13 Best College Football Towns to Visit in the U.S.
Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
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Nothing screams America more than college football, with hordes of students, alumni, and general football fans gearing up for weekends filled with school pride, tailgating, and fight songs. From game day fun to football-centric activities, there are a variety of towns that pride themselves on supporting their local team. In no particular order, discover the top college football towns with passionate fan support, deep-seated traditions, and enthusiastic camaraderie that provide a unique sports experience.
The home of Louisiana State University football, Baton Rouge has a vibrant Creole culture with legendary tailgating. Add mouthwatering Cajun food and free-flowing drinks, and football fans will find Baton Rouge has found a winning formula for a top game day experience. Fans unite at the LSU Tiger Stadium and charge into “Death Valley” proudly representing its purple and gold team colors.
Home of the Tigers, Clemson University is the heart of Clemson with its football team as the epicenter. Fans gather at Memorial Stadium and watch the ceremonial rubbing of Howard’s Rock and traditional run down the hill, one of the most beloved traditions in college football. Consistently ranking as a quintessential Southern college football town, fans will find a sea of energetic fans in the midst of a charming South Carolina town.
Treated like a religion in Alabama, Tuscaloosa has some of the most passionate college football fans around. Home to the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide football team, Tuscaloosa is a college town bursting with pride. Thousands gather at the campus and surrounding area to tailgate, party, and cheer “Roll Tide” in the vibrant title-winning atmosphere.
The capital city of Florida, Tallahassee is home to Florida State University’s Seminole football team. Donning garnet and gold, this historic town gears up every weekend during football season to eagerly storm Doak Campbell Stadium to watch the Seminole leader, Osceola, charge down the field riding an Appaloosa horse named Renegade. He plants a flaming spear midfield while the crowd collectively performs its famous war chant.
More a large metropolitan area than a town, Columbus still manages to passionately support Ohio State and the Buckeyes football team. While the city has an abundance of tourist attractions, donning your best red and white apparel and cheering at the Ohio Stadium maintains high on the list.
With an impressive passion for their football team, Lincoln and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are truly inseparable. Here fans are as loyal as they come, and on game day visitors will find a thriving bar scene in close proximity to the Memorial Stadium, with a sea of red tailgating as far as the eye can see.
With a wide variety of national and SEC championships under its belt, Gainesville proudly represents the University of Florida’s Gators. Come football season, the top activity in this town is gathering at “The Swamp,” the official nickname for the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where fans perform the Gator chomp and echo its traditional chants.
Located in East Central Alabama near the Georgia state line, Auburn University is home to Jordan-Hare Stadium, where football activities overwhelm this small town and have molded into its identity. Enthusiastic fans revel in the celebratory rolling of Toomer’s Corner and indulge in a range of events that take over the town almost daily during football season.
Home to one of the most famous tailgating spots in college football, fans unite at “The Grove” in Oxford to cheer on Ole Miss. Surrounded by historic buildings and beautiful landscapes, the culture and atmosphere of Oxford are truly unique. Saturday mornings bring a wave of excitement as fans gather to tailgate and join in a quintessential college football town experience.
With a dynamic musical history and a long list of great music venues, bars, and restaurants, Athens is most notably home to The University of Georgia. While the city is popular for its music events and natural beauty, come game day fans excitedly flock to Sanford Stadium donning red and black to cheer on the Georgia Bulldogs and create a massive tailgating atmosphere.
Ranked number one by a host of organizations as the top college town in the U.S., Madison holds quintessential game days. With picture-perfect outdoor scenery and a dominant college football town ranking, the biggest city and the state capital of Wisconsin offer the University of Wisconsin fans an abundance of celebration activities. Here you’ll find a diverse and lively crowd coming together to support the Badgers.
Known primarily for being home to the University of Notre Dame, South Bend is located in the northernmost area of Indiana. Football fans can tour the stunning University campus, see the famous Golden Dome, and watch the Fighting Irish play at Notre Dame Stadium. Game days are deeply rooted in tradition, such as the football team walking from the Gug to the North Tunnel gates.
The fifth-largest city in Michigan and home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is culturally diverse in a picturesque setting. With the towering Michigan stadium, fans gather wearing maize and blue to support the Wolverines. A large part of the community spirit, football fans ignite their passion during college football season.