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Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

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Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:03 pm

So the wife and I are going on one of our baseball pilgrimages next weekend and we need some travel advice. We will be traveling to Indianapolis for one night, Cincinnati (Reds vs. Braves) for one, and Cleveland for two (Indians vs. Red Sox). We plan on going to the three ballgames, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while in Cleveland, and possibly stopping to see Notre Dame's campus on the drive back to WI from Cleveland.

Couple questions:
1. Should we stay somewhere else in Indiana or is downtown Indy OK? Should we just forget about Indy and drive str8 through to Cincy? If Indy is worthy of stopping any advice on what to do or where to eat? Not interested in the Motor Speedway.

2. Stuff to do in Cincy and Cleveland? Sights and eats?

3. As a sports fan is it worth it to stop and see ND and Touchdown Jesus or is it a waste of time? Full disclosure, I graduated from BC and hate ND, but thought it might be worth checking out for historical reasons.

Sports and travel-loving forons help a Midwestern amateur out!
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby Velvet Coffin » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:11 pm

I'm no sports fan so I can't offer a lick of sensible advice. But thematic road trips are as great an American pastime as baseball, IMHO, and I love the idea of this.

If you cross the river from Cincy to Kentucky, there's a lovely little riverwalk along the Covington shore with a great view of the Cincinnati skyline. I grabbed some picnic treats from a wine/specialty food shop just off 75/71 as you cross into KY and had myself a nice picturesque meal on the water.

Enjoy your pilgrimage!
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Thanks, I will try to check out the other side of the Ohio if I get a chance. The game in Cincy is a day game, so we have all of Sunday evening to explore. Keep the advice coming!

We try to do at least one of these every summer. Last year, we really just flew to Toronto for our baseball fix, the year before that we baseball roadtripped Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. Our ultimate was SF, LA, SD, Phoenix, Houston and Dallas on one trip. That was fun. Hope to hit St. Louis at some point before we leave WI. I am extremely jealous of a couple of friends of mine who just put all their shit into storage and embarked on a 7 month road trip with a van, a mattress, two bikes and a laptop. They will be in Madison in late June and can't wait to welcome them!

http://www.lastgreatroadtrip.net/
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby Marvell » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:43 pm

I don't have anything nice to say about Indianapolis. It's the Dayton of Indiana - with possibly less in the way of culture.

If you keep truckin' a little further downstate, however, you'd be able to spend the night in Columbus. I lived in Columbus for five years as a kid, and while it's not exactly a hot spot in terms of live music or dining or anything like that, it's "ranked 6th in the nation for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects on a list that includes the much larger cities of Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C."

See more here: http://www.columbus.in.us/listings/index.cfm?catId=336
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby jjoyce » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:52 pm

Yeah, Indy sucks. One of the best parts about it is the minor league baseball park right downtown, however. The Indianapolis Indians play Triple-A ball there (Cleveland farm team).

There literally is very little of interest other than that. Good luck finding a non-chain bar or non-chain restaurant in the vicinity.
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:54 pm

Excellent Marvell, this is exactly the kind of place I was looking for. Nothing against Indy, but I just haven't heard much that's got me amped to stop there, and considering that Cincinnati and Cleveland are probably your typical largish Midwestern cities, I was looking for something a bit more small town for the first night. I thought of Bloomington, but it looked kind of meh.

I will definitely check this place out, its the kind of thing that we would enjoy.

And Joyce, thanks for the advice on the Indy minor league thing, that could be a possibility as well. Love minor league baseball.
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby Learned » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:21 pm

I lived in Cleveland for 3 years so I can give you a few pointers:

Great beer and solid bar food,
more food: http://lolabistro.com/ (current Clevelanders love Michael Symon).

the Rock Hall is a good bet. Check admission specials - I seem to remember regular admission being steep.

Oh, and this may help, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:51 pm

I love Great Lakes Brewery, didn't even make that connection, thanks man! After Bell's, probably my favorite Midwestern brewery. Nice. That other restaurant looks good. Keep the advice coming people!!!
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby Learned » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:49 pm

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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby lolagirl » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:26 pm

Thanks for some great Cleveland ideas! Hubby and I are doing our baseball pilgrimage in June, when we can catch the Brewers playing the Indians.

Any suggestions on good downtown hotels? I looked last night online, and the Embassy Suites downtown seemed to be the best bet as regards price and options.
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:52 pm

$76 plus tax a night on hotwire for two nights:

http://www.hiltongardeninn.com/en/gi/ho ... cn=CLEGWGI

As you can see, its right next to the ballpark. Apparently this is also close to the Market and the Brewery.
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:53 am

So, we are stopping in Columbus, IN on Saturday for a night. Got a decent boutique type hotel for cheap and plan on the architecture tour and dinner.

Any advice for dinner in Cincinnati on Sunday?

In Cleveland, we will be doing Great Lakes brewery and the market/pierogies, Rn'R HoF. Any more restaurant advice near the ballpark?

Thanks forons.
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Re: Baseball Roadtrip: Ohio

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:55 pm

Thanks for all the advice. Columbus was very interesting, and we had a nice meal at a steakhouse there (even more affordable than the Madison restaurant experience). Macallan 12 was the same price as here. Also, really loved the pub at the Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland and drank Great Lakes at the Jake on Monday night. The pierogi stand at the West Side market was closed when we got there on Monday, bummer. Rn'R HoF is not to be missed, even if you are a music snob (like me).

Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is amazing, we saw Jay Bruce hit back to back jacks on Sunday, and we got to see Micah Owings get two hits and pitch 7 strong. The Jake is your typical new/old ballpark, not nearly as impressive as some (AT&T, Camden, Comerica), but as nice as many (Miller, The Ballpark, whatever they are calling the one in Phoenix these days). Highlights included JBay's 3-run dong and a decent pitcher's duel between reigning Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee and old hand Wake on Monday, and dollar dog night coupled with "Slider" butt-dancing all over my section when Francisco tied the game on Tuesday.
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