A plan to build a baseball stadium in downtown Wilmington and welcome a minor league team to the area was defeated in a referendum last year, but there is still professional baseball action being played closed to Wilmington, and would make great "One Day Getways."
Just outside of Raleigh, in the small Wake County town of Zebulon, is where you will find Five County Stadium, the home of the Carolina Mudcats.
The Mudcats have been around for almost three decades but moved to Zebulon three years ago as a Class A Advanced member of the famous Carolina League, and are now affiliated with Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians organization.
That move also prompted the team owners to upgrade Five County Stadium, to what is now regarded as one of the finest minor league ballparks in the country - and from the Wilmington area, it is pretty easy to get to.
"With all the new roads we have here, straight up 40, come on 64, a straight shot, so it is a very easy ride, not one stop sign, so you keep cruising," said Joe Kremer, the Carolina Mudcats General Manager.
It is just like a trip to a major league baseball stadium, just a little smaller. But every one of the 6,500 seats give Mudcats fans a great view of the field, and the giant scoreboards.
Those seats come at a variety of prices, from just $7 in the grandstands, to $15 for box seats.
In the concourse below and behind the seats, there are plenty of food options you will always find at the ballpark, and a variety of places to enjoy your meals.
Team officials say the stadium and the team is built around their fans, with mom and dad and kids in mind.
"It is a very family friendly ballpark, you pull in, you do not have to worry about a downtown type atmosphere, you do not have to hold on to your child's hand all day, it is a very safe place," said Kremer. "I think parents can sit down, enjoy a little time getaway for two or three hours, the kids can have fun, and they don't have to just be watching all of the time."
And while you may not know the names of some of the Mudcat players on the field now, you may be watching some of the super stars of the future.
"We had Migel Cabbarra playing with us not too many years ago, and I am sure he will be a Hall of Famer, if you are someone interested in baseball, you are going to see great talent here," said Kremer.
The Carolina Mudcats, playing America's favorite past time in a stadium not too far from Wilmington, definitely a "One Day Getaway" destination.
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