The Ultimate Guide to Spring Training Vacations in Florida
Take a Spring Training Vacation!
It’s the best family vacation you can take in the spring: days on the beach and in the ballpark, watching the country’s finest Major League Baseball stars train and play. Check out the 12 beach towns that host Florida’s spring-training “Grapefruit League,” along with the best places to stay and play when you’re not cheering on the boys of summer. Click through to browse for your favorite team (or Florida town)!
Pittsburgh Pirates: Bradenton
The beautiful barrier beaches of Anna Maria Island are less than a half-hour away from Bradenton’s McKechnie Field, built in 1923 and the Pirates spring-training home since 1969.
Philadelphia Phillies: Clearwater
The Phillies have been playing spring baseball in Clearwater since 1947; the family-friendly atmosphere at Spectrum Field is matched by the gentle surf on Clearwater Beach and a world-class aquarium.
Toronto Blue Jays: Dunedin
Clearwater’s lesser-known neighbor to the north has been the spring-training home of the Jays since the franchise was founded 40 years ago, and calls fans to the shore with great barrier beaches at Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park.
Boston Red Sox: Fort Myers
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.
Minnesota Twins: Fort Myers
The Twins’s Fort Myers home, Hammond Stadium, is 10 minutes down the road from the Red Sox spring-training complex, and both ballparks are convenient to downtown and the beaches of Estero Island and Lovers Key.
St. Louis Cardinals: Jupiter
The Cardinals have played their spring-training games in six Florida cities since 1914, and has shared Roger Dean Stadium in the Atlantic coast city of Jupiter with the Minnesota Twins since 1998.
Miami Marlins: Jupiter
Surrounded by vast natural areas and built around the mouth of the Loxahatchee River, Jupiter is the Marlins’s home-away-from-home about an hour and a half north of Miami.
Atlanta Braves: Lake Buena Vista
Watch hot prospects, rookies, and walk-ons chase their dreams at Champions Field, part of the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World, which has more than a little of its own magic to share with Braves fans.
Detroit Tigers: Lakeland
Located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland has hosted Tigers Grapefruit League baseball since 1932; the city is dotted with swan-filled lakes of all shapes and sizes and is about an hour from Tampa’s beaches.
Tampa Bay Rays: Port Charlotte
Like their cold-weather rivals, the Rays travel south each spring to get ready for the Major League Baseball season: the West Coast city of Port Charlotte is on Gasparilla Sound between Tampa and Naples.
New York Mets: Port St. Lucie
The Mets moved their spring-training facilities from St. Petersburg to First Data Field in the then-sleepy east coast town of Port St. Lucie in 1988, which has grown into a sports mecca with the addition of the PGA Village, a complex with four golf courses, and training facilities.
Baltimore Orioles: Sarasota
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.
New York Yankees: Tampa
Tampa, which was the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s hometown, pays honor to “The Boss” each spring with baseball at Steinbrenner Field, the Grapefruit League’s largest stadium.
Houston Astros: West Palm Beach
Fittingly enough, the Astros originally played their Florida spring-training games in Cocoa Beach, located in the shadow of the Cape Canaveral spaceport. They then spent more than two decades in Kissimmee before relocating to their swank new West Palm Beach digs for the 2017 season.
Washington Nationals: West Palm Beach
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, debuting for the 2017 spring-training season, is shared by the Nationals and the Houston Astros. The stadium sits near the western outskirts of the city but is still just 15 minutes from the beach.