local burger: local organic grass-fed beef, tomme cheese, beef bacon, lettuce, yellow tomato, red onion, coca cola ketchup (it is Atlanta, after all), pickled peach & pecans. Or how about this combination for a mushroom and swiss burger: caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, horseradish mayo, swiss cheese foam? Okay, I'm hungry just thinking about it!

We're definitely going to have to save room for the shakes, too. An apple pie milkshake? Or how about the Krispy Kreme shake? Yep, I'll be diving into one of those for sure.

We'll definitely be heading over to FLIP when we're in Atlanta but we'll have plenty of time to make some other stops. For you locals, where would you recommend that we go? Or for those of you who have been through Atlanta on sports travel and tours, what have you found that's worthy of a visit? We'd love to hear your suggestions!

Tags: Atlanta, sports travel and tours, baseball vacation package

Baseball in the Lone Star State

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 05:00 AM

Janurary 16, 2010 - Big League Tours is a company that provides world class customer service and trips that you'll remember for the rest of your life. The trip my mom and I went one was very memorable and special. We went on the Texas Tour in July, 2010 to see two Texas Rangers games and two Houston Astro games. The staff of this company was very friendly. They do things that none of the other baseball tours ever do like do a tour each stadium you visit and do a meet & greet with a former player of one of the teams that you're going to see. We did a meet & greet in Arlington with former Ranger legend Jim Sundberg who had a very warm personality and showed us around the ballpark and his office. The biggest highlight of trip happened when Jim Sundberg introduced us to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan who was amazing to meet. Nolan is just a class of his own. The seats at all the games are outstanding and they are lower level and you get a fantastic view of each game you go to. I don't think there will ever be a sports travel company as amazing as Big Leagues and that's what I call one Big League Experience of its own.

Name: Rob
City: Phoenix
State: AZ
Country: USA
Your Trip: Texas Tour



Tags: stadium tours, Rangers, sports travel and tours, baseball stadiums, big league tours