This road trip will take us to the heart of baseball, in the heart of our country! We will start our next “Baseball Loop” in Minneapolis at the home of the Minnesota Twins. After a beautiful ride through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a leisurely couple of days on Mackinac Island we will continue along the banks of Lake Michigan to The Milwaukee Brewers. After a visit to Lambo field and we will make our way to Chicago with visits to the Cubs and White Sox. Buckle up!
Located on the upper stretches of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis has much to offer. Minneapolis is the largest city in the state with many amenities and attractions. Although a modern city, Minneapolis has many green spaces as well as cultural venues. If you’re planning to visit this city anytime soon, try the following best-loved Minneapolis attractions.
Target Field, Minneapolis: Opened in 2010 to replace the Metrodome, the Twins’ old indoor stadium, Target Field is located in downtown’s Warehouse District. Target Field blends natural beauty with urban sophistication. Enter through park-like Target Plaza to see a 1,500-pound bronze glove, statues of Twins legends and the flagpole from Metropolitan Stadium.
While in Minneapolis some of the best attractions are:
Guthrie Theater: Founded in 1963, the Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists.
Mall of America: Seven Yankee stadiums could fit inside the Bloomington mega-mall, home to 500-plus stores, a Nickelodeon theme park and an aquarium. On August 11, 1992, when Mall of America opened its doors, 330 stores opened for business and more than 10,000 employees started their first day of work.
Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park: Five lakes and the trails connecting them provide opportunities for biking, walking and boating. The park is part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a 51-mile urban loop. The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway is part of the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program, which recognizes and supports outstanding roads. The Grand Rounds is one of the country’s longest continuous systems of public urban parkways and has been the preeminent urban parkway system for more than a century. The Grand Rounds encompasses natural features, including lakes, creeks, woodlands, riverbanks, and wetlands, as well as constructed features, like canals, lagoons, greenways and parks, playgrounds, parkways, trails, golf courses, athletic fields, picnic grounds, gardens, and bridges.
Minnehaha Park: Hikers and bikers on the 10 miles of trails will want to stop to see the Mississippi River, limestone bluffs and 53-foot-tall Minnehaha Falls at Minnehaha Park. This is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks which features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river overlooks.
U.S. Bank Stadium: The Vikings’ $1.1 billion stadium typically hosts a concert and behind-the-scenes tours; check website for events. U.S. Bank Stadium is an enclosed stadium located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was built on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and opened in 2016. It is the home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) and also hosts early season college baseball games of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. The stadium offers off season tours.
As we leave Minnesota take a detour through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on your way to Mackinac Island. Head due east on Route 94 to St. Ignace where you will get on the ferry to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island is a small island located in Lake Huron between the state of Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It is known for its natural beauty and historic sites. The island is home to the Mackinac Island State Park, which covers over 80% of the island and includes many hiking trails and scenic overlooks. The island is also known for its fudge shops and horse-drawn carriage tours . Cars are not allowed. Enjoy your days walking around this beautiful island or rent a bike.
Some popular tourist attractions on Mackinac Island include: Mackinac Island State Park which covers over 80% of the island and includes many hiking trails and scenic overlooks. Also enjoy the downtown area which has many historic homes. The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World is a butterfly house that features hundreds of live butterflies from around the world. Lastly, Mackinac Island Carriage Tours offers horse-drawn carriage tours of the island.
Back on the road again make your way to two great stadiums. Lambeau Field and American Family Field, Milwaukee
In Milwaukee, you’ll find your usual assortment of art museums (Milwaukee Art Museum), historic homes (Pabst Mansion) and sports venues (American Family Field). You’ll also find interesting areas to meander through like the Victorian-Italianate Brady Street and the Historic Third Ward. And for those into craft beer the Lakefront Brewery is an excellent way to taste some of Milwaukee’s best. And we couldn’t forget the Harley-Davidson Museum. It shows, among other things, many bikes from their motorcycle history.
American Family Field (previously Miller Park), is home to Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers. At beautiful American Family Field, a retractable roof and all-star tailgating describe the Brewers’ home since 2001. It’s a striking ballpark with a red-brick facade, outfield windows and a clocktower at the home plate entrance. The Uecker Seats, high in the last row of Section 422, include a statue of legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker. When a Brewer homers, mascot Bernie Brewer celebrates with a ride down a twisty slide in left field. The famous sausages race before the bottom of the 6th inning.
Whether you’re a long-time fan or a first-time spectator, you’ll enjoy taking in a game beneath the stadium’s retractable roof. Thanks to this unique roof, you’ll never have to worry about inclement weather!
In Milwaukee, you’ll find your usual assortment of art museums (Milwaukee Art Museum) and historic homes (Pabst Mansion). For those into craft beer the Lakefront Brewery is an excellent way to taste some of Milwaukee’s best. And we couldn’t forget the Harley-Davidson Museum. Whether you’re a die-hard biker or someone who just happens to be in the area, this is the destination for a visual history of the iconic American brand.
Connecting three riverfront neighborhoods – the Historic Third Ward, downtown and Beerline “B” – the Milwaukee RiverWalk is enjoyed by locals and travelers alike. The walkway, which extends for 20 blocks, features dining, shopping and public art installations. It’s also where you’ll find the iconic Bronze Fonz statue, which depicts Arthur Fonzarelli (“Fonzie”), Henry Winkler’s character in the Milwaukee-set sitcom, “Happy Days.”
And finally, no trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to Lambeau Field. Lambeau Field is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The home field of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL), it opened 66 years ago in 1957 as City Stadium, replacing the original City Stadium at Green Bay East High School as the Packers’ home field. The stadium’s street address has been 1265 Lombardi Avenue since August 1968, when Highland Avenue was renamed in honor of former head coach Vince Lombardi (namesake of the trophy of the same name.
Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating NFL stadium. In 2007, the Packers completed their 51st season at Lambeau, breaking the all-time NFL record set by the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field (1921–70). While Soldier Field in Chicago is older, the Bears did not play their home games there until 1971 and the team did not play there during stadium renovations in 2002. Only the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field have longer active home-field tenures in American professional sports.
For our last leg of the trip, we head to Chicago. Our baseball loop ends with two great stadiums, homes to the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Chicagoans take their love of sports very seriously!
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago: Just a short “L” train ride from downtown to the South Side on the CTA Red Line, Guaranteed Rate Field has been the home of the White Sox since 1991, when it replaced beloved Comiskey Park. Guaranteed Rate retains some design features from Comiskey, including pinwheels on the “exploding” scoreboard in center field. Food is a big hit here, with a concession lineup that includes smoked wings, pretzel-wrapped bratwurst and the Rainbow Cone, a Chicago ice cream tradition.
Wrigley Field, Chicago: MLB’s second-oldest stadium (only Fenway in Boston is older), the Friendly Confines was built in 1914 and has been the Cubs’ home since 1916. It’s famed for its ivied walls, manual scoreboard and neighborhood setting (rooftops offer game views). Recent upgrades have modernized the park without losing its vintage character. During the 7th inning stretch, join the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” with a guest conductor (a tribute to late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray). When the Cubs win, sing “Go, Cubs, Go” and fly the “W” flag. Before or after the game, take your pick of Wrigleyville gathering spots, including newer ones on Gallagher Way.
While in Chicago there are a few must see attractions. A first-time visit to Chicago isn’t complete without a stop at Millennium Park. Situated in the Loop just north of the Art Institute of Chicago, this 25-acre space is used to showcase cutting-edge art, architecture and landscaping; it also acts as a backdrop for concerts and festivals. Most visitors come to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean.” Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain features two 50-foot towers that face each other at opposite ends of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers’ LED screens project the faces of 1,000 different Chicago residents, which are perfectly aligned with spouts so that it appears they are spitting water on passersby.
For shopping at more than 450 retailers within walking distance in downtown Chicago, make your way to The Magnificent Mile. This portion of Michigan Avenue – which stretches between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River – beckons to shopaholics with department stores and luxury retailer. Additionally, The Magnificent Mile is home to several top-notch eateries and luxury hotels.
When the weather warms up in Chicago, there are few better places to enjoy the outdoors than the Chicago Riverwalk. The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River is the perfect place to take a stroll and observe the city skyline. Plus, there are numerous activity options to enjoy directly on the water, such as a boat or kayak tour. If you prefer to explore on your own two feet, visit the public gardens and art displays, or grab a meal at a popular restaurant or bar overlooking the Chicago River.
If you’ve seen a sketch comedy show or hilarious movie in the last 40 years, it’s likely that someone from The Second City appeared in it. The Second City is one of the world’s most iconic improvisational comedy theaters, and it has helped launch the careers of numerous famous comedians, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, check out a live show on any night of the week at any number of The Second City’s seven theater locations across Chicago.
Jutting into Lake Michigan, Veterans Park wraps around McKinley Marina and is a popular place for locals and visitors alike to hang out and relax. Along with plenty of wide, open spaces, the park is home to a 14-acre lagoon and canoe, kayak and swan pedal boat rentals during the warmer months. For those who prefer to stay on land, the paved Oak Leaf Trail circumvents the 92-acre park and is popular with cyclists and joggers alike.
And lastly, compete your journey with a tour of one of the oldest football teams in the league, the Chicago Bears. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded the second-most victories of any NFL franchise, only behind the Green Bay Packers. The franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 20, 1920 and became professional on September 17, 1920. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL’s founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, which was originally also in Chicago. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago’s North Side through the 1970 season; they now play at Soldier Field on the Near South Side, adjacent to Lake Michigan.
Enjoy this beautiful part of our great country!