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Top 10 Tailgates at U.S. Colleges

Pack your car with finger foods, refreshments, and school colors when you travel to the top 10 college tailgates in America. At each one, you’ll find a ton of school spirit and unique traditions.

#10 McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

You don’t have to have tickets to enjoy the game after this epic tailgate. Because of some very fortunate landscaping, tailgaters can park on a ridge that overlooks the $8.2 million stadium and continue the party throughout the whole game.

#9 University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Football isn’t played on a field at The University of Florida, but rather “The Swamp.” At least that’s how the students lovingly refer to their stadium. With the warm weather, huge class, and big-time school spirit, this tailgate easily makes the list.

#8 Prairie View A&M University

Don’t expect to roll up to this tailgate and easily find a parking space. If you want a coveted spot on the alumni field, you’ll need to reserve it months ahead of time. Bring your grill to fit in with all of the other tailgates that are cooking up pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, and ribs.

#7 Howard University, Washington D.C.

You’d never guess this school’s first tailgate was in 2008 because of their amazing band and huge following of sport fanatics. This is one tailgate for foodies. Expect to see gumbo, burgers, ribs, and much more.

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#6 University of Alabama

With an undergraduate class of over 30,000 students, The University of Alabama’s tailgate is one big party. In a sea of red, you can park on “The Quads” to grill, drink, and enjoy time with friends. Then, head into the stadium where you can buy a Yellowhammer Slammer cocktail—a perfect mix of vodka, rum, amaretto, orange juice, and pineapple juice.

#5 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

Don’t Ole Miss out on this tailgating ritual. With preppier garb like pearls, sun dresses, and bow ties, this celebration of football is fancier than most. Don your finest and preppiest gear and get ready to party the afternoon away before the games.

#4 University of Michigan

For early risers, you might not mind the 7 a.m. wakeup call for this tailgate. That’s right, students, alumni, and Michigan fans start bright and early with their tailgates and continue throughout gametime. And don’t worry about getting carried away and forgetting about kick off. You’ll be reminded by the university’s drumline that puts on a show 90 minutes before the whistle blows.

#3 Penn State University

Getting tickets to these games involves a lottery, but you won’t have to be so lucky to take part in the tailgate of over 100,000 fans. Park your car, set up a tent, or walk around to enjoy tons of food, drink, and cheering fans. You can even try a new campus favorite and regional classic, Penn State “stickies,” while you’re in town.

#2 South Carolina State University

This school is known for their abundance, range, and superior quality of tailgate food. Make sure to bring your appetite to this tailgate as well as your stamina to eat and drink all day long.

#1 Louisiana State University

Louisiana is a foodie’s paradise. The LSU tailgate is no exception. With whole pig roasts, crawfish boils, alligator kabobs, and more, you’ll get a taste of the south and their school spirit. Plus, you can enjoy the band’s ritual march down to the stadium before every game.

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