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Top 12 College Football Neighborhoods

By Paul Donaldson -- December 12, 2012 3:10 PM EST

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For a truly great stadium experience, everything needs to come into play. There should be wonderful fans, good food inside the stadium, a lively pep band, and good game day presentation. However, a great neighborhood surrounding a stadium can really elevate the total experience. Here is our list of the 12 best neighborhoods in college football on game day.

  1. Bryant-Denny Stadium - Home of the Alabama Crimson Tide

    Bryant-Denny Stadium is located between downtown Tuscaloosa and Alabama's campus. Just north and west of Bryant-Denny is what is locally called "The Strip". The Strip stretches a few blocks west of Bryant-Denny on University Blvd and is loaded with restaurants, bars, shops, and convenience stores. You might say that you have the best of both worlds because you can wander to the east of the stadium and enjoy the campus and take in the whole college game day experience, or you can head west and have a nice meal or visit one of the local hangouts and have a cold beer.

  2. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - Home of the Florida Gators

    Tailgate parties in Gainesville typically include all the food you could ever want and all the drinks too. Also several big screen TVs so the fans can watch their SEC rivals before they go to the stadium. Anybody and everybody are welcome to attend. It doesn't matter that you are a complete stranger. As long as you wear orange and blue, you're an old friend. By October you could not ask for better weather for these parties. Clear blue skies and 70 to 85 degree weather. You almost hate it when it's kickoff time.

  3. Michigan Stadium - Home of the Michigan Wolverines

    Ann Arbor is one of those perfect college towns. Whether it's game day or not, there is a certain energy that emanates from the city that is undeniable. The option to tailgate among thousands of others in the parking lot of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School is a tough one to turn down. It is an expensive parking space ($50), but if you arrive early and come well supplied you will have a fantastic time.

  4. Notre Dame Stadium - Home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Tailgating is definitely the way to go if you're going to Notre Dame Stadium. The sheer size of individual set-ups and the vast expanse of cars, grills, tables, and refreshments go on for miles. You'll also find student organizations throughout campus selling sausages and other tasty encased meats, so there's that option as well.

  5. Blaik Field at Michie Stadium - Home of the Army Black Knights

    While the town of West Point is rather small and quaint, the real attraction here is the West Point Academy campus. All of the statues around campus and the views of the Hudson River from various points of the campus are another aspect of the visit to Michie Stadium that sets this venue apart from the rest.

  6. Jordan-Hare Stadium - Home of the Auburn Tigers

    Auburn, Alabama is often regarded as one of America's best college towns. It's a small town with southern charm and a love for the University. Everything in Auburn revolves around the school. It's a simple town that's filled with Southern hospitality. One place you must visit in Auburn is Toomer's Corner, a drugstore (in which the trees across the street are named after) that sells the "World's Best Lemonade."

  7. Memorial Stadium - Home of the Clemson Tigers

    Clemson is very much a college town. As such, a lot of the options near the campus are "tavern"-type establishments. These options all require a little bit of a walk (at least a half-mile), but there are numerous choices for you after a Tiger game. The preferred choice of many is the Esso Club, a former gas station located on Old Greenville Highway (South Carolina Highway 93). This sports bar began its service station roots in 1933, and now offers a variety of food choices and drink specials. The Esso Club is also open late six nights a week, until 2am during the week and midnight on Saturdays.

  8. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium - Home of the Mississippi Rebels

    The Grove aside, Oxford is a quintessential southern college town. Mountainous magnolias, Oaks, and Elms crowd the streets. Downtown is filled with countless charming local shops, bars, and restaurants. Dubbed "The Square," it overflows with Rebels fans before and after gametime regardless of the home team's outcome. Here, the party never stops, and everyone is welcome. Rebels toast Gators and Gamecocks, and visitors feel right at home.

  9. Memorial Stadium - Home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Memorial Stadium is located on campus, which is located in the city of Lincoln, and it is alive with activity on game day. You can find about any type of food or drink you could want in Lincoln. The Haymarket area of Lincoln is a several block area loaded with restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

  10. Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium - Home of the Texas Longhorns

    Whatever you're into doing, you can find it in Austin. If you like music, it's there; if you like food, it's plentiful. There's no shortage of variety in Austin.

  11. Camp Randall Stadium - Home of the Wisconsin Badgers

    It doesn't get much better than a game day in Madison, and it seems to get better each year. There are the large hangouts like The Stadium Bar just around the corner, or State Street Brats, an all-time classic further away on campus. Both are good spots for what they are, just expect there to be a crowd.

  12. Bobcat Stadium - Home of the Montana State Bobcats

    Bozeman, a city of about 40,000, is full of active and energetic people and there's a vibrancy about the place found only in college towns. Main Street in downtown Bozeman, which is less than two miles from the stadium, was recently voted one of the top 10 streets in America by the American Planning Association.

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