Miami Gardens, Florida
Miami International Airport (MIA)
16 miles/20 minutes to Sun Life Stadium
WHERE TO STAY? all options below are within 15 miles of Sun Life Stadium
Hilton Garden Inn - Miramar
Courtyard - Miami Lakes
Chaser Budget Traveler
Quality Inn and Suites - Hollywood Boulevard
El Palacio Sports Hotel - the closest option to Sun Life Stadium
WHERE TO PARK?
The Florida Marlins offer convenient and inexpensive parking around Sun Life Stadium. Gate 4 opens 2 ½ hours before the first pitch; all others open two-hours prior. All parking is just $10 per vehicle for the 2011 season.
Ballpark Chasers Tip: we highly suggest renting a car after flying in to Miami International. Because of the location of the Sun Life Stadium and the lack of hotels, restaurants and entertainment surrounding, you will want to have your own vehicle.
WHERE TO EAT?
Unfortunately, there are no worthy restaurants or quick-food stops within walking distance of Sun Life Stadium. The closest option is The Mahogany Grille, an upscale restaurant located about 1 mile from the stadium. The Mahogany Grille is open Wednesdays through Sundays and is known best for serving up delicious “soul food”. Order the plate of Fish and Grits and enjoy their nightly live music. A little further away is Tony’s Pizza Café, arguably the best pizza pie in all of South Florida. Make sure to bring your appetite as Tony’s serves big portions of everything on the menu, including true New York style pizza. Our last recommendation, Shula’s Steak House, is approximately a 15 minute drive from the stadium. Don Shula opened a chain of these restaurants centered on a common theme of perfection- trying to serve the perfect steak. We think he did a great job as the steaks are definitely worth the trip! Ballpark Chasers will go for the 48 ounce porterhouse steak at an attempt to join the infamous “48-ounce Club”!
Do yourself a favor and eat before coming to the game. Sun Life Stadium has a fair amount of concession stands to choose from, but nothing worth the money. If you are stuck and need a snack, the empanadas from Maggie’s Empanada Bistro are our lone recommendation.
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS?
The Florida Marlins and Sun Life Stadium boast the prestigious honor of holding Major League Baseball’s worst attendance over the past five seasons. You never need to worry about purchasing a ticket in advance- we promise. Because you are experiencing a baseball game in a football stadium, there isn’t much to take in. Therefore, Ballpark Chasers enjoy a seat in the Marlins “All you can Eat Seating”, located in the club level of Sun Life Stadium. Starting at $47, these club-level seats are fully air-conditioned and come with unlimited gut-busting hotdogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and soda.
Ballpark Chasers Tip: sign up for the Marlins “E-Saver” newsletter to receive discounted ticket offers throughout the season.
WHEN TO GO?
South Florida is no surprise a tropical climate region that offers year-round sunshine. In terms of rainfall, June through September tend to be the rainiest months for the Miami area. Ballpark Chasers suggest planning a trip to Sun Life Stadium in the beginning of the season when your home city is still struggling to break 60 degrees.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE?
A trip to Florida isn’t complete without taking a trip to the beach. Although there are many to choose from, South Beach is in a league of its own. After you get your fill laying on the beach and catching some vitamin D, make time for the art deco walking tour to fully appreciate the history of South Beach. No reservations are required; however, tours depart only once per day, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Explore Miami via water by embarking on a 2 hour Ocean Force Adventure aboard a Zodiac RIB boat (the same used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies)! This sightseeing/thrill ride travels roughly 40 miles across the ocean to witness marine life, historical landmarks, celebrity homes and gorgeous views of the Miami skyline. With only 6 passengers per boat, reservations are a must.
If you just can’t get enough of the water and are feeling brave, head south until you come across Coopertown, Florida where the population is under 10! After trying some frog legs and gator tails for lunch at their local neighborhood restaurant, embark on an airboat tour through the Florida everglades. Coopertown Airboats offer a one-hour or two-hour ride that will show you the wildlife of Everglades National Park up close and personal. Make sure to bring your camera as alligators and crocodiles like to come out and play during the tour. Come see why Mickey Mantle made a point of taking a ride on one of the most unique tour operations in all of America.
BALLPARK CHASERS VACATION?
Sun Life Stadium is part of the "Sunshine Pair" Ballpark Chasers Vacation, which includes seeing Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The drive between stadiums is roughly 253 miles, or about 4 hours. Ballpark Chasers recommends searching for airline tickets to either Tampa International Airport or Miami International Airport to find the cheapest ticket from your home city.
In order to break up the 4 hour drive, pick one or more Florida State League ballparks to visit on the way. Our favorite is Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The newly renovated stadium is home to the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the High-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Further south is Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. The Twins Advanced Single A Affiliate, the Fort Myers Miracle, play here and offer a great beer garden along with fabulous turkey legs!
If your trip to Miami does not have you traveling to Tropicana Field, check out Roger Dean Stadium, located in Jupiter, Florida. Just 70 minutes to the North of Sun Life Stadium, Roger Dean Stadium is home of the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals. Because the teams share the ballpark, there is a game being played nearly every day throughout the summer. The Hammerheads are the Class A affiliate of the Florida Marlins and the Cardinals are no surprise the St. Louis Cardinals Class A ballclub.
Last updated by Ballpark Chasers.