Thursday, August 09, 2012

Tips for Visiting Petco Park

It has come to our attention that a HUGE contingent of SF Giants fans are making the trek down to San Diego to attend the Giants series on August 17-19. Since a few of us here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster have attended games in San Diego, we thought we share some tips.

Travel: First and foremost, get a hotel room in the Gaslamp Quarter, preferably near the ballpark ... there are a ton of hotel properties to choose from. So avoid staying in Mission Valley, Mission Bay, La Jolla or anywhere else not in the Gaslamp. Trust us, it will be much easier for you to just walk to the ballpark from your hotel in the Gaslamp. If money is no object, we highly recommend the Hard Rock Hotel, which is exactly one block from Petco Park ... the rooms at HRH do not disappoint, plus the onsite bars are the place to be on the weekends - don't be surprised to see a few of the players there too. The other place we recommend is the Omni Hotel, which actually has an adjoining bridge to Petco Park. It's also the hotel the Giants have been staying on recent trips. Other name brand hotels are nearby and should be considered as well.

The Gaslamp Quarter is also very close to the airport, so just cab it to your hotel. There is no need to rent a car, plus parking costs are usually $30+ per night at  the hotels.

Restaurants & Bars: Another reason to have a hotel room in the Gaslamp is the abundant food and drink establishments all within walking distance. Some of our favorite restaurants include Acqua Al 2 Ristorante, Osteria Panevino, Lou & Mickeys, and Nobu (inside the Hard Rock Hotel). However, the Gaslamp is really known for some great drinking establishments and some of the best are right near the ballpark. Places to try are The Field, Nicky Rotten's Bar & Burger Joint, Dick's Last Resort,  The Tipsy Crow, and "207" in the Hard Rock Hotel.

For breakfast, there are only four place you need to know ... Cafe 222 (get there early), The Broken Yolk, Richard's Pancakes, and Mary Jane's. All are excellent, you will not be disappointed.

Tickets: Even if you're planning a last minute trip, you shouldn't have a problem getting tickets either from the Padres or secondary market. Plus, where ever you sit, you will be surrounded by Giants fans. Our favorite location is behind the Giants dugout in section 106 or 108, but in all honestly, there isn't a bad seat in the house. We are not joking when we say that Petco Park becomes AT&T Park South when the Giants are in town.

Meeting the Team: One of the great things about traveling to a Giants road game is that you will see members of the team walking around town. San Diego is perhaps the best example of that. If you want to get an autograph or photo, just hangout by the players entrance by the west side of the stadium (facing the Omni Hotel) and you will definitely see them and the broadcasters as they enter and leave the stadium.

Gaslamp Quarter

Hard Rock Hotel (Petco Park to the right) - our favorite SD hotel

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