Nothing represents a classic American summer day quite like enjoying a sunny, late-afternoon baseball game with a hot dog in hand. Teams may have their ups and downs each season, but these iconic stadiums make a trip to the ballpark a memorable experience year after year-even if the action on the field is forgettable. Whether you're an avid baseball enthusiast or just a casual fan, here are 10 of the best parks where you can enjoy America's greatest pastime.
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Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the iconic Windy City ballpark is home to the Cubs, the oldest active American professional sports team to stay in its city of origin. Wrigley Field is a throwback stadium right in the middle of the city; the park was the last in the league to install lights (in 1988) and still does not have a Jumbotron. Chicago's most beloved (and perennially disappointing) team may not have won a World Series in more than 100 years or a National Pennant since 1945, but the surrounding neighborhood (known as Wrigleyville) is a great place to hang out after the game and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars and restaurants located steps from the park's entrance.
Insider Tip: One of the most unique features of Wrigley Field is the rooftop seating on townhouses along Sheffield Avenue on the right field line. Plans to expand and renovate the park have threatened to block these views, so be sure to visit the park now to enjoy it in its original splendor.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide
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Fenway Park may the oldest ballpark in the country, but what it lacks in modern amenities, it makes up for tenfold with character and charm. A short jaunt from central Boston, the park is home to one of the most unique experiences in baseball, notably the playing of "Sweet Caroline" during the seventh-inning stretch. Fenway Park's unique features, including the oddly shaped center field, unusually short right-field foul line, and, of course, the famous Green Monster in left field, all make Fenway not only a great place to watch the game, but also an American landmark. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, Fenway has been home to the Red Sox, eight-time World Series champions, since 1912.
Insider Tip: After the game, head over to the Cask 'n Flagon, one of the neighborhood's most famous bars.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Boston Guide
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Though just over 20 years old, Oriole Park at Camden Yards perfectly captures the retro charm of older ballparks, but with a modern flair. Built on what was once the Ohio Railroad's Camden Station, the stadium incorporated an old B&O warehouse into its design, which still lines right field. Though new buildings have somewhat obscured the view, the park is positioned perfectly so fans can watch the game with the Baltimore skyline rising above the outfield. Feeling hungry midway through the game? Head over to Boog's Barbecue, owned by former Orioles first baseman John "Boog" Powell, for a signature sandwich or plate of ribs.
Insider Tip: For a Camden Yards-only experience, buy a ticket for the left-field perch behind the bullpen and watch the game under shady trees while seated at picnic tables.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Baltimore Guide