I am always looking for new unique and authentic travel experiences, and recently I found one of the best experiences. Traveling isn’t always just about the place you are visiting, it’s a combination of the place, people, unique experiences, and a willingness for new experiences.
This year I decided to travel to the CFB National Championship in Phoenix, Arizona to watch the Clemson Tigers compete against the Crimson Tide for a really fancy trophy and some major bragging rights. It wasn’t all about the game, however. I had an amazing time as the South came out to the desert for a long weekend of celebrations and festivities.
While there, I compiled a list of the top 5 reasons that the CFB National Championship is worth traveling to.
College football goers know how to tailgate like no one else. Game day is basically a religion in the south, and Clemson happens to have been voted the best tailgating school for the past several years by Southern Living Magazine. This means that tailgates are taken seriously, it’s practically an art form. Many of the game-goers drove 30+ hours from South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama to bring their whole tailgating setup along for the fun.
The parties are amazing. Every club, every bar, every rooftop of each swanky hotel is booming with celebrity studded events fully equipped with performances from artists you’ve actually heard of.
My favorite party was the Legends of Clemson party on the Wet Deck of the W Hotel in Scottsdale. W Hotels are known for being fun and young, and the W Scottsdale really knows how to throw a party. Big Boi from Outkast performed by a beautifully lit pool with an entourage of NFL players by his side, and the crowd sang along to every song. This was the place to be.
Concerts are a huge part of a nearly week-long celebration during the College Football National Championship, and should I mention that they are all completely free of charge! Anyone can attend the shows during the weekend, and the big one on game day is free with any ticket to the football game. This year there was a huge block party type set up in the middle of downtown Phoenix with concerts by Ciara, Eric Church, The Band Perry, John Mellancamp, David Nail, Walk the Moon, and several other artists and DJ’s. Ciara also the singer of the National Anthem before the game.
Even if you don’t like (or even understand football), you will definitely appreciate the atmosphere. Nearly 65,000 screaming fans, the roar of the crowd and the excitement. ESPN College Gameday is makes an appearance and every ESPN celebrity is in sight.
The signs people make are amazing and the crazy outfits some put together to get on tv are amazing as well. The TV personality’s from Gameday are celebrities in their own right, and it’s fun to see the shows up close!
The City at it’s Best
Heading to the CFB National Championship gave me a unique way to experience a city that I had been wanting to check out, but on a completely different level. Visiting during such a large event (imagine, almost as big as Super Bowl) allowed me to experience Phoenix at it’s best. The night life was amazing, everyone was happy and excited for the festivities and football game, and the city had an opportunity to show off on a world stage and they took full advantage. This allowed my trip to be vibrant, exciting and once-in-a-lifetime way to visit the Pheonix and Scottsdale areas. It also gave me an excuse to roadtrip a few hours away and explore the Grand Canyon.
Keep this in mind as the 2017 College Football National Championship approaches in Tampa next January. There’s a pretty good chance you will find me there.