Whether it’s horses, cars, or players racing down the field, this fall offers amazing sporting events for all tastes and levels of interest. While the action is the main point of focus, the key to any great event is atmosphere. It’s what takes die-hard fandom to an even higher level and allows those who may or may not know what’s going on to tolerate (and possibly even enjoy) it.
The fall sporting events below have atmosphere in spades — the history, the fans, and most importantly, the tailgating scene. I don’t want to add up the hours of my life I’ve spent at a tailgate, but from my experience, if you can work an RV into the mix, it’s game over.
Great news: You don’t even have to own, or be able to tow, a trailer. RVshare has plenty of rentals to choose from, and many even deliver. I rented an RV when the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the AFC Championship game in January of 2020. The only mistake we made was making it a day trip instead of a full weekend. Take a look at the events below, block off a weekend or two this fall, and book your RV now for an experience even non-sports fans will want to join.
Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR
September 18, 2021, Bristol, Tennessee
Go fast, turn left distills NASCAR into the simplest of terms. However, until you’ve sat in the stands, headphones on, listening to the pit crew of your favorite driver while chewing on a turkey leg, well, have you really lived?
Surrounded by the hills of Tennessee, the tailgate game in Bristol, Tennessee, is strong, and you’ll be wishing you had an RV for no other reason than the traffic leaving after the fall night race. The weekend is full of activities, so get there early and soak in everything this sporting event has to offer.
Ryder Cup, Golf
September 24–26, 2021, Haven, Wisconsin
Likely the most picturesque of all of the events on our list, the 43rd Ryder Cup comes to the shores of Lake Michigan in late September. The beautiful rolling hills of Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin, in the fall are worth a trip even when the world’s top golfers aren’t in town. This year, enjoy watching the U.S. take on Europe, and then return to your RV in the evening for bourbon and cigars by the fire.
Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR
October 3, 2021, Lincoln, Alabama
Channel the spirit of Ricky Bobby and head to the race event of the year in Alabama. There’s not just one race, but three on NASCAR’s longest oval. Family-friendly activities, a country concert courtesy of Dustin Lynch, a garage experience, and all the anticipation that comes with a race in the middle of NASCAR Playoffs make this a weekend perfect for fans of all ages.
Buccaneers vs. Patriots, NFL
October 3, 2021, Foxboro, Massachusetts
The G.O.A.T (aka Tom Brady) and his Super Bowl Champion Bucs return this fall to the stadium where he built a dynasty. Time will tell if it’s one of the best NFL games of the year, but it’s sure to be one of the most hyped. You’ll be so emotionally exhausted you’ll need a comfortable spot to prepare for, and then relax after, the game. Just get there early to have plenty of set-up time.
If you’re able to focus on anything other than the game, fall is one of the best times of the year to visit New England, and the leaves in Foxboro should be near peak.
Oklahoma vs. Texas, College Football
October 9, 2021, Dallas, Texas
This rivalry game is on every college football fan’s must-see-in-person list. The Red River Showdown takes place on neutral ground at the Cotton Bowl with a gold hat at stake. Pick a side, or just wear something other than burnt orange or crimson and cheer for both. The stadium is located on the grounds of the State Fair of Texas, which a friend described as “a big dang deal.” You likely won’t be able to try every fried food available in just a weekend, but you should definitely try. There are several campgrounds nearby for those wanting to connect with nature; or just park your RV on the fairgrounds for the weekend. The stadium is more than a mile away, but shuttles are available.
USC vs. Notre Dame, College Football
October 23, 2021, South Bend, Indiana
When a school has a giant mural known as Touchdown Jesus, you start to understand there’s a greater power at work when you’re visiting South Bend for a football experience (you can’t call it a game). Tailgating here is a religion that isn’t just saved for campus. You’ll see grills fired up in any lot that’s relatively close. Make a plan to spend the weekend figuring out how many gold flakes are used to paint the dome, visiting the Grotto, and taking a tour of the stadium to get a glimpse of what it’s like to “Play Like a Champion Today.” Park your rig for game day here, or spend the weekend at a lovely campground in the area.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
November 5–6, 2021, Del Mar, California
In early November, horse racing’s biggest weekend will take place in beautiful coastal Del Mar in southern California. Prestige, and plenty of bucks, are on the line. Unlike the Triple Crown earlier in the year, the Breeders Cup isn’t restricted to only 3 year-old colts. This cup allows fans to see, and bet on, the top racehorse favorites of all ages from all over the world. Dust off your derby hat or seersucker suit for the weekend.
Spend a few days before or after the races at one of the two beautiful California parks below. They’re located along the coast and are the perfect places to relax.
Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR
November 7, 2021, Avondale, Arizona
It all comes down to this. Phoenix Raceway hosts the NASCAR Cup Series Championship when the temperature is finally tolerable in south-central Arizona. It’s a weeklong party, and renting an RV puts you in the heart of it. Quiet hours only last from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., so stock up on sleep before you arrive. You’ll have stories to spare after a memorable week in the desert — some you may even be able to repeat.
Packers vs. Chiefs, NFL
November 7, 2021, Kansas City, Missouri
Fans of two of the most storied franchises in the NFL will put on a tailgating clinic in Kansas City in early November. It’s an event not to be missed. Ribs vs. brats, potato salad vs. cheesy potatoes; really isn’t everyone a winner here? Oh, and there’s also a football game! RV parking spots are first come, first served, and you must buy your pass in advance.
Enjoy the crisp fall weather for an entire weekend near Arrowhead stadium at these RV resorts.
Alabama vs. Auburn, College Football
November 27, 2021, Auburn, Alabama
Once the tryptophan has worn off from the turkey, it’s time for Alabama’s favorite holiday of the year. The Alabama/Auburn football game divides families but unites tailgaters in one of the best weekend atmospheres in all of college football. Tailgating actually starts on Friday for Saturday home games, if that gives you an idea of the experience. Park on a Friday and tailgate through Sunday on campus or enjoy an equally festive campground near the stadium.
Ohio State vs. Michigan, College Football
November 27, 2021, Ann Arbor, Michigan
This 100-year-plus rivalry grew in significance as it determined the Big Ten Champion, and in turn the Rose Bowl rep, for decades starting in the 1970s. Ann Arbor is an adorable college town with several scenic RV parks in the area. RV passes on game days allow for four spaces, plenty of room for gatherings of all sizes no matter what the weather throws at you in Michigan in late November. Find your perfect tailgating spot and prepare to chant “Go Big Blue” or learn what comes after O-H.
Bears vs. Packers, NFL
December 12, 2021, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Taking in a game at Lambeau Field is on every NFL fan’s bucket list. Soaking in the history while experiencing the NFC North’s premier rivalry, in December, can only be enhanced by the warmth of an RV with a fantastic generator for your tailgate.
You’ll need more than a day to get the most out of your trip, and a stadium tour should definitely be on your itinerary. Book a spot at one of the campgrounds below.
(You do need to plan ahead to secure your parking if you plan to roll in an RV this weekend.)
RVshare is the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace. With thousands of satisfied customers and a broad inventory ranging from travel trailers to luxury motorhomes, RVshare has the perfect RV for your vacation, tailgate, or temporary lodging needs.