I've been going to Spring Training for about 15 years.

Some years the Phillies have been good, some years, not so good. But one thing stays the same, its a great trip.

If your a baseball fan Spring Training is a trip you must take, and for Phillies fans, Clearwater and nearby CLearwater Beach just might be the best spot in the Grapefruit League.

I like to go during the first four days of the NCAA Tournament.  There is nothing better than enjoying a mixture of baseball, basketball and good beer in the sun, while having fun.

So if you're going to head to Phillies Spring Training here are some of my favorite spots to hit when you go.

The Clearwater Bait House - A local bait and tackle shop, that doubles as a restaurant with a very small bar.  Tremendous fresh seafood, with about picnic bench style seating and a few tables.   I recommend the tuna nachos, and any of the fresh catches they bring in that day!


Clear Sky Cafe - A breakfast favorite, there will most likely be a wait, but it is well worth it.  There is a bar, and you're a block from the beach.  I am typically an omelet guy, and they make a tremendous omelet.  Very good selection and worth the wait.

Surfside Taphouse - Great craft beer selection, good food and a nice TV set-up.  I love watching NCAA games here.  It has a bar that is both inside and outside, and has very good live music at night.  It's not a sports bar, but has tons of TV's and a local feel.

Marina Cantina - This place is one of my favorite stops, its a newer rooftop Mexican restaurant with a bar and lots of seating.  They have cabanas, fire pits and heat lamps for the cooler Florida nights.  I like this place more for the atmosphere than the food and drinks, but the food is very good, but a little pricey.

Beach Shanty - This is another restaurant place, that sits right next door to the Surfside Taphouse.  Its a small place, with counter seating and some tables and booths.  Breakfast is breakfast, but this place just has a cool, beach vibe that I enjoy if Clear Sky has a line, this place will be fine.

Jimmy's Crow's Nest - This is a cool rooftop bar at the Pier House 60 hotel.  Nothing special about the food or beer selection, but love watching the sun sets up on the roof.   Its got an amazing view of the whole beach and city.  It does get a little chilly up there at night, but the view is worth it.


Palm Pavilion - The Palm Pavilion is a great bar/restaurant that sits right on the beach.  They typically have live music, but it does get very crowded.  Food is good, beer is good, not great, but the location is prime.  One of those places you should check out if you're down on the beach.

Brown Boxer - The Brown Boxer is a bar with food, lots of Philly flavor in the place.  It is one of the more popular spots and is open late.   Good place to watch games, while its not my favorite place, you are likely to run into someone you know from back home there.

Cooters - Place of off the main strip, but a must hit for their all-you-can-eat crab night and key-lime pie.  Decent bar and food, but I go for the crabs.

Jimmy Hula's - This place is a newer, has a cool taco menu with tons of taco options, but a very good craft beer selection.  Cool beach vibe, not a place to go for the games, but worth checking out.

Badfins Food and Brew - This is a new place that was opened last year.  I really enjoyed the beer selection and music.  But it was pretty crowded the day I went, so we didn't stay long, but I will be checking it out this year.

Hooters - I mention Hooters not for the food, you know what that is like, but the original Hooters is in Clearwater and there is a new Hooters down on Clearwater beach that is very nice and a great place to watch games.

Lenny's - Lenny's is a breakfast place you might have heard about by the stadium in Clearwater.  It is a bit touristy, but it is worth checking out once. Food is very good, lots of Phillies stuff on the walls, and you might even run into some former Phillies.  Ge there early, the wait is long, but yes, its worth it.

These are just a few of the places I like to check out when I head down, feel free to shoot me any questions if you are heading down @MikeGillShow or e-mail me: Mike@973ESPN.com

Hopefully this helps make your trip a more enjoyable experience!

More From 97.3 ESPN