As the state with the most Major League Baseball teams, California knows a thing or two about baseball stadiums. Here are the top ballparks to visit in the state—and what to eat at each one while you watch the game.
San Francisco Bay Area
The Bay Area’s baseball scene has experienced many changes this year, but nothing will lessen its prestige as one of the best sports regions in California. The San Francisco Giants are now playing in Oracle Park (previously called AT&T Park), and the Oakland A’s have announced a move to a more centralized location in Oakland.
Team: Oakland Athletics
Since opening in 1964, the nearly 47,000-seat Oakland Coliseum has hosted baseball games, football games, and concerts for adoring fans. But the Oakland A’s are moving to a new home soon. The team recently announced plans to build a new ballpark near Jack London Square, a popular shopping and dining center in Oakland.
While it is sad to see the end of an era, I must say that I much prefer the Jack London Square area to the team’s current, questionable East Oakland location by the airport. The new locale is slated to be a ballpark within a park, featuring a gondola that will sweep you away near the 12th Street Oakland BART location and power patrons over to the park using renewable energy. This prospective stadium is a shining light compared to the shared arena, but it is hard to say how soon we will be able to watch a game there and enjoy all of the amenities.
What to eat: You can’t go wrong with the BBQ ribs.
Team: San Francisco Giants
Nestled along the water, just south of the Bay Bridge, Oracle Park provides stunning views of the city lights and the shimmering Bay. The stadium opened in 2000 and was the first privately financed ballpark since Dodger Stadium was built in 1962. Oracle Park feels simultaneously modern and nostalgic, giving nods to Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, which both inspired its design. But its true magic comes from the intense passion that owner Peter Magowan poured into protecting the team as a San Francisco staple. Magowan and a group of business leaders saved the team from moving to Florida in 1992, providing the Giants with a better stadium that could replace the once-iconic Candlestick Park.
What to eat: Gilroy garlic fries are a San Francisco Giants tradition that can be smelled as soon as you walk by the concession stands. With so much admiration for these potent delights, it is easy to see why there are 10 different garlic fries locations throughout the stadium.
San Diego Area
When you think of San Diego baseball, it’s the Padres all the way. Sit back and take in the beautiful scenery as you watch the pros play ball.
Team: San Diego Padres
Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and Balboa Park, just east of the Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park lies in the heart of San Diego. With its scenic perch near the Coronado Bridge, the ballpark offers breathtaking views of the water and the city—and gives fans the opportunity to take advantage of the pleasant Southern California weather.
What to eat: It doesn’t get much more Californian than eating a California burrito at a baseball game. This magnificent creation combines the best of both worlds: Mexican cuisine and french fries. Choose between steak, pork abodaba, and chicken, and watch the burrito come to life as sour cream, jack cheese, pico de gallo, and freshly cooked fries are tucked inside a monsterous tortilla.
Los Angeles Area
With so much ground to cover in L.A., it’s no wonder the area is home to two hard-hitting baseball teams. On your next trip to the region, make sure to stop by one (or both) of these stadiums to catch a game and have a bite.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Situated along the Santa Ana River, right outside the Anaheim Resort District, Angel Stadium is the perfect destination to continue your Anaheim adventures after spending some time in Star Wars Land. Unlike many of our other favorite California ballparks, Angel Stadium is landlocked, but it makes the most of what it has. With such close proximity to the Honda Center, the House of Blues Anaheim, the GardenWalk, and plenty of shopping centers, the stadium makes it easy for fans to find something to do before or after the game.
What to eat: Angel Stadium has long been known for its unique hot dogs featuring a variety of toppings, and they are absolutely worth the trip. The Halo Dog in particular has received much praise over the years for its layers of beans, jack cheese, pico de gallo, bacon, and Anaheim chiles. But however you choose to top your dog, you’re sure to be satisfied with the delicious splurge.
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium lies between Silver Lake, the Los Angeles River, and downtown Los Angeles. Given its central location, the ballpark offers easy access to the Bradbury Building, The Broad, and Echo Park Lake. Along with its accessibility, Dodger Stadium is revered for being the third-oldest, continuously used stadium in the league. Since opening in 1962, Dodger Stadium has hosted nine World Series—the Dodgers have won four World Championships—held 3,939 regular-season games, and seen several iconic moments in baseball history.
What to eat: Did you really visit Dodger Stadium if you didn’t eat a Dodger Dog? Participate in the tasty tradition by choosing between the original 10-inch hot dog on a steamed bun and the over-the-top chili cheese Dodger Dog.