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Baseball and road trips are some of our best traditions, and we think the two make a natural pair. When it comes to wide-open roads sprinkled with fun-filled stops—and the promise of a beloved pastime at every turn—America gives us a real reason to stand up and cheer.

If you’re looking for your own field of dreams, it’s time to (re)discover your love of minor league baseball. Why the minor leagues? They represent a strong sense of community in more accessible cities, and the friendly atmospheres make them perfect for the whole family. The stops on this list lead to beautiful scenery on the road, while housing some of the most enjoyable minor league experiences you’ll find. From stadium amenities to team spirit to other must-see attractions, these teams and towns will have you rooting for the home team.

Pack up your rental van or SUV with snacks, bats, and baseball gloves and make a journey of it; we’ve picked some of the best cities to catch minor league baseball on a route around the country.

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Class-A, Midwest League
MLB Affiliate: San Diego Padres
Stadium: Parkview Field

The TinCaps call award-winning Parkview Field home, which boasts honors such as No. 1 Ballpark Experience in Minor League Baseball from Stadium Journey and No. 4 most vegetarian friendly from PETA.

Best Road Trip Stop: Car lovers can’t miss the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.

 

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Bats
Triple-A, International League
MLB Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds
Stadium: Louisville Slugger Field

Sports history lovers, this stop’s for you. Baseball is in this town’s roots, from the first crack off a Louisville Slugger bat (133 years ago). After a Louisville Bats game, visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and find your favorite player on the Signature Wall.

Best Road Trip Stop: The Indiana Caverns offer memorable adventures and a chance to stretch your legs.

 

Batavia, New York

Batavia Muckdogs
Class-A Short Season, New York – Penn League
MLB Affiliate: Miami Marlins
Stadium: Dwyer Stadium

The New York-Penn League was started in Batavia, New York, where professional minor league baseball sees its 80th season this year. The original Dwyer Stadium was built in 1939 (then called State Street Park), and while it was replaced in the mid-90s, the field on which the Batavia Muckdogs play is still the original. Come hungry and order the signature Muckdog Chow—a burger or hot dog served over home fries and macaroni salad.

Best Road Trip Stop: Don’t leave town without a visit to Oliver’s Candies, and buy enough to share (though the handmade chocolate is so good you’ll want to keep it all for yourself).

 

Rochester, New York

Rochester Red Wings
Triple-A, International League
MLB Affiliate: Minnesota Twins
Stadium: Frontier Field

Grab some wings and a pint at the Genesee Brew House, then head to Frontier Field for a Rochester Red Wings game. If you haven’t had your fill of local food, get a Chicken French sandwich and enjoy the prime view of downtown Rochester from the stands.

Best Road Trip Stop: The town is about 175 miles west of the Baseball Hall of Fame, so add it to your Rochester itinerary.

 

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Pawtucket Red Sox
Triple-A, International League
MLB Affiliate: Boston Red Sox
Stadium: McCoy Stadium

“Not a bad seat in the house” is a consistent review of McCoy Stadium. Fun fact: On April 18, 1981 the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox, provincially) began the longest professional baseball game, clocking in at 33 innings and 8 hours 25 minutes, so it’s possible you’ll really get your money’s worth.

Best Road Trip Stop: Take the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor past sites like the historic Slater Mill.

 

Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford Yard Goats
Double-A, Eastern League
MLB Affiliate: Colorado Rockies
Stadium: Dunkin’ Donuts Park

At Yard Goats games, fans enjoy catching glimpses of team mascots Chompers and Chew Chew while being helped to their seats by “goat herders” (aka stadium ushers). Visitors can get to know local flavors at the Hartford Neighborhood Flavors Cart, which offers foods from rotating local restaurants, and by ordering Nectar of the Goats pale ale created Thomas Hooker Brewery.

Best Road Trip Stop: One of the coolest things to visit in Hartford is the Mark Twain House and Museum, a Neo-Gothic mansion where he lived while writing some of his most famous works.

 

Durham, North Carolina

Durham Bulls
Triple-A, International League
MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays
Stadium: Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Famously, the Durham Bulls were featured in the film, “Bull Durham,” and have seen distinguished players such as Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and World Series MVP Hideki Matsui. Bonus: the stadium features one of the few breweries in the country that’s housed in a minor league ballpark, Bull Durham Beer Co., so pair a game with a cold Kölsch.

Best Road Trip Stop: Let architecture awe you at Duke University’s impressive Gothic-style West Campus.

 

Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery Biscuits
Double-A, Southern League
MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays
Stadium: Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium

Pun lovers will relish yelling, “Hey butter, butter, butter,” at Montgomery Biscuits games and stopping in at the Biscuit Basket to buy merch. Riverwalk Stadium features more than biscuit-related items, with two main concession stands, food carts, and an on-site bar. If you’re still hungry after the game, you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants within walking distance.

Best Road Trip Stop: Tour the Civil Rights Memorial Center, and explore nearby historical sites like the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and the Rosa Parks Museum.

 

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Redbirds
Triple-A, Pacific Coast League
MLB Affiliate: St. Louis Cardinals
Stadium: AutoZone Park

AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds, has the largest video screen in the minor leagues, a picnic pavilion, and guests are welcome to view batting practice. If you want to grab a bite and a pint in a sports-centric atmosphere, go to Brookhaven Pub & Grill for a pre- or post-game fill up.

Best Road Trip Stop: Find a good place to park the car, then walk the rockin’, neon-strewn, pedestrians-only Beale Street.

 

El Paso, Texas

El Paso Chihuahuas
Triple-A, Pacific Coast League
MLB Affiliate: San Diego Padres
Stadium: Southwest University Park

Minor league baseball (and its historical equivalent) has been a part of El Paso culture since the 1890s, and the El Paso Chihuahuas are keeping traditions alive. Post-game, keep the excitement going at Bob-O’s Family Fun Center, where you and the kids can practice your swing in the batting cages.

Best Road Trip Stop: Stop in Big Bend National Park before taking the scenic drive up to El Paso.

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Isotopes
Triple-A, Pacific Coast League
MLB Affiliate: Colorado Rockies
Stadium: Isotopes Park—nicknamed “The Lab”

Perhaps no team has a more fun name origin story than the Albuquerque Isotopes. Fans of “The Simpsons” will recognize the reference; it’s taken from the episode when Homer’s home team, the Springfield Isotopes, briefly planned to move to Albuquerque. You can even see statues of the main characters throughout the park.

Best Road Trip Stop: Trade the car for the tram as you ascend 2.7 miles on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway for the best views of the city and beyond.

 

Fresno, California

Fresno Grizzlies
Triple-A, Pacific Coast League
MLB Affiliate: Houston Astros
Stadium: Chukchansi Park

Chukchansi Park, where the Fresno Grizzlies play, features pitching and batting activities, a carousel, an inflatable slide, an obstacle course, and a pool playground. Haven’t had enough? John’s Incredible Pizza Co. houses so many family-friendly activities, the fun never ends.

Best Road Trip Stop: Marvel in the great outdoors at nearby Sequoia National Park, and see the world’s largest tree.

Modesto, California

Modesto Nuts
Class A – Advanced team, California League
MLB Affiliate: Seattle Mariners
Stadium: John Thurman Field

Baseball history in Modesto stretches back to 1914, when the Modesto Reds formed, and the sport has been a part of the city’s culture since. The community is so invested, they helped named the current team, the Modesto Nuts, to honor the city’s greatest export.

Best Road Trip Stop: The Great Valley Museum at Modesto Junior College is the best area museum, with its planetarium and wildlife exhibits.

 

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Emeralds
Class-A Short Season, Northwest League
MLB Affiliate: Chicago Cubs
Stadium: PK Park

Eugene is the perfect stop on a long road trip—with gorgeous outdoor adventure opportunities and a laid-back and welcoming city vibe. At PK Park, enjoy good food (the Eugene Emeralds once partnered with famed Voodoo Doughnut to offer a bacon maple bratwurst), refreshing drinks (local brewers are on tap), and for the kids, the Sluggo FunZone.

Best Road Trip Stop: Take the West Cascades National Scenic Byway through the Willamette National Forest and stop at waterfalls and lakes all along the way.

 

Great Falls, Montana

Great Falls Voyagers
Advanced Rookie, Pioneer League
MLB Affiliate: Chicago White Sox
Stadium: Centene Stadium

Pre-game at Giant Springs State Park to picnic with the fam and throw the ball around. The Great Falls Voyagers and their mascot Orbit get their name from a 1950 UFO sighting, so keep your eyes peeled for alien life. Regardless, absolutely nothing beats the Montana sky, so come early for tailgating and sky gazing.

Best Road Trip Stop: Drive through Glacier National Park and make sure to take Going-to-the-Sun Road for unbelievable views.

With teams winning in welcoming stadiums across the U.S., the minor leagues are a wonderful way to acquaint yourself with new places. So pack the family into a comfy rental car, order some peanuts and Cracker Jack, and get ready to share the kind of camaraderie that only comes with rooting for the home team.

If you’re planning a road trip to hit any or all of these stadiums, don’t forget to check out our essential road trip guide.


Header image via Vasyl Shulga/Shutterstock.com

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