My Travels – MLB Stadiums: AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants (April 24, 2013)

Jon and Kara at AT&T ParkThe next stop on our Cali tour was AT&T Park in the city by the Bay. After our one-night stay in LA, Kara and I took the 70 minute morning flight up the coast to San Francisco for a three day stay in one of the most romantic and naturally beautiful cities in the entire country. With AT&T located right on the bay, the view from the the park is breathtaking in itself.

The Giants are also one of the hottest teams in baseball over the past five years and it’s translated to an incredible home-field atmosphere. We enjoyed a post-lunch first pitch from the 300 level along the 1st base side of the field as we tried to focus on a great game between the Giants and Diamondbacks while a world-class backdrop stretched beyond the ballpark.

I can safely say that AT&T Park ranks in the top five, or higher, of my favorite ballparks in MLB. If you’re planning on a trip to San Fran, here are a few things we saw:

  • Parking is very expensive ($35+) within half a mile or more of AT&T Park. I’d recommend navigating the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) when it comes to game day. The difference in cost and convenience is well worth the schedule. BART runs right by the ballpark and drops off on the west side of the stadium.
  • The designers of AT&T Park did an incredible job with the main entrance. Be sure to get a picture outside the main entrance.
  • Find the Say Hey Kid display with Golden Gloves, silver slugger bats, and signed balls by Willie Mays, a legend of Giants history.
  • When it comes to food, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse, exceptional, and reasonably priced selection of food than at AT&T Park. We bought garlic fries and patty melts that were stupid good to my taste buds. There’s also the McCovey Carvery, the Ghiradelli’s Chocolate Corner with uniformed wait staff (left corner outfield), and seafood shacks all around the park.
  • The view from along the outfield wall is a puzzle picture waiting to happen. We watched what looked to be a large-scale ferry dock just outside the outfield wall and people disembarked right to the ticket gates. That’s not something you’d see most places… say Kansas City, as an example.
  • Since the park is right on the bay, it’s wise to bring a hoodie or some sort of jacket with you in case the wind picks up off the water. Third base gets sun, first base gets none.

We couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit San Francisco on our 30 before 30 MLB tour. Seventeen down, only thirteen to go! AT&T Park is a gorgeous venue for catching a game and I would definitely return in a heartbeat. Well done, San Fran. I can see why people leave their hearts in your care.

Steve and Jon at AlcatrazAs far as tourism goes, take the time to walk along Fisherman’s Wharf before it gets too late. We ate at Alioto’s, which is a great dining choice if you like seafood. If you have a free morning, take the tour of Alcatraz. The Rock is a fantastic tour to experience. We went with my buddy Steve, who looks like Matt Damon, and is pretentious enough to want a shout-out for our visit there. This pretty much sums up our friendship. I would say more, but we ran out of time. My apologies.

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