If you can see a game at the University of Texas – we highly encourage you to add it to your bucket list. Even if your team isn’t playing, it’s worth the trip! Not only is the atmosphere around Austin electric on game days, but the city itself is a joy to visit. Read along for everything you’ll need to know for Tailgating in Texas and having an awesome weekend getaway!
Before Game Day
As with traveling to all football games (or even if you’re just a local fan), there’s a handful of things that need to get taken care of ahead of time to ensure you have a seamless weekend.
2022 Homes Schedule
- Sept. 3 – UL Monroe
- Sept. 10 – Alabama
- Sept. 17 – UTSA
- Oct. 1 – West Virginia
- Oct. 15 – Iowa State
- Nov. 12 – TCU
- Nov. 26 – Baylor
Be sure to purchase your game tickets well in advance of game day. You can do so on the UT Athletics Site. For Texas fans – there are options for Season Passes, Mini-Plans, and Student Tickets.
If you’re a fan of the away team, I’d suggest buying tickets from UT directly or via 3rd party sites like StubHub if you’re looking for the best possible seats. If you want to sit with your fellow fans, go through your own team’s ticket office! Do note, the away team seats are typically the worst in the house.
Map out the pre-game plan
Take some time to map out what your pre-game plan will be ahead of time.
Do you have a friend with a tailgate you’re going to join? Great. Make sure you budget time in the AM to grab whatever items you’ve promised to bring.
Do you want to attend a ticketed tailgate event? If so, probably best to purchase tickets ahead of time. See below for some ticketed tailgate events that happen in Austin.
Are you planning your own tailgate? This is the way to go if you can. Figure out where you’ll tailgate and map out your menu and prep work needed going into game day. I’d encourage you to add Jennie’s Tailgate Spinach Dip to the menu – it won’t disappoint!
Are you going to bar hop down 6th? This one is easy and doesn’t need too much prep. But still good to know what your plan is! However, 6th street can get busy, so it may be worth booking at least a reservation for brunch/lunch somewhere to ensure you have some food in your belly. You’re going to need it!
Where to Stay
Darrell K Royal Stadium, and the University of Texas’ campus, are practically in the heart of Austin. And given Austin is a ‘smaller’ city, you can stay anywhere and be able to get to and from the game quite easily.
If you want to be within walking distance on game day, I’d check out this Hotel Guides List of closest hotels to the stadium. There are quite a few within a mile. Being able to walk home when a football game lets out is a nice perk. Sometimes finding a cab or uber at that time can be a bit more difficult. But definitely not impossible. Spend five minutes walking away from the stadium, and you should fine one.
If you’re traveling with a bit of a larger group, I’d encourage you to look at local Airbnb’s. A lot of residents rent out their homes on these big game day weekends. There are a ton of adorable neighborhoods and beautiful homes for quite affordable. If you’re planning to host a tailgate, this is the route you need to go so you have a fridge and kitchen to prep your food in ahead of time.
Getting to Texas Memorial Stadium
The best option is to walk if you’ve booked a hotel or Airbnb close by. If that’s not an option, your second best is utilizing rideshare services. The city is compact, so nothing is more than a 5-10-minute Uber away.
If you rented a car for the weekend, I’d suggest leaving it at your hotel or home. Parking is always tricky around stadiums. Not worth the hassle when there are easy alternatives!
Downtown Austin does have a bus system called, Capital Metro. If you want to utilize this while you’re in town, you’ll just need to download the app and purchase passes ahead of time!
Texas Gameday Attire
If you’re looking to rep the Texas Longhorns, be sure to read this section! There’s a definite VIBE when it comes to the attire longhorn fans wear on gamedays, and you don’t want to be the odd man out!
First things first, BOOTS. You’re in Texas, so you got to act like it! Showing up in your worn-out vans or converse is not a thing at this stadium for game days. If you need some, Amazon has a great selection of affordable options. Linked here.
Burnt Orange. You’ll never see so much burnt orange as you will on a Texas game day in Austin. Most game day attire includes repping your team logo, but for Texas fans, it’s repping the team colors!
Have a Koozie on hand. You’ll never be offered more free beer ever again. Having a Koozie on hand to keep it chilled is a must. If you’re heading to a game early in the season, expect it to be quite a toasty day. If you’re traveling with a group, here’s a $10 set of burnt orange koozies you can order here.
Sunglasses / Hats / Sunscreen – as you’re walking around tailgates or bar-hopping along 6th street, you’ll find you’re going to be in the direct sun quite a bit. There’s not a ton of shade walking around that neighborhood, so definitely be prepared if it’s a mid-day game or an early evening kick. You don’t want to be burnt red by the end of the day.
A mini-portable fan. Sounds a little weird, but everyone will be jealous of you.
Tailgating at Texas
When it comes to the pre-game experience at Texas, it’s super unique in the number of options you have available to you. There is a great experience for all types of fans, including:
Bar Hopping – if you’re from out of town, and don’t have the necessary gear, you have endless outdoor bars you can bop around to as you make your way to the stadium. Rainey street is a great option for game days. They have a ton of large outdoor bars with fun games to play. Another main area is 6th street.
Brunch or Lunch – there are so many great restaurants within walking distance to the stadium. On a hot day, it could be nice to make a reservation at a fun spot, enjoy a nice brunch, or late lunch, while watching the other games on the TVs, and then head over to the stadium when it’s time for kick-off!
Traditional Tailgating – tailgating is permitted in the lots around the stadium and the stadium grounds. If you’re from out of town hopefully you have some local friends hosting a tailgating you can join in on!
Organized Tailgates – Texas has quite a few organized tailgates that you can purchase tickets to ahead of time, or pay at the door. These are great for smaller groups of fans. Here are some of the more popular tailgates:
#1 – UT Austin’s Bevo Blvd.
- Free pregame street party for everyone -no game ticket is required!
- Celebrate Bevo’s arrival with a street parade 3 1/2 hours before kickoff
- Greet the football team 2 1/2 hours before kickoff
- Dine on the finest food truck flavors in Austin
- Enjoy different happy hour specials
- Meet players and coaches
#2 – Alumni Center Tailgate
- Free entry with proof of membership
- One guest for free
- Additional guests are $5 each
- Admission Policy for nonmembers – $10 entry fee
#3 – The UT Club Tailgate Tent
- 6th Floor Club opens 2 hours in advance of kickoff for Executive members.
- Opens 3 hours in advance for regular members
- Flat Screen TVs.
#4 – Legends Club
- Free for members
- Premium game day location on the first floor of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center
- Complimentary buffet and soft drinks;
- One alcoholic drink ticket per member, or two per couple, for every home game (additional alcoholic beverages may be purchased at the cash bar)
- Access three hours before kickoff, during the game, and one-hour post-game.
- Six flat-screen televisions.
#5 – UT Football Tailgarten at Scholz Garten
- Opens at 11 AM
- DJs and Live Music
- Longest Running and Largest Tailgate in Texas
- Tailgate fare, beer, and cocktails
Texas Game Day Gear
If you need some new grill utensils, these are awesome! Texas Longhorn 3-Piece BBQ Set for under $40. This would make a great gift for dad going into the 2022 season.
If you want to start repping your team early – this is a great three-pack of face masks. Fingers crossed we won’t need to be used this fall!
The logo brand chairs are by far our favorite. They are a bit pricier, but they’re great quality and can last you season after season. As of March, this chair is also 25% off! They are worth buying early to get that deal. You can find it linked here.
Texas Booze Rules
A quick thing to note here – you cannot buy liquor on Sundays in Texas. And you must go to actual liquor stores to purchase any kind of alcohol (you can’t pick it up with your groceries). Something to keep in mind! If you’re going to pick up F&B for the weekend, note that you will need to make two stops! Or if you’re planning on doing a bit of a Sunday Funday, make sure you pick up your supplies ahead of time.
For more details on the rules and regulations of tailgating for UT games, check out the Football Fan Guide that covers everything from liquor policies to facility information. Any questions you may have should be covered in this comprehensive guide!
UT, along with all other major stadiums has adopted the Clear Bag Policy, be sure to review it before game day so you know you are packed appropriately!
Austin Eats & Drinks!
If you’re visiting Austin, TEXAS. You must try Texas BBQ! The last time I visited Austin, my friends and I went to Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. We loved it, and all needed a nap afterward! It’s a cool atmosphere, and the cafeteria-style seating is great for bigger groups, or if you want to get to know some locals!
For other great options, check out this super-comprehensive list on Visit Austin – The Ultimate Guide to Austin BBQ!
Something you’ll also love about Austin is just how many restaurants and bars there are – and ultimately you can’t go wrong with any of them! They also have some of the best happy hours of any town I’ve ever been to.
If you’re in search of a Happy Hour near your Airbnb or hotel, check out this comprehensive list Thrillist put together by neighborhood – The Best Happy Hours in Austin, by Neighborhood. If you’re near Rainey Street, be sure to check out El Naranjo! So good. Also, even if you’re not near Rainey street, be sure to add this as a stop on your itinerary. So many great outdoor bars, restaurants, and a ton of games!
Fun things to do in Austin!
Austin is a GREAT city. There’s so much entertainment, live music, great restaurants & bars, areas to explore. If you’ve never been (or even if you have 20 times), I’d recommend turning this game day weekend into an extended trip. Fly in Wednesday evening if you can and allow yourself to explore the great city Thursday and Friday before the Saturday game day. Come Sunday morning, you’re probably going to be itching for your bed and some Advil – ha!
#1 – Rent a boat or boat cruise Lake Travis! This makes for a great Thursday or Friday activity. The lake gets filled with boats, jet skis, paddle boarders. On popular summer days, boats will all dock in playpens so you can make friends! There are over 30 boat rental companies on the lake – that’s how you know it’s a popular activity. If you’re interested in checking this out more, check out this blog on The Best Lake Travis Boat Rentals.
#2 – Mount Bonnell. If you want some great views of the city, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills, be sure to add a stop at Mount Bonnell to the itinerary.
#3 – Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. A cherished outdoor space in the city, the 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail which encompasses the entire lake, serves as a popular place for runners, walkers, and cyclists, for both locals and visitors. Outdoor enthusiasts rave about the peace, quiet, and beauty the trail affords.
#4 – Sixth Street. A trip to Austin would not be complete without discovering some of the up and coming talent along Sixth Street – or the “Live Music Capital of the World”
#5 – Barton Springs Pool. Nestled in Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a favorite locale among visitors and residents. Native American settlers once believed the springs possessed spiritual healing powers.
What other fun things do you love to do in Austin? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have any other suggestions for tailgating at the University of Texas, be sure to leave them in the comments below for other fans to see! Or if you have any questions, throw them down there too so our community can help.
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