As part of a 10-week series, Eye on Baseball and Choice Hotels will be taking you around the major leagues, picking out the hits and highlights of some of the game's top stadiums. What to eat, what to drink and what to see both inside and outside the park will all be covered as part of the series. There's a lot to cover and uncover, so visit the comments section to let us know what we missed.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim has played host to the Angels since the start of the 1966 season — the team's first campaign after relocating from Los Angeles to Orange County. Since that time, the ballpark has undergone two major renovations. The first was in 1980, to accommodate the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, and the second was following the 1996 MLB season and was undertaken to transform it back into a baseball-only venue. It's now one of the oldest parks in MLB (only Fenway, Wrigley and Dodger have been around longer), but thanks to those renovations Angel Stadium isn't short on modern amenities and comforts.
Let's take a closer look at the Angel Stadium experience …
Eats outside the park
Orange County has become something of a culinary destination in recent years, so Angels Stadium has nearby options aplenty. Seafood? The Catch is a short walk away. For some quicker, lighter fare, Fresca's Mexican Grill is about the same distance from “The Big A.”
If bar food is what you're in the mood for, then the OC Sports Grill is just across the street from the park. A little further out — but still walking distance — is Zito's Pizza, which is a half-mile from the venue.
Drinks outside the park
The aforementioned OC Sports Grill has 18 beers on tap. Two miles from the park is J.T. Schmid's Restaurant and Brewery, which features its own microbrews. Nearby Lopez & Lefty's Sports Cantina also offers plenty of craft beers on tap.
What to see outside the park
The team's iconic “Big A” sign — the 230-foot “A” with a halo atop it — abuts the Orange Freeway but is hard to see from inside the ballpark. Make sure to check it out (and have your picture taken alongside it) before you go in. Say hi to the tailgaters nearby. Or join them.
Speaking of photo ops, Angel Stadium features two giant batting helmets alongside the main entry plaza. It's a bit of kitsch that's not to be missed. Otherwise, you can take a moment to admire the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains in the distance.
Food inside the park
Besides the usual ballpark concessions, Angel Stadium boasts three in-house restaurants. For sports-bar fare, try the Knothole Club. For more upscale tastes, try the Diamond Club and its field-level seating behind home plate. There's also indoor dining at the Home Plate Club.
What to see inside the park
The game! Besides the main attraction, though, there's the Outfield Extravaganza, which is very much worth your while. It's beyond the center field wall, and it's a rendering of the iconic California coastline, complete with rocks, trees, waterfalls and shooting geysers. For the family of fans, there's a kids' play area under the terrace-level seats in right field.
Best of all, it's Southern California, so chances are the weather will be perfect for baseball.