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 Baltimore Orioles from Sports Illustrated. 

By Bob Curley
February 09, 2017
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Learn where to play, stay and watch your team, here.

Jumbo-sized thrills await fans at Ed Smith Stadium; the Birds’ beautiful spring training ballpark in Sarasota, which is also home to the Ringling Circus Museum and the quiet beaches of Longboat Key.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty

Your Team: Baltimore Orioles

The Schedule: 35 games, with 17 home games (see schedule and buy tickets here).

The Field: Like Camden Yards, Ed Smith Stadium was built in throwback style, swapping Baltimore’s industrial brick for classic Sarasota architecture. The stadium seats were originally installed in Camden Yards, and fans can snack on Maryland crab cakes and Esskay hot dogs, making this truly “Birdland South.”

Inside Baseball: None of Baltimore's moves are in and of themselves problematic. The issue is that a team that needed to make a bold decision instead treaded water. For more on the Baltimore Orioles, go here at si.com.

Best Beach: Whatever your seaside pleasure, Sarasota has you covered: Kayak through the mangrove “tunnels” of South Lido Park on Lido Key, explore the shops and restaurants of Siesta Key Village, or find a secluded stretch of sand to call your own on Longboat Key, which has 10 miles of beaches accessible only by boat.

Family Outings: The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently announced that it would shut down, but the circus lives on at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which delights with a circus museum, fine-art exhibits, and live performances at the historic Azolo Theater. Visitors can also stroll the lush grounds of the 66-acre Bayfront Gardens and tour Ca’ d’Zan, the Venetian Gothic home of the Ringlings. Come one, come all!

High-end Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota is 11 acres of luxury near the heart of downtown Sarasota, convenient to both Ed Smith Stadium and the Ringling complex — both about 10 minutes away. From $469 per night.

Value Stay: The Homewood Suites by Hilton Sarasota is less than a mile from Ed Smith Stadium and also convenient to downtown Sarasota, the Ringling Museum, and the Motes Marine Aquarium. Rates from $250 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: