One of the most fun aspects of bowl games are the different teams, fans, bands, cheerleaders and students that show up for them.
The destination also plays a huge part in the atmosphere and the mood, along with any bowl pageantry, such as a parade, pep rallies and other activities. Team matchups can also add spice to the scene. Generally, the best party scenes are at warm-weather destinations. After all, how fun can it be to freeze your butts off at the Pinstripe Bowl?
And so, with that as a backdrop, here is PubClub.com’s Top College Football Bowl Games For Fans & Party Destinations for 2021.
1.) Sugar Bowl, New Orleans
Teams: Ole Miss vs. Baylor
Date: Jan 1, 2022
Hottie Toddie, Ole Miss is in the Sugar Bowl! In New Orleans!! On New Year’s Eve weekend!!! If that”s not a spicy gumbo for fun then PubClub doesn’t know a pub from a club. All Ole Miss fans have to do is drive a few hours south to the Big Easy – a trip they are quite familiar with, by the way – and roll onto Bourbon Street with all the party know-how they learned from tailgating at the Grove. This is also a rare appearance for the Rebels in the Sugar Bowl so they are especially primed to party. Don’t underestimate the party power of Baylor’s fans and students, either.
Link: Sugar Bowl Fans Guide
2.) Gasparilla Bowl, Tampa, FL
Teams: Florida vs. UCF
Date: Dec. 23
Named after the wild pirate party and festival called Gasparilla each January, this bowl features two Florida teams. Wise choice by the bowl committee and the game sold out almost immediately, mostly among Central Florida fans who want to give it to the more recognizable state school just to the north of them. Everyone should know that Florida fans know how to party and for those who question UCF well, when the team was winless a few years ago, one of the area bars offered free beer during games until the team won a game. Tampa will be full of well tanned, good-looking students and alumni on both sides.
3.) Holiday Bowl, San Diego
Teams: N.C. State vs. UCLA
Date: Dec. 28
Speaking of good-looking fans at a fun bowl destination, then you’ve got the NC State coeds up against the Southern California dudes and dudettes. Bowl There’s an afternoon parade and then it’s the dynamic Gaslamp Quarter for pre- and post-game partying. Bowl officials wisely decided to move the game downtown (well, because there’s no other stadium to play at right now in San Diego) in the baseball home of the Padres. This is all set up to be a sensational party scene in a great, beautiful Southern California destination.
4.) Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas
Teams: Arizona State vs. Wisconsin
Date: Dec. 29
The Arizona State hotties and guys know how to party so much that they actually leave their games at halftime to reload their cocktails for the second half. And while more Midwestern in mentally, the Badgers have quite a bit of experience at his kind of thing too, as anyone who has ever been to Madison (such as myself) can verify. Plus it’s Vegas. And New Year’s Eve is in just two more days.
5.) Outback Bowl, Tampa, FL
Teams: Arkansas vs. Penn State
Date: Jan 1, 2022
Back in Tampa! The town will be going Hog-wild as the Razerbacks are back in a bowl game for the first time in seemingly forever and their fans are going to be breaking loose like a wild hog that escaped from its pen. Penn State – “We Are!” – are among the friendly fans in college football and will add to this fun atmosphere.
6.) Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Teams: Alabama vs. Cincinnati (College Football Playoff Semifinal)
Date: Dec. 31
Crimson Tide fans sure know how to party as anyone who has been to Tuscaloosa on a game weekend (such as myself) can confirm. Cincinnati fans are glad to be in the playoffs and will turn out to support their team and there’s probably a few party folks among the college crowd.
7.) Orange Bowl, Miami(ish), FL
Teams: Georgia vs. Michigan (College Football Playoff Semifinal)
Date: Dec. 31
Georgia fans are known for showing up on game day for bowls, having a few drinks beforehand and then leaving as if they are out on the lam. That being said, there’s a lot of pretty girls in Athens and throughout the state so the scenery around South Beach will be really good. The sunshine and tan-seeking Wolverines will be prowling around there, too and considering they just beat Ohio State for the first time this century (well almost) they will be roaring the days and nights leading up to and after the game. Pros Party Tip: Stay on South Beach or in Fort Lauderdale for the game. The stadium is an hour-plus away and nothing of significance is around it. Plus, with a start time of 8 p.m., on New Year’s Eve, you’re way better off being in a hot party spot.
8.) Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii
Teams: Hawaii vs. Memphis
Date: Dec. 24
Get in the aloha spirit in Hawaii. Actually, forget the game; just go hang out in Waikiki Beach which has tons of fun party stuff, to wit: Duke’s on Sunday, booze cruises on a catamaran (drinks included) and great nightlife. You won’t get much of a game experience – the stadium is an hour from the beach – but you can root for the Rainbows while having a Mai Tai (old school) looking at the slow-rolling waves coming to shore and Diamond Head.