The good news is that 2012 is not over yet. But it is still fun to look ahead and start thinking of next summer to places to travel. One of my favorite Phillies things to do is to see them play on the road and use it as an excuse to see cities I might not otherwise get to. So here are a few of the Phillies schedule highlights that have caught my eye:
April 30 - May 1: Cleveland
I really enjoyed the last Phillies trip to Cleveland way back in 2007. I was able to get seats in the first row of the outfield and it did not break the bank. While in Cleveland the non-baseball things to do included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Great Lakes brewery.
There are hotels near the stadium that are pretty inexpensive, and the car ride is only about seven hours. If you can take a couple days off of work, this is a nice getaway. It's a shame the Phillies are not there longer and they are not on a weekend, but it could be worth your while.
May 27 - 28: Boston
Well this is also not a usual series. The8 Phillies and Red Sox have a four game home-and-home series scheduled. Like Cleveland, this is on a week day, but is on a Monday and Tuesday. The two teams then head to Philadelphia for two more.
Hotels and travel should be easier if you are going during the week. If you can stay two nights, the Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday off of work might not be so bad. If you are a college student, then classes are over and it would work great.
June 6-9: Milwaukee, June 11-13: Minneapolis
This is perhaps the most interesting stretch. I have always wanted to see Milwaukee. Minneapolis is a six hour drive from Milwaukee, so perhaps there are some possibilities to fly to Milwaukee, get a rental car and then fly home from Minnesota. There is a day off in between to either travel or check something else out along the way, though I am not sure what is in the middle of Wisconsin....a cheese factory?
Either way, Target field is one of the newest and most beautiful parks in existence. I really wished I could have gone last year and we have been given a surprise extra chance. The Phillies hit Milwaukee every year but I have yet to see Miller Park. Of course, in Milwaukee one may visit the Miller Brewing Company and I hope, Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery!
June 13-15: Denver
This is one that you need to do on your own. All I know is that the mountains that are the backdrop of Coors Field are absolutely stunning and that Colorado is always rated highly as a place to visit. For me personally, I have family and friends out there I could visit, so this very well could be the year I get to go to Denver.
July 2-4: Pittsburgh
I almost did not include this one in my list, but I enjoy going there too much to exclude it. Just five-plus hours away, Pittsburgh is very accessible to Philadelphia. There are good places to stay with reasonable prices, good food to eat and good drink to drink. The surrounding area is very walkable and safe. PNC Park is my favorite of the new ballparks, and I never get tired of it. Plus, ticket prices are very affordable and tickets are easy to get.
With July 4th already being a holiday, a couple days off in advance makes a nice little trip.
July 26-28: Detroit
This trip provides the opportunity to visit 8 mile, American Jewelry and Loan of "Hardcore Pawn" and of course, Comerica Park. I last visited Detroit way back in 1991 when Tiger Stadium still existed.
However, I'm told there are only a couple hotels to stay at in Detroit and not much to do in and around the game. But, the Phillies are seldom in Detroit, so this could be an opportunity.
August 30 - September 1: Chicago Cubs
Going to Chicago is always fun, and if you can take an extended Labor Day weekend, I highly recommend it. The Phillies got screwed schedule-wise with Chicago this year, with a two-game series during the week while school was in session. This could be an opportunity for one last hurrah in the summer before fall kicks in.
As far as places to stay and things to do, Chicago has tons of it and I could go every year.
Of course, there are the usual places to go that any National League team does. There are three opportunities to check out the new ballpark in Miami if you have not done so already. Check out the full schedule for 2013 here.