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    Escape the dregs of winter with Major League Baseball spring training.

      Going to see Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training can be a great experience, and it’s got plenty to offer for family members and loved ones who are not baseball fans. That’s because spring training starts in mid-February, when it is still cold and rainy in much of the country, but the training camps are held in two of the country’s most popular vacation areas – Florida and Arizona – which both have great outdoor activities and dining options.

      Here’s a look at both.

        Sarasota, Florida sunset

        Sarasota, Florida

        Fun in the Sunshine State

        Florida’s Grapefruit League includes 13 different stadiums in 12 different cities. If you’re new to MLB’s spring training scene, Jupiter, Florida, where the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins hold preseason games, is a great place to start. The Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is Jupiter’s 110-acre sports park, with 12 pro grade diamonds and seating for 8,000 fans. Since teams typically play every other day, “the Dean” usually hosts 30 games in 30 days during the month of March with each team trading off their home field.

        Just 30 minutes south (12 miles), the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals play in West Palm Beach at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. If you travel 40 minutes (33 miles) from Jupiter to Port St. Lucie’s Clover Park, you’ll see the New York Mets. Another good base is the Ed Smith Stadium is Sarasota, Florida, where the Baltimore Orioles preseason games take place.

        Jupiter is known for its golf courses and rich marine environment, including the Intracoastal Waterway which encompasses miles of public beaches. The area offers boating, kayaking and paddle boarding opportunities. Or just walk on the mile-long beach with limestone cliffs on Jupiter Island. Sarasota, Florida offers a vibrant arts and architecture scene, as well as an opera house.

          Warm Up in the Desert

          Arizona’s Cactus League includes 10 stadiums all located near Phoenix. A great place to start is Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the San Francisco Giants since 1984. The Giants typically play a game every other day, and you can visit on off days free of charge, to watch practice, chat with a player, get an autograph or take a selfie. Six miles away at Salt River Fields, you can catch the hitting, fielding and pitching of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

            Warm Up in the Desert

            Arizona’s Cactus League includes 10 stadiums all located near Phoenix. A great place to start is Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the San Francisco Giants since 1984. The Giants typically play a game every other day, and you can visit on off days free of charge, to watch practice, chat with a player, get an autograph or take a selfie. Six miles away at Salt River Fields, you can catch the hitting, fielding and pitching of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

              Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

              Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

              But you don’t have to spend all your time sitting in the stands. Old Town Scottsdale is a historic city center clustered with buildings nearly a century old. You can bike on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, which will give you a scenic route through the city to some of its best attractions, restaurants and bars.

              If you love the outdoors, McDowell Mountain Regional Park – about a 45-minute drive (37 miles) from Phoenix – offers hiking, biking and stargazing. Since spring training season coincides with peak wildflower season, head for the Desert Botanical Garden to see the gorgeous pink, yellow and creamy white cactus blooms filling the Sonoran Desert. And if you’re willing to drive three-and-a-half hours, the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A two-hour drive from Phoenix is Sedona, with stunning red rock formations and endless outdoor adventures.

                But you don’t have to spend all your time sitting in the stands. Old Town Scottsdale is a historic city center clustered with buildings nearly a century old. You can bike on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, which will give you a scenic route through the city to some of its best attractions, restaurants and bars.

                If you love the outdoors, McDowell Mountain Regional Park – about a 45-minute drive (37 miles) from Phoenix – offers hiking, biking and stargazing. Since spring training season coincides with peak wildflower season, head for the Desert Botanical Garden to see the gorgeous pink, yellow and creamy white cactus blooms filling the Sonoran Desert. And if you’re willing to drive three-and-a-half hours, the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A two-hour drive from Phoenix is Sedona, with stunning red rock formations and endless outdoor adventures.

                  Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                  Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                  A Fan’s Paradise

                  For many baseball fans, spring training is almost magical. It is a less expensive, more relaxed atmosphere compared to regular-season games. The Grapefruit League in Florida and the Cactus League in Arizona, where the MLB teams preseason games take place, each boast 15 major league teams. You can take your friends and family out to the ballgame to catch batting practice with opportunities to actually talk to players and check out the old pros, rookies and the hopefuls.

                    Sign Up for Costco.ca Emails

                    If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here - Opens a dialog to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.ca values are sent directly to your inbox.

                      Once You Are Ready to Travel Again, Costco Travel Can Help

                      We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of an all-inclusive resort vacation, whether it’s next month or towards the end of the year.

                        Escape the dregs of winter with Major League Baseball spring training.

                          Going to see Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training can be a great experience, and it’s got plenty to offer for family members and loved ones who are not baseball fans. That’s because spring training starts in mid-February, when it is still cold and rainy in much of the country, but the training camps are held in two of the country’s most popular vacation areas – Florida and Arizona – which both have great outdoor activities and dining options.

                          Here’s a look at both.

                            Sarasota, Florida sunset

                            Sarasota, Florida

                            Fun in the Sunshine State

                            Florida’s Grapefruit League includes 13 different stadiums in 12 different cities. If you’re new to MLB’s spring training scene, Jupiter, Florida, where the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins hold preseason games, is a great place to start. The Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is Jupiter’s 110-acre sports park, with 12 pro grade diamonds and seating for 8,000 fans. Since teams typically play every other day, “the Dean” usually hosts 30 games in 30 days during the month of March with each team trading off their home field.

                            Just 30 minutes south (12 miles), the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals play in West Palm Beach at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. If you travel 40 minutes (33 miles) from Jupiter to Port St. Lucie’s Clover Park, you’ll see the New York Mets. Another good base is the Ed Smith Stadium is Sarasota, Florida, where the Baltimore Orioles preseason games take place.

                            Jupiter is known for its golf courses and rich marine environment, including the Intracoastal Waterway which encompasses miles of public beaches. The area offers boating, kayaking and paddle boarding opportunities. Or just walk on the mile-long beach with limestone cliffs on Jupiter Island. Sarasota, Florida offers a vibrant arts and architecture scene, as well as an opera house.

                              Warm Up in the Desert

                              Arizona’s Cactus League includes 10 stadiums all located near Phoenix. A great place to start is Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the San Francisco Giants since 1984. The Giants typically play a game every other day, and you can visit on off days free of charge, to watch practice, chat with a player, get an autograph or take a selfie. Six miles away at Salt River Fields, you can catch the hitting, fielding and pitching of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

                                Warm Up in the Desert

                                Arizona’s Cactus League includes 10 stadiums all located near Phoenix. A great place to start is Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the San Francisco Giants since 1984. The Giants typically play a game every other day, and you can visit on off days free of charge, to watch practice, chat with a player, get an autograph or take a selfie. Six miles away at Salt River Fields, you can catch the hitting, fielding and pitching of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

                                  Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                                  Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                                  But you don’t have to spend all your time sitting in the stands. Old Town Scottsdale is a historic city center clustered with buildings nearly a century old. You can bike on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, which will give you a scenic route through the city to some of its best attractions, restaurants and bars.

                                  If you love the outdoors, McDowell Mountain Regional Park – about a 45-minute drive (37 miles) from Phoenix – offers hiking, biking and stargazing. Since spring training season coincides with peak wildflower season, head for the Desert Botanical Garden to see the gorgeous pink, yellow and creamy white cactus blooms filling the Sonoran Desert. And if you’re willing to drive three-and-a-half hours, the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A two-hour drive from Phoenix is Sedona, with stunning red rock formations and endless outdoor adventures.

                                    But you don’t have to spend all your time sitting in the stands. Old Town Scottsdale is a historic city center clustered with buildings nearly a century old. You can bike on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, which will give you a scenic route through the city to some of its best attractions, restaurants and bars.

                                    If you love the outdoors, McDowell Mountain Regional Park – about a 45-minute drive (37 miles) from Phoenix – offers hiking, biking and stargazing. Since spring training season coincides with peak wildflower season, head for the Desert Botanical Garden to see the gorgeous pink, yellow and creamy white cactus blooms filling the Sonoran Desert. And if you’re willing to drive three-and-a-half hours, the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A two-hour drive from Phoenix is Sedona, with stunning red rock formations and endless outdoor adventures.

                                      Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                                      Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona

                                      A Fan’s Paradise

                                      For many baseball fans, spring training is almost magical. It is a less expensive, more relaxed atmosphere compared to regular-season games. The Grapefruit League in Florida and the Cactus League in Arizona, where the MLB teams preseason games take place, each boast 15 major league teams. You can take your friends and family out to the ballgame to catch batting practice with opportunities to actually talk to players and check out the old pros, rookies and the hopefuls.

                                        Sign Up for Costco.ca Emails

                                        If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here - Opens a dialog to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.ca values are sent directly to your inbox.

                                          Once You Are Ready to Travel Again, Costco Travel Can Help

                                          We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of an all-inclusive resort vacation, whether it’s next month or towards the end of the year.


                                            About the Author: The above piece was written by Peter Greenberg, who has won multiple Emmy Awards as the travel editor for CBS News and is host of The Travel Detective on public television.


                                             
                                             
                                             
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