San Diego is hands down one of my favorite destinations in this fine country, it truly has it all. Depending on what part of the city you are in you could be in NYC, then you could in Hawaii, then Mexico, then Southampton, then LA. If you have never made the trek cross country and hit San Diego, let me tell you, you are 100% missing out. You want the beach, bars, shopping, clubs, fine restaurants, city, suburbs, etc., it has it all. Another awesome thing about San Diego is that they have National League baseball team, meaning every season the Mets are in town.
Before I discuss Petco Park, I just want to quickly talk about the Murph (aka Qualcomm) current home of the Chargers. If you wonder, what it was like to go to the Murph, to me it reminded me of a Southern California version of Shea Stadium. It was actually, the first stadium outside of the Northeast that I went to so it struck me odd, when I entered the stadium and showed my ticket, I was still outside. The main concourse, like many new stadiums was outside so it was the first time, I experienced that, obviously the weather is beautiful in San Diego so no need to put walls up everywhere. The stadium itself reminded me a lot of Shea Stadium, I wonder if any of you San Diegans also feel that I way. Anyways, as I kid I always remembered that couch out in left field where people sat, first time I’d seen that and those palm trees beyond the fences. In those days, California seemed like an alternate planet, the Mets visited every once in awhile.
I dated a girl just about the time when Petco Park was being built, she explained to me how ghetto downtown was and that it was the home of a lot of drug sales and prostitution. She took me down to see the park being built and it definitely was not a nice area. It is hard to remember that now, since the city of San Diego has done an outstanding job cleaning up downtown and it is definitely a place to be in SD these days. The ballpark, which opened in 2004 is absolutely gorgeous, it has wiffle ball field in the outfield, the sand pit for kids to play in right outside the center field fence, a team shop in the LF corner where you can walk out onto the warning track. The old Western Metal Supply building which is over 100 years old is built into the park as the left field foul pole. You can walk around the park without interruption, it truly is a jewel for MLB stadiums. Petco Park is definitely in the top 2 or 3 of the nicest stadiums I’ve ever been to.
The area right around the park is just an absolutely great area to hangout in before or after a game. There are plenty of bar and grills, restaurants, shopping and a lot more right near the park. My favorite restaurant in the area is The Strip Club, no not what you think, it is a steakhouse, where you cook your own steaks. One of the best Mexican places you can get to is nearby, Baja Rockin Lobster. The bar that I frequent whenever the Mets are in town is called the Field and is nearby. When we went their after the game, it was more like a Met bar. Many Met fans and a baseball motif made me feel right at home. There is so much right in the area it makes it hard to remember there is a lot going on elsewhere in the city. However, whatever kind of trouble you are looking for you can find it within the city blocks near the ballpark.
Th atmosphere at Petco is great, SD’ers love their Friars but their fans are pretty happy just to be there, they live in paradise so they gotta be happy. They usually are very hospitable to fans of other teams unless its those loud, obnoxious fans from the north, yes Dodger fans bring some intensity out of the more laid back San Diegans. In multiple trips, I have never had a problem and usually people nearby are very friendly and you may end up with some new friends before you leave.
Near the park is Seaport Village and Little Italy both are just a trolley ride away, the trolley is a train that takes you from all over town to the ballpark. It is also a great way to get downtown if you plan on going out at night, just check schedules, this is not NY and they do not run all night. If you want to stay near the beach and not downtown then the trolley might just be the right way for you to travel. The other places that are a must for me on a San Diego visit are Coronado Island, LaJolla and Pacific Beach. There are numerous other things to do but you would need a week at the least to attack all of them. If you end up there for a 3 game set, then hit those spots. As, always if you ever have any questions or advice about planning a trip to San Diego, you are more then welcome to hit me up. Happy travels and LETS GO METS!!!