From Austin To The Grove, Where To Really Get In The School Spirit(s)
College football is about more than, well, college football.
It’s about tradition, culture, atmosphere and … partying! Partying in the town in the day/night before the game, partying at a tailgate party on game day and partying afterward back in the fun bars of college towns.
PubClub.com has this list of top tailgate parties in the USA but we start off with the best college town for bars, nightlife and the all-out PubClub style of fun.
Top College Party Town
1.) Austin, Texas. You can’t go wrong here; it has something for partiers of all ages, students, never-ending students (like myself) and alumni. It’s all along 6th Street. The college section has dive bars, a couple Vegas wanna-be clubs, live music venues and really cheap drinks ($3 beers on some nights) while the alumni section has fun bars with a little more sophistication.
Link: Austin Nightlife Guide
Top Tailgate Parties
Oh the tailgate parties! Actually, you can find some pretty good tailgating on smaller campuses at Northeast, Midwest and Southern schools. But I’m talking the “big boys” here with big-time tailgating.
You won’t be able to plop down your own tent here – people pay a healthy annual fee for that privilege – but you can certainly bring your own and walk around the area.
1.) The Grove, Ole Miss. Here on a place called “The Grove,” they yell out Hottie Toddie! This is the battle cry of Ole Miss alumni who proudly boast the “we may have lost the game but we’ve never lost a tailgate party.”
2.) University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. The Quad, a big grass area a few blocks from the stadium, has a great tailgate scene. Be sure and watch the band and cheerleaders assemble for the Elephant Stomp. Walk along University Blvd., and if you can’t get into the game then go to one of the bars to watch it and then wait for the crowds to come back for post-game partying.
3.) Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. The crazy Cajuns boil up one heck of a tailgate party with creole cooking and kegs of beer. Anyone is welcome to join their parties. Except Alabama fans. Tip: Don’t wear crimson.
4.) Michigan, Ann Arbor. UM may have a lot of engineers as students and alumni but not all are nerds and they like to tailgate. They are very proud of “Big Blue” and the stadium, which the call “the Big House.”Tip: Don’t drink while you’re walking on a sidewalk. Only on the grass (I know, odd rule but play the game).
5.) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. UT has the best pre-game traditions of any school in America. First, you must go along the Tennessee River and check out the Volunteer Navy, a series of houseboats tied up to docks across the street from the stadium. Then go just past the main entrance by the stadium to watch the band march through campus and stop to do the “Salute To The Hill” And since the Vols won’t be very good this year, pick up a ticket to the game in time to watch the pre-game “splitting of the ‘T'” as the players run onto the field. And if you were unable to sneak in any Jack Daniels to put in your Coke, some UT fan will surely offer you a nip or two.
BONUS: University of Southern California, Los Angeles. I had to include USC because I live in L.A. I enjoy walking the area by Tommy Trojan and then lining up when the band and Song Girls – oh the Song Girls! – march by on on their way into the stadium. Tip: after the game, go to the student section and enjoy the show the band and Song Girls (yes, there the are again!) do their post-game song and dance routine to all those “USC songs” as I call them.
Feel free to contact us with your favorite tailgate party locations and college party towns!