Have a baseball-and-beach family vacation of a lifetime, with this Grapefruit League guide to ballparks, best beaches and hotels, family outing ideas, and even the latest pre-season inside baseball on the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins from Sports Illustrated. 

By Bob Curley
February 09, 2017
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Learn where to play, stay and watch your team, here.

JetBlue Park, the Red Sox spring-training stadium in Fort Myers, is a compact and delightful homage to Fenway Park and just a long fly ball away from the airport. It’s perfect, in other words, for Sox fans making the annual spring pilgrimage south from chilly New England.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty

The Schedules: The Red Sox play 37 games, with 19 home games (see schedule and buy tickets here). The Twins play 35 games, with 18 home games (see schedule and buy tickets here).

The Fields: The Red Sox play at JetBlue Park at Fenway South, and that’s no mere marketing slogan: the 10,823-seat stadium has its own Green Monster wall in left field as well as a manually operated scoreboard, just like the big ballyard on Yawkey Way. The Twins have called Ft. Myers their spring training home longer (27 seasons) than the Red Sox and play their games in the recently renovated and expanded Hammond Stadium, at the CenturyLink Sports Complex south of downtown.

Inside Baseball/Red Sox: The Chris Sale trade, while costly, gives Boston arguably the best rotation in the AL . . . but the Red Sox could have and should have done more to replace David Ortiz's production at DH. . . . Going with Mitch Moreland instead of Edwin Encarnacion may come back to haunt Boston. For more on the Red Sox, go here at si.com. 

Inside Baseball/Twins: The Twins haven’t done much to the on-the-field product this winter, and the moves they have made have been low-impact. For more on the Twins, go here at si.com. 

Photo: pidjoe/Getty

Best Beach: The barrier beaches just off the coast from Ft. Myers are home to two of the area’s best stretches of sand: Bowditch Point Regional Park sits at the northern tip of Estero Island and has a wide beach and walking trails with views of Estero Bay. Lovers Key State Park has two miles of pristine shoreline plus hiking and biking trails; a kayak outing offers opportunities to see manatees and dolphins.

Family Outings: The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is the best of all worlds: the 105-acre park has multiple nature trails for outdoor fun, a museum and aviary where you can meet local wildlife, and a planetarium for exploring the night sky. Events include dog-friendly hikes and bluegrass music on the museum’s back porch.

High-end Stay: Lounge in an oceanfront resort pool, work on your tennis game, take a nature walk in a private preserve and climb aboard a luxury yacht for a sunset cruise at the Sanibel Harbor Marriott Resort and Spa, close to Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches. Rates from $255 per night.

Value Stay: Good times at the cheery Lighthouse Island Resort centers on the resort’s wildly popular poolside Tiki bar, and the party continues at the affiliated Yucatan Beach Stand, both just a short walk from Ft. Myers Beach. Rates start at $127 per night.

More Teams and Locations: To find more fun baseball and vacation information on each of Florida’s Grapefruit League teams, click on the links below: