It’s that time of year again: ugly sweaters, souped-up egg nog and all the college football you can stand. Having your team invited to any of the countless bowl games presents a unique way to take a quick, fun and spur of the moment vacation. We’ve picked nine of this year’s best bowl games to showcase where to stay, what to eat, and what to do when you’re not tailgating.
All you have to do is pack your bags.
(Click on the bolded names of places we suggest below to visit their sites)
College Football Playoff at the ROSE BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL
Rose Bowl Stadium, January 1st 5 p.m. ET
Georgia vs. Oklahoma
The “Granddaddy of Them All” was first played in 1902, making it the oldest bowl game in college football. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association’s historic annual Rose Parade accompanies the bowl and is part of America’s New Years tradition, solidifying it as one for the old bucket list. An estimated 18 million flowers are used for the parade, making it a treat for all of your senses and seasonal allergies.
The Langham Huntington Pasadena first opened its doors in 1907 as a seasonal winter resort, but now guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations year-round. They offer a signature afternoon tea service with their very own “Langham Rose” Wedgwood china, a variety of dining options and the renowned Chuan Spa.
Hotel Constance is a rebooted historic hotel with contemporary touches. And it’s on the parade route. Constance V. Perry originally built the hotel in 1926 with a Mediterranean-Revival style, and the current operators, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, are based in Thailand. For guest transportation, they offer an open air, six seat Tuk Tuk, a popular mode of getting around in Asia.
Parkway Grill has a wine cellar that houses nearly 3,000 bottles and features regional Southern California cuisine. With offerings like tiger shrimp corn dogs and an American Wagyu burger served with sweet potato fries, it’s sure to be a hit with fans of good eating.
La Grande Orange Cafe is located in Pasadena’s Del Mar train station and offers brunch, lunch and dinner with an extensive cocktail menu and regional beer on tap. They have a valet and validate free parking for up to two hours, but opt for the train to enjoy those regional beers.
The Luggage Room Pizzeria, also located in the Del Mar train station, houses a wood-burning oven which uses olive wood for “extra flavor and spirit”. Ingredients are chosen from the local farmer’s market, and you’ve got two crust options: Luggage Room classic fermented or gluten free. As the sister restaurant of La Grande Orange Cafe, they also have valet parking.
Pasadena’s Museum of Art’s exhibit Hollywood in Havana: Five Decades of Cuban Posters Promoting U.S. Films is running until January 7, 2018 and features classic Cuban movie posters made from 1960 to 2009. There are approximately 40 posters in the exhibit, including Singin’ in the Rain, Cabaret, and Silence of the Lambs.
Brookside Golf Course isn’t Augusta (sorry, Georgia fans!) but it’s still stunning and adjacent to the Rose Bowl stadium. It features two 18-hole championship courses, a golf shop, putting greens, and a driving range. Sounds like some good fore play to us!
Angeles National Forest in San Gabriel Valley was the first National Forest established in the United States and features hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty, a zip line course, even a ski resort, if you’re looking for a little adventure on your trip.
For a complete listing of this year’s bowl games and full TV schedule, visit www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/page/cfpbowls2017/2017-18-college-football-playoff-bowl-schedule.
Check out these links for the rest of our College Football Bowl Game Travel Guide 2017: