With autumn comes the football season, and that means now is the time to start planning this year’s NFL tailgating adventures. Obviously, friends, food, and fun will all come into play, but what else do you need to have an amazing time? Whether you have a local NFL team or you need to travel to see a game, one thing we highly recommend is taking an RV with you.
Tailgating in an RV is a thousand times more comfortable than hanging out on an actual tailgate. It allows you to have running water, a fridge, and a way to cook. An onboard furnace will keep you warm on those extra cold game days, and RVs have TVs, meaning you have the perfect way to watch a game from afar, especially if you have access to DISH Network in your rig.
But where should you take your RV for an NFL tailgate? Honestly, you’re likely to have fun no matter which game you attend. That said, there are definitely some NFL tailgating experiences that are better than others.
Below are our top picks.
— East Coast Stadiums —
If you’re on the east side of the country, you’re in luck. There are a couple of fantastic NFL stadiums that provide an excellent NFL tailgating experience, and having an RV with a furnace will definitely be a plus in these chilly locations.
Philadelphia Eagles in Pennsylvania
When it comes to tailgating, Eagles fans know how to do things right. These fun people have all kinds of long-held tailgating traditions. Among these is the burning of a jersey from the opposing team, playing Shotgun Shotgun, and of course, climbing poles.
If you aren’t too tired when the tailgating is finished, we highly recommend exploring Philly. This city is home to such attractions as The Franklin Institute, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell. Learn about more to do in Philadelphia in our local guide.
Buffalo Bills in New York
One of the few NFL stadiums located in a rural area, tailgating at the New Era Field is a more intimate experience than you might find elsewhere. The sense of community is amazing, as is the food. Expect to find some of the best wings around, as well bacon cooked on a saw, stir fry made in a helmet, and shots dispensed from a bowling ball.
While in the area, be sure to head into Buffalo to see the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Zoo, or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. For more suggestions of things to do in Buffalo, check out this local guide.
— West Coast Stadiums —
Heading to the west coast? We have an awesome NFL tailgating pick for this area of the US. What’s more, the west side of the country is the perfect place to go RVing, meaning you’re sure to have an awesome time in your motorhome before and after the game.
Seattle Seahawks in Washington
While the location of the Seahawks’ stadium does make it a bit difficult to create a classic tailgating scene, these enthusiastic fans don’t seem to mind. The excitement that fills the air surrounding the stadium before one of these games is hard to come by, and the CenturyLink Field has got to be one of the most impressive in the NFL.
Seattle is an incredible city, so be sure to explore it before or after the event. See the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, and Pike Place Market. Need more ideas? Check out our Seattle local guide.
— Southern Stadiums —
The south is one of the very best places to go for amazing football experiences, and the NFL tailgate opportunities in this area are some of the best. Why not head down south, soak in some sunshine, and enjoy some football fun?
Miami Dolphins in Florida
Looking to tailgate with some seriously friendly people? Miami Dolphins fans are some of the friendliest around, providing visitors with a good old-fashioned southern welcome. We also really love the year-round sunshine and beautiful weather in the state of Florida, and the “Uber Tailgate” area is a fantastic way to avoid parking at the stadium.
While in Miami, make sure to head to the beach. You might also want to visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. More things to do in Miami are listed in our local travel guide for the area.
Houston Texans in Texas
Those who like a little bit of delicious barbecue with their NFL tailgating experience will love the Houston Texans tailgating scene. These folks take their barbecue seriously, so it is not at all uncommon to see dozens of smokers set up before the game, and the resulting barbecue is often considered the best in the NFL.
Of course, all of those slow-cooked meats are exactly the kind of thing that will put you in the mood to have an amazing time.
Hoping to find more to do in Houston? Lucky for you, there are plenty of great options. We especially love Space Center Houston and the Houston Zoo. More great options can be discovered in our Houston local guide.
— Midwest Stadiums —
Another fantastic part of the country for football? The midwest. Whether you’re up north in Wisconsin or further south in Missouri, you’re sure to have an amazing NFL tailgate experience while in the midwest.
Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin
Many would argue that the Lambeau Field in Green Bay is the top place in the country to go tailgating. Green Bay fans are both loyal and fun, which makes a visit to the famous Tundra Tailgate Zone extra exciting. Here you’ll find food, beer, live music, and giant monitors that show the games.
Of course, you’ll want to explore Green Bay while you’re there. We recommend seeing the National Railroad Museum and the Green Bay Botanical Garden. Check out our Green Bay local guide for more ideas.
Denver Broncos in Colorado
The fans of the Denver Broncos are nothing if not creative. Attending a tailgate event at Mile High Stadium will mean seeing school buses, limos, and of course, RVs. Many people also build truckbed patios and rooftop structures on their buses, and it’s not unusual to see Broncos-inspired art such as ice sculptures here and there.
After the game, be sure to give yourself some time to explore Denver. This city boasts such attractions as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Molly Brown House Museum. More ideas can be found in our Denver local guide.
Cleveland Browns in Ohio
The Cleveland Browns have some awesome fans that put on an excellent NFL tailgate event. These folks have some quirky traditions that we just can’t get enough of. From “beer can chicken” to spiked cupcakes, there is always plenty of food to go around, and the tradition of playing the AC/DC song “Thunderstruck” and drinking every time the word “Thunderstruck” is said is certainly a fun one.
While in Cleveland, make sure to see some of the sights. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one favorite, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is perfect for kids. Other suggestions can be found in our Cleveland local guide.
Chicago Bears in Illinois
Football fans with kids will appreciate the family-friendly atmosphere offered by the Chicago Bears tailgating experience. The pre-game event almost always includes family favorites like Chicago-style hotdogs and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and fans go all out with decorations.
When you’re finished at the game, be sure to explore the city a little. We love Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, as well as Shedd Aquarium. More Chicago fun can be found in our Chicago local guide.
Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota
Seeing as Minnesota is so far north, the state sees some pretty harsh weather during football season. Nevertheless, Vikings fans show up and have a great time both before and after games.
One of the best things about a Vikings tailgating event? The “Battlewagon,” an old delivery truck turned fan-mobile. It’s fully decked out and complete with horns, and anyone is welcome to peek inside.
In addition to great football, Minneapolis also has plenty of fun attractions to choose from. Make sure to see the Mall of America and the Walker Art Center. Want even more to do? Our Minneapolis local guide will help you plan.
Kansas City Chiefs in Missouri
Go to any Kansas City Chiefs game and you’ll be treated to a fantastic tailgating experience. These events offer some of the only tailgating barbecue that rivals the food served at a Texans game, and the air is always filled with excitement. Best of all, Chiefs fans are definitely some of the most passionate in the country and their antics are always fun to witness.
One the game is over, make sure to see Kansas City. Some of our favorite spots include the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the various attractions located in Union Station. For more info on Kansas City, check out our local guide.
— Northeast Stadiums —
Finally, we must mention our absolute favorite northeast stadium for an NFL tailgating. This particular stadium is located in Massachusetts, so be ready for gorgeous fall colors and some pretty cold weather to go along with your football fun.
New England Patriots in Massachusetts
As mentioned above, the weather in Boston tends to get pretty darn cold during the football season. In fact, Patriots fans often brave blizzards in order to do their tailgating. Luckily, they tend to have hot foods like clam chowder to help warm them up. Other types of seafood are also plentiful, and superfan Billy Burrows always shows up extra early to cook a feast for anyone who’d like to join him.
Boston is chock-full of amazing things to see and do. If you’re looking for ways to fill your time after the game, we recommend the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science. Other suggestions can be found in our Boston local guide.
As you can see, there’s a great NFL tailgate experience for you, no matter who you are or where you live. Book your RV today and plan a trip to one of these fantastic stadiums for the experience of a lifetime!
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