In no particular order, we have assembled America’s Best Tailgating Cities of the South. Due to the high number of great tailgating cities and fans, we have decided to divide the country into four sections: Midwest, South, East, and West. The below list includes Southern cities with either the most tailgating opportunities, the most diehard fans, size of tailgating event, and/or most unique way to tailgate. If you are a serious tailgater or someone who is looking at getting into the tailgating culture, these cities are a must visit for some of the best tailgating in the country.
With multiple professional sports teams and famous Texas BBQ as the main offering, Houston does tailgating big. Does your favorite team award a tailgater of the week and have its own tailgating magazine? No? Houston does. They even have named groups of fanatic tailgaters that never miss a game. The weather is great during football and baseball season with big Texas sunshine with only about a month of the year where temperatures could drop below the freezing mark. Bring a cooler stuffed with beer to trade for some of the best grilled and BBQ food Texas has to offer.
With fantastic weather, some of the best local cuisine found anywhere in the country, and multiple professional and college games to attend, welcome to a tailgating paradise. Walking around a tailgating area you are likely to find authentic Cuban food and drinks mixed with “traditional” tailgating fare. Expect the weather and the food to be hot so pack the sunscreen and plenty of chilled drinks. If you end up tailgating in Miami, skip the traditional grilled foods and hunt down some of the best grilled Cuban food you will find in the U.S.
From professional football to rugby, Jacksonville provides ample opportunity to dust off your grill and spend an afternoon in the beautiful Florida sun. With over 220 days of annual sunshine, Jacksonville’s weather screams cold drinks, great food, and sports. Jacksonville is also home to one of the best college football tailgating events in the entire country in what has become known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Pair the mild year-round weather with a variety of teams that play nearly year-round, you can get your tailgating fix anytime you want.
Starting the day before a home football game, a sea of 25,000+ fans begin to flood The Grove, a 10-acre tailgating area located at the center of the University of Mississippi campus, and transform a picturesque setting of giant oak and elm trees into a tailgaters dream. If you are a college football fan, this is an absolute must for your bucket list. Southern cooking, BBQ, passionate fans, ruthless rivalries, and some of the best game day traditions of anywhere in the country cements this small city as one of the best tailgating cultures in the country.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the few cities on our regional lists where you can get a tailgating experience by not setting up your grill near the stadium. Due to the lax drinking restrictions within the city, you will often find people partying and drinking in the streets and forming makeshift, popup tailgating areas. If you are looking for more of a traditional tailgating venue, head over to the stadium where you will find endless parking lots of New Orleans’ finest grilled food and die-hard football fans. Don’t leave the city without trying Cajun gumbo featuring anything from shrimp to okra.