So, on Tuesday I wrote an article about road trip options if you wanted to follow the Royals around in 2022. I included a couple of options in that article that included minor league stops along the way, but I figured I’d write an article for each team with the best places to see each Royals affiliate in 2022. This also will not be an exact science, but I’ll quickly break down where the Fireflies will be at different times this summer and what there is to do in that area during the day. The Fireflies will likely feature players such as Erick Pena, Frank Mozzicato, Ben Kudrna, Shane Panzini, and plenty of others this year, so it could actually be a fun little trip if you decide to make it to the East Coast.
Alright. Anyways. Let’s give this a whirl. I’ll post articles like this for Quad Cities (A+), Northwest Arkansas (AA), and Omaha (AAA) next week.
Option #1: Columbia, SC
Figured it would be appropriate to start with their home stadium. Columbia is about a 90 minute drive from Charleston and about 2.5 hours from Myrtle Beach, so you could easily work in a beach trip one day if you decided to stay in Columbia for a home series or two. The Fireflies obviously will play half of their games in Columbia, so you have plenty of dates to choose from if you want to check out the home of the University of South Carolina.
I have never been to South Carolina, so I’m going to TripAdvisor the hell out of this article. Obviously, as we go down this list, there will be places that have major attractions, but this isn’t supposed to be scientific so whatever. Here’s a quick look at some of the top attractions in the Columbia area:
- Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
- Pretty standard looking zoo setup. Beautiful looking gardens though. Certainly looks worth a stop.
- Columbia Museum of Art
- Not my cup of tea, personally, but it looks pretty neat if this is your kind of attraction.
- South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
- This museum has been open since 1896 and I’m a history teacher, so, yeah. It also has some stuff in here from the Revolutionary War according to TripAdvisor.
- EdVenture Children’s Museum
- Looks like a must if you have kids under the age of 12.
- Sesquicentennial State Park
- Big fan of state and national parks so I’ll definitely be stopping by here if I make it out. The pictures look absolutely gorgeous.
- Harbison State Forest
- Looks like a great place for a day hike.
To be completely transparent, Columbia won’t be my first option on this list, but I put it number one because of how many different opportunities you’ll have to see them there. It’s probably just easiest if you plan on seeing the Fireflies in Columbia and making a day trip to Charleston or Myrtle Beach or both. However, it’s their home stadium and there’s still plenty to do in Columbia if you decide to make that trip.
Option #2: Charleston, SC
I’m trying to plan around a family event and the College World Series, but there’s a series in Charleston toward the end of June that I’m probably going to be in attendance for. Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and there is still so much to do in this town. I’ve been looking for an excuse to get out there for a few years and I think I’ve finally found it. The Fireflies are in Charleston from April 12-17 and again from June 21-26 so you actually have a couple opportunities to catch them here. School/work won’t allow me to go in April, but that June trip is looking like a strong possibility at the moment.
Like I mentioned already, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the country and has all kinds of neat places that you can visit while you’re waiting for the ballpark to open up. I’ve never been, personally, but here is a list of things I’ve had on my “to do” list and a few things TripAdvisor recommends.
- Fort Sumter National Monument
- Again, I’m a history teacher so this has been on my bucket list for a while. This monument marks the spot where our Civil War began so there’s some deep historical importance here. I’ve been to a couple Civil War landmarks, but this one feels like it’ll carry some extra weight.
- Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
- Just see the picture for why. This thing looks beautiful all lit up at night.
- Middleton Place
- Perhaps the oldest landscaped gardens in the US. Probably a lot you can learn about our country’s history here as well.
- Charleston City Market
- Looks like a very cool flea/street market area in downtown Charleston. Seeing local art and supporting local businesses is one of my favorite parts about traveling so I’ll almost definitely swing by here if I make it out.
- Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
- There’s a ton of history in this city and, despite the insidious nature of most of it, I really want to get out here and do an educational tour during the day while I’m waiting for the games to begin at night.
Charleston is probably the number one place I’d like to catch the Fireflies if I could only catch them once. There’s only one week I can get ’em here, and it interferes with the CWS a bit, but I’m gonna do my best to be here in June..
Option #3: Myrtle Beach
If you’re looking for a little bit of a simpler vacation on a beach, this is your destination. Myrtle Beach is one of the more popular beaches on the East Coast and the Fireflies will be there twice. The first time from April 26th through May 1st. The next time they’ll be there is August 9th through the 14th. I know school is in session, but that late April date may be a great beach getaway if you’re looking to catch some rays and watch some baseball. I don’t anticipate the Royals will be in a hurry to get the three prep arms or Erick Pena to High-A this year, but I guess there’s a chance those guys aren’t there anymore in August (though I think that’s highly unlikely). Anyway, outside of sitting on Myrtle Beach, here’s a list of other things you can do while you’re there:
- Ripley’s Aquarium
- Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade
- The Market Common
- This looks more like a mall than a flea market type of setup, but it still appears to be a useful place to eat lunch and do some shopping if you’re into that kind of thing.
- Family Kingdom Amusement Park
- Somewhere between Worlds of Fun and the traveling carnival.
- Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!
- I don’t even know but I’m going if I ever make my way to Myrtle Beach.
- Wheels of Yesteryear
- A collection of some sweet looking old cars.
Depending on what you like to do on vacation and when you have availability, maybe this is the best stop on the calendar this summer. Like I said, I’ve never been to South Carolina, but Myrtle Beach just jumped up my list. The historian in me probably still favors Charleston, but this is hardly a bad second place.
Option #4: Augusta, GA
Home of “The Master’s”, Augusta has plenty of other things you can do if you aren’t especially into golf. There are plenty of outdoor activities to dive into as you’ll be in one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia, right near the South Carolina border, and not too for from Sumter National Forest. There’s plenty of golf to play if that’s your thing, and there’s all kinds of hiking and trails to walk as well. I’ve never been to Augusta specifically, but I’ve spent some time in North East Georgia and it’s just a beautiful part of the world. The Fireflies will be in Augusta from May 10th through the 15th and June 28th through July 3rd. Great alternative if the dates work better for your schedule.
Option #5: Salem, Virginia
The Fireflies only make one trip to Salem this year, from May 30th through June 5th. This is a weird lineup where the Fireflies actually play on a Monday, have Tuesday off, then play Wednesday through Sunday, according to their official schedule. If you’re not familiar with Salem, it’s right next to Roanoke, VA, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the fall. Obviously that’s not when you’d be here, but you get the idea. The Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is GORGEOUS and, like much of the South Eastern United States, there is all kinds of stuff to do outside while you’re waiting on the games at night. There’s a city market in Roanoke, a water park, and all kinds of other things you can do in the area to keep kids busy if you’re traveling with them. There’s only one set of dates to choose from here, and it’s definitely the fifth best option on the list, but it’s totally worth the trip if you’re hellbent on seeing the Fireflies in person this summer.
So there ya go. Nothing scientific but there’s my very not serious opinion on how you can catch the Fireflies on the road in 2022. There are some great cities on the schedule but the Fireflies are located right in the middle of them so you could probably hit 2-3 of these places on one road trip if you really wanted to. I mentioned that I’ll probably try to catch the series in Charleston in June, but I’ll also probably try to hit up Myrtle Beach and Augusta during the day if I can make it happen. That’s the beauty of this league, it doesn’t take long to get to most of these places.
Thanks for reading. We’ll do Quad Cities, Northwest Arkansas, and Omaha next week.
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