If you're a baseball fan, you'll definitely want to schedule a visit to the magnificent AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants and hailed by the media as one of the finest ballparks in America. From April through October, an often sellout crowd of 40,800 fans packs the $319-million ballpark -- which has a smaller, more intimate feel than Candlestick Park (where the 49ers play) as well as prime views of San Francisco Bay -- and roots for the National League's Giants.
During the season, tickets to the game can be hard to come by (and expensive when you find them), but you can try to join the Bleacher Bums by purchasing one of the 500 bleacher-seat tickets sold every day before the game. They make you work for it: You have to show up at the ballpark 4 hours early, and then come back 2 hours before the game to get your tickets (maximum four per person). The upside is that the tickets are only $9 to $10.
If you can't even get bleacher seats, you can always join the "knothole gang" at the Portwalk (located behind right field) to catch a free glimpse of the game through cutout portholes into the ballpark. In the spirit of sharing, Portwalk peekers are encouraged to take in only an inning or two before giving way to fellow fans.
One guaranteed way to get into the ballpark is to take a guided tour of AT&T Park and go behind the scenes where you'll see the press box, the dugout, the visitor's clubhouse, a luxury suite, and more. All tours run daily at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 56 and over, and $7.50 for kids 12 and under. There are no tours on game days, and limited tours on the day of night games. To buy tickets online log onto www.sfgiants.com, and then click on "AT&T Park" and "Ballpark Tours" from the drop-down list. You can also buy tour tickets at any Giants Dugout Store or Tickets.com outlet. For more tour information call tel. 415/972-2400.