Guide to Game Day at Stanford


Hey hey! We are back up and running after both me and got a virus.  Mine kept me in bed and her’s kept me from putting anything new up because I didn’t want to get anyone else’s device sick.  UGH.  But, alas, we are BACK.  You know what else is back?! FOOTBALL.  Can I get a “hell yeah”?!

So this brings me to a little idea I cooked up at Pilates this morning.  I got to thinking about new content I could share and I was feeling a little stale.  Then it hit me, what’s the thing people ask me about the most? Where I’m headed next, what game day is like there, best tailgate spots, etc. etc.  Yes, you guys want to know what its like in these different cities and on different campuses.

I always blog after a trip but I think it can be done better so let’s go.  Here’s The Sports Brat’s guide to game day at Stanford.  I know, I know some of you may never care about the Cardinal and may never plan to go to a game there (although I recommend you do) but either way, taking you along on my ultimate game day in Palo Alto is a fun ride, promise!

7:00 AM – Coffee

I am a morning person, once I’ve had my coffee.  Truth be told, I love Philz Coffee and there are plenty to choose from in Palo Alto.  So depending on where you stay (I LOVE the Sheraton) there will be one close by.  Also book that room in advance, they fill up FAST.  Oh and one more travel tip, if you can fly to San Jose instead of SFO then do it, trust me.

8:00 AM – Run on campus

If you aren’t a runner, go for a walk along this path.  If you don’t care much about Stanford football this is honestly my favorite part of the entire experience.  For as long as I can remember, I would wake up early and head for a run.  There’s a cool calmness about the campus that early on game day.  Plus Stanford’s campus is just over 8,000 acres of trees and nature.  Sure there are buildings and athletic facilities but they don’t call it “the farm” for no reason.  It’s truly stunning.

Here’s my recommended route.  Again depending on where you’re staying you can jump on or add onto it.  The only thing I change is I leave the Sheraton and head out on El Camino Real to Palm Drive then start this loop!

Credit: Map my Run
Credit: Map my Run

11:00 to 2:00 Head to the Tailgate

This totally depends on the game but the last few seasons, Stanford had a later kick off most games so we aired on the latter side but if it’s a 1PM game you have to scoot!  I’m super lucky that our family friends have been putting on an EPIC tailgate for years on campus.  There’s tri tip and burgers and dogs and about every liquor you can imagine.  Oh and they set up a TV to watch the other games.  If you don’t know anyone with a tailgate, Stanford fans are pretty friendly (as long as you’re wearing Cardinal) but there are other options as well like grabbing brunch at Tootsie’s at the Stanford Barn.

When you get to campus, I always recommend heading to the Stanford Athletic Shop.  It located right by the track and if you need last-minute gear, I’ve been grabbing mine from there for as long as I can remember.

You can also swing by the Athletic Department and check out the Hall of Fame, there’s some pretty talented athletes in there.

Game Day at Stanford

Post Game

So if you’ve read this far you may be thinking the same thing I just thought…”how can you jump from 2PM to post game?”  Well I have been SO spoiled these last few years that when we go to the game, we get to stand on the sidelines.  There are no snacks down there so I don’t even know what to recommend inside the stadium!  Yikes! We either sit on the bench or head back to the tailgate at half time. Its a unique experience but from what I can see, there are tons of options for snacks up there so you probably can’t go wrong with some nachos.

Standing Room Only
Put me in coach

I’m also a fan of getting in there early to see warm ups finish up.  I go late to about every other sport besides football and soccer.  I like being there for kick off.

Ok back to post game.  After the game, every single time, my dad and I go for pizza at a great spot across the street from campus called Howie’s.  It can be super packed but so worth the wait.  I don’t know why but there’s nothing like a pizza nightcap after a football game.


I generally crawl into be with happy game day thoughts.  Or in the case of last season, totally embarrassment from Christian McCaffrey totally shutting down my photo request.  OUCH! But I chuckle every time I tell the story and I did manage this pic, so it’s all good 🙂

So close but yet so far

That’s my game day in Palo Alto! I plan on doing these little guides for everywhere I’ve been (Colorado, LSU, Notre Dame, SMU, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ole Miss, Cal, Buffalo, New York, LA, Dallas, Pittsburgh etc).  And I will absolutely be adding to the list this season.

Thanks for following along.

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