On a crisp fall day, few places match the atmosphere of a college football tailgate. These games bring the whole community together: college students and their parents, alums, young children, grandparents, and everyone else in-between. Even if it’s been a few years since your own college days, a college campus has energy that helps you to stay perpetually young. Now you can rest assured, the places we are recommending are not the spots where drunk college kids will get in your face or throw up on your shoes. If that type of atmosphere is what you are looking for, you don’t need to consult an article like this one; instead, simply note where the packs of inebriated undergraduates are flocking to and follow them. These are the best tailgates for football fans of all ages all along the Atlantic coast, even if it’s been awhile since your own college days.
As you may have guessed, no list of top ACC tailgates would be complete without a trip down to Clemson. A joke at Clemson is that ACC stands for “another Clemson championship,” and having won the ACC in football every year since 2015, the team can back it up. Given the absurdly good teams that they field, Clemson has transformed itself into one of, if not the best, tailgate location in the country. When watching a Clemson game, whether it’s against a creampuff or a top-25 matchup, you know that at least one team will be playing top-quality football. One of the best places to get ready to watch this high quality football is Nick’s Tavern and Deli. At Nick’s, they look to keep the riff-raff away, and instead have a more relaxed vibe compared to other Clemson bars. But don’t let the relaxed vibe fool you — Nick’s certainly doesn’t skimp on beer selection. Since its founding in 1976, Nick’s has been known as the go-to spot for those searching for an extensive beer selection.
While the team has seen a dip from its usual dominance in recent years, Florida State remains a must-attend tailgate location. Located in beautiful Tallahassee, Florida, there is no shortage of options. For those looking to go to a bar, there is Madison Social, which serves up drinks such as the Biegarita, which is made up of “tequila, orange juice, sour, fresh lime juice, salt rim, and Shock Top beer.” Whether you’re watching FSU as it looks to regain its footing in the ACC or watching them when they reemerge and are a dominant force, one element is true: watching the game will be more enjoyable after having consumed a Biegarita (or two) before the game.
Don’t let Georgia Tech’s STEM prowess deceive you — the Yellow Jackets love to support their football team on Saturdays as well. While they don’t run the classic triple option anymore, that hasn’t stopped the Ramblin Wreck from tailgating. In fact, Georgia Tech is so serious about its tailgating that it has a blog post detailing the pros and cons of each tailgating location around campus. Whether you want to try to tailgate with the die-hards at Techwood Drive or a more family-friendly experience in Peter’s Parking Deck, there is a place for anyone and everyone around campus. And located in the always bustling Atlanta, Georgia Tech has got it all for you.
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