Photo courtesy of Timothy Riley via Flickr.

Part of the fun in visiting an MLB ballpark is experiencing the city it’s in. It’s your chance to see some sights, try the local fare, and take in the culture. An ongoing joke with my friend Liz is that our pictures should always “capture our essences.” I found many times ballparks did just this- they captured the cities they’re in’s essence. Going to the park is great  (obviously, since it’s the reason you’re visiting) but don’t sell yourself short and miss out on the park’s inspiration! While I didn’t always get to fully explore the cities I visited since I was cramming in 30 parks, I did always make an effort to see what I could.

For those who are thinking, this is going to rack up my trip cost, I say “Not so fast my friend!” (yeah I just quoted Lee Corso, happens). Here are some ways to save when sightseeing in the cities of the AL East… and even some free activities!

Baltimore: (Orioles)

Boston: (Red Sox)

New York City: (Yankees)

St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay area): (Rays)

  • The Rays reside in St. Petersburg, just outside of Tampa. Hard to suggest doing anything besides laying in the sun at any of the award-winning beaches. But for those who want to stay sand-free, visit the St. Petersburg Pier, visit the art galleries on Central Avenue, watch planes take off or land at the Albert Whitted Airport, or take in the local culture at the Saturday Morning Market.
  • Get a free sailing lesson by joining a boat at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center on Demen’s Landing. Head down to the piers between 5:00-5:30 on Fridays to join a boat or just watch the race!
  • Visit the city’s official website for more information on festivals and city attractions. There are also guest cards and discounts available to visitors!

Toronto: (Blue Jays)

  • Toronto offers visitors many ways to enjoy the city’s vibrant culture without spending a dime- visit Yorkville, Toronto Harbourfront Centre, Distillery Historic District, or the St. Lawrence Market. All offer shopping and architectural sightseeing.
  • Take in a free concert or movie at the Yonge-Dundas Square. Check the square’s calendar to find events.
  • Visit the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheater for a free afternoon performance. The shows range from opera to ballet and give a nice sample of the Toronto arts.
  • Toronto’s tourism site offers a list of free (or cheap) attractions for tourists visiting the city. It updates by season, so make sure to check back often.
  • A trip up the CN Tower is a must when visiting the city for the first time. Not only can you peer around the city, but directly down into the ballpark if the dome is open. For 20% off your ticket, click here. Or buy a Toronto City Pass and gain discounted admission to the tower and four other city hot spots.

Not visiting an AL East city? Check out my previous post on AL Central cities.

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