There’s more to spring training the the mild weather and access to your favorite ballplayers. Here are five reasons to take a trip to Surprise, Ariz.:
1. Rangers baseball
Duh. It’s the reason for the season. You get to see the great game up close in cozy ballparks in a laid-back atmosphere. Surprise Stadium, home of the Rangers and Kansas City Royals, is the perfect setting.
2. The weather
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In March, Surprise enjoys just about perfect weather. Think San Diego without the ocean. Most days, the skies are clear, the sun is shining and the temperature is in the mid-60s.
3. The access
It’s startling how close fans can get to Major League players during spring training, especially the first couple of weeks before games are in full swing and players are working out on the back fields. You can almost bump into Adrian Beltre or Cole Hamels without even necessarily trying.
4. The sightseeing
The Grand Canyon is just 3 1/2 hours north. Tombstone, Ariz., is only three hours and 15 minutes south. For closer attractions, try White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20 minutes west of Surprise, or take a day trip to historic Prescott, Ariz., less than two hours to the north.
5. Phoenix metro area
Phoenix and its sprawling collection of surrounding cities, such as Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Goodyear and Surprise, all have their own unique qualities while sharing baseball. You’ll never run out of good places to eat or shops to browse.