Confession: I don’t like to sit in my seat at Nationals Park. I can usually stay there for a few innings, but then I want to move around, get a beer and watch the game from a different angle. Thankfully, the park is built with standing-room-only crowds in mind. Here are a few of my favorite viewing locations, and their advantages and disadvantages.
Devils Backbone Left Field Lodge (Section 301)
Pros: The most sweeping views of the field and the city beyond come from this top-of-the-stadium beer garden, which offers picnic tables near the railing and easy access to drinks, including the limited-edition Earned Run Ale session IPA.
Cons: You’re up pretty high. If other fans are watching the game from picnic tables, you’ll block their view if you stand at the fence.
Ramp at the mid-level
between Sections 201 and 301
Pros: A completely unimpeded view of the field that’s less popular than the Devils Backbone Lodge (one level above) or the mezzanine below.
Cons: No easy access to food or beer, and no counter to rest your concessions on once you have them — just the top of the railing.
In front of the family picnic area (behind Section 138)
Pros: Easy access to a variety of concessions, including District Drafts and Nats Dogs, and a view of home plate straight ahead of you. It’s also shaded from sun and rain.
Cons: No view of the scoreboard and its key stats. It’s also frequently crowded with fans making pit stops between their seats and the beer stands or restrooms.
Shock Top Bar
(near Section 205)
Pros: The frequently rebranded bar has plenty of high, round tables and a view directly over third base, making it a great place to get a closer look at the pitcher.
Cons: The overhang from seats above blocks high fly balls and the top half of the scoreboard, and it can be hard to see anything if you’re not right up at the railing.
Bud Light Loft
(above the Budweiser Brew House/Section 100)
Pros: The center field location puts the Bud Light Loft in the heart of everything, with views of the entire park, including the scoreboard. It’s lively, with plenty of 20- and 30-something fans drawn by the views and easy access to the biggest bar in the stadium.
Cons: It’s very popular, so you might wind up peering between heads. Prepare to be jostled, especially once everyone’s had a few. The draft beer selection is mediocre.