How to Plan a Great Road Trip From Tucson to San Diego

Introduction: Why a Road Trip Into the Padres?

It’s been about a year since the Padres last won their division, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to speculate on the best time to make a road trip into Petco Park. You see, the National League West is sure to be one of baseball’s most competitive divisions in 2015. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have traded players and prospects all offseason, while the Rockies, who last year moved into Petco as the more talented and complete club, are back at home. The Padres might not be complete and talented yet, but they are certainly in better position than a year ago. Corporately, we talked about the Padres’ long-term rebuilding process during our 2015 season preview series. Now is the most opportune time for the Padres to get a glimpse of their future.
And it’s not just about how close the competitive window is. Starting in San Diego doesn’t mean starting at Petco Park, either. San Diego has a limited amount of road games, and even before we’re privy to what’s in store for the new ballpark, this might be an opportunity to see it from a visiting perspective. Not many people have the chance to do that.
So join us for a quick look at three potential road trips for the Padres in 2015.
4/12-16 – Philadelphia Phillies @ San Diego (Municipal)
The Philadelphia Phillies, who posted one of baseball’s worst records last season and are rebuilding in a big way, are expected to be the best team in the NL East this year. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be the Padres’ toughest road opponent this season. The Phillies can hit, they can pitch and they can beat up on bad teams. They’re going to win plenty of series this year, and this is just their first one.
4/19-23 – Colorado Rockies @ San Diego (Municipal)

distance from tucson to san diego
distance from tucson to san diego

What Gear You Need for a Great Road Trip

At last year’s road trip, I only had one essential item I needed for a great road trip through Petco: my Padres hat. While at first glance it must seem like you’re only going to need a few things for a Padres road trip, the reality of it is that there are things you don’t need and should probably take just to be safe.
Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few things I absolutely must have:
1. The Padres Hat
As I mentioned before, it is essential that you wear a Padres hat while on the road. It’s not quite as important as numbers 1-3, but it’s pretty close. Wear one no matter where you’re driving to and from because if you’re at a game, your hat will help you fit into the crowd of people wearing Padres hats in San Diego. If you don’t have one, grab one here and wear it while traveling.
2. (all-purpose) Windbreaker or jacket (worn in the car)
As much as I love my short-sleeve Padres t-shirt underneath my jacket, I would be happy wearing a thick wool winter coat if it meant that I could drive game-day comfortably with the top off and not freeze to death.
I urge you to consider the following questions before you head out on your road trip. What if it rains? Or what if it’s windy?
That’s why I always wear a windbreaker and here are a few reasons why:

distance from tucson to san diego
distance from tucson to san diego

The Best Route to Take for the Best Time & Traveling Costs

While we could have charted a route to make stops at as many stadiums along the way, we decided that our trip would be most fun if we found one last big weekend of away games during the season. The Padres play series versus the Braves, Cardinals and Diamondbacks during late August and early September that seemed like perfect trips for my wife (she’s from Atlanta) and I.
The other major factor for us was to make sure that we had the time to see our friends and family in many of the cities along the way. This includes stops in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
And since we would be flying between most of these cities (there are some things you can’t do in a 15-passenger van), it made sense to chart the route with a few layovers.
The third goal of our trip was to follow the most iconic baseball route across the country. The most famous routes follow U.S. Route 40 from Baltimore to L.A., or a more historical route via Lincoln Highway from Jersey City through Pittsburgh and on to Cleveland, Chicago and LA.

distance from tucson to san diego
distance from tucson to san diego

Pre-Trip Checklist & What To Expect Once You Get There

Before you make the trip, you should do a few things: make sure you have the necessary travel documents for the trip, book your hotel room in advance, check weather and traffic information for the area, and make sure there is adequate parking available at whichever stadium you are visiting. I’ve also written a summary of what to expect when your get to Petco Park , which consists mostly of general ballpark info. However, it’s difficult to explain what a Padres road trip is like without some more details about the various stadium experiences, such as baseball’s best beer selection and the best food in town.
The trip itself will be about 7 hours due to the drive to and from San Diego.
When you leave Tucson, you can either take I-10 west towards or I-8 west towards . To get to , you will have to do some mountain driving on route . If you are not familiar with mountain driving, then I would suggest going a bit slower than usual in case of adverse conditions. If taking , then there is a stretch of 4 miles where the speed limit is 45 mph. It is well posted, but this section is definitely the roughest and most annoying part of the drive. If taking , then there is a stretch of 10 miles where the speed limit is 45 mph. This section has some rough parts as well and it can get pretty congested during peak hours.

distance from tucson to san diego
distance from tucson to san diego

Day 1 of Your Road Trip To Paradise with Day 2 Plans

This year’s trip was special for me because I got to see the Diamondbacks play the Padres in Petco Park. I grew up a die-hard D’Backs fan, but now reside in Tucson. Because of that odd circumstance, I have never been to a game at Chase Field (which is a beautiful, enormous ballpark). I took my wife to her first game ever at Chase Field. The trip from Tucson to Phoenix was a long 8-hour drive, with a short stop for gas along the way. Despite the distance and time involved, we still had more than enough time to enjoy our day in Phoenix.
I’m a big proponent of the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy of baseball. I think the Diamondbacks made an excellent decision in building their new ballpark in the center of downtown Phoenix. It has revitalized that part of town, which was previously desolate and barren. There is a great view of the ballpark from all angles, including but not limited to: freeways, streets, buildings and mountains. It’s the perfect place to watch a ballgame from.

distance from tucson to san diego
distance from tucson to san diego

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