. The College Football Travel Tour hits the road : Budget Travel Adventures

The College Football Travel Tour hits the road

 College Football Travel Tour South Carolina Gamecocks Williams Brice StadiumThe College Football Travel Tour kicks off this week as we welcome college football fans and travelers of all ages on this journey to explore college towns, local cultures and attractions, and some college football.  Join me on the road for 9 games in the 2012 College Football Travel Tour with Expedia on the College Football Travel Tour page.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, beers, soda – an ideal menu for some college football tailgating.  Autumn leaves hang from bright blue skies as Fall colors explode in a sea of orange, yellow, and red on college campuses and football stadiums. Team spirit is on full display as rabid college football fans wear the team colors in a variety of ways, covered from head to toe. The energy and passion of fans, alumni, and youthful college students  cover the field as they cheer on their team on a cool, crisp Saturday afternoon – a perfect day for college football.

The year was 1984 when I experienced my first college football game with my dad.  Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina was the scene as the stadium trembled and the crowd roared setting the stage for South Carolina Gamecocks football.  From the first play, I was hooked and would spend a couple more years seeing the Gamecocks play.  My love for college football was the start of this journey.

(If you want to learn more about the game, check out College Football 101 for travelers and football fans)

A few years later, I attended another college football game to watch the Furman Paladins play.  At halftime, I walked around the campus and checked out the buildings and classrooms – my love for college campuses was born.  From these childhood memories, experiences, and passions, a love for college football and campuses opened the door to travel dreams I had not yet realized.

Today, travel and college football come together in this exciting new series.

The College Football Travel Tour explores my passion for college football and travel as I share stories about football, people, and the sights and sounds that are celebrated on college campuses, towns, and cities all over the US.  I will travel to college football games and campuses all over the country and be your personal guide to college football games, local attractions and activities,  college culture and traditions, and inspirational stories.

Even if you aren’t a fan of college football, these stories and travel guides will take you beyond the game on a journey through the towns, cultures, and people of America.

College Football Travel Tour Washington HuskiesHow sports inspired me to travel

I love to travel because I am fascinated by new places,  like to explore new cultures, experience people and ways of life that are different, and see things I can’t see at home.  Before I ever left home on a big road trip or  a faraway destination on the other side of the world, college football inspired me to travel.

This connection with sports and travel was only the beginning.  In Barcelona, I connected with 95,000 passionate Catalans at a FC Barcelona soccer game.  I’ve  joined the crowds and experienced the passion of  Canadian hockey fans during the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver.  And I learned that whether or not you are a fan of sports, travel and sports can connect you with the local culture and make those travel memories just as special as the museums, monuments, and magical places you visit.

The College Football Travel Tour wants to inspire you to travel

Passion, beauty, youth, culture, food, and people are what make college football so exciting.  Many people are passionate about the football games and their schools.  However, you don’t need to be a football fan to enjoy the College Football Travel Tour.  This series will inspire anyone to travel with stories on local cultures and traditions, small towns and big cities, and people from all walks of life.

  • The College Football Travel Tour will give you a great view of the game, the players, and the coaches.  However, I want to introduce you to the fans, the schools, sights and sounds, and the towns too.
  • The College Football Tour brings you the tailgating, the band, and the atmosphere so you know what game day is like.  I also want you to meet others like the happy little kid who roots for his favorite team as he bonds with his dad.
  • The College Football Travel Tour will put you in the seats to share in the excitement of the fans rooting on the team.  I want you to understand that these fans are more than just fans and enjoy a connection with this place, their schools, and each other.
  • The College Football Travel Tour will bring you great moments in football, records, upsets, unforgettable moments, and championships.  Come with me and see that what happens off the field touches a community and transcends age, race, and gender to bring people together.

The College Football Travel Tour wants to inspire you to travel to these places beyond the football games and tailgating parties.  As you will see, this series will feature more than just a football game so let me be your guide.

College Football Travel Tour Northern Arizona University NAUThe College Football Travel Tour guide

Every college has wonderful traditions, a rich history, a unique culture, some great football traditions, and is a vital part of the community.  Each stop on the College Football Travel Tour will highlight travel, football, and a number of other features that will interest football fans and travelers everywhere.

College football game days – Each stop will focus on the college football game, the football history, tailgating, bands, coaches, players, and other football stories that go behind the scenes for a deeper look at college football.

College traditions and culture – Each college town has its own football and campus traditions which inspire the passion and loyalty of fans and students.  Learn about some of these college traditions that make these schools and universities so unique and interesting.

College life and history – College students are an essential part to any university.  Learn from some of the students as they share their thoughts on college, what they enjoy, and experiences they recommend.  Then go beyond life in college today and learn about the history of these colleges and universities and how they got started.

Local attractions and history – There is more to a college town than just the school.  So find out what there is to do in these towns that appeals to visitors and tourists.  Discover the history of these places and be inspired to go beyond the classrooms, dorms, and football fields with things to see and do.

Places to eat – Find local restaurants and unique dishes in college towns and cities.  Get local stories on owners and unique establishments that make visiting a college town so much fun.

Places to stay – Find out where to stay when visiting these colleges or attending college football games.  Find places for families, read hotel reviews, and get an overview of the best hotels and accommodations for location and budget.

Travel tips – For those who are choosing where to go to college, you can go on a campus tour or do an official college visit.  However, travel tips will help you decide on what to do, where to go, and what areas to explore or avoid when checking out a school.  For those who come to town for a football game or just for fun, these tips can help you as well.

Inspirational stories – Every person has a story to tell and we can be inspired by people from all walks of life.  A father and son attending a football game for the first time, students who have overcome hardships, professors who have gone the extra mile, athletes with incredible stories – learn about the people who are a part of the living history of these college campuses and be inspired.

Videos – Experience college football and campus life with videos of games, students, college life, attractions, interviews, and stories.  You never know what you will see as I share the sights and sounds of life on campus.

If you love college football, sports, or travel, I encourage you to get your ticket, put on your team colors, join the tailgating party, and relive those college years as you join me on the road for the College Football Travel Tour.

Here’s your chance to help me – what stops should I make on the College Football Travel Tour?  What do you want to see in this series?  Check out stories from the Naval Academy, University of Washington, and University of South Carolina as well as 9 games with Expedia on the College Football Travel Tour page.

To get news, updates, stories, and the schedule for the College Football Travel Tour, make sure you subscribe to the College Football Travel Tour newsletter for more information and updates only available to subscribers!

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Filed Under: CFBTTCollege Football Travel TourSports and travelTravel Tips


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  1. Andy Jarosz says:

    Great idea Jeremy. I’m looking forward to reading this series. As a Brit I must admit to not knowing much about college football and the traditions around it, but I’m fascinated by some of the towns and cities that I only know about from learning state capitals or from reading some obscure news items. I’m hoping your stories will inspire us with some ideas of places to visit on our next US road trip!

    • Thanks Andy! I am excited about it as my love of college football started when I was young. I know for those outside of the US, they may not get ‘football’ over here – much less college football. However, I think the passion of college football is very similar to that of football in England. I confess to not knowing much about soccer but now I am a huge fan. I follow the EPL, know most of the players and teams, have a fantasy football team for the EPL, have a few jerseys, and cheer for my favorite team Chelsea. Learning more about sports, and about football/soccer, has inspired me to want to visit new places I never would have considered.

      So take it from me when I say learning a sport that you aren’t familiar with is possible, even for foreigners! :)

      Thanks for following along and hope you enjoy it!

  2. Mark Wiens says:

    I really love your idea and passion behind the connection of sports and travel. I really wish I would have made more of a priority to watch more local matches at the countries I’ve visited, as I’ve only been to a few games. Even so, it’s so interesting to observe the difference of things at a soccer match in Kenya from a soccer match in Argentina.

    I went to school at Arizona State University and I always enjoyed those big Saturday college football matches and all the surrounding activities. As a serious foodie, I’d love to see some of the traditional football food or restaurants in each destination you visit. Good luck with this project Jeremy!

    • Thanks for the suggestions on the food Mark! I know a lot of people are big into food and although I am not a big food fan, tailgating foods are something that I could really get excited about!

      As for the Sun Devils, I have driven by the stadium and look forward to making a stop there on the tour. College football is so exciting and incredibly diverse with its popularity in so many regions of the country. And the culture and traditions reflect this.

      As a fan of soccer, I have started to follow the sport all over the world and really keep up with what is going on in Europe. It is soccer that really inspired me and, along with college football, taught me how much sports, passion, culture, and travel go together!

  3. Good luck with the new project. I am going down to Knoxville this weekend. Not to watch college football, but to hike the Great Smoky Mountains. I have kind of lost my passion for college football, so maybe this series will rev it back up again.

  4. Michael says:

    Great idea, Jeremy. Can’t wait until you get to Notre Dame – the only campus on the College Football circuit I have ever visited (for a TV feature about their team). Less sure if there is much in South Bend to charm the visitor, however – although I vividly remember that strip club with sawdust on the floor.

    • Michael, I have admit I don’t like Notre Dame at all. However, that should be a fantastic experience! Not sure when I will make it as I only have 13 weeks a year to cover games but South Bend will be an awesome stop on the tour!

  5. Grace says:

    Jeremy this is fantastic. I can feel the passion while I was reading through. I really don’t know anything about college football so maybe a 101 on it for noobs like me would be great. Or maybe sharing why this is so big in American culture? Really glad you found your niche :)

    • Grace, that’s a great idea – college football 101! I know a lot of visitors from my site (as you can see in some of the comments) come from other parts of the world and don’t know much about the game.

      In my other posts, I’ve shared a little about sports and why people are so passionate about them in other cultures. The same applies here to college football but it’s a great subject to address.

      Very excited about this and hope you will follow along – even if you don’t know anything about the game! College towns are fantastic places to visit!

  6. leah says:

    It’s nice to find a fellow college football junkie. It totally encompasses my fall. I love going to new places and seeing the different traditions and cultures of each school. It’s fascinating.

    I have a college football tour on my site as well. Each Friday during the season I feature one of the greatest places to experience a college football game based on tradition, tailgating, and overall experience. So far I’ve featured Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Colorado, Texas Tech, Tennessee, and the Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma.

    Here’s a link to my inital post outlining my tour: http://leahtravels.com/site/things/college-football-tour/american-college-football

    Can’t wait to follow along on your tour as well!

    • When I moved to California, it wasn’t as easy to keep up with all of this being so far away. Fans aren’t as passionate out here because the culture is different.

      Your site sounds like a great tour as well. I want to do some big games but I don’t want the games to be too much of the focus. I’ve been to LOTS of South Carolina games and I’ve visited quite a few campuses. However, I haven’t done that many college football games so this should be fun!

      • Leah says:

        My husband and I make it a point to experience as many atmospheres as possible while still catching the Texas Tech games (at least on TV). We went to Boulder last year because we knew it would be their last season in the Big XII.

        I know what you’re saying about being hard to keep up. My husband has been in China much of football season this year. Talk about being difficult! West coast is much different than the South and even the Mid-West in terms of football culture.

        In my series, I wanted to not just write about the hoopla surrounding the games, but also activities, sites, and restaurants in the city. When I go to new places for a game, I like to know the traditions, but I also want to experience the area.

        It’s great to write about two things you love so much. I’ve really enjoyed my Friday features. In fact, they are the most viewed posts on my young site by a mile. For the Tech one, I had over 2,700 views on the Friday I published it. Talk about passionate! Good luck to you and I look forward to reading about the places you feature, especially South Carolina. I want to tailgate in one of those Cockaboses!

        • BINGO!!! That is EXACTLY why I am writing this. I will actually doing posts just like the ones you did! I want to appeal to people beyond the football to experience the places, sights, atmosphere, and culture. It’s so much more than the football and that is what this series is all about.

          Living where we do, we will both be able to cover a lot of places the other can’t. However, I have spent very little time in the midwest and want to experience some football games there! Like you, I am hoping the views on this series go through the roof!

          I know all about the Cockabooses! However, I’ve never been on them – and I graduated from there! Like you, I never miss a game on TV even though I am here in California!

  7. This great Jeremy everyone has to find their niche that they can be passionate about. It sounds like this will be a good fit for you. I wish you all the luck in pursuing your dreams.

  8. This is an awesome idea, Jeremy! I wish you every success with your new series. I love visiting college towns and I’m a football fan, so I’ll be following you. Have fun with it.

  9. Great idea! I know so many sports fans that enjoy combining the experience of travel with their favorite sports.

    • I think sports and travel is something many people miss out on! I know there are many that don’t love sports but I know many people who have enjoyed their experiences attending a sporting event when traveling.

  10. Amanda says:

    Whoo hoo! Congrats on the new project! It sounds awesome!

    Will you be running this series on this site, or creating a new niche site for it? Either way, it seems like there were certainly be an audience for it!

    Will you be focusing primarily on Div. I teams, or will you include some interesting smaller teams/schools as well?

    • As for where I am running it, the answer is “Yes.” Does that clear things up for you? :) Actually, I will be starting it off on my site. If it grows and becomes bigger than what I am currently doing, I have already purchased a domain for it but that would be down the road.

      As for teams, I will focus mainly on the BCS conferences. However, I will do any team I get the opportunity to do. So I have a schedule for the first few games and will figure things out as I go. However, I would love to do a Boise State or even a Harvard or Yale game. I am open to everything.

  11. Jan Ross says:

    Good luck with your new venture! We are big basketball fans here in Kentucky as our football team is somewhat lacking…so it will be interesting to read about other teams!

    • Jan, I know all about Kentucky basketball. Are you a fan of UK or Louisville? If UK, I know how bad your football team is – South Carolina just played them! There’s always basketball season!

  12. Laurel says:

    Super idea Jeremy. Being from Canada I never really got into College football, but I know that it’s super popular in the U.S. I like your idea of combining the game with travel.

    • Laurel, I know how you feel. I know there are many who don’t understand college football. However, I felt the same way about soccer. After traveling, it is probably my second favorite sport behind college football and I keep up with all the big leagues in Europe now. So maybe you might find this series interesting!

  13. Sophie says:

    I expect you’ll be going to Norman, Oklahoma to see the Sooners, eh? Best college football team, you know 😉 (OK, third best, but that’ll change… provided the players stay out of jail, that is…)

    Good luck with your project.

  14. Andrew says:

    Add Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, Va to your list. Mountains as you once mentioned you liked. Hiking and such around a great little town that is so wrapped up in its University.

    Not exactly my home town, but one I love a lot.

    • Virginia Tech is a great location. Heard a lot of great things about Blacksburg and really want to visit! I am not a big fan of ACC football but will include schools like VT, Miami, FSU, and Clemson at some point.

  15. Great idea, Jeremy, and your story is very nicely written. I’m actually not a big sports fan, but your vivid descriptions really made me interested. I look forward to reading more or your series!

    • Thanks Michael! I think the great thing about this series and what I really want to do is make this fun for those who don’t like sports as well.

      I spent a LOT of time working on this post – probably more than any I have written. And I had another person who has no interest in sports or college football read it to see if it was still interesting – my wife! So you are the second one to confirm that even though you don’t like sports, you can still be interested in this series! :)

  16. Congratulations Jeremy on this great idea – tying together your passions is the perfect approach. I think it will tie in nicely with the “budget travel” market too, especially for the younger market. Onward and upward!!

  17. Leslie says:

    Jeremy this is so awesome! What an amazing idea; I can’t wait to read this as it materializes. Of course if you need any insider info on “The U” (University of Miami), I’m your gal! Go ‘Canes :)

    Good luck with this great new venture!


    • Miami? Really? I had no idea! I remember a game in the 80s between Miami and South Carolina that got U-G-L-Y (were you even born yet? :) Ever since I hated the Canes. Then look at all the trouble with the Shapiro guy and it’s a mess there.

      Like Al Golden a lot and I hope to make it there as part of this tour!

  18. Marshall Branham says:

    Congratulations Jeremy on launching this. I know you will really enjoy it I was not aware that your first game with me brought you such wonderful memories.

    I love you – Dad

    Did you see which college team was named best tailgating? Go Gamecocks “railgating” Mom

    • Thanks Dad! Those were some of my best memories growing up. I loved going to those games and spending time with you!

      And yes, others have even mentioned the Cockabooses and what a great place to tailgate!

  19. inka says:

    You certainly have found a niche here Jeremy and I admire your enthusiasm. With the exception of Formual 1 I’m not the least bit interested in sport, but I’ll spread the word, tweet, stumble and come back here too.

    • Thanks Inka! However, I really don’t think you have to be interested in sport to enjoy this series. I will make it interesting even for the non-sports fan. Exploring college towns is fascinating and very interesting so hope you will check it out.

      I am not a fan of racing at all so I have to admit I know nothing about Formula 1. On a related note, sad to hear about Dan Wheldon.

  20. Sounds very cool Jeremy!! You know how much we love sports and travel and college sports!
    Will you be sharing about the greatest college town in the States??
    Let me hear you TAr….. Heels…..

    Looking forward to it. Are you going to be travelling to these towns?

    • Thanks Caz! I am very excited about this. Yes, I will be visiting all of these towns myself and so far, I have 2 set for this year and am looking to add 2 more.

      As for UNC, remember that this is the college FOOTBALL travel tour. I didn’t realize UC played football! :)

      I may do the ACC at some point but it would be a while. I need to focus on the real football conferences first! :) However, Chapel Hill would be a great place to visit as it is a great college town.

  21. Lisa says:

    Jeremy, this is a cool series. I love watching the Tampa Bay Buc’s play, but I don’t have a love for college football. It’s clear you have found a strong passion here and I think you’ll inspire your readers to share their road trips, their teams and their love of the game.

    • Ah Lisa, you are missing out! I am not a NFL fan at all but love college football. I grew up with it and now living in California, I see it differently. The passion is lacking out here and even though people love the Raiders and 49ers, there’s no comparison to college football. Maybe I can get you interested through this series! :)

  22. Knowing how much you love sports and in particular college football, this is a perfect fit for you! Plus it will be great fun visiting all those wonderful college towns :) I’ll be watching as your new project moves forward!

    • Thanks Debbie! Not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner! It is perfect for me and I really look forward to all of these college campuses. I will be kicking things off REALLY soon! :)

  23. jenjenk says:

    fun…and I don’t even like college football – tailgating is the best part of it as far as I’m concerned!!

    • The tailgating part is fun! I know many don’t like college football but I think people will like this series anyways. I will cover much more than the football! Have you been to a college football game?

  24. Alex says:

    I look forward to seeing this series. Have fun!

    • Thanks Alex! This is going to be a lot of fun. In all my years at USC, I went to one road game and that wasn’t until after I graduated. It was Vandy in 98 and not a good year to go at all!! I already have 4 booked for this year so should be a lot of fun!

      Before I saw your photo or the blog, I knew this was you just by the email address! :)

  25. robin says:

    Congratulations! This is a brilliant idea that combines your passions and so of course plays to your strengths! I look forward to it.

  26. Erik says:

    Sounds Cool. A friend of mine and I did three games in one day last year- noon start at Michigan in Ann Arbor, 330pm start for Central Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, and an 800pm start for Michigan State – Notre Dame in East Lansing. It was really great, but I had the worst case of ‘bleacher butt’ in my life.

  27. jade says:

    Jeremy- I’ve been super busy lately and haven’t been online much but I LOVE this idea!! Let me know if you want any company at any of the games! A huge rivalry is Georgia/ Florida and I’m going to be in Jacksonville (not at the game, but tailgating!) should be exciting! really really love this idea!

    • Thanks Jade! I thought you might like this idea. This year, I am doing 4 games and will try and do more next year. This will be a lot of fun and tailgating will definitely be a part of this!

  28. Linds says:

    Great topic and I look forward to reading about your adventures. I’m a University of Alabama alum…roll tide! My husband is an Iowa hawkeyes alum so we have alot of fun discussing Big ten vs SEC teams. I would suggest you not missing the Alabama vs LSU game in Tuscaloosa this year.

    • Thanks for following along Linds! Even though I live in California, I am actually a Gamecock grad so I know all about the SEC! I won’t make it to the Bama-LSU game but that will be one of the games of the year. I watch the SEC every week because that’s all I knew after South Carolina joined in 1992. You can bet that the SEC is definitely on the agenda for this tour!

  29. This is really cool, Jeremy! I’m not a huge fan of football (or, well, and sports!), but I still think it will be fun to follow along.

  30. What a great idea! I’d definitely suggest Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan as some of the top college environments in the country, although I assume you don’t want to overload on the Big 10. I’ll give a special recommendation for my alma mater Penn State, as that town consists of absolutely nothing but the university. It is a true college town, if there ever was one.

    • Thanks Scott! I will definitely make my way out to Big 10 (+2) country at some point. There are so many football games, experiences, and campuses I want to enjoy but it’s just going to take a while to get to them. I know a lot of towns exist just for these colleges so those should be a lot of fun. I am partial to the SEC and the experiences there but I am a bit biased considering where I am from and where I went to school.

  31. I visited South Carolina last year. Awesome experience.

    I am part of a “campus crasher” group of friends from the Northeast who were deprived from college football compared to the South and even the West and decided to do something about it… We make an annual trip. This year was the 11th year and the last 3 years included Ole Miss, South Carolina and Texas A&M. All incredible. I can’t recommend the college game enough for a weekend. It is Americana.

    Check out http://www.campuscrasher.com to see the group.

    stay adventurous, Craig

    Ps – curious since you are not an “eater” wondering what you eat at your tailgates… it is so critical to so many across the country.

    • Growing up in the South, college football was in my blood. We didn’t have big cities or a lot of pro sports teams so college football was everything. I can’t even count how many South Carolina games I’ve seen. However, I never traveled much to the road games. I’ve been to Clemson and Vanderbilt but no other stadiums. Now is my time to pursue my passion.

      You point out the reason why I am doing this. Many people don’t understand how much college football is a part of the culture here in the US. It’s my desire through this series to share this with people. Not just the football aspect but the cultural aspect as well. There is something about college campuses and towns that fascinate me. If you haven’t experienced, it is hard to explain. I hope that people get a chance to experience this through the series.

      As for your campus crashers group, that sounds like my kind of people! :) Love your passion for this and you’ve been to some great places – a lot of schools in the SEC. As for South Carolina, you couldn’t have picked a better game or environment for a game (maybe Clemson would have been a good one as well!). Really enjoy your passion and glad guys from the northeast get it!

      As for tailgating, food isn’t a huge part of travel and I didn’t get a chance to sample any tailgating foods. However, sampling local cuisine in college towns is a service I owe those following this series! And I am more than happy to enjoy tailgating and food! :)

      • Campus Crashers, it’s a trip. Epic each and every year. and the game, its people – it’s America. Glad to know you will enlighten a large audience.

        Tailgating is part of it, a big part in my eyes… and so are the special and iconic eateries on each campus. A must to truly capture all that it is… the series would miss something without enjoying the food aspect.

        good luck. and stay adventurous, Craig

  32. Nate says:

    Me and the family love to travel to different college football stadiums across the US to support are “Rolling Tide” where ever they go during the football season. I just bought this new portable satellite dish called the Tailgater that self adjust to find my proper satellite orbital’s for me. It was easy and simple to set up plus it supports both SD and HD picture and it displays resolution up to 1080i. It only works with the 211k receiver through DISH Network and working for the company I can tell you that this dish only weighs 10 pounds and is compact to fit into any space.

  33. Next year come to Boise! We would love to have you on the blue turf!


  34. I`m leaving on a football tour next month with my son, never had that experience, was just wondering to find info about it and I stumbled upon your post. Thanks, great job :)

  35. Deb says:

    I am so excited for this tour. What an amazing idea. My dad doesn’t go on the Internet, but he loves football. I can’t get him to read our blog but maybe I’ll be able to get him to finally follow a blog by sending him to something that he loves. (He loves hearing about our travels, but his heart is in the sporting world:))
    I’m really looking forward to the inspirational part of the series, I think sports and travel go hand in hand. Both can change your life, both are motivational and inspirational and both are a lot of fun.
    Congratulations, we are thrilled for you!

  36. Will there be a College Football Tour this year too? The tour’s destinations are some of my best holiday destinations, by the way. I missed the 2011 tour, so I wonder if there is one this year.

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