The Red Sox open brand-new JetBlue Park this spring in Fort Myers, where they will begin preparation for the 2012 season, one year after suffering one of the worst collapses in baseball history. If you're headed to Fort Myers, Fla. this spring, here are some things to see, do, and taste.
Where: JetBlue Park is a new, state-of-the-art facility, housing the team's minor league complex and spring training home. For more information on the new digs, check out our guide to JetBlue Park.
On March 4, the team begins its spring training slate of games with a doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. Tickets for all home games, to be played at JetBlue Park, can be purchased here.
When: Feb. 19: Pitchers and catchers report
Feb. 24: Positional players report
Feb. 25: First official full squad workout
March 4: Spring training games begin
April 5: Opening Day at Detroit Tigers
Where to stay: There are plenty of hotels in the Fort Myers area. However, the beach is the place to be. Here are a few suggestions among the many options:
- Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa: Located on the beach, this hotel is an annual hotbed for Red Sox fans, as it’s where Comcast Sports Tonight has historically set its home base and conducts a number of player interviews on-site.
- Crowne Plaza: One of the area’s more popular hotels, offers baseball and beach packages.
Where to eat: The seafood on Fort Myers Beach is probably the best option. But even if you’re not into that, the area offers plenty of choices. The following are some of the establishments Sox fans have been known to frequent over the years:
- Bistro 41: Casual American fare in an elegant atmosphere within the Bell Tower Shops.
- Blu Sushi:Trendy and artsy, this sushi restaurant is a sight to be seen.
- Smokin’ Oyster Brewery: No frills at this Fort Myers Beach establishment with daily happy hour specials, but then again, isn’t that what you'd expect from a beach bar?
- Pinchers Crab Shack: This Floridian seafood restaurant chain boasts four locations in the greater Fort Myers area.
Other attractions: Sure you’re in town for baseball, but there are plenty of other things to see and do.
- Edison & Ford Winter Estates: One of the nation’s most-visited historic homes.
- Art of the Olympians: This new museum presents art, photographs, and sculptures created by the world’s Olympic athletes, past and present.
- Minnesota Twins spring training: Joe Mauer and the Twins train across town at the Lee County Sports Complex.
- Sanibel Island: The gorgeous Sanibel Island offers a variety of outdoor activities for singles and families alike, including fishing, boating, shopping, and golf.