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How to Plan a College Football Away Game Road Trip

Happy First Day of Football Season!
In our house, this is the start of the best season of the year. My husband and I love, love, love college football and all of the crazy fun that comes along with it. The games, the tailgating, the road trips, the weekends spent on the couch at home watching as much football as possible... yup. We love football season.
Because having season tickets to two different schools {Clemson and South Carolina} doesn't provide us with enough football during the fall, Patrick and I have started adding road trips to away games to our schedule.
In 2014, we went to Nashville to see USC play at Vanderbilt.

In 2015, we traveled up to Louisville to see Clemson play Louisville.

Both trips were so much fun and they were filled to the brim with football, a lot of walking, some sightseeing, and some bucket list items. But how do we plan our trips?
How to Plan an Away Game Road Trip for College Football

1. Pick your game.
Do you want to see your team play in the game or do you want to venture out to one of the bucket list schools/stadiums? We first decide on which team we're going to see {Clemson or South Carolina} and then we try to find an away game when the opposite team is either on a bye week or they have the Thursday night game or they're at an away game themselves.
Year 1 - Clemson was away at FSU when we went to see the USC/Vandy game
Year 2 - USC was away at UGA when we went to see the Clemson/Louisville game

Eventually, we'd like to branch out of Clemson & USC games to go see teams like Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, LSU, USC {the other one!}, etc.
2. Plan your travel & hotel arrangements.
We always make sure that our hotel is within walking distance to most of the things that we want to do. In Nashville, we stayed right across the street from Vanderbilt's campus and it was so nice to be able to walk to the game. In Louisville, we stayed on the river so we were able to walk around a lot but we ended up having to catch a ride to the football stadium.


3. Plan your game day experience.
Always check with your school's local alumni group - they're probably planning a fun tailgate for you. It could be at a bar near the stadium or it could be somewhere as cool as Churchill Downs. It'll give you something to do leading up to kickoff and you'll get to socialize with plenty of people cheering for your school.

4. See what else the city has to offer.
While we plan our road trips around football games, we try to pack in as much of the local scene as we possibly can. That means we try to go to the big touristy things. In Nashville that meant touring Vanderbilt's campus, hanging out on Broadway, and devouring as much good food as possible. When we went to Louisville, we did things like bourbon distillery tours, we went to Churchill Downs, and we toured the Louisville Slugger Museum.


Even the smaller college towns have something to offer. Check out the local restaurants, visit their downtown, and walk around the campus. You're sure to find something fun to do and see while you're visiting.


Love college football as much as I do? Here are a few other bloggers who are blogging all about football today that you need to check out:

Christina at Christina Lea Loves
Gentry at Girl Meets Bow

& for all other things football related on Magnolia & Main, head over to my Tailgate page.

Happy Game Day, y'all!


  1. These are such great tips my friend! I haven't made it to an away game since I graduated, so I'm thinking its time to fix that :) happy first day of football season!

  2. Love this! I need to start going to more away games. It's so fun to get to experience a difference city and stadium! So freaking excited college football is back!!! WOOHOO! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. We have never really gone to any games other than NC State at home, ECU at home or Wake Forest at home. Those are our 3 teams! We are so excited for football to start! Tonight is the first NC State home game and we are planning on going hopefully it doesn't rain though! That is what is in the forecast.

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog from Christina's blog. Holy moly at having season tickets for two different schools! Girl, that is crazy! We are die-hard Georgia fans so we are season ticket holders and I could not be more thrilled that football season is starting! We're in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game in ATL this weekend so that should be fun! Traffic is going to be terrible, though. Y'all should totally go to the GA/TN game this year!! We will be there! And Athens is wonderful... lots of fun things to do! And by then the weather should be perfect as well. :o)

  5. Aaaand I just realized that you're a season ticket holder to South Carolina, not Tennessee... LOL. So no, don't come to the TN game... you'll have to wait until next year to come to Athens since we play y'all away this year! Haha.

  6. I would have never thought to look for the local alum group! Not that I have a football team to cheer for, but that's such a good idea, even for other sports.

  7. We've always talked about doing this but just haven't followed through yet! Can't wait to see where your headed next!

  8. Y'all sound like us! We're season ticket holders for UGA (Go Dawgs!) and last year we traveled almost every weekend or every other weekend for football. Football is our life from the months of September-Novemeber, and maybe December if we actually make it to a championship game lol. Away games are so much fun! I love exploring new cities while getting to support our dogs.

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