Of all 30 MLB stadiums, the one Patti was most looking forward to seeing was Fenway Park and it absolutely lived up to expectations.
The oldest MLB stadium still in use, Fenway relies on nostalgia to create a fun and quaint stadium to see a baseball game.
Its unique design and history make it a must-see of any MLB stadium tour.
The Boston Subway system (dubbed “the T”) is the nation’s oldest, founded in 1897, and is the fourth-largest subway system in the United States. We took the T and there are multiple signs directing fans to the Kenmore station for a Sox game. It was easy to use, but to get into the city from the outskirts does take a while.
We were staying in Mystic, Conn., as a midway point between Boston and New York and wanted to use public transportation to get to Fenway. The problem was we had to drive into Brookline and then paid for parking there. It wasn’t a lot, but was still an unexpected expense for a Saturday. Bring cash for the metered lot.
We took the train into Boston and public transportation on the T from there was easy to use. Fenway has its own T exit, but it’s not the Fenway stop. You’ll want to get off at Kenmore to be closer to the stadium.
Don’t even think of driving to Fenway. The area around the stadium is very congested with foot traffic and multiple roads are closed. If you do brave the traffic, you’ll then end up paying between $30 and $70 for parking.
I loved walking into this stadium. The festive feeling on the street outside is carried inside as you enter the green-clad concourse. Then of course there is the fabled Green Monster. Based on advice we got during spring training (and to avoid unnecessary cost of sitting “on” the wall), we got tickets down the third-base line where we could easily view the “Monstah” and the diamond. As expected, the fans were enthusiastic and were friendly. I enjoyed singing along with the crowd to “Sweet Caroline”.
For the kids, there is Wally’s Clubhouse. Located in the Champions Club (on the Kids Concourse) and open from the third through seventh innings (most games). There is an obvious focus on kids with the “Where the Dream Begins” display showing little league teams and the team’s tie with The Jimmy Fund, which fights childhood cancer.
Though the seats are tight and some sections have obstructed views, it’s an awesome spot to see a game. There is definitely a nostalgic effect at Fenway and the Red Sox add to that by incorporating the team’s storied history into the stadium. There are several variations of the team’s logo, old newspaper clippings from championship seasons and images of the teams Hall of Fame players displayed throughout the stadium.
Add in the fact that Boston fans are among the most passionate in the country, and it equals a glorious day at the park.
We ate before we went to the stadium, so we cannot say much about the food there. The ladies at the Old North Church gift shop directed us to The Sail Loft for a delicious cup of chowder. Ron has never liked clam chowder, but apparently he just hadn’t had the right one. Patti also had the lobster roll there and was not disappointed with this other New England staple. You can also try these items at Fenway, but the food costs are a bit pricey there.
There is a kids’ meal — for $5 you get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, goldfish, and a 20-ounce water.
Between tickets, food and parking, a Red Sox game can be very expensive. As for tips to avoid something too costly, use public transportation, buy tickets through a third-party dealer like StubHub or Vivid Seats, and bring your own food.
You might want to get some ballpark food just for the sake of having something at the stadium, but there are ways to enjoy the game without spending hundreds of dollars.
Arrive early at Fenway so you can enjoy the area around it. Once you walk over the newly named David Ortiz bridge, you are right on Lansdowne and in the heart of Fenway’s neighborhood.
There are a multitude of places at which to pregame, including a couple spots right inside the Green Monster.
As mentioned above, a stroll through Fenway also allows the visitor to take a step back in time to admire the franchise’s historical roots.
As with Philadelphia, Boston offers so much in terms of history and culture.
Fenway Park is an integral part of the city’s history, but Boston is also entrenched in U.S. history with the events around the Revolutionary War. We visited the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home as well as the Boston Harbor — site of the storied “Tea Party” of 1773. We loved the North End, Boston’s Little Italy.
Walking through Boston doesn’t feel like you’re walking through a major metropolitan city. Instead, it feels like you’re strolling through a series of neighborhoods. It’s easy to understand why Bostonians love their city because we were fans after just a day.