It’s football season, meaning that you are planning to follow your favorite team across the country, and we’re here to help you turn the weekend into a full-on road trip! Whether you’re hoping to gather with fellow fans or looking to spy on the enemy in their natural habitat, here’s a guide to fun in these Texas college football towns. (P.S. – We are not responsible for any fights and arguments that may ensue if you roam in the opposite team’s stomping grounds…;)) HAVE FUN!
University of Texas
To Eat: If you find yourself in the land of the Longhorns (Austin, for any of you who are living under a rock), the place you can find fellow UT fans or perhaps the enemy if you’re the other team is at the oldest continually run tavern in Texas, Scholz Garten — a bustling beer garden serving all things fried, Texan and German (beer included) to UT students and alumni since the 1866. If you’re looking for somewhere within walking distance of the stadium to tailgate before the game, head to Posse East (an Austin mainstay since 1971) and toast a cold one as you munch fries on the giant patio.
To Do: If you need something to do in between cheering on your team and toasting the touchdowns, visit The Drag which is the strip of shops and restaurants along Guadalupe St. on the west side of campus. You can find all kinds of burnt orange paraphernalia and Austin swag at shops like Tyler’s on the Drag (“Keep Austin Weird” shirts anyone?) or University Co-op. If you’re on the opposing team, you can fraternize with the enemy as you walk along street where the Longhorn fans roam.
To Eat: If you find yourself trippin’ through Waco, and want to find where the Bears like to hibernate before the game, head to Vitek’s BBQ where you’ll find Baylor students and alumni chowing down on the joint’s signature “Gut Pack” which is a messy (and addicting) pile of Fritos, cheese, chopped beef, jalapenos, onions and BBQ sauce that has gained them world-wide recognition. Or hit up George’s Restaurant, a local institution since 1930, for a “Big O” (an 18 oz. frosty beer) and some Crazy Wings (chicken, cheese and jalapeno all wrapped in bacon and deep fried.)
To Do: While there is always tons of fun to be found on campus (like visiting the Bear Habitat or playing a round of Giant Chess), you can also catch some rays or chow down at food trucks at the new Magnolia Market, paddle the Brazos River (which flows right next to campus) and grab a pre-game caffeine fix at Common Grounds.
View our trip to Waco here!
To Eat: If you find yourself trekking through “Raiderville” for a game, follow the massive crowd of students across University Avenue from Texas Tech to Spanky’s, where you’ll find cold beer, strong margaritas and fried cheese — honestly, what more could you need to prepare for cheering on your team? You’ll also find Raiders munching on the perfect post-game pizza and bigger-than-your-face calzones at One Guys Pizza, which is also across from campus.
To Do: Once your voice needs a break from all that cheering, catch a movie and a breath-taking West Texas sunset at the Stars & Stripes Drive-In, or learn about local rock legend Buddy Holly at the Buddy Holly Center! And if you have more time to spare, check out our trip to Lubbock for more ideas!
University of Houston
To Eat: Visit Calhoun’s Rooftop Bar which is across campus from the TDECU Staduim, for cold beer, great “Coog” comraderie and amazing burgers. And if you’re on the opposing team and really looking to breach enemy territory, then trek to the on-campus bar, The Den, where you’ll definitely find the cougars lounging before and after the game.
To Do: When you’re in Houston, do as the Cougars do and head to nearby Downtown Houston to take in the sights and sounds of town. Here, you’ll find everything from the Saint Arnold Brewery (tours and free beer anyone?) to multiple parks like the Discovery Green and the Market Square Park.
To Eat: Of course, if you’re a Horned Frogs fan (and even if you aren’t) you’ve gotta visit Dutch’s, the iconic burger joint named after TCU’s Coach Leo “Dutch” Meyer. This old-fashioned hole-in-the-wall serves up tasty burgers and shakes and is sure to be hopping with Frogs. And to toast the touchdowns (or perhaps drown your game-loss-sorrows) head uptown to the TCU hot spot Varsity Tavern. Whether you were an MVP in high school or not, you can still eat like one at this bar and grill that serves upscale burgers and ice cold beer with an incredible rooftop view.
To Do: Leap over to West 7th where you’ll find a movie theater, tons of shops and even dessert (Steel City Pops has to-die-for gourmet Popsicles!) Or put on your best dancin’ boots and head to the stockyards where you’ll find TCU students enjoying some good ol’ Texas two-step and live music at Billy Bob’s.
If you’re really up for roamin’ Fort Worth, check out our trip here.
To Eat: A trip through Aggieland wouldn’t be complete without stuffing your face with a pre-game burger and beer at the Dixie Chicken, which has been an Aggie Tradition since 1974, and don’t be surprised if you see students dropping their rings into towering mugs of beer…Or if you need a post-game snack, you can’t miss drowning your crispy golden chicken fingers and Texas Toast in secret sauce at Layne’s Chicken Fingers.
To Do: After you’ve completed all the on-campus Aggie traditions (be sure to say “Howdy!” to the Century Tree and Sullivan Ross Statue), the place to be is dancing at Hurricane Harry’s, a dance hall that has been around since 1992. And if you’ve got time to spare and clothes that need washing, head to Harvey Washbangers — the ULTIMATE college hangout. This joint is part self-service laundromat, part bar and grill…so you can wash down your burgers with a cold one while you wash out your game-day jersey.
For more Aggieland tips, watch our trip to Bryan/College Station here.