5 baseball bucket list destinations

Lifestyle

Kristina Campbell loves baseball. Like, really loves baseball. A Kansas City Royals fan as a child, she couldn't get most games on the TV or radio in her small Iowa town. But every day she combed the box scores in the paper to find out how her team did the night before. And she fondly remembers cheering the Royals to victory in the 1985 World Series from in front of her family's small black-and-white TV.

As an adult she moved to the Washington, D.C., area and became a fan of her local team, the Washington Nationals. "The pace of the game is perfect," Campbell says. "The rituals and weird rules are fascinating to me, and the history is so rich and long. I could talk about baseball forever. There's never a bad day to watch baseball, even when my team gets shelled."

With her love of the game, it's no surprise that much of Campbell's travel is baseball-related. She frequently meets her dad and his wife for games between her Nats and their Chicago Cubs. She has visited 24 of the 30 active Major League stadiums — logging thousands of miles by car to visit stadiums on the East Coast with a friend, and incorporating visits to stadiums and other baseball-themed destinations into most trips. 

Interested in adding a baseball-themed destination or two to your summer travel plans? Whether you're a super fan like Campbell or just enjoy the buzz of the ballpark, here are five must-visit spots for your baseball bucket list:

  1. The ballparks!
    Nothing is as quintessentially American as a summer afternoon cheering on your favorite team at your local ballpark. If you want to venture beyond your home town, there is no shortage of options. From mid-February to late October, you can catch games at 263 ballparks — 30 major league stadiums, 159 minor league, 60 independent leagues and 14 spring-training only stadiums.

    Not sure which park to visit first? A few of the most iconic parks are Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox and the oldest MLB ballpark; Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs; Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles; and Yankee Stadium, home to the New York Yankees.
  2. Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York
    If you're a fan of the game, the Baseball Hall of Fame is a must-visit stop. The museum features 38,000 artifacts, including the earliest known baseball jersey and Babe Ruth's 60th home run bat. Cooperstown is also home to Doubleday Field, built in 1920 and named for Abner Doubleday who is credited with inventing the game.
  3. Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa
    The Field of Dreams was created in an Iowa corn field for the iconic 1989 baseball movie of the same name. Go and have a catch on the ballfield, take a tour of the home and hang out on the farm. On Sundays, the Ghost Players emerge from the cornfield and take the field for a free, family friendly comedy routine starting Independence Day weekend through August.
  4. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky
    The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is home to the world's biggest baseball bat at 120-feet — an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth's bat. It's a working factory where you can see bats being made, and also a museum featuring bats used by stars like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Cal Ripken, Jr.
  5. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
    When African Americans were prohibited from playing professional baseball with whites from the 1920s to the early 60s, they created their own teams and leagues. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum chronicles the leagues' histories, featuring famous star players like Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays.

Whether you're traveling this summer or hoping to make travel a big part of your retirement years, travel requires proper planning — and savings. Talk to your financial professional to make sure the travel you dream of is a part of your overall financial plan.

Want more inspiration?
Get ready to hit the road with this handy map of baseball attractions!

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