IT'S GAME TIME

America's Top College Football Towns

  1. University of Hawaii's Aloha Stadium in Manoa seats 50,000. The best seats for day games are located along the shaded Makai sideline; be sure to check the stadium map when buying tickets. (Courtesy University of Hawaii Athletics)
  2. Most teams have a pregame warm-up, but the Warriors at the University of Hawaii in Manoa take it to a new level in their performance of the ha'a war chant. (Courtesy University of Hawaii Athletics)
  3. At the University of Tennessee's 102,038-seat stadium in Knoxville, the unofficial school anthem "Rocky Top" is played at least 20 times a game. It's no surprise the Volunteers tend to win at home—what opposing team wouldn't be distracted by that? (Courtesy Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation)
  4. Knoxville's most curious attraction might be the 266-foot-tall Sunsphere, a golden glass ball built for the 1982 World's Fair. (Courtesy Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation)
  5. In Knoxville, top local barbecue spot Calhoun's serves up award-winning baby-back ribs, creamy country-style coleslaw, and cornbread, sits right on the bank and is accessible by both water and land. (Courtesy Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation)
  6. A few blocks north of the river in Knoxville's Market Square area, the 28-room Hotel St. Oliver provides plenty of Southern charm—the 1876 building is decorated with period furniture and oil paintings in gilded frames. (Courtesy Hotel St. Oliver)
  7. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, an 80,321-strong crowd cheers on the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. And visitors will practically need a manual to keep up with the traditions. (Jeff Miller/courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  8. At Babcock Hall Dairy Store in Madison, students from the UW Food Science Department sell sweet concoctions made on-site, like scoops of Blue Moon, Strawberry, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. (Jeff Miller/courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  9. Eugene, Oregon's Autzen Stadium, home to the University of Oregon Ducks, seats 54,000 fans. You might recognize Oregon's mascot. He's based on popular Disney character Donald Duck—Walt himself approved the likeness. (Courtesy Curtis Reed Photography)
  10. In keeping with the collegiate spirit while in Eugene, Ore., guests can stay the night at the Excelsior Inn, a nearly 100-year-old building that originally served as a sorority house. (Courtesy Excelsior Inn)
  11. No trip to Oregon is complete without a stop at one of the McMenamin brothers' joints. Just a block from the university campus, East 19th Street Café has pool tables, plenty of outdoor seating, and a list of five tap beers produced in the McMenamins' own breweries. (Courtesy East 19th Street Café)
  12. About 60,000 people fit into Morgantown's Milan Puskar Stadium, the University of West Virginia's home turf. Since 1972, the marching band has played John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" before every game. (Brian Persinger/courtesy University of West Virginia)
  13. The new Morgantown Brewing Company, in Morgantown, West Va., has an extensive selection of microbrews, including Zack Morgan's Pale Ale, a copper beer with a citrus aroma and an initial bite of American Cascade hops. (Paul Parent/courtesy Morgantown Brewing Company)
  14. At the University of Texas in Austin, every Longhorn touchdown at Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium is celebrated with the roar of the 95,000-strong crowd and the blast of a cannon—a booming manifestation of Lone Star State swagger. (Courtesy University of Texas)
  15. The perfect base for exploring "weird" Austin is the 40-room Hotel San José, a 1930s motor court turned boutique bungalow with reclaimed-pine platform beds and a wisteria-lined courtyard. (Casey Dunn/courtesy Hotel San José)
  16. Since Boise State University first unfurled its stadium's royal-blue turf back in 1986, the Broncos have made headlines for their action on the field—the team has evolved into a perennial football powerhouse with one of the best home records in NCAA history. (Courtesy Boise State University)
  17. For the capital of a state best known as a top potato producer, Boise has a surprisingly fertile arts scene, with the Boise Art Museum and the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of the city's large Basque population. (Courtesy The Agency/Town of Boise)
  18. At 60,580-seat Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, home to the University of Mississippi Rebels, Southern gentility is on display throughout the season; fans are expected to wear their Sunday best (ties for men, heels and dresses for ladies). (Courtesy University of Mississippi)
  19. The 5 Twelve Bed and Breakfast, just east of the Ole Miss campus in Oxford. The antebellum home has12-foot-high ceilings and a wraparound porch, with six guest rooms decorated in graphic Marimekko textiles. (Francesca Gothie Diggs/courtesy The 5 Twelve)
  20. Square Books, in Oxford, Miss., has a Southern-author selection. Bonus: The indie bookstore has an upstairs café and a balcony overlooking the Square, where browsers are free to linger as long as they'd like. (Courtesy Square Books)

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