The South lives and breaths football and Georgia is no different.
With a handful of Football Bowl Subdivision teams and huge rivalries throughout the state, football is the lifeblood of the Peach State.
SEE ALSO: 12 Best Things About Living in Georgia
If you aren’t an athlete on the field, the best way to prepare for any college football Saturday is with a good, old-fashioned tailgate.
Every college town does it differently and some do it better than others. Make sure you bring all of your tailgate essentials when you head down to Georgia’s tailgating towns.
Home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, Athens, Ga. hails one of the biggest tailgate traditions in the state. Make sure to pitch your tailgate tent on North Campus early, but not too early. Campus requirements allow tailgaters to start claiming spots and pitching tents no earlier than 7 AM.
UGA fans will tailgate any and everywhere they can, but the closer to the stadium the rowdier. Typical tailgates at UGA include tents, games like corn hole, food and drinks.
Also, make sure to take time out of your tailgating fun to join in on the Dawg Walk, which is a fan-made tunnel welcoming UGA players onto the field.
In the heart of downtown Atlanta, tailgating for Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket football games is a little different. With typical tailgating activities still present, GT students are forced to be creative. Tailgates take place on the side of the road, parking garages and anywhere else these engineers can find to pitch their tent.
Two and a half hours before kick-off, Yellow Jackets gather on Bobby Dodd Way for Wreckfest. This family-fun tailgate includes live music, games and more. Also before kickoff, fans can gather on Brittain Driver, also known as Yellow Jacket Alley, to see their favorite players march into the stadium.
Hail the blue, hail the white, Eagle Nation is ready to fight, fight, fight! Statesboro, Ga., home of the Georgia Southern University Eagles, a Sunbelt team, is full of traditions. Tailgate locations are available right outside Allen E. Paulson Stadium, at the recreation facility and all over surrounding neighborhoods and streets.
The Eagle football team parades through the crowd of tailgating fans two and a half hours prior to kickoff after riding in on the historic yellow school busses. When the football program was resurrected in 1981, the team needed a way to travel. Thanks to the local board of education, the football team found an affordable travel option that it still uses to this day.
Make sure not to tailgate too long, or else you will miss Freedom’s Flight right before kickoff.
Georgia State University is one of the newest Peach State college football programs, but the school has skyrocketed to FBS-level play. The Panthers play all of their home games at the Georgia Dome in Downtown Atlanta.
Prepped for Falcon-ready tailgates, the Georgia Dome has a lot of options for Panthers fans to prepare for their games. Parking lots surround the stadium, and parking decks give fans several options for the perfect tailgate spot.
Other tailgate towns
Not all Georgia colleges are quite at the FBS level right now, but that doesn’t mean the tailgates are not just as good. Valdosta State University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University and other Georgia-based schools have growing football programs begging for tailgate tents and corn hole games.