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A Beginner's Guide to Tailgating in California

A Beginner's Guide to Tailgating in California

With sports season heating up, use our handy guide to plan and enjoy tailgating before a big game. Team


1 min read

August 15, 2023

Golden sunsets, iconic coastlines, and lively spirits - California offers an enchanting backdrop for any activity, and tailgating is no exception. While this beloved American tradition of partying in the parking lots before big events, especially sporting events, has its roots spread across the nation, the Golden State provides a unique flavor to the experience. If you're new to the world of tailgating, especially in California, then read on. This beginner's guide will get you started.

1. Know the Ground Rules

Before you drive to a stadium, beach, or any other event venue, familiarize yourself with the location's tailgating rules. While most places in California are tailgating-friendly, each venue might have its restrictions, whether it’s on open flames, alcohol, or the type of vehicle you can bring in. For instance, some might not allow glass containers. Always check with the area's rules.

2. Timing is Key

For Californians, tailgating is as much about the camaraderie and environment as it is about the event itself. This means most aficionados arrive several hours in advance. To get the best spots, especially in popular venues, you'll want to arrive 3-5 hours before the event starts. This gives you ample time to set up, grill, and enjoy the pre-event festivities. Plan for traffic accordingly, especially if you're going to a major event or live in a big city like Los Angeles.

3. California-Style Cuisine

While classic American BBQ dishes like burgers and hotdogs are always a hit, consider incorporating some local favorites into your tailgate menu. How about some grilled fish tacos with a squeeze of lime, or avocado-laden guacamole served with tortilla chips? California is one of the most culinarily diverse places in the world, so draw upon that when crafting what you're going to cook.

4. Weather & Wardrobe

Despite its sunny reputation, California's weather can be unpredictable. Coastal areas can get chilly, especially in the evenings, and deserts can turn cold after sunset. It’s wise to dress in layers. Don’t forget to rock your team's colors!

5. Entertainment Essentials

Music, games, and good company are the heart and soul of tailgating. Portable speakers, a playlist of popular tracks, and classic tailgating games like cornhole or ladder toss can keep the energy high. Remember, it’s about building excitement before the main event.

6. Sustainability

Californians are environmentally conscious, so make an effort to minimize your tailgating footprint. Pack reusable utensils, plates, and cups. If you use disposables, ensure they're recyclable or compostable. Always have trash bags, recycling bags, and compost bags on hand and ensure you leave your spot as clean as you found it.

8. Embrace the Community

One of the best parts about tailgating in California is the sense of community. Even if it's your first time, you'll find that neighboring tailgaters are friendly and often willing to share a bite, good conversation, or some useful tailgating advice. Engage, be friendly, and embrace the communal spirit.

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