Get ready for an epic adventure! Starting in Miami, we’ll drive up to Tampa and then head north to Atlanta. Along the way, you will see some beautiful scenery and experience the wonderful food and activities that Florida and Georgia have to offer. So buckle up and let’s hit the road!
Our first stop is loanDepot Park, home to the Miami Marlins. Formerly known as Marlins Park, loanDepot Park is the home base for the Miami Marlins, the city’s Major League Baseball team. Located in the Little Havana neighborhood, the ballpark is ultramodern with a hint of classic Miami culture. The Miami Marlins Stadium is known for its unique features such as the retractable roof that can be opened or closed in 13 minutes, the aquariums behind home plate and the colorful home run sculpture in center field. Visitors to the park are treated to a beautiful and unique baseball park with diverse food offerings. Even during the long dog days of summer, the retractable roof ensures that it’s always baseball weather!
A new addition to the stadium is Recess Sports Lounge. South Florida’s hottest new sports lounge combines food, music and fun with guests practically standing in left field! Recess Sports Lounge features a traditional American menu infused with a Latin twist and an extensive lineup of handcrafted signature cocktails and craft beer. You will enjoy a DJ-infused game experience with a unique, vibrant energy that showcases the culture of South Florida, providing guests a new way to experience the game as only Miami can offer.
While in Miami there are quite a few destinations worth considering. Looking at the enriching art museums and the endless array of food options, you might find it hard to believe that just a century ago, this colorful Floridian city was covered in swampland. Today, with South Beach before you and the Everglades behind you, you can walk through the bustling streets past historical homes with Spanish words and Caribbean music floating into your ears. From glamorous to intellectually stimulating, Miami offers visitors a wide range of state-of-the-art indoor and thrilling outdoor activities.
Located to the immediate west of downtown, Little Havana is the symbolic and cultural capital for Cuban Americans in Miami. The neighborhood entices droves of visitors with its vibrant atmosphere and excellent food. Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) is the center of activity here. Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, is located at the corner of Calle Ocho and 15th Avenue; it’s a pleasant place to hang out and take in a game of dominoes or chess. There are several restaurants offering authentic Cuban food and cheap prices.
Art Deco Historic District
The largest collection of art deco architecture in the United States is concentrated in a walkable section of Miami Beach. The Art Deco Historic District is concentrated in Miami Beach’s South Beach and includes more than 800 buildings in the vibrant art deco style, primarily 1920s and 1930s designs. Many of these buildings are protected by local preservation ordinance. You will love walking the Art Deco Historic District especially at night, when the lights add to the already colorful surroundings.
South Beach is the iconic neighborhood of 9-mile Miami Beach. South Beach is located across Biscayne Bay from downtown. It is approximately one-third of Miami Beach, comprising the entire portion south of Dade Boulevard. Whether you love it for the art deco buildings, sunshine, or its numerous film and television appearances, it is worth a visit. Lincoln Road is bursting with stores, bars, restaurants and endless people-watching opportunities. Lounge, walk, or bike along the water with local and tourists alike. Lummus Park separates some of the beach from the city streets. It houses sports courts, restrooms, walking paths, gyms and playgrounds.
As you start your journey north to Tampa there are many interesting places to see between Miami and Tampa. Some of the popular stops include the Everglades National Park, the Salvador Dali museum and the Ringling Museum of Art. You can also visit some of the beautiful beaches along the way such as Siesta Key Beach and St. Pete Beach.
Tampa is the place for beachgoers as well as amusement park lovers. This breezy city by the bay has plenty of charms away from the amusement park, but Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium are still great ways to spend a day. You will also find a few choice museums, including the Museum of Science & Industry. But we are here for the sports – this is the home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s also the spring training home base for several other major league teams.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays play their home games at Tropicana Field which is located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The stadium has a seating capacity of 25,000 and is known for its unique features such as the slanted roof and the 10,000-gallon tank of rays that is located behind center field. The stadium also has a museum that showcases the history of baseball in the Tampa Bay area.
The Rays Museum, located in the four Left Field alcoves on the Field Level, was created to highlight the history of the franchise since its inception. The museum features items that tell the story of the Tampa Bay Rays and Devil Rays, and each alcove will highlight distinct features of the organization’s history. Current exhibits include the club’s American League Championship seasons, the Devil Rays era, the Tampa Bay Rays Hall of Fame and more. The Rays Cave highlights individuals such as Joe Maddon, Don Zimmer, Ben Zobrist and David Price by showcasing their awards, All-Star Game uniforms, road trip attire and promotional items to show how they impacted the franchise and its fans.
The Tampa Bay Rays Hall of Fame exhibits those in Rays history who have made an outstanding impact on the organization. In 2023, the inaugural Hall of Fame class was inducted during the Rays 25th anniversary season and includes Wade Boggs, Don Zimmer, and Carl Crawford whose clubhouse-like lockers display some of their most iconic memorabilia. The Rays Museum continues to evolve over time to provide baseball fans a complete picture into the rich history of the Tampa Bay Rays.
While in Tampa enjoy what the city has to offer.
The Armature Works Heights Public Market – a 22,000-square-foot industrial market – is Tampa’s go-to spot for foodies and architecture fans. The 1910 building was formerly the storage and maintenance facility for Tampa Electric’s streetcars, contributing to the urban feel it embodies today. You will love the variety of dining options and the ambience of the space itself. In addition to all the eateries, there are retail shops and a rooftop event space, as well as a “Show + Tell” workshop, which is used for everything from cooking classes to wine tastings. There are plenty of outdoor activities too, including yoga classes and movie nights.
Pronounced ee-bore, this northeast enclave of Tampa was once a hotbed for coffee manufacturing and hand-rolled cigars – factory workers would roll millions of them annually. Now, it’s a mash of old and new; the lively bars and pubs represent the modern city; the brick streets and historic streetcar serve as a tribute to the neighborhood’s past. Ybor City is home to Florida’s oldest restaurant, Columbia Restaurant and an amazing selection of cigars. Tabanero Cigars and J.C. Newman Cigar Company are both popular, especially since the latter houses an on-site museum.
Hillsborough River State Park
Visitors and locals alike flock to Hillsborough River State Park, which sits about 20 miles northeast of downtown Tampa. Offering Class II rapids (a rarity in Florida), camping, four nature trails, beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing and historic sites, the park has a recreation opportunity for everyone. History buffs, in particular, may be interested in visiting Fort Foster. Fort Foster was originally built in the 1830s during the Second Seminole War to help colonists maintain their bridge crossing at the Hillsborough River. Today you can see a reproduction of the original fort. In addition to the structure, there is also an interpretive center showcasing artifacts unearthed at the fort.
Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens sits on Iron Mountain, one of Florida’s highest points at 295 feet above sea level. You can enjoy the tranquil gardens, hear the elaborate bell music and eat at the on-site Blue Palmetto Café. In addition to the gardens, the site is also home to several nature trails and a 20-room, Mediterranean-style mansion known as El Retiro. The mansion, which was originally built in the 1930s for a Bethlehem Steel executive, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our final leg of this baseball loop takes us north to Atlanta. You could easily enjoy a two- or three-day trip to this vibrant and fast paced southern city. Atlanta is a commercial hub, but it’s also a sightseer’s dream. You catch a performance at the Fox Theatre or become immersed at the High Museum of Art. History buffs can explore The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and the Atlanta History Center to learn more about the city’s rich history. Atlanta’s prominence in the civil rights movement is also showcased at must-visit sites like the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, where you can tour the birth home of the African American leader.
There are also plenty of scenic green spaces. Visitors can stroll through the Atlanta BeltLine and picnic in Piedmont Park adjacent to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s 30 acres of larger-than-life displays and exhibitions. Sports fans will all enjoy the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame and Centennial Olympic Park, the location of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
Walk in the footsteps of one of history’s most important figures with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. Here you’ll find the home where civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born and raised. You can also head over to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once a pastor. At the Visitor Center, you’ll find exhibits on the civil rights movement and the D.R.E.A.M. Gallery, featuring additional exhibits. Next door to Ebenezer Baptist Church stands the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. It has even more exhibits, as well as the tombs of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.
Adjacent to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown, Piedmont Park is one of Atlantis’s best parks and the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Sprawling 200-plus acres, the park has no shortage of things to do, including walking and jogging paths, dog parks, picnic facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, a public swimming pool and a Saturday farmers market. Piedmont Park also hosts a variety of Atlanta’s top events, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Atlanta Pride and Music Midtown.
World of Coca-Cola
As its name suggests, World of Coca-Cola is a museum dedicated entirely to the famous soda. Visits to the two-level facility begin with exhibits on the drink’s history, its role in pop culture and the bottling process. A Portrait Wall documents the brand’s global impact. In addition to the regular Coca-Cola Theater, the museum boasts a 3-D Theater.
Ponce City Market
Once home to a Sears, Roebuck & Co. retail store and warehouse distribution center for the South, the Ponce City Market is now a massive mixed-use facility featuring offices, education centers, coffee shops, restaurants, boutique shopping and more. The building’s roof is also an attraction itself, home to unique draws such as Skyline Park, where you can play games like Skee-Ball and mini-golf or go for a ride down a three-story slide, and 9 Mile Station, a rooftop restaurant
Atlanta has more sports arena offerings than just Truist Park, home to the Atlanta Braves. At the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, soccer fans can watch Atlanta United while football fans can catch the Falcons. The stadium features a massive circular video display, three separate concourses for food and a distinctive roof that appears to rotate when it opens and shuts. The stadium was picked to host the 2019 Super Bowl.
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
Located just south of the Georgia Aquarium and across the street from Centennial Olympic Park, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame offers more than 50 interactive exhibits dedicated to its namesake sport. Inside the 95,000-square-foot facility, you can look for your team’s helmet on the three-story Helmet Wall, admire Heisman and National Championship trophies, experience the high-definition Game Day Theater, kick a field goal at the 45-yard indoor football field and more. All college football fans will love exploring this attraction.
Porsche Experience Center Atlanta
Car aficionados, this one’s for you. The Porsche Experience Center is a shrine to all things Porsche and lets fans get in on the action. You can choose from a fleet of the latest models to hop into and race down world-renowned tracks. And if you want to see just how much the vehicle can do, you can move to the passenger seat and let the professional drivers take the wheel. Off the track, the Heritage Gallery showcases historical Porsche vehicles and Restaurant 356 provides fine dining with a view. There are also virtual simulators that allows all ages to get in on the action.
Since Truist Park’s opening in 2017, thousands of fans have ventured to the stadium to cheer on the Major League Baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. The baseball stadium (formerly known as SunTrust Park) can seat up to 41,000 people, and each spot provides a perfect view of the field. As the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball, the Atlanta Braves have plenty of history to share with their fans. With artifacts and exhibits distributed throughout the ballpark, it is a definite must for any Braves or baseball fan
Inside the ballpark, in the “batter’s eye” area just beyond the center-field wall features three evergreen trees. The area includes boulders and a waterfall/water feature nicknamed “Chattahoochee Falls”. A fountain shoots streams of water 50 feet into the air, toward the main video board, from the upper pond. The feature comes alive after Braves home runs and wins.
Truist Park does not have a stand-alone Braves Museum. However, the space in the main concourse behind home plate, Monument Garden, displays many highlights of franchise history. The Monument Garden features audio, light and water elements. The baseball-centric artwork highlights nostalgic moments throughout Braves franchise history. The 300-piece installation consists largely of original artwork ranging from portraits to action scenes, and complemented by macro photography, oversized vintage baseball cards and a LEGO brick mosaic. The focal point of Monument Garden is a statue of Hank Aaron. The statue captures the moment on April 8, 1974, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing 714 career home-run record. Behind the statue is a sculpture made of 755 baseball bats in honor of Aaron’s career home-run total. The bat and ball from his 715th home run is displayed in the Hank Aaron Terrace above left field. In 2017, the Braves unveiled a statue of former manager Bobby Cox. The new statue joined two other statues outside the ballpark featuring legends of the Braves franchise. The other statues include Warren Spahn and Phil Niekro.
Another great baseball loop has been completed. Enjoy the journey!