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It’s easy to fall in love with autumn. The leaves turn pretty colors. The holidays are just around the corner. Pumpkin spice lattes and beers are brewed. And most importantly, college football is in full swing. There’s just something about watching warriors battle it out on the gridiron on Saturday afternoons that makes life better. And because this magical time of year is finally upon us, we think it’s about time you take a proper road trip and cross off the best college towns from your bucket list.

We decided to create a rating system so you know what you’re getting into when you reach your destination. Get ready for a road trip full of touchdowns.

🏈 – The number of footballs determines how epic the college game day experience can be. Points are also given if the team is formidable, or if the school has any notable traditions.

🎉 – The number of party poppers denotes the fun atmosphere of the town. The number of bars nearby, tailgate parties, and if there’s a great nightlife district are also factored in.

– The number of coffee cups reflects the town’s coffee culture and places where students can go to study or chill out and relax.

Boulder, Colorado – University of Colorado Boulder


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕


Let’s start at the base of the Rocky Mountains where the University of Colorado Boulder is located. Just drive an hour north on the Denver Boulder Turnpike until this picturesque town emerges from the countryside. Before heading to Folsom Field on Saturday afternoon to watch the Buffaloes dominate their opponents, get a White Rascal from Avery Brewing. Then make your way to the Hill and scarf down the best pizza in town at The Sink. When you need a recovery drink the next day, an iced latte from Flatiron Coffee will do the trick.

Famous alum: Trey Parker, Co-creator of “South Park”

East Lansing, Michigan – Michigan State University


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


On Saturday mornings before the opening kickoff, people young and old gather in the grass around Spartan Stadium and hold some of the best tailgate parties known to man. In fact, this atmosphere is one of the reason it’s a top college town in America. But if you can’t make the tailgate, stop into Dublin Square for a cold Guinness®. After watching the Spartans march to another victory, follow the masses to Beggar’s Banquet and get yourself a pub burger. For a morning after cocktail, the baristas at Strange Matter Coffee will whip you up something special.

Famous alum: Magic Johnson, Hall of Fame basketball player

Tuscaloosa, Alabama – University of Alabama


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


A college football road trip isn’t complete without a stop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In recent years, this town has been the epicenter of college football thanks to those beasts rocking the crimson and white. And when Saturday afternoons roll around, the stands of Bryant-Denny Stadium are the places to be. But in case you can’t be there—tickets sell faster than moonshine—find a table at The Houndstooth. It was voted the best sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated. And since you’re down south, a meal of nothing but delicious barbecue from Full Moon Bar-B-Que is on order. Roll tide, roll!

Famous alum: Gay Talese, American author

Athens, Georgia – University of Georgia


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕


When you’re in Athens, Georgia, you can’t help but be swept up in the hype that is bulldog nation. The atmosphere in Sanford Stadium on Saturdays is one of the best in all of college football and Uga, the real-life bulldog mascot, is absolutely adorable. Hey, you might even run into the drool-meister himself if you’re enjoying the sights of downtown after a game. And if it’s late at night, get a snack at The Grill, a UGA institution for generations. If your head is not cooperating the next morning, order of a cup of joe at Hendershot’s Coffee and all will be well.

Famous alum: Alton Brown, Television host

College Station, Texas – Texas A&M University


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


Is College Station, Texas, an awesome college town? Of course it is—just look at the name! But there’s more to this place than its title. For one, the 12th Man tradition at Kyle Field is legendary. Throughout the game, these die-hard college football fans stand up, ready to take the field if duty calls. Another wonderful thing about this town? The southern fried chicken at Dixie Chicken is out of this world. And when you want to party with the Aggies, any of the spots along University Drive should do the trick.

Famous alum: Rip Torn, Actor

Morgantown, West Virginia – West Virginia University


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


Located along the banks of the Monogahela River, the city of Morgantown, West Virginia, is lovely, cozy, and one heck of a college town. Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium is a great place to catch some gridiron action and the nightlife centered around High Street is as good as anywhere else in the country. Enjoy a beer and pub grub at Iron Horse Tavern or play every bar game known to man at McClafferty’s Pub. Just remember to root for the Mountaineers.

Famous alum: Billy Mays, Television advertiser and pitchman

Berkeley, California – University of California Berkeley


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕


If you’re going to Berkeley, be sure to wear the right colors, because this town bleeds gold and blue for their beloved golden bears. After arriving in town via the Bay Bridge and before heading to California Memorial Stadium for the game, stop in Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar and join the festivities. Plus, if you thought it’s a party before the game, just wait until you go back to Pappy’s after the game. And when you’re ready to get all intellectual, stop in Caffe Strada, one of many fine coffee shops in town, and you may run into a Nobel Prize winner. When people ask, ‘Who has the best college town?’ Berkeley has more than enough reasons to say, ‘Me!’

Famous alum: Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple

Gainesville, Florida – University of Florida


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Coffee cups – ☕ ☕ ☕


You may come here for a fine meal at The Swamp Restaurant or because you want to boogie down with co-eds at the Grog House Bar & Grill, and that’s all fine and dandy. But one of the best reasons to come to Gainesville, Florida, is to visit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium also known as “The Swamp.” The home of gator football since 1930, The Swamp is legendary for its home field advantage and frenzied atmosphere. When it’s all said and done the following day, sit down for a coffee at Pascal’s Coffeehouse and reflect on the epic weekend you just had.

Famous alum: Stephen Stills, Rock musician with the band Crosby, Stills & Nash

Knoxville, Tennessee – University of Tennessee


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


The third largest city in the state is also home to the wonderful University of Tennessee. Rock out to the latest country music, while the Tennessee Volunteers football team take the field at Neyland Stadium. When you’re ready for a cold one, head downtown for a New World Porter at Woodruff Brewing Company. You’re going to have to balance out the beer with something solid and that’s where Calhoun’s on the River comes in. The prime rib here is to die for.

Famous alum: Peyton Manning, Football champion

Blacksburg, Virginia – Virginia Tech University


Game Day – 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈 🏈

Atmosphere – 🎉 🎉 🎉

Chillaxing – ☕ ☕ ☕


Virginia has quite a few college towns, but only one of them is Blacksburg—the town where the Hokies run over their opponents at Lane Stadium and where the Top of the Stairs is the wildest bar in town. Speaking of Lane Stadium, be sure to get there early so you can watch the “Hokie Walk.” It’s a tradition where the football team walks from the buses to the locker room among the fans, and are led by the equally impressive Highty-Tighties band. When they win, celebrate the victory with a meal of classic American fare at Preston’s Restaurant.

Famous alum: Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist

There you have it, folks. We’ve given you the 10 best college towns to visit during football season. Pack your bags, load up the car, and learn the fight songs. This gridiron season is going to be a party.