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College football: Five Southern weekend getaways to catch the big game

August 14, 2023

As the days get shorter and summer heat gives way to fall foliage, another season of college football awaits.  

Here in the South, the pigskin game is no mere sport. For many, a favorite team is as much if not more about family history, school spirit or small-town pride as athletic prowess. Not to mention an excuse for a Southern college football weekend getaway. 

No conversation about college football in the South is complete without mention of the powerhouse Southeastern Conference (SEC), which boasts 13 of the 17 most recent national champions. 

From Gainesville to Baton Rouge, Columbia, Missouri to Columbia, South Carolina, a Southern weekend getaway beckons in some of the most picturesque college towns you will find. And when it is time to travel in convenience, style, comfort, luxury and safety, an Elite Jets charter aircraft is the smart choice. 

First and 10: Our aircraft 

Forget about crawling through traffic on Interstate 75 North or flying commercial on overcrowded flights with two or even three layovers just to make it to campus. At Elite Jets, we offer several options for your next college football Southern weekend getaway: 

Now that your ride is secure, let’s take a peek at the 2023 college football schedule. Below are five highly anticipated college football Southern weekend getaways: four at SEC schools and a fifth featuring a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rivals. 

READ MORE: Private travel: Getting there is half the fun | Elite Jets 

Texas at Alabama, Sept. 9 

With six of those national championships of its own since 2006, Alabama is right at the top of college football royalty. The Longhorns are no slouch either, with their own national championship in 2005 and an upcoming move from the Big 12 Conference to the SEC next year. This early season game is a rematch of a 2022 battle in which the Crimson Tide escaped with a 20-19 win in Austin. 

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama 

Nearest airport: Tuscaloosa National Airport (TCL) 

Missouri at Vanderbilt, Sept. 30 

While neither of these middle-of-the-road squads will be anywhere near the national championship conversation this fall, the game provides the perfect opportunity for a quick trip to Music City on your college football Southern weekend getaway. 

Home to the Grand Ole Opry, Music Row, hot chicken and more, Nashville has plenty of practice rolling out the red carpet for visitors. The Vandy campus in the city’s West End is a leisurely walk from downtown, and plenty of nightlife awaits after the game in the Lower Broadway entertainment district. 

Location: Nashville, Tennessee 

Nearest airport: Nashville International Airport (BNA) 

Georgia at Florida, Oct. 28 

No mere football game, this border-state rivalry is known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and held each year on neutral ground in Jacksonville. 

With two straight Bowl Championship Subdivision (BCS) national titles, Georgia’s Bulldogs are once again favored to prevail over the Florida Gators, which claimed three of its own national titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008. 

But befitting its name, this game is about far more than on-field results. Enjoy the trip to Jacksonville while you can – the schools are considering a move of the rivalry match from the home of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars back to their respective campuses. 

Location: Jacksonville, Florida 

Nearest airport: Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) 

Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Nov. 4 

While its on-field performances can be spotty, give the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) credit for elevating the tailgate experience to among the nation’s finest. 

The center of it all is the Grove, a verdant, shaded and 10-acre spot in the heart of campus where fans gather before, during and after games. 

The vibe here is “dress to impress” – think seer sucker suits for gents, sundresses and hats for ladies. The visiting Aggies from College Station, Texas, are also known for their loyal fan base and devoted student body, collectively known as the 12th Man. 

Location: Oxford, Mississippi 

Nearest airport: University-Oxford Airport (UOX) 

READ MORE: Five national parks to visit by private air charter 

North Carolina at Clemson, Nov. 18 

Best known for its basketball bona fides, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) also boasts several football heavyweights, notably the Clemson Tigers (national champions in 2016 and 2018). 

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Clemson hosts the UNC Tar Heels, whose loyal fans in Chapel Hill and beyond know there is plenty of football prowess in the better-known hotbed of hoops. With sophomore gunslingers Drake Maye and Cade Klubnik returning at quarterback for UNC and Clemson, respectively, this could be the highest-scoring, most highlight-filled game of our sneak peeks. 

Location: Clemson, South Carolina 

Nearest airports: Oconee County Regional Airport CEU); Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) 

Need assistance planning a college football weekend getaway? Please give our team a call at 239-900-9000 or email us at Charter@EliteJets.com.

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