Sometime in May my son and I will be driving to Detroit for a Tigers game and stopping in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, DC, and Baltimore and Philly to catch games there as well. Any recommendations on ticket sources, hotels, fun eating spots etc., are greatly appreciated.
My view is get quality seats and save in other areas. If you're spending hundreds of dollars to get to the stadium and stay in town an extra $20-$40 for a game ticket isn't much. Why travel all that way for a bad view?
When looking for tickets, first go to the team site. See what's available and what they cost. Go though the process of selecting seats to find out the fees. Then browse Stubhub. In most cities, it'll be cheaper and Stubhub has no hidden fees. I've found a few cities where it isn't. I wrote about it in my blog:
If you're driving, you can save money on hotels. Airport hotels tend to be cheaper, but sometimes suburban or exurban hotels are the cheapest. I got a great rate at a suburban Doubletree outside Cleveland. When I went to Missouri I went to the Royals on Saturday and then the Cardinals on Sunday. I stayed in Columbia overnight and got a cheaper rate than I would've in the big cities. I did stay at the Hilton in Baltimore. It is right next to the ballpark and that was a fun idea. If you want to see into the stadium, stay on a higher floor facing the ballpark.
You can also save money on parking if you want. In most of these cities you can park near a subway/light rail station for free and then take public transportation to the ballpark.
There is stadium info in the CHASER GUIDES section.
We did DC / Baltimore last year.
In DC, we had a good experience at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. It's walking distance to the ballpark and reasonably priced. For a Thursday day game, we had no problem finding good seats under face value on Stub Hub.
In Baltimore, we stayed at the Home2 Suites, which was good, but there are probably other hotels just as good that are a few blocks closer to the ballpark. There may be a Hampton across the street. Check out the Babe Ruth Museum and the Maryland Sports Museum. You can get a combo ticket, and both are well done. Faidley's had good crab cakes. Pratt Street Ale House and Max's were both good spots for a post-game cold one.
I agree with the comments that David and Michael made. I live in Maryland and get to a fair number of Nats and O’s games.
If you are going to a weekday game in DC, I recommend taking the Metro to the park. There are a number of parking lots outside the beltway adjacent to metro stations. The Metro is easy to navigate. [Quick Tip: DC Metro escalator etiquette, stand on the right, walk on the left.]
At the park, I have a preference for lower level seats on the 3rd base side. You get a better view of the scoreboard and if it is hot out, you will be in shade sooner. Through StubHub, UberSeat, or the other variants I can usually get tickets for under $20 if you sit past 3rd but inside the foul pole.
The DC local food [or one of them] is Ben’s Chili Bowl. I think this is like Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh. Sure you can get one at the game, but it’s not as good as the original location. The original Ben’s is by the U St Metro station.
Going to Orioles games is a hassle by mass transit, but easy to get in/out by car. As long as it is not opening day and they are not playing the Yankees, tickets are easy to get. Again I prefer lower level 3rd base side. The scoreboard is in center but the warehouse is dead ahead. Local food in the park is Boog’s BBQ. Not bad. If you get to the park early, there are a bunch of bars and food vendors outside the park near the left field entrance.
Enjoy your trip!
David is spot on.. Get good view tickets but good view tickets don't have to break the bank either. My son and I did 8 different parks last year, including Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. We did DC and Baltimore a few summers ago. When I visit a new park I almost always go first row, behind home plate, high (300 levels). I like to view and just take it all in. 90% of the time I go Stubhub. Not always the cheapest but if I am driving 1800 miles to hit 7 parks, I want to know that at each park I'll have a front row seat behind home plate even though its high up. The view is often spectacular of the park. Generally I am not paying more than $50 bucks for these seats... Cheap! Loved PNC.. Parked on the other side of the river and walked across the Clemete bridge. After the game we went up into this neighborhood high atop Pittsburgh for a great view of the city. Detroit was nice but driving in and out was the mission.. We stayed in Dearborn near Ford... Cleveland was great! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.. worth it. We also did a little side trip to the Christmas Story House.. DC was ok.. Its not a park that was too memorable for me..kind of sterile. Baltimore, like PNC is great. We always drove right into the park area and found parking easily, often in a lot within close walking distance (except Detroit) to the park for about $25.. Again, David was right on the mark with Bens Chili Bowl in DC. In Pitts we tried Primanti Brothers but found it was just OK.. We used Priceline most often for the hotels. My only regret in doing so was Chicago where we got a hotel well outside the city. In reflection, I wish I spent the $$ and stayed right in Chicago.. Baltimore we again used Priceline and snagged a great hotel in the Inner Harbor area for under $100/night if I recall.. a bargain!