Travel Picks: Top 10 NFL Tailgating destinations

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:13pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the United States, Autumn means American football and the fans who pack the NFL stadiums will likely fortify themselves for games at traditional pre-game "tailgate" parties held in the parking lot.

Whether it's just cold chicken and a soda or a full-on gourmet barbecue with beer, wine, salads and desserts out of the back (tailgate) of your car, football fans will enjoy different traditions at each of the many stadiums around the country. Online travel adviser Cheapflights ( offers its top 10 list of the best tailgate destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, Mass.

If there's one thing New England Patriots fans understand about tailgating, it's food. We're not talking hamburgers and hot dogs; we're talking about stick-to-your-ribs clam chowder, fresh lobsters and juicy steaks. Fans travel from all over New England to Foxborough, situated between Boston and Providence, and partake in the tailgating experience every Sunday morning of the season. While it's common knowledge that New England fans are boisterous no matter which sport is playing, if you're looking for a quiet place before a Pats game, you probably won't find it at Gillette Stadium.

2. Cleveland Browns Stadium - Cleveland, Ohio

It's no secret that what's happening on the football field isn't the only competition brewing. Fans love to pull out all the stops and secretly compete for the legendary status as tailgater; and at Cleveland's Dawg Pound it's no different. Browns fans get the party started at 7 a.m., and, within no time, the smell of grilled brats (sausages) fills the air and beer cans get passed around. If you haven't had the luxury of trying Beer-can chicken (a Brown's tailgating classic in which chicken is literally stuffed with a full can of beer), there's no better place than the parking lots of Cleveland's stadium.

3. Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, Mo.

For football fans who know a thing or two about tailgating, it's no surprise that Kansas City makes this list. While other stadiums work hard to crack down on tailgating-mania by limiting parking lot hours, Chiefs' fans light up the smokers a day early and camp out overnight to ensure they are raring to go Sunday morning. It's rare for many NFL stadiums to reach the sort of status of college tailgating, but Arrowhead attendees do it weekly. Part of their secret to success is a mastery of a tailgating menu, and Chief's fans have mastered their barbecue.

4. Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio   Continued...

<p>A Philadelphia Eagles fan helps himself to some hot dogs during a tailgate party before the Indianapolis Colts versus the Philadelphia Eagles game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer</p>