For college football fans, it’s the most glorious time of the year. You can stay home and watch the games on TV, or book a flight to see them in person. These are the top ten game day destinations and what else to do naerby before or after the game.
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South Bend, Indiana –
The University of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish have won more national championships, sent more players to win the Heisman Trophy, and claimed the title for more All-Americans than any other Football Bowl Subdivision School. Visit South Bend to see the stadium that was built in 1930 and is known for its view of “Touchdown Jesus.”
South Bend also was the home of the Studebaker company, which started out as wagon builders before the Civil War and switched to building motorized carriages known as cars. I visited the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend recently. Here’s the link to the article I wrote for AOL Autos.
Austin, Texas –
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the University of Texas Longhorn’s Memorial Stadium. With a seating capacity of just over 100,000, it is the largest football venue in the state and one of the largest football stadiums in North America. Click here to see the list of the ten largest NCAA stadiums.
While you are in Austin, check out the music scene, with more clubs and music festivals than you can shake a guitar pick at, including Austin City Limits and South by Southwest.
University Park, Pennsylvania –
Seeing the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium is always memorable, thanks to their multiple undefeated seasons, and repeat national and Big Ten championships.
There’s not much else in town, but the campus is close enough to Pittsburgh to be able to enjoy the fabulous Phipps Conservatory and Gardens. It’s housed in a LEED certified building, and the Frick Art and History Center, with a wonderful collection of vintage cars.
Cambridge, Massachusetts –
A little bit of history helps Harvard Crimson make the list. Built in 1903, the team’s stadium is the oldest permanent concrete structure in the country. Along with Harvard Crimson and their rivals, the Yale Bulldogs, legend Bob Marley took the stage here, and Janis Joplin played her last show ever here in 1970.
Whether you visit Harvard for the Ivy League prestige or the rock and roll glam story doesn’t matter. There’s so much to do in Boston, from visiting Fanueil Hall to walking the Freedom Trail. Official Visit Boston website.
Norman, Oklahoma –
The University of Oklahoma Sooners have been playing since 1895, and have seven national championships, 41 conference championships, and every Big Seven championship awarded under their belts. The team also has scored more points in Division I-A football history, one of the highest winning percentages of any team. They play in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Norman is Oklahoma’s third largest city, with four billion years of natural history on view at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the nation’s largest university-based museum, where towering dinosaur giants amaze visitors, and the National Weather Center, where scientists predict and track tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions..
The other college football destinations to make the list include:
Ann Arbor, Michigan: Home of the University of Michigan Wolverines;
Columbus, Ohio – Home of the Ohio State University Buckeyes;
Gainesville, Florida – Home of the University of Florida Gators;
Lincoln, Nebraska – Home of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers and
Los Angeles, California – Home of the University of Southern California Trojans