Entertainment & Events

Guide for Your Next Trip to Petco Park

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Baseball season is upon us, which means tourists and locals alike will flood the streets as they make their way to Petco Park. If you’re a Padres fan (or a sports fan in general), then you know that watching a ballgame is more than just a passive experience. The true art of enjoying a good game starts well before the first inning and lasts long after it is over.

Planning your trip to the park is essential in preparation for the game. Transportation to the field, payment for parking, tailgating plans, drinks and dinner arrangements are all things to consider while looking forward to the game.

Getting there: If you plan on driving to the stadium, it is strongly encouraged that you pre-purchase parking online, as this guarantees you a spot in a Padres-preferred lot at a discounted rate. If you don’t want to pay for parking and you don’t mind a walk, search for parking downtown (if you are attending an evening game, arriving downtown around 5pm when people are leaving for work could be your shot at a great spot close to the field). The trolley is also an option, especially if you plan on drinking during or after the game. The stop closest to Petco Park: 12th & Imperial. The stadium can also be easily accessed if you exit at the Park (12th) and Market stop or the Gaslamp Quarter Station (Fifth Avenue and Harbor Drive).

Once you arrive at the park, it’s easy to give in to the enchanting spell that baseball fields cast on visitors. As you walk through the corridors to find your seat, you will undoubtedly get a hankering for an ice cold beer and some tasty grub. Luckily, Petco Park has you covered when it comes to options. New to the park this year are San Diego favorites such as Carnitas Snack Shack and Wonderland Ocean Pub. Phil’s BBQ, Pizza Port, and Hodad’s remain in the stadium this year. Brewery options include Ballast Point, Ironfist Brewing Co., and Alesmith Brewing Co, among other local and imported brews that you can find on tap throughout the park.

After the game, chances are you’ll end up roaming around San Diego’s beautiful downtown to celebrate a Padres victory or mourn a loss. If you find yourself looking for a place to eat or drink after the game, there are a lot of great options within walking distance. Whether you want to party or just relax, the ballpark district has tons of great establishments that can accommodate all moods and preferences. Within walking distance of the park are many top notch bars and restaurants. Here’s a list of some that are within half a mile:

Noble Experiment
Social Tap
Stone Brewing Tap Room
Lolita’s at the Park

If you’re downtown for a game and you fancy yourself a foodie, you may as well check out some restaurants that have just opened up recently while you’re in the area. We recommend Harvest by the Patio or Lionfish. These establishments are great places to relax after the exciting energy of a good game.

Harvest by The Patio

Harvest opened up at the end of 2016. If you’re looking for a place to grab some farm fresh, healthy food before or after the game, look no further. This restaurant offers healthier fare than the hotdogs, nachos, and beer that so often accompany sporting events. Harvest will give you guilt free satisfaction and make it easy for you to pass on the typical ballgame snacks.


The food at lionfish is plated beautifully and it tastes just as good as it looks. The restaurant is located about half a mile from Petco Park in the Gaslamp District. Lionfish opened three months ago and the menu boasts fresh and sustainable seafood. “The two-level space honors the essence of the city’s lifestyle with a menu that is both hip and healthy, eccentric but not excessive.”

Watching a Padres game at Petco Park is a quintessential part of living in (and visiting) San Diego. The atmosphere around the stadium is electric and inviting during baseball season, and the experience is one that you won’t forget. Whether you’re an avid fan or just looking to have a good time, a Padres game is a great excuse to spend the day eating, drinking, and exploring the city.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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