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Favorite Minor-League Baseball Cities

Posted by Sean Rowland on June 6, 2013

The Old Port in the capital of Maine, Portland.

Portland, Maine’s charming Old Port

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Having been to 40 minor-league ballparks, I thought it would be a good time to revisit some of the best cities and towns that house those teams. Summer is a great time to check out more than just the stadium and these places offer that luxury. Though 40 ballparks is small peanuts compared to many other travelers, most of these visits came in the Northeast, which provides a good set of places to base this off of. Thus, we will keep this list roughly centered on that section of the country:

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……1.  Portland, Maine – When the population of the largest city in an entire state can not even fit into the Rose Bowl, more often than not, the downtown is walkable and charming. This old port city is just that and it is easy to imagine moving to the area. Old Port is a cobblestoned section full of brick buildings that include many places serving one of several local microbrews. It also helps that the Hadlock Field experience is decent too.

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……2.  Norfolk, VA – Thought this urban area is quite large, Harbor Park offers a great downtown location within walking distance. I remember visiting Nauticus as part of an 8th grade school trip and would like to go back to the marine museum. Last time I was here, a visit to the McCarthur Memorial was quite powerful. My favorite part of Norfolk: the revitalized waterfront that is perfect for a walk.

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……3.  Burlington, VT –
I have to admit that I have not been to Centennial Field for a Vermont Lake Monsters game, but I have been to Burlington for unrelated travel and I was really impressed. This might be the most scenic city in the Northeast as Lake Champlain glimmers to the west and the Green Mountains rise in the east. Plus, Burlington is a great college town with UVM stationed there and Church Street is quite a hangout.

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……4.  Williamsport, PA
– Most of my day in Williamsport was spent at the ballpark as I saw three in one day thanks to the Little League World Series and though there aren’t many attractions in “Billtown”, the tree-laden scenery makes for a peaceful retreat. For architectural lovers, Millionaires Row is a remarkable lineup of impressive 19th century houses.

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……5.  Brooklyn, NY
– While Brooklyn does not sound like a sexy place to visit, the Coney Island location of MCU Park is worth spending time in. Coney is an American Icon and there is a lot on Surf Ave to make for an entire day. The New York Aquarium, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, the Amusement Park and of course don’t forget about the beach and ocean.

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