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The Best Clemson Road Trips of 2021

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Boston College v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

By now, IPTAY members have submitted requests for away tickets and are eagerly waiting to learn how many tickets they’ll receive and where they’ll be sitting. Fortunately, Clemson already sent an email about the most anticipated game away from Death Valley this season — the season opener against Georgia. In it, they broke the good news that all requests for up to four tickets will be fulfilled. With that, the anticipation for the start of the season got ratcheted up yet another level. Now, the season is just seven weeks away. With it nearing, let’s take a look at Clemson’s six away/neutral games and see what they offer for Clemson fans looking to support their Tigers away from Death Valley.

Location: Charlotte, NC
Date: September 4, 2021
Opponent: Georgia Bulldogs
Miles from Clemson: 137

The biggest game of the regular season — not just for Clemson but for the entire sport — comes on opening weekend. The Tigers and Bulldogs worked out a deal to play a neutral site game in Charlotte. Clemson even backed out of a prior agreement with Wyoming and sacrificed their seventh home game to do it.

Clemson fans are accustomed to the trek up to Charlotte from their annual trip to the ACC Championship game in December. This will be exponentially better. Not only is the opponent vastly more interesting, but it won’t be blistering cold. Labor Day weekend is usually quite hot, but with a night kickoff, it won’t be sweltering.

Bank of America Stadium is a little bland, but the sightlines are good. I’ve had some negative experiences in that stadium. Getting stuck next to an extremely talkative and dangerously drunk man, not being allowed to move down to watch the trophy ceremony in 2011, and most recently having my unopened granola bar confiscated upon entry are most memorable. Nevertheless, with an opponent this big and such a long time since being part of a special atmosphere, attending this game is irresistible.

There are plenty of tailgate lots and several breweries within a mile of the stadium. It’s a close drive from Greenville and a workable one from Atlanta. Given the opponent, this is the top road trip on Clemson’s 2021 schedule!

Edit: This game is the Duke’s Mayo kickoff and Duke’s Mayo wanted me make sure you knew!

Location: Louisville, KY
Date: November 6, 2021
Opponent: Louisville Cardinals
Miles from Clemson: 439 mi

I’ve only been to Louisville once, but it was among the best ACC road trips I’ve ever taken. We tailgated outside Churchill Downs, watched a few horse races, and then went into a packed stadium with comfortable seatbacks and watched Clemson eek out a win in front of an electric crowd. The Cardinals fans were courteous and passionate.

The city of Louisville has plenty of offer. Bourbon drinkers can enjoy Bourbon Trail. They have the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory for baseball fans and Churchill Downs has horse races scheduled for the weekend of the Clemson game. It’s a long drive, but depending on where you’re driving from a night in Nashville is a fun way to break up the road trip.

147th Kentucky Derby Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Location: Syracuse, NY
Date: October 15, 2021
Opponent: Syracuse Orange
Miles from Clemson: 857 mi

As much I enjoyed Louisville, my favorite ACC road trip was Syracuse in 2019. While the Louisville trip was great because of the gameday experience, Syracuse is great for completely different reasons. Cuse fans were loud for the first quarter, but cleared out by halftime. The stadium was outdated and the fans rude. What made it great was all the things within driving distance that made it a unique vacation. We visited Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada. This time we’ll visit New York City, the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and the Upper Hudson Wine Region. While I don’t recommend flying up for just the game, there is a lot within a reasonable drive from Syracuse that makes for a memorable visit.

CANADA-ONTARIO-NIAGARA FALLS-TOURISM SPENDING IN 2020-SHARPLY DOWN Xinhua/Zou Zheng via Getty Images

Location: Columbia, SC
Date: November 27, 2021
Opponent: South Carolina Gamecocks
Miles from Clemson: 138 mi

Let’s be honest. No offense if your from South Carolina’s capital city, but there’s nothing too endearing about the place and the stadium is even worse. The last time I was there a grown man “crowed” in my face. The 2021 edition of the Palmetto Bowl is expected to offer only an SEC bottom-feeder as the opponent and is just two days after Thanksgiving.

All that said, the rivalry is still intense. It’s not much of a fun road trip, but if you live close enough for an in-and-out business trip, it is worth it.

Location: Raleigh, NC
Date: September 25, 2021
Opponent: NC State Wolfpack
Miles from Clemson: 294 mi

When I lived in Winston-Salem, NC, I made the trip to NC State twice and saw two Clemson wins. The fans were extremely rude and marred my view of Wolfpack athletics. The atmosphere was admittedly impressive though.

Raleigh is more of a decent place to live than a fun place to visit. Like the trip to Columbia, if you live close enough for an in-and-out trip, it’s a good gameday atmosphere, but now that I don’t live in North Carolina it isn’t a trip I give any consideration.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: September 25, 2021
Opponent: Pittsburgh Panthers
Miles from Clemson: 563mi

I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but I hear it is quite nice. The Allegheny and Monongahela rivers run toward the city center and then merge into the Ohio River giving it nice waterfront views. Unfortunately, it is not close to any attractions like Washington D.C. (4 hours away), New York City (4 hours away), or Niagara Falls (7 hours away). Heinz Field is an NFL stadium and can often be seen half empty for Pittsburgh Panthers games. Given its distance from Clemson, it is hard to justify a trip unless you happen to live close by or are trying to tick the final ACC team off our road trip list.