Step Up to the Plate: The Definitive Arizona Spring Training Guide for Baseball Fans

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Curated By

Mike Tosti

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  • Arizona

  • Active Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Spring

  • Sports

  • Sightseeing

A baseball field during the daytime
Curator’s statement

The Cactus League Spring Training holds a special place in my heart because it embodies the spirit of renewal and excitement that comes with the arrival of Spring. As a baseball enthusiast, there's nothing quite like the anticipation of watching my favorite teams and players gear up for the upcoming season amidst the stunning backdrop of Arizona's desert landscapes. The sense of camaraderie among fans, the crack of the bat, and the warm sunshine create an atmosphere that is both electrifying and nostalgic, reminding me of cherished memories spent with family and friends at the ballpark. Each Spring Training season in the Cactus League is a unique opportunity to celebrate the timeless tradition of America's pastime and create new memories that will last a lifetime.

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Where to stay in Arizona

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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Opened in 1929, this desert oasis is an enduring favorite for its 39 lush acres, seven pools, pampering spa and plum location less than 10 miles from downtown Phoenix.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Fresh from a 2022 renovation, this spa and golf escape is the pick for active types, with a raft of sports onsite and five relaxing pools.

The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale

Tucked into Camelback Mountain, the Phoenician is a lovely modern enclave with a Sonoran feeling.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Arizona

Aerial view of a baseball field and stadium full of people

1. Game Day Experience at Scottsdale Stadium: Enjoy the electric atmosphere of a Spring Training game at Scottsdale Stadium, home to the San Francisco Giants. With its intimate setting and beautiful views of Camelback Mountain, it's the perfect place to catch a game and soak in the excitement of baseball season. Insider’s Tip - Sloan Park (Chicago Cubs) is the newest facility.

2. Old Town Scottsdale Exploration: Take a stroll through historic Old Town Scottsdale, where you'll find charming shops, art galleries and vibrant street performances. Don't miss the opportunity to sample local cuisine at one of the many restaurants lining the streets.

3. Hiking in McDowell Sonoran Preserve: Get outdoors and explore the stunning desert landscapes of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. With over 30,000 acres of trails ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, it's a great way to experience the natural beauty of Arizona. Insider’s Tip - Hike Camelback Mountain very early in the morning and bring lots of water.

4. Spring Training Brewery Tour: Embark on a self-guided brewery tour of some of Scottsdale's top craft breweries. Sample a variety of locally brewed beers. It's the perfect way to unwind after a day at the ballpark. Insider’s Tip - Wilderness Brewery

5. Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Sonoran Desert: Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Sonoran Desert from above with a hot air balloon ride. Drift silently over rugged mountains and cactus-studded landscapes as the sun rises, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

6. Golfing at TPC Scottsdale: Tee off at TPC Scottsdale, home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open. With two championship courses designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, it's a golfer's paradise with stunning views and challenging holes.

7. Day Trip to Sedona: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a day trip to Sedona, known for its red rock formations and spiritual energy. Explore hiking trails, visit art galleries, or simply relax and soak in the majestic scenery.

8. Topgolf Scottsdale: Experience the ultimate golfing entertainment at Topgolf Scottsdale, where cutting-edge technology meets the thrill of the game. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a first-timer, enjoy a unique social experience with friends and family, complete with delicious food and drinks, all against the stunning backdrop of the Arizona desert. Insider’s Tip - make reservations early. It books up quickly.

9. Roosevelt District: Uncover the Roosevelt District's hidden local gem, a dynamic neighborhood boasting unique breweries and culinary delights tucked away amidst its historic charm. Indulge in craft brews and gourmet bites as you wander through the district's eclectic streets, savoring the flavors of this vibrant culinary destination.

10. Scottsdale Quarter/Kierland Commons: Indulge in a premier shopping experience at Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons, where upscale boutiques, trendy shops, and gourmet eateries await. Explore the stylish outdoor plazas, discover the latest fashion trends, and treat yourself to a day of leisurely shopping in Scottsdale's most coveted retail destinations.

Places to eat & drink in Arizona

A fence wrapped in string lights in front of a bar at nightime

The Sicilian Butcher: Savor the unique fusion of traditional Italian cuisine and Sicilian flavors at The Sicilian Butcher, where handcrafted meatballs and artisanal charcuterie plates are paired with an extensive selection of Italian wines, creating a memorable dining experience.

Jade Bar: Experience unparalleled views of Paradise Valley while sipping handcrafted cocktails at Jade Bar, where innovative mixology techniques and a sophisticated ambiance come together to create a chic and upscale lounge experience. Insider’s Tip - This is a 10 on the romance scale!

Don Woods Say When for Cocktails: Transport yourself to a bygone era of classic cocktails and old-world charm at Don Woods Say When, where expert bartenders craft timeless libations with precision and flair, making it a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts. Insider’s Tip - Shhh!... this is a hidden gem.

Lom Wong: Lom Wong's culinary excellence has been recognized by Conde Nast, cementing its reputation as a top dining destination in Scottsdale. With its authentic Thai flavors and inviting ambiance, Lom Wong offers a dining experience that has garnered the attention of discerning travelers and food enthusiasts alike.

Old Town Tavern: Old Town Tavern in Scottsdale offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for enjoying craft beers and classic pub fare. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, this neighborhood tavern provides a laid-back setting where locals and visitors alike can gather to relax, socialize, and unwind.

Morning Glory Cafe: Start your day on a delicious note at Morning Glory Cafe, where farm-fresh ingredients and creative twists on classic breakfast dishes make every meal a culinary delight in a charming and inviting atmosphere.

El Chorro: Indulge in Southwestern cuisine with a touch of elegance at El Chorro, where breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying signature dishes like their famous Sticky Buns and Cedar Plank Salmon, ensuring a dining experience that's both memorable and scenic.

Volanti: Volanti is a sleek and sophisticated rooftop lounge located in Scottsdale's Aviation District, offering stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. With its modern decor, handcrafted cocktails, and innovative cuisine, Volanti provides a stylish setting for guests to enjoy a memorable dining and nightlife experience amidst the allure of aviation-inspired design. Insider’s Tip - Some of the best chilliquilles I’ve ever had!

Coach House: Coach House in Scottsdale exudes a cozy year-round Christmas ambiance with its festive decor and warm, welcoming atmosphere. Step into this beloved dive bar adorned with twinkling lights and holiday ornaments, where patrons can enjoy a unique drinking experience amidst the nostalgic charm of seasonal cheer.

Need to Know

Spring Training baseball stadiums in Arizona are conveniently located and easy to reach, with most stadiums situated within a short drive of major cities like Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe. Whether you're staying in downtown Phoenix or a resort in Scottsdale, you'll find that accessing the stadiums is a breeze, allowing you to spend less time commuting and more time enjoying America's favorite pastime. Plus, the well-connected highway system and ample parking options make attending Spring Training games a stress-free experience for baseball fans of all ages.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Rimini: A Coastal Paradise with Lively Nightlife.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Arizona.

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Mike Tosti

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