Around Florida: Must-See Baseball Stadiums

    By Carrie McLaren

    Play ball! 

    From minor leagues to the majors, it's easy to grab some peanuts and Cracker Jack and visit one of the many baseball parks around the state.

    The Tampa Bay Rays, in the American League, play their games in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field.  No need to worry about rain – it's a domed stadium. Don’t miss the Rays Touch Tank just beyond the right-center field fence. The 35-foot, 10,000-gallon tank is home to real rays caught in the waters of Tampa Bay and are cared for by Florida Aquarium staff. The touch tank is free and open to fans throughout the game.

    Tropicana Field – Carrie McLaren for VISIT FLORIDA

    The Marlins, in the National League Eastern division, play their home games in Miami at the new  Marlins Field.  In addition to watching great ball games, fans can get a special behind-the-scenes tour of the park featuring visits to the clubhouse, the field, batting cages and the premium suites. Tours operate on select days and tickets may be purchased on the team’s site and at the Marlins Park Team Store.

    The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are a Double A affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds. Watch their games along the waterfront and take in some great eats with specialties such as shrimp po’ boys, beer battered fish tacos, oysters and beer-boiled shrimp.

    Take me out to the ball game – Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

    In Northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Suns pride themselves on their family-friendly atmosphere. Don’t miss special themed nights such as Used Car Night and Christmas in July. Following Sunday afternoon games, kids are invited to run the bases. On most Friday nights, stick around after the game for Friday Family Fireworks night.

    If you’re traveling in other cities throughout Florida, check to see if there’s a minor league baseball team or a spring training game nearby.  They're pretty affordable and always a great time!