Located in the Navy Yard area, Nationals Park opened in the 2008 season, which was their 4th season in Washington DC. Very close to a Metro stop, it is a very short walk. Across from it, is a beer garden, where IDs are checked for anyone entering.
There are some interesting features, which gets into the history of baseball in Washington DC. The Nation's Capital has been the home of previous incarnations of the Senators. One of them played from 1901 until 1960, when they became the Minnesota Twins. The other from 1961 to 1971, later becoming the Texas Rangers. Not until 2005, when the Montreal Expos moved to DC, to become the Washington Nationals.
In front of the home plate entrance, it is basically a little open-air museum. There are 3 statues of players from previous DC teams, which are Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard. These statues have multiple arms or bats, as they are showing the motion of throwing a pitch or swinging the bat. Also, there are pillars or posts that have different years on them, marking key moments in Washington baseball. Like 1971, when the last Senators team played their final game. You can also see the years on the ground as well. I would recommend seeing this first before entering the ballpark. Though getting to it, can be tough, as it is located on the opposite side of the stadium, from where the Metro stop is.
After seeing this part, go through the home plate entrance, to see the Baseball Americana, which are displays that tell the history of baseball in the DC area. Presented by the Library of Congress, one of the most interesting part is seeing past Presidents at the old ballgame.
There is also a Ring of Honor, which is basically a Washington Baseball Hall of Fame. It honors players from past teams. The most interesting part, is the fact that they even honor those from the Montreal Expos, which include Gary Carter and Andre Dawson. Not easy to find, as it is located above the lower seats behind home plate. And don't bother asking an usher where it is, because they are not likely to know what it is.
Watching a game here, is enjoyable as well. There is the Presidents Race, in the middle of the 4th inning of every home game. This is a mascot race of past US Presidents. And the place does try to build excitement when there are 2 strikes against the opposing team's hitters.
I would say this is one of the best ballparks in MLB, but it has one serious flaw that I cannot overlook. And that is the lights going out almost immediately after the game ends. Basically, telling everyone to "get out now!". I find that unacceptable, as I like to linger longer and get closer look at the ballpark in levels that I will probably never sit in at MLB games. That costs this place a star.
Nationals Park is a nice ballpark to visit and watch a game in. The extra features are fun to check out for baseball fans. But being told to leave almost immediate after the game ends, kind of left a sour taste in me.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.