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A Guide To A Clemson Weekend For Louisville Fans And Their Guests

Guide To a Clemson Weekend

By Scott Rhymer
Host of The Tiger Pregame Show on WCCP 105.5 FM The Roar and Tune In App
Live From “The Shadows Of The Chapman Grandstands”

Note:  Additions have been added by Clemson fans at the bottom of this blog

One of the great things about football season is that it offers the opportunity to welcome people to Clemson (either for the first time or after a long time away).  

At Clemson, we believe that we have something special and are excited to showcase that special college football environment each time we host a visitor.  Our goal  is very simple:  To be incredible hosts to our visitors and provide the ultimate game day experience.

There is an additional buzz in the air this week as we host the the Louisville Cardinals and their fans for what should be an electric game day weekend with two Top 5 football teams in a battle for the Atlantic Division of the ACC.   We hope that your trip here will be exciting, memorable, and exceed every expectation you have about Clemson and the great State of South Carolina.

So this is a quick (certainly not all-inclusive) look at what I feel are “don’t miss” things about a Clemson weekend that Louisville fans can use as they come into Clemson this weekend. The hope of this blog is that Louisville fans (or Clemson fans that are returning to campus after many years away) can have a road map of the things to do in Clemson this weekend and that Clemson fans can have a reminder of some of the truly unique things that we have to offer and pass it on via multiple social network sites to put out the word to our visitors.

Prior To Saturday
Many fans that come into Clemson for a weekend will do so by making an extended weekend out of the trip.  If you are arriving prior to Saturday, below are a few suggestions for you to do and see leading up to the actual game day itself. 

If you have the opportunity to visit or stay in Greenville, South Carolina you will be in for a Southern treat.  Greenville is rated as one of the best travel cities in the South and there is plenty to do in Greenville for visiting fans only 45 minutes from the Clemson campus.

A great resource to plan you stay in Greenville, including a vast array of unique restaurants, is located here:

Adding to the fun in Greenville will be the fact that the city is hosting Octoberfest this weekend….starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday evening.  If German fun is something that you would be interested in, the link below will list the schedule and locations of Octoberfest in Downtown Greenville:

If you are arriving early and want to play golf, I would start by playing Clemson’s very own Walker Course.  A great and challenging layout that buffers Lake Hartwell for 6 holes, including the signature “Tiger Paw Hole” at #17.  Tee times are a must on a game weekend, so call early.

If the Walker Course is booked up, there are a variety of other options for the golf fanatics, including The Cliffs Golf Course (Private)  A few other options outside of Clemson that I would recommend are Cateechee Golf Course, Arrowhead Point , and Boscobel Golf Course  There are also a variety of golf courses in Greenville if you are staying in that area.

If golfing is not your thing, but you are looking to spend a day or two in the mountains near Clemson, Asheville (NC), Helen (GA), Clayton (GA), Highlands (NC) and Brevard (NC) are all within 90 minutes of Clemson’s campus.

Friday Evening Dinner In Clemson
Friday evening in Clemson is a mix of food and fun, depending on your age and depending on how late of a night you want to make Friday.

My favorite restaurant in Clemson is Sardi’s Den and it is a great mixture of wonderful food in a laid back atmosphere .  I am a bit picky with my ribs, so my endorsement of Sardi’s ribs should be taken with a close eye. Very few places in South Carolina do ribs as well as Sardi’s and a full-rack with fries is enough food for two people, although this one usually does it by himself! 

The rest of the food (I hear) is great at Sardi’s, although I would never know because of my love of the ribs and considering I never order anything else. The atmosphere is laid back in the true sense of the word with plenty of Clemson memorabilia on the wall.

If you are looking for “upscale” dining, the best choices are Rick Erwin’s of Clemson, Calhoun Corners, or Pixie and Bills  
With all restaurants in Clemson, I would highly encourage you to get a reservation.

All of the bars in Clemson also serve food in one way or another, see below under the nightlife if you are looking for your dining experience to be a bit more casual.

Friday Evening Bar Scene In Clemson
If a watering hole is your idea of fun, it really comes down to two places that a visitor to Clemson does not want to miss.

Tiger Town Tavern  is the place to be if you are going to be on College Avenue in the heart of downtown Clemson. There will be a smattering of older folks in TTT, especially before 10:00. After that, it will become Grand Central Station for Clemson students. In addition to Tiger Town Tavern, there are multiple bar choices all up and down College Avenue.

If the hustle and bustle of College Avenue and the college kids is not your cup of tea, I’d venture a mile or so down the road towards Death Valley to the World Famous Esso Club .  At The Esso Club, you will be in the shadow of Death Valley and with a “more experienced” crowd at the Esso Club. This is Brent Musburger’s favorite place in Clemson, and they honor him on the walls at the bar area.

Saturday-Pre Game
The first words of advice about a first game kickoff in Clemson is to arrive early. Even for an 8:00 pm kickoff.

Game Day will broadcast on Bowman Field near Tillman Hall at 9:00 a.m. and provide an excellent opportunity to walk the campus after you park and get an early start to pregame. 

Due to Game Day and this being such a highly anticipated game, I would encourage you to arrive in Clemson as early as you can do so.  Traffic moving into Clemson can become a crawl once you hit the four hour window prior to the game.   This is especially true when visiting teams that bring a lot of fans into the area, which Louisville will do Saturday. Louisville fan’s lack of knowledge with the driving routes into Clemson will add to the confusion and expected delays. If you don’t want your pregame festivities to be held in your car sitting in traffic, arrive to your parking area by very early and then enjoy the rest of your tailgate in a parked spot. All parking lots open at 6:00 a.m. 

Game Day traffic flow patterns and parking information can be found in these photos:   

Closest parking to Bowman Field and Game Day broadcast is on West Side of Campus at Silas Pearman Boulevard (also known as Perimeter Road).  I believe the best public parking area is Y-Beach on the East Side of campus on Lake Hartwell near where Highway 93 and 123 come together.  Y Beach provides the closest walk to the stadium and is a grass lot where you can tailgate easily.  It is also an easy place to exit after the game.

This link will answer many of your parking questions:

Pregame Shows
I would be remiss not to mention our broadcast (Tiger Pregame Show) that will begin airing Saturday at 2:00-5:00 p.m. on WCCP 105.5 FM and Our broadcast location is behind the 3rd base line at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

(Green Arrow Is Our Location)

We will break down the Clemson/Louisville game with player and coach interviews along with analysis from various former players and media members.

If you download (for free) the Tune In App for your mobile device, you can stream WCCP 105.5 on your drive into Clemson. You should also be able to pick up the station on your radio around Spartanburg, SC. if traveling south and Commerce, Georgia if you are traveling north.  After we go off the air at 5:00, the Tiger Tailgate Show will crank up from the same location and same stations and that will lead directly up to kickoff.

Pregame-After You Park
After you park, if you decide to move in and around the campus and the IPTAY parking lots, you will find Clemson fans friendly and more than welcome to offer you a drink and/or food. In fact, you will have a hard time making your way through these lots without Clemson fans offering you to stop at their tailgate (Lot 2 and Lot 5 are great places to wander around to meet Clemson fans). For those that will not tailgate at their car, all of the College Avenue restaurants and bars will be open early, including the Esso Club near the stadium.

Clemson Parking Map:
Tiger Walk takes place in the West Endzone parking area (Lot 5).  If you want to see the Clemson players and coaches walk into the stadium, this is the place to be at 5:45 pm.

At 6:30, the Clemson Tiger Band will perform a mini-concert at the Outdoor Theater located between Sikes Hall and Cooper Library.  After the concert, the band marches and many fans will follow them down the hill towards the East Endzone and then around the stadium.  This path will lead you to the East Endzone area and the Scroll of Honor Memorial that is a must-see before entering the stadium.

In terms of when you should enter the stadium, I would encourage you to enter at least 45 minutes prior to kickoff. Clemson scans tickets upon entry into Death Valley, which is a slightly slower than simply ripping ticket stubs.  Considering this game is a sellout, it is safe to say it will be even slower Saturday. By arriving in the stadium early, you will avoid missing the pregame festivities and, of course, the Tigers running down The Hill.   If you have an upper deck ticket, you can only access the upper deck from those gates.  Same with the lower deck. 

Game Day Guide:

Pre Game-Inside Stadium

Assuming you arrive early enough to get your seats, the color and pageantry of a Clemson pregame is something that most say is an unforgettable experience. “The Most Exciting 25 Seconds In College Football” actually starts in the West Endzone about 10 minutes prior to kickoff as the team and coaches are loaded onto busses for the short trip around the north side of the stadium to around the east side of the stadium where The Hill is located.

Once the team/busses have made their way around the North Stands, Clemson band will strike up “Orange Bowl March” before getting into formation. When the cannon sounds, Clemson will treat you to a truly unique experience that still leaves the hair on my neck standing even after all of these years.

The spelling of C-L-E-M-S-O-N as the Tigers come down the hill is a must see for any serious college football fan. Have your cameras ready for this moment.

One of the unique parts of a Clemson game day is that you can leave the stadium at halftime and return to the stadium at a time of your choice.  Passouts are allowed, however, fans will have to go through the same level of security screening as they did upon entering. You will receive a card when you exit the stadium that, along with your ticket, will allow you re-enter the stadium after halftime.

After The Game

If you have lower deck tickets for the game on Saturday, you can experience one of the unique Clemson experiences. Clemson allows fans, young and old, to go onto the field after the game. There is a 1 minute delay once the final tick of the clock has gone off. This is in place so coaches of both teams can shake hands and then exit the field quickly.

You can enter the field either in the East Endzone (The Hill) or the West Endzone. Clemson players often hang around long enough for fans to get their autographs and/or pictures taken. Most of the time, opposing team’s players will also hang around and sign autographs as well (depending on the coaching staff of the opposing team).

The only guarantee I can give Saturday is a great atmosphere for college football! All of us in Clemson sure hope our Tigers win, but regardless you will find the atmosphere after the game as hospitable as before the game, regardless of the outcome. My advice is to sit tight after the game and don’t be in a hurry to get out of Clemson because there are no “quick” ways out of Clemson on a game day.

I know I speak for all of Clemson Nation when I say…”Welcome To Clemson”. We hope to leave you with a great impression of our game day and we also hope that you leave with a loss!

Additions Added By Clemson Fans:

John C. Calhoun House and Fort Hill:

Hiking Near Clemson

Clemson Experimental Forest Hiking:

Todd’s Creek Falls:

State Parks Near Clemson

Caesar’s Head and Raven Cliff Falls State Park:

Scenic Highway 11 Drive:

For Broadcast Information Saturday:
Tiger Pregame Show Live From 2:00-5:00.

Friend us on Facebook at The Tiger Pregame Show
Follow us on Twitter at TigerPregame

If you have a mobile, you can download WCCP 105.5 FM Streaming for free with the App called “Tune In Radio”.

“The Road To An ACC Championship Begins With The Tiger Pregame Show”

Go Tigers!

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