Baseball Spring-Training Trips to Florida
Major League Baseball's spring training runs from February through early April, and for many fans, these preseason games and practices have become as much of a draw as the regular season. Fifteen teams — part of the so-called Grapefruit League — descend upon Florida during this time, creating an MLB-loving frenzy throughout the state. Fans can watch games and explore the Florida fun on a spring-training-themed vacation.
The Boston Red Sox
Where They Play: JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL
Where to Stay: The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village features 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites, and guests can enjoy 3 heated pools, marina access and a spa, or hop aboard a water taxi to Fort Myers Beach.
While You're There: When you're not cheering on the Red Sox, take a stroll along downtown Fort Myers' charming main street. History and tech lovers can pay a visit to the winter homes and lab of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford on the Caloosahatchee River. Afterward, go shelling on Sanibel and Captiva islands.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins
Where They Play: Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL
Where to Stay: At the elegant Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, guests can lounge on a secluded beach or at the spa and splash around in the oceanfront pool before heading to rooms that include private balconies and wet bars.
While You're There: Jupiter and its environs are an outdoor lover's (and retiree's) haven. Beach bums can head to busy Palm Beach, the more tranquil John D. MacArthur Beach, or the family-friendly beach at DuBois Park. For active pursuits, tee off at one of the area's golf courses, or rent a canoe and paddle the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Philadelphia Phillies
Where They Play: Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL
Where to Stay: Guests at Clearwater Beach's Sandpearl Resort can swim in the zero-entry pool, relax at the spa or enjoy the sunset at beachfront fire pits before dining at the city’s only AAA 4-diamond restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf.
While You're There: Soak up the Florida sunshine and take a dip in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters at Clearwater Beach or St. Pete Beach. Both stretches of shore are popular with families and spring breakers. Celebrate the sunset at Pier 60, where musicians, entertainers and tourists congregate nightly.
The Baltimore Orioles
Where They Play: Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL
Where to Stay: The Resort at Longboat Key Club allows winter-weary guests to lounge on a stretch of white-sand beach along tranquil Gulf waters while enjoying amenities such as a full-service spa, a 20-court tennis facility, a marina and a kids' camp.
While You're There: When you're not lying on the sun-kissed sands of Longboat Key and Siesta Key — both among America's best stretches of beach — head to St. Armands Circle for high-end shopping and dining. Catch a show at one of many local theaters, and get a circus fix at the Ringling museum complex.
The New York Yankees
Where They Play: George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL
Where to Stay: Foodies will be sated at the Epicurean Hotel, where even the tiniest details seem to be related to high-end food and drink. At the Epicurean Theatre, guests can watch mixology and cooking demonstrations or learn about food and wine pairings.
While You're There: Families and adrenaline junkies can hit the rides at Busch Gardens Tampa and, later, visit the Florida Aquarium to learn about marine life. The over-21 set will want to head to bustling Ybor City, where music pumps out of nightclubs along Seventh Avenue and the surrounding restaurants are crowded with revelers.