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No Saturday in the SEC is complete without a great tailgating scene. When Georgia has a home game in the fall months, a sea of red and black paints the town of Athens. Smoke from grills across the Classic City fills the sky. The savory aroma of burgers, bratwurst, wings and other gameday goodies replaces the crisp, autumn air.
“If you want the full experience of Athens on gameday, you have to tailgate. It’s the best part about college football.”Palmer Thombs, Dawgs HQ
Tailgating is a huge part of college football, especially in Athens. We talked with Wes Blankenship, Jake Reuse and Palmer Thombs of Dawgs HQ to provide some of the best tips and tricks to tailgating in Athens on gameday!
Where to Tailgate on Gameday in Athens
- Location: 1197 S. Lumpkin St.
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 0.4 miles
One of the most popular tailgating spots on gameday in Athens is Myers Quad. It’s located in the heart of campus and is just a five-minute walk to Sanford Stadium. It’s one of the favorite setup spots for ESPN’s College GameDay, as well.
“My advice would be to get into town before sunrise. Things fill up really quickly on gameday.”Wes Blankenship, Dawgs HQ
Spots fill up quickly in Myers Quad because of its large, sprawling space and its proximity to Sanford Stadium. The best advice might be the most obvious: Arrive early. Otherwise, you might not get a spot at this popular location.
- Location: 825 S. Lumpkin St.
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 0.2 miles
Another tailgating location close to the action “Between the Hedges.” Legion Field is just 0.2 miles from Sanford Stadium, making it a quick walk to and from the game. It’s also close to the Tate Student Center, so you’re within walking distance of the “Dawg Walk” gameday tradition, which begins two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff.
- Location: 304 Herty Dr.
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 0.3 miles
Herty Field is the original birthplace of Georgia football, with the school hosting its first college football game in 1892. So, if you’re pull up your tailgate here, you’re also celebrating UGA’s past.
“Georgia fans are welcoming — it’s not uncommon for someone to offer you something to eat or a cold beer.”Palmer Thombs, Dawgs HQ
Like the other tailgating locations on this list, Herty Field is less than a half-mile from Sanford Stadium, so you won’t have to endure much of that Georgia heat during your walk to the game. This location is also really close to downtown Athens, so if there’s a bar or restaurant you’d like to visit, you can do that without much hassle.
- Location: All along Milledge Avenue
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: Varies, but approx. 2 miles
For those with a little more of the “party animal,” in them, Milledge Avenue might be one of the more … active … areas for tailgating. With several Greek life houses on this road, there are several tailgates set up in this area.
This probably isn’t the ideal location for children, or if you’re looking for a little more peaceful tailgating thing. It may not necessarily be “Dawg Wild” in this area, but it can be a little rowdier than some of the other places mentioned.
Deeded Lots & Premium Tailgate Spots
- Location: 655 Hancock Industrial Way
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 3.6 miles (shuttle available)
Bringing an RV to Athens on gameday? Bulldog Park might be a spot to consider — if you’ve got some cash. The cost to get a spot is over $30,000, but before you dismiss this as an option, there are some things to consider. This is a deeded lot, meaning you own it following purchase. Bulldog Park is open year-round, so it can be utilized on gameday — or on a random Wednesday in February.
Bulldog Park also has plenty of amenities, including RV hookups, a shuttle to and from Sanford Stadium, BBQ and picnic areas, entertainment areas and a playground for children.
- Location: 225 Oak St.
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 1 mile (shuttle available)
Another deeded lot, TailGAte Station allows fans to purchase a spot that can be owned forever. It’s another hefty price tag — coming in at $15,000 — but once it’s purchased, that’s your spot.
TailGAte Station allows fans to tailgate, offers food service options, runs a shuttle to and from Sanford Stadium and also has convenient restroom access. Those are just a few of the amenities you receive by purchasing one of these spots.
Bulldogs Tailgate Club
- Location: 105 Hooper St. (Reed Quad)
- Distance to Sanford Stadium: 0.1 mile
Looking for a hassle-free tailgate? Bulldogs Tailgate Club might be the best option. Through this entity, you can purchase specific packages and Bulldogs Tailgate Club will cater to those needs. They’ll handle the setup, all you have to do is get there.
You can keep it simple, ordering just a spot and a tent, or you can have catered meals and add a power/media package. There are a variety of options through Bulldogs Tailgate Club. Plus, it’s right next to Sanford Stadium. Can’t beat that!
Athens Tailgating FAQ Guide
What time can I start tailgating? Lots on UGA’s campus will open at 7 a.m. on the day of the game. We know you’re eager to start cooking up eggs, bacon and sausage while pouring a Bloody Mary once your alarm sounds, but you’ll have to wait until the clock strikes 7.
What grills are permitted? Charcoal grills are allowed. However, fans may not tailgate using propane, turkey fryers or any device that uses compressed gas.
Are restrooms available? Yes, permanent restrooms can be found across UGA’s campus at the Tate Student Center, Miller Learning Center, Joe Frank Harris Commons, and Bolton Dining Commons. There are also several portable toilets located across UGA on gameday. You should never have to walk too far.
Can you tailgate anywhere? There are a few locations in which you’re not permitted to tailgate. It’s not permitted in any of the parking lots on Georgia’s campus and is prohibited on the intramural fields. So, if you’re looking to breakout the tents, you’ll want to avoid these parking areas.
What are the rules on TVs and furniture? No, you’re not allowed to bring your futon, recliner or favorite couch to the tailgating lots. However, UGA does permit fans to bring televisions to the tailgate lots, but you must use your own power source.
North Campus Tailgating Notes
Because of the historic nature of UGA’s North Campus — as well as its proximity to downtown Athens — the rules are a little stricter. According to the school’s athletic website, the following items are prohibited from North Campus tailgating lots:
- Amplified Music
These lots also open five hours before kickoff. So, for a noon kickoff, these areas will open at 7 a.m. like the rest of UGA’s lots. If the game doesn’t start until 3 p.m., North Campus lots won’t open until 10 a.m.
Non-Tailgating Options in Athens on Gameday
Not into tailgating? No problem! There are plenty of other options to keep you occupied while in Athens before the Dawgs hit the field.
You can hit up a number of local restaurants for some great gameday grub and visit one of the dozens of unique bars and taverns in the area. There’s also quite a bit to see and do throughout the town to fill up your schedule until kickoff.
So, if you’re not into tailgating, park your car and wander around Athens. You’re sure to find food that fills you up, a drink that wets your whistle and something fun to do on gameday.