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Jupiter, FL -- Double the Spring Training Fun for Lynn
I first went to spring training in 1982 with my father. We camped every night and simply showed up for batting practice and a front row seat at one generally rickety stadium after another. I've returned to the Sunshine State (and Arizona) for spring training many times, but the stadiums are now generally more modern and larger (as are the crowds). One of my favorite destinations for Grapefruit League games and more continues to be Roger Dean Stadium in the Palm Beach County city of Jupiter.
Besides being a super stadium in a bustling development in Jupiter called Abacoa, one of the many things I love about Roger Dean Stadium is that it hosts two Major League clubs each spring (the Cardinals and the Marlins). This means there's a spring training game practically every day from late-February to late-March! It also means there's an almost-daily Florida State League Minor League game from early-April to early-September as well (the Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Hammerheads both call Roger Dean home).
I also love the location of the stadium in Abacoa, in that there are many great restaurants and bars to enjoy before or after the game (this is actually quite unusual for Florida and Arizona spring training sites). Our favorite is an Irish-style pub called Rooney's Public House, which has serious Pittsburgh Steelers roots (as in the Rooney family).
The stadium is just off I-95 and Florida's Turnpike, making it convenient for a stopover. However, this year, we stayed at nearby Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa and will definitely be back. Located right on the beach, this resort features luxurious and large rooms, a full-service spa with a range of treatments, and a tasty waterfront restaurant where we enjoyed a creative "tasting" menu.a
We'll continue to cover spring training in coming years (it's more popular than ever, as is Minor League Baseball).