Part travel log and part ballpark description for those who wish to go on the road with the Red Sox. A visit to Baltimore and Camden Yards
I take baseball road trips since I love to travel and have equal passion for the Red Sox. With a small coterie of friends and relatives, we will meet up and enjoy a series. Part of my affliction should also be a mention of Fenway Park. Iconic? Certainty – just like a capped landfill. So I will give a brief dissect of Baltimore and Camden Yards or Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Camden Yards is actually the second retro park to enter into baseball service. With now named Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo being the template for the soon to be next generation of parks. HOK Sports Design built both parks and Camden is just a picturesque beauty. Not a bad seat in the house.
The location is ideal being right in the downtown harbor area where the Constellation – the sister ship of the Constitution – is located. Before the game, I have spent time at the Power Plant a restored power station that is now an upscale tourist trap. But I actually enjoy being trapped since the architects created a reused gem.
Baltimore is compact – very similar to Boston. The city also limits the heights of high-rise buildings so it appears more open than Boston. Naturally, they have – like Boston – a dated subway system, light rail, buses, and some free zones for travel – at least the last time I paid a visit.
The area around Camden Yards is similar to Fenway as it is festive on game days especially when the Red Sox and Yankees are in town. And former O’s slugger Boog Powell still has the BBQ stand outside the park. Inside food is like all parks and that is pricey – I generally eat before going in. Still, it is cheaper than Fenway.
As I mentioned the seating is excellent with great sight lines and reasonable prices. The O’s are on a slide so tickets are readily available even when Boston or New York comes into town. So – what do you do in Baltimore?
Baltimore is a fascinating city and connects to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War. Fort McHenry is a bus ride away and for war buffs a must. I would also recommend the Babe Ruth Museum for baseball fans and the B & O Train Museum for anyone especially if you have children in tow.
The last time I was in Baltimore it was to meet a Yankee friend and attend the game. Downtown hotel bargains can be found and we had a six block walk to the harbor. My wife – The Lovely Cynthia – and I flew into Baltimore from Boston (always relatively cheap) and toured. Lovely hates baseball so I enjoyed the game with my friend – Yankees versus O’s.
What we did on the trip I will recommend for Boston area and just about anyone else flying (or driving) into Baltimore. Tour Washington D.C. For us, it is a quick (less than an hour) train trip to D.C. where we toured for a few days before departing from Washington National.
If I was giving a ranking for road visits Baltimore would be high on the list for both the park and the city. Plenty to see.