The days are getting shorter, the mornings a bit cooler, and the leaves are turning color. That’s right, fall is here and that can mean only one thing: Football season is in full swing.
Whether you root for your Alma mater, follow a favorite pro team, or play the spread in fantasy, there is no better way to enjoy a day of football than at a tailgating event.
Here are 10 of the best, classic, and most epic destinations for tailgating this football season.
Located on 10 acres in the middle of the University of Mississippi campus, The Grove is a legendary tailgating venue. Shaded by the namesake oak, elm, and magnolia trees, the venue regularly attracts more than 25,000 fans for home games.
Home of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Paul Brown Stadium plays host to one of the most classic tailgating experiences in the NFL. Characterized by the lawn (or parking lot) game “corn hole”—which was invented in the area—and chili cook-offs, fans rally for game days and often spill over into the blocks surrounding the stadium.
The tailgating extravaganza that surrounds the annual Florida versus Georgia game in Jacksonville, Florida, is known as the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party”—and it’s easy to see why. Fans of both teams flood the town for the weekend, meaning that the partying the morning before the game is only part of the celebration.
The tailgating venue outside of Auburn University has acquired the name of “Camper City” from the lines of RVs that park along the streets days before a home game. The school is better known, however, for the polite manner fans have for opposing teams. This makes Camper City a great tailgating destination, even if you’re not a Tigers fan.
If you wander the streets of Green Bay on a Sunday during football season, you might be confused, thinking the city has been abandoned. Approach Lambeau Field, however, and any questions will be answered. The Packers, of course, are famously owned by citizens of the city and the tailgating experience exhibits the devotion of fans who have truly bought into their team.
For those in the know, it’s simply referred to as “The Game.” It’s a rivalry that dates back to 1875 and today remains a New England tradition during which top students and alums alike cut loose for some legendary tailgating.
With a celebration that begins 48 hours in advance, the tailgating experience at Arrowhead Stadium is one of the best in the NFL. Barbecue, unsurprisingly, takes center stage and festivities typically go on well after the game has finished.
Fans of the the Washington Huskies have implemented their own unique variation on tailgating. Instead of cars, Huskies fans congregate in boats outside the stadium. Seafood dominates the menu and instead of cheap beer, local microbrews are served from vendors on the docks.
When you can see smoke rising and head the shouts and hollers of organized “yell squads” don’t turn and run. This isn’t a battle, or even a Mexican-American War reenactment, it’s Gameday in Aggieland. The Texas A&M tailgating party is known for the onsite smokers, the barbecue, and—because everything is bigger in Texas—it’s huge party.
Known as “America’s Game,” the annual Army versus Navy football matchup brings together families and fans from across the country. The game has been held in a variety of stadiums over the years, but the most recent home is the storied Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tailgating begins outside, before fans funnel in to watch the action on the Link.