Author: Ashley Papa
Date of Trip: November 2012
It may not be a tropical island with beautiful beaches or a historical city with ancient architecture, but if you’re lucky enough to be in Lincoln, Nebraska on college football game day, you’re guaranteed a good time. The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, is home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, one of the top college football teams in the country. On Husker game day Saturdays, the beautiful Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest populated area in the state, seating over 85,000 people. The stadium bleeds red with its fans dressed in Husker red.
No matter what time the game is, tailgating always starts just around at the crack of dawn. RV’s complete with smokers, grills, flat screen TVs and stereo systems line the blocks of Lincoln, so put on your game face and bring your appetite. The smell of barbecued beef and grilled corn hovers over the city. And, even if you aren’t an Alumnus or a native of Nebraska, someone will more than likely invite you to their tailgate because Nebraska is home to some of the nicest, warmest people. And, on game day, everyone is your best friend.
If you need to take a break from the outdoors, lots of bars in town offer college game day deals. Barry’s Bar, Red 9 and The Single Barrel are just a few located right by the stadium. For a good sandwich before kickoff, head on over to Bison Witches to dine with the students and try The Husker sandwich. The two hunks of grilled chicken and melted provolone in between a toasty bun, will surely keep you satisfied throughout the game. But, you need to save some room for a Runza during halftime. Born and “Bread” in Nebraska, it’s the state’s official sandwich. It seems simple enough; ground beef, pork, cabbage and onion all stuffed into a bread pocket. But, it’s the combination of tasty meat, salty cabbage and soft baked bread that makes it so addicting, you’ll be asking if they ship nationwide.
Regardless of whether the Huskers win or lose, after the game, fans are reenergized and ready for more. But if you’re looking to relax after a long day of tailgating and cheering, there are plenty of lounges in Lincoln that let you sit and sip on a cocktail. Hit up Zen’s Lounge with its trendy vibe and enjoy a classic like a Tom Collins or Old Fashioned. Another great place that has a nostalgic speakeasy feel is Barrymore’s. The bar is set up behind the historic Rococo theater and serves everything from Budweiser to Grey Goose Dirty Martinis.
Lodging is not hard to come by in Lincoln, but you’ll want to stay close to Memorial Stadium and the Haymarket, downtown. There is the Cornhusker Marriott, Embassy Suites and the Holiday Inn all within walking distance to the stadium and the bars and restaurants.
Before heading out of town the next morning, plan on walking over to the Green Gateau for a delicious Sunday brunch. The quaint restaurant is easily accessible from the downtown area and is a staple in the city. Start your meal with one of their freshly made scones. If eggs are what you crave, their Huevos Rancheros are topped with a spicy green chili. If you’re craving something on the sweeter side, try one of their classic crepes.
So, whether you’re just passing through Nebraska on a road trip across the country or want to visit one of America’s most prideful cities, make sure you make the stop in Lincoln on game day. And, even if you’re not a true Cornhusker fan, just pretend you ‘bleed Husker red’ and you’re destined to have a good time in the heartland.