This year, spring training is going down Friday, February 21st through Tuesday, March 24th with teams playing every single day in between. Fifteen teams are participating across ten stadiums in the Greater Phoenix-Scottsdale area spanning about an hour’s distance, at most, so getting to all your favorite teams’ games is a home run (sorry, had to). Check out, maybe even memorize, the whole schedule here.
Every day in the month-long extravaganza is stacked with anywhere from five to nine games but there’s a catch: they all occur at about the same time. Typically, start time across the board is just after 1pm meaning you’re limited to one full game per day. There are some outlier game times, so always check the schedule or split your time between a couple games.
There’s strength in numbers and every baseball game, no matter how dedicated of a fan you are, is more fun with your crew in tow. Book a few rooms at your hotel of choice, spark some healthy rivalries within the group, and then you’re set to head to the games. Once there, order a round of dogs and brews for everyone – vacation begins now.
Considering the longest distance between stadiums is about an hour, you can easily choose one hotel and stay put for the duration of your trip. For those after the cabana lifestyle at the end of a long day at the stadium, go for The Scott Resort in Scottsdale – a mid-century tropical inspired stay complete with bold wallpaper and kitschy neon signs.
For those looking for a classic southwestern stay, choose The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley. Surrounded by desert vistas and beautiful onsite landscaping, the inn is a peaceful trip to the “old Arizona.” Inside tip: Go with a hotel that is near the most amount of games and/or stadiums you have your eye on.
We know, we know, you could literally spend every moment of your trip at the stadium however, there is an abundance of local natural sites you need to check out. Just outside the Spring Training “perimeter” are local parks like the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, a hiking and biking destination amongst plains of cacti.
South Mountain Park and Preserve, the largest regional park in the U.S., is also an excellent choice for hiking or biking through the mountainous area. Fun fact: South Mountain is home to the densest population of Chuckwallas (a large lizard) ever reported.
Another stunning natural site to behold during your trip is White Tank Mountain Regional Park, an expansive rocky desert region filled with cacti and local flora. The park consists of peaks and valleys carved out by water, revealing the namesake white granite of the area.
You can’t survive on stadium dogs and brews alone (well you could, but let’s not try), so take advantage of the area’s booming culinary scene with restaurants like Phoenix’s Culinary Dropout at the The Yard, a sports lovers haven complete with elevated bar bites and games for everyone to participate in.
Travel over to Scottsdale’s Olive & Ivy for a little escape to the south of France sans the flight. The welcoming dining rooms give way to a beautiful patio shaded by large trees and outfitted with fire pits for chilly evenings. Grab a glass of wine, some vacation-worthy bites, and sit back and relax.
So you’ve hiked, seen some games, and tried all the restaurants, now what? For starters, go for a hot air balloon ride over Phoenix and the surrounding cacti filled desert terrain. There are many options for soaring over the desert, so choose an excursion that suits your group’s size and wishes (maybe a toast at altitude?).
If you choose to stay at The Scott, book a relaxing spa treatment with a modern twist unique to the property. You could also check-in to a treatment at The Phoenician in Scottsdale to experience five-star luxury in their massive, opulent onsite spa with an expansive menu of rejuvenating offerings.
Feeling adventurous? Take a road trip to Tucson and stay at Posada, a new inn by the duo behind the Joshua Tree House. The Posada is a 5 suite inn bordering the west side of Saguaro National Park in Tucson. Situated on 38 acres of land with a forest of Saguaro cactus and native plants, guests are free to explore, swim in the canyon pool, enjoy campfires and watch the incredible desert sunrises and sunsets from the rooftop lounge.
After all of that score keeping, cheering and maybe jeering, and dog consuming, a refreshing road trip could be the final base of your Spring Training trip. About five hours northeast, Monument Valley’s giants of sandstone buttes look more like something from Mars (or Westworld) than northern Arizona.