All year long we’ll be releasing our BroBible Travel Guides to your favorite travel locations. The guides are intended to be a cheat sheet on food, drink, and fun that can be had in that town or city. Now that we’re into football season, we’ll focus on the best college football towns.
1 – There’s a clear bias when it comes to Southern college football fans that there are no fun times to be had in the North. If it’s not SEC football with SEC girls then it can’t be fun, right? As an impartial observer who’s seen both, I can tell you that’s not really true. A weekend at a Michigan game in Ann Arbor can be a great time. For starters, you can’t watch a live game with more people than you can in Ann Arbor. Michigan Stadium, aka the Big House, seats 115,109, which is 8,537 more people than the next biggest stadium. It’s also a beautiful place in the fall as the seasons change and the weather drops a little bit. The town is built around the campus -- not the other way around, so everything is within walking distance. And there are still plenty of places to drink and plenty of girls to take down, so you won’t go home unsatisfied.
2 – Since it’s up north, the best weather you’ll get for football in Ann Arbor comes in September and October. After that it can get a little chilly. The obvious choice for a game would be when Ohio State comes to town every other year for the last regular season game, but you might freeze off a ball that weekend. It’s Michigan’s biggest rival and will likely feature the best team Michigan plays every year. The Big Ten schedule is still not finalized after 2014, but each team currently plays eight conference games until 2016, when it changes to nine. Michigan’s division rivals starting next year are Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers. They’ll alternate home games with those clubs every year, so catching a Michigan State or Penn State (when they’re back to form) would be another decent option. When the schedule switches to nine Big Ten games, you’ll have to catch Nebraska and Wisconsin when they come to town.
3 – Of course you’d want to stay with friends, but that’s obviously not available for everyone. The main hotels on campus are Bell Tower and the Campus Inn, but you’re going to have to break out the checkbook and to book those when reservations start a year in advance. Your other hotel options would be over by I-94, about 2-2.5 miles away from campus. You’ll just be stuck renting cabs or driving back and forth. A larger group can look into renting a house with GamedayHousing.com being one place to look.
4 – There are two main spots to tailgate. The college crowd generally stays around the houses within the “Student Ghetto” bordered roughly by Hill St. to the North, Packard St. to the South, S. Forest St. to the East, and State St. to the West. You’ll see your share of keg parties, with people flooding front/back lawns, and even pouring onto the street. Most of these parties are Greek-based, thrown by older fraternity members living outside their chapter house. However, it's always fairly easy to just join any party along one of the many streets overflowing with people. Just be a little careful carrying a beer on public property should you wander out to the street.
5 – Your other tailgating options are closer to the stadium. The golf course is the top tailgating destination for Michigan alums. You just need to get there early enough, park your car and set up. It’s everything you’d expect to see at a tailgate with games, TVs, and high-end grilling options. Per usual, expect the porta-potty situation to be a nightmare. There’s also the Pioneer High School parking lot across the street where RVs start parking a couple of days before the game.
More tips on Page 2 ...