Last week 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. So last Friday I wrote about your options for following the Columbia Fireflies (A-) around this summer and then on Monday I wrote about the Quad Cities River Bandits (A+). On Thursday, our article about the NWA schedule released. All that’s left is to analyze the schedule for the Royals AAA affiliate in 2022. Like the others, this won’t be an exact science, but it should be fun regardless. Thanks for following along with this series so far. Let’s wrap this up.
Option #1: Omaha, Nebraska
Back to starting off with the home team for our affiliate. Omaha is just a three-hour drive north of Kansas City on I-29 and offers a ton of stuff to do during the day while you’re waiting for the games to begin. If you go to Omaha to see the Storm Chasers during their home series from June 21st through 26th you’ll also be able to catch the College World Series while you’re there. Talk about baseball overload. Playing half of their games at home also gives us the opportunity to plan around any number of other events that Omaha may be playing host to that week, making this the clear-cut #1 option to see the Storm Chasers in 2022. Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to do in The Big O.
- Henry Doorly Zoo
- Is this the best zoo in the Midwest?
- Joslyn Art Museum
- The Nelson Atkins of Omaha
- Omaha Children’s Museum
- Zorinsky Lake
- Freedom Park Navy Museum
- Literally any brewery
- Omaha is home to a fantastic local beer scene. Every summer pre-COVID they hold “Beer Fest” and it’s quite frankly a great time. Take an entire day and walk around the fantastic bars and breweries that Omaha has downtown.
Find a concert you want to attend, buy a World Series ticket, visit the Old Market, but there’s all kinds of things you can do in Omaha while you’re waiting for the Storm Chasers to play. Bobby Witt Jr. still has a chance to open his season up on the Storm Chasers roster, and I’d fully expect guys like MJ Melendez, Nick Pratto, and Vinnie Pasquantino to be there as well. This team could be a lot of fun to watch early on with a ton of other reasons to be in the area.
Option #2: Memphis, Tennessee
If you’re looking for the road trip that gives you the best chance to get drunk and wind up in someone else’s hotel room, this is the one for you. Beale Street is a dangerous game not for the faint of heart. In all seriousness, Memphis is an outstanding city to visit and is an easy day drive from Kansas City. Once you’re there you aren’t far from Nashville either so there’s a lot of good options for side-activities once you’re in the area. Tennessee is one of my favorite states to visit between Memphis, Tennessee, and the Smokey Mountains out east. Omaha starts out their season with an early trip to Memphis from April 19th through the 24th, so there’s a non-zero chance that you could catch this team with Bobby Witt Jr., Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, and Vinnie Pasquantino still on the roster. This is Omaha’s only trip to Memphis in 2022, so if you want to catch the team in the Bluff City, you’ll have to do it early. Here’s a list of the top things to do in Memphis:
- Beale Street
- If you’ve never been…good luck.
- Visit Elvis Presley’s Childhood Home
- Sun Studio
- The birthplace of Rock-N-Roll. Very cool museum.
- A museum dedicated to the preservation of life in the 60’s and 70’s.
- National Civil Rights Museum
- One of the coolest museums I’ve ever seen.
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- The Memphis Zoo
- Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
- Slave Haven “Underground Railroad” Museum
- Crystal Shrine Grotto
Memphis is outstanding. If you’ve never been, go. Go when the Storm Chasers are in town, go when they’re not in town, I don’t care. Just make sure you visit at some point. It’s outstanding.
Option #3: Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Twin Cities are an underrated destination for watching baseball. Unfortunately, the Royals aren’t scheduled to be in Minneapolis at the same time the Storm Chasers are in Saint Paul, but the Twins will be home during the Storm Chasers first trip north so you could still catch a game at Target Field. Omaha will be in Saint Paul from June 28th through July 3rd, and then again from August 30th trough September 4th, so you’ll have a couple of opportunities to go see the Twin Cities while Omaha is there. Here’s a list of things to go do/see while in Minnesota:
- Mall of America
- The Minnesota State Fair
- This is kind of neat. The Minnesota State Fair is scheduled for the Storm Chasers second trip to Saint Paul at the end of August. So there ya go.
- Minnehaha Park
- Beautiful place to spend an afternoon while you’re waiting for the games to begin. The Minnehaha Falls are beautiful too.
- Science Museum of Minnesota
- Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
- Went back in 2014 and had a great time just messing around looking at all the crazy pieces in the garden. I’m not a big art guy but this was a lot of fun.
- Lake Harriet
- The Museum of Russian Art
- Historic Fort Snelling
- Old Civil War fort. If you’re a history junkie like me, might be worth visiting. I missed it last time I was there.
- Fort Snelling State Park
It’s hard to beat Minnesota in the summer. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a ton to offer and while it’s a little further than Omaha from Kansas City, but it’s still a super easy day drive and there’s a ton to do while you’re there. Strong candidate to be a top-10 MiLB road trip in the Royals system this year.
Option #4: Louisville, Kentucky
A lot of strong candidates for places to catch Omaha on the road this summer. That’s kind of the nature of being a AAA team, but hey. We’ll take some bigger cities on these lists for a change. If you’ve never been to Louisville, it’s less than seven hours from Kansas City and once you’re there, you’re only 90 minutes from Cincinnati, an hour from Lexington, two and a half hours from Nashville, and less than two hours from Indianapolis. Louisville is right in the middle of a lot of other potential destinations, and while I think Louisville is a fine vacation spot on its own while Omaha is in town, there’s plenty of other options to hit along your way too. Omaha will be in Louisville from May 24th through the 29th and then again from August 16th through the 21st. Here’s a list of some of the top things to do in Louisville:
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
- Can you even be a baseball fan and not attend this while in Louisville?
- Kentucky Derby Museum / Churchill Downs
- When in Rome…
- Angel’s Envy Distillery
- Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
- Muhammad Ali Center
- Kentucky Kingdom
- Some sort of interesting looking carnival/waterpark combo.
- The Louisville Zoo
- Cherokee Park
The list drops off quite a bit from here, but these are four STRONG road trip options if you’re trying to catch the Storm Chasers in 2021.
Option #5: Rochester, New York
I realize that you’re probably not super interested in driving 15 hours to Upstate New York, but you’re only a stones throw from Toronto once you get there so…maybe? This is by far the best destination left on the Storm Chasers schedule even though it’s not particularly close to Kansas City. The Storm Chasers will be in Rochester from July 12th through the 17th this summer if you’re interested. The Hall of Fame induction of David Ortiz will be in Cooperstown on July 24th, so maybe? Anyway, here’s a list of the top attractions in Rochester, NY, per TripAdvisor:
- Canandaigua Wine Trail Experience
- The Strong National Museum of Play
- Good looking opportunity to take the kids somewhere.
- George Eastman Museum
- Museum dedicated to the guy that invented the Kodak Camera. Kinda cool.
- Seabreeze Amusement Park
- Rochester Public Market
- Seneca Park Zoo
- National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House
- Erie Canal Trail
Anyway. Cool area if you can get there. Probably too late in the summer if you’re hoping to catch the team at its most stacked opportunity, but hey.
Thanks for following along with this series. I may run a “top-5” of all these road trips next week.