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 St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins from Sports Illustrated.
The Field: The Cardinals and Marlins share the posh confines of , part of a $28-million sports complex purpose-built to accommodate both teams and their Class A minor-league affiliates. The fan-friendly 7,000-seat stadium features a right-field Party Deck, outfield berm seating for picnickers, and a new Bullpen Club with bar-style seating.
Inside Baseball/Cardinals: It’s hard to quibble with any of St. Louis’ off-season decisions. [Dexter] Fowler was an expensive addition, but he was the best option on the market for the Cardinals, and he should be a valuable producer atop the lineup. St. Louis still might not have enough firepower to catch the Cubs atop the division, but the race should be closer this year if everything breaks right for the Cardinals. For more on the Cardinals, go here at si.com.
Inside Baseball/Marlins: At best, the moves [the front office] made leave the Marlins back where they started. Miami has a tantalizing young offensive core that’s only getting better, but the starting pitching is not there. For more on the Marlins, go here at si.com.
Best Beach: Family friendly has the largest beach in Jupiter; take a swim or snorkel in a lagoon or rent a kayak to explore the Jupiter Inlet area. The DuBois Pioneer Home, located in the park, was built in 1898, listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and is open for tours.
Family Outings: Walk or bike the , a 2.5-mile coastal trail alongside the Intracoastal Waterway where you can see manatees, stingrays, and other marine life as well as ospreys and maybe even a bald eagle. The Riverwalk runs from the to the Jupiter Inlet and also provides access to the , which has shops and waterfront dining, the entertainment complex, and the , site of frequent festivals.
High-end Stay: The is set behind the dunes on a quiet stretch of beach; guests can enjoy expert-led sea turtle walks and a wide variety of amenities, including an oceanfront pool, tennis, basketball, fitness center, fire pits, and spa. Rates from $273 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:
Atlanta Braves: Lake Buena Vista
Baltimore Orioles: Sarasota
Boston Red Sox: Fort Myers
Detroit Tigers: Lakeland
Houston Astros: West Palm Beach
Miami Marlins: Jupiter
Minnesota Twins: Fort Myers
New York Mets: Port St. Lucie
New York Yankees: Tampa
Philadelphia Phillies: Clearwater
Pittsburgh Pirates: Bradenton
St. Louis Cardinals: Jupiter
Tampa Bay Rays: Port Charlotte
Toronto Blue Jays: Dunedin
Washington Nationals: West Palm Beach