Your Guide to College Football Tailgating in Florida
College football season is back, and that can only mean one thing: its tailgate time! Win or lose, one of the best parts about any given game day is the tailgating, and Floridians do it best. Make sure that if you’re rooting for one of the top State Schools, you are prepared with the following tailgate essentials for each team:
Grab your turnover chains and head out to the newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium for the Canes game day. University of Miami (UM) tailgate essentials include cafecitos made on the barbeque, dozens of pastelitos, frita cubana hamburgers, and J Wakefield Brewing’s Chains IPA, inspired by Miami’s Turnover Chain. Expect to hear lots of loud music playing in the parking lot from Latin, to country, and rap along with plenty of tunes by Pitbull, Mr. 305. On your way into the stadium, be sure to catch the Hurricane Walk two hours before kickoff and get a glimpse of the UM team busses swaying from side-to-side as they enter the stadium. Don’t forget the stadium’s clear bag policy, and feel free to show up to the game wearing your favorite game day bro tank because the Florida sunshine is no laughing matter during a day game. Fans looking to stay hydrated don’t have to worry because Hard Rock Stadium is home to two Tap Rooms on both sides of the stadium featuring over 1,090 tap handles. The stadium also features an array of tasty dining options from David Chang’s FUKU to Shorty’s BBQ and the legendary Shula Burger.
Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles certainly know how tailgate, and there are lots of traditions at Florida State University (FSU) to include the party the night before the tailgate. Tallahassee’s Downtown GetDown takes place every Friday night before home football games to get the party started. Looking for restaurants to visit on game day eve? Try Mellow Mushroom, Pot Belly or Gordos. As for game day, FSU fans who wake up early on game days know that Madison Social is the perfect brunch spot on game day and they also have perfect game day gear from clever garnet and gold shirts to football themed pint glasses. “Club Pub” aka Publix also prepares the perfect chicken tender sub to take to tailgate on campus and pair well with Natty Lights or Red Bulls. The latest tradition on Seminole game day is Coach Willie Tagart’s Legacy Team Walk where Noles can greet the players on their way to the locker rooms two-and-a-half hours before kickoff at home games. If you survive two days of tailgating, then you are truly UNCONQUERED.
The boys (and girls) of old Florida know that game day at the Swamp is much more than just four quarters. Gator Game day soundtracks always include Tom Petty tunes (“I Won’t Back Down” is usually number one on the playlist). Quintessential University of Florida (UF) tailgates are complete with Publix subs aka “Pub Subs” and/or BBQ (Adam’s Rib Co. and David’s BBQ are fan favorites). Be sure to wash it down with a growler full of beer from Swamp Head Brewery. After you visit the Albert & Alberta statues at Alumni Hall, be sure to catch the Gator Walk, which takes places two hours and twenty-five minutes before kickoff. If you’re feeling extra FAN-tastic, come dressed as Mr. 2 Bits and feel free to pose next to the Bronze statue of Tim Tebow. Just don’t forget to sport your new Gator Jordan’s and keep a bottle of Gatorade alongside to stay hydrated.
No matter which team you’re rooting for, each fall college football season takes precedence in Florida and even if you don’t enjoy the game of football, tailgating on game day has something to offer to everyone.