5 College Towns with the Best Tailgating
‘Tis the season for layering our clothes, watching the leaves turn to their signature dusty orange and of course, college football. College football games draw fans from all walks of life and they’re the perfect time to get together with friends and family. If you can’t get enough of college football season check out these college towns that offer the best tailgating.
1. University of South Carolina: Columbia, SC
The Gamecocks know how to get down on game day. South Carolina is famous for its tailgating scene and for Columbia residents and college students alike, home games at the Williams- Brice Stadium rarely disappoint. School spirit is high as Gamecock players make their way down “Gamecock Walk” to greet fans and slap high-fives. Have you ever seen Cocky the school’s mascot run out on the field? It’s said to be one of the best college football entrances. During tailgating, cabooses (nicknamed “cockabooses”) line the railroad tracks southeast of the football stadium. These privately owned cars offer the best in luxury tailgating. Tailgaters usually enjoy typical South Carolina low-country cuisine including: seafood boils, pilau (a rice and vegetable dish), fried chicken, and of course the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs.
photo courtesy of Joe Robbins
2. Louisiana State University: Baton Rouge, LA
Nestled in the capital of Cajun country, Louisiana State offers some of the best tailgating for those who love the tastes of the South. Tailgaters at LSU prepare all the classic Creole fixins’ like: jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish and even fried gator (that is if University of Florida is in town!) As with most Louisiana celebrations (and LSU home games are truly a celebration,) fans have created krewes, or a club of people who often dress up, typically for New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parades, to host their own tents during tailgating. Nothing beats “Saturday Night in Death Valley!”
photo courtesy of Visit Baton Rouge
3. University of Alabama: Tuscaloosa, AL
The Crimson Tide is notorious for its tailgating, in fact, many fans begin making their way to Bryant-Denny Stadium the Friday night before a home game to avoid the monstrous traffic on game day. Tailgating in the past grew such a large turn out that the university had to designate a separate tailgating zone from the Quad, where tailgating usually takes place. ‘Bama fans enjoy southern cuisine as well as free inflatables, video game trucks and vendors. UA strives to make its tailgating a family-friendly affair. Roll tide!
photo courtesy of Michael Casagrande
4. University of Mississippi: Oxford, MS
Ole Miss doesn’t stray from its long standing traditions and tailgating is no different. During every home game, more than 100,000 fans descend on the campus’ Grove, the 10-acre space designated for tailgating. “The Grove is a spiritual place,” Robert C. Khayat, former Chancellor of University of Mississippi told the New York Times, and the Grove is truly spiritual indeed. Fans break bread with one another, sing traditional Ole Miss school songs and rekindle friendships with many of the same people who religiously attend tailgating. Ole Miss tailgating cuisine includes classic Mississippi fare like chicken-on-a-stick, cheese fries and crawfish, fried catfish, and boiled peanuts. Hotty Toddy!
photo courtesy of Pinterest
5. Ohio State University: Columbus, OH
We’re not just talking about Ohio State, we’re talking about THE Ohio State and the Buckeyes know how to tailgate! Although the tailgating culture at OSU differs from tailgating in the South, Ohio State fans still enjoy the pregame shenanigans all the same. Most of the tailgating occurs on Columbus’ High Street, a few miles from OSU’s Ohio Stadium. Tailgating in Columbus becomes a city-wide block party equipped with bar hopping and restaurant going at famous OSU fan-based establishments. While outside of Ohio Stadium, those lucky enough to set up tents usually serve: BBQ, sausage, burgers, gyros, and chili.