Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
5 miles/10 minutes to Nationals Park
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
30 miles/40 minutes to Nationals Park
WHERE TO STAY? – Hotels Near Nationals Park (within 3 miles)
Courtyard by Marriott – Capital Hill/Navy Yard
Residence Inn – Washington DC/Capitol
Holiday Inn – Washington Capitol
Chaser Budget Traveler – only one Ballpark Chaser recommended bargain hotels within 5 miles of Nationals Park. You will need to leave downtown to find anything under $100 per night.
WHERE TO PARK?
If you don’t mind the walk, parking at Nationals Park can be as low as $5. However, anything close to the ballpark will run between $35-42.
Over half of all visitors to Nationals Park came via the metro. If you are staying at a hotel not within walking distance of the stadium, Ballpark Chasers suggest taking the DC Metro. Hop on the Green Line to Navy Yard station, which is just one block from Nationals Park. If you need a cab after the game, head out the Center Field gates and make a left. The taxicab stand will remain open for 30 minutes after the final out. Other options include the Metrobus or our favorite, a DC Water Taxi.
WHERE TO EAT?
Surprisingly, Nationals Park does not have a great selection of restaurants and sport bars around the ballpark. But what is does have is Half Street Fairgrounds. Across the street from the Center Field entrance is an outdoor venue combination of food, market and music that is open daily from opening day trough October 1st. "Fairgrounds" admission is free but it is adult-only (21+).
Because of the lack of dining establishments close to the park, we recommend grabbing a ride on the Circulator bus that connects Union Station, Eastern Market, Barracks Row (8th St.), the Navy Yard Metro station and Nationals Park. For only $1, you can ride on Circulator running every 10 minutes at the Union Station– Navy Yard Metro. There are dozens of restaurants along this route for you to choose from, but our recommendations are on Barracks Row and Pennsylvania Ave. Ballpark Chasers favorites include: The Pour House, The Ugly Mug, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, Matchbox, Las Placitas, Café 8 and Banana Café & Piano Bar. With the exception of The Pour House, all other restaurants and sports bars listed above can be found along 8th Ave.
Ballpark Chasers Favorite Bar- Ugly Mug
The concession stands inside Nationals Park are one of the best in baseball! Our favorites stands include: the Taste of the Majors, Hard Times Café, Blue Smoke, Shake Shack, Box Frites and El Verano Taqueria. No, you are not reading the Citi Field Chaser Guide, the Nationals actually brought all of those concessions to their ballpark as well! Be warned that the word has spread and the lines will be just as long for the Shake Shack in Nationals Park. Ballpark Chasers favorite vendor has to be Ben’s Chili Bowl for their chili dogs, chili burgers, turkey dogs and signature chili. For those Chasers watching their waistline, Nationals Park offers a Healthy Plate stand that features vegetable platters with hummus, fresh fruit and gourmet fresh salads. For those who don’t care about their calorie count, grab a Turkey Hill Ice Cream in a Nationals mini helmet. And finally, on the warm and humid DC afternoons, head to the center field plaza for a serving of Hawaiian Shaved Ice, which comes in numerous flavors.
New Food at Nationals Park
Caviar and Tiger Fork (Section 106) - barbecue ribs, dan dan-style sloppy Joes, and bubble waffles filled with ice cream.
Lobster Shack (Section 105) - lobster rolls.
DC Empanadas (Section 244) - Union Market’s popular empanada restaurant now in Nationals Park. Go for the Buffalo chicken and spinach-cheese!
Medium Rare (Section 136) - steak, fries and special sauce all that wrapped up in one sandwich.
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS?
Nationals Park was 75% full on average during the 2017 season. Ballpark Chasers recommends pre-purchasing your Nationals tickets through TicketMonster.com. If needing tickets when arriving at the ballpark, scalpers are easy to find around the metro stop. If you are looking to sell your extras, make sure to be at least 100 ft. from Nationals Park grounds. It is illegal to sell tickets at any price this close to the ballpark.
WHEN TO GO?
The D.C. area tends to be warm, sunny and humid during the summer months. Expect upper 80s and low 90s during July and August with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Ballpark Chasers recommend visiting Nationals Park during the last week of May or any part of June for comfortable warm weather and less chance of rain showers.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE?
One could easily spend an entire week in Washington D.C. and not experience everything. Planning ahead is essential when traveling to Nationals Park and DC in order to see all of the attractions on your wish list. If you are making Nationals Park a quick baseball trip, without much time to see the historical sites, we recommend taking the City Segway Tour. The 3 hour tour will give you an excellent and fun way to see the White House, US Capital, Ford’s Theatre, Washington Monument, Supreme Court, National Archives, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, National Galleries of Art, Smithsonian Natural History, Smithsonian American History Museum, FBI Headquarters and more. If you haven’t had the opportunity to ride a Segway, this is a perfect chance to take a cheap ride without forking over $5000 to purchase one. Because of the limited number of Segway’s per group, reservations are required. If you have several days to devote to local sites, Ballpark Chasers recommends seeing all of the above in greater length along with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art and the National Mall.
BALLPARK CHASERS VACATION?
Nationals Park is part of the “East Coast Swing” Ballpark Chasers vacation. This trip includes seeing the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and the Orioles in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. We suggest finding the cheapest flight to Washington DC, Baltimore or Philadelphia and getting a rental car to drive in between. Expect up to a 1 hour drive from DC to Baltimore, 2 hours from Baltimore to Philadelphia, and a 3 hour drive between Philadelphia and DC. Keep in mind that these times reflect little traffic but that will never happen during the weekdays. The “East Coast Swing” can easily be done in three days but plan for 5 to have time at local attractions and museums.
If you want to stay around the DC area to see some Minor League Baseball, there are two options within an hour’s drive of downtown. The closest park (about 20 minutes from Nationals Park) is Prince George’s Stadium. The Bowie Baysox, Class AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, call Prince George’s Stadium home. About 45 minutes away is Pfitzner Stadium, home of the 2008 Carolina League Champions, Potomac Nationals. See the grounds where Barry Bonds, Andy Pettitte, Albert Pujols, Bernie Williams and Bobby Bonilla got their start.
Last updated by Ballpark Chasers.