Our first home football game is rapidly approaching. This weekend, we host Boston College with hopes of redeeming ourselves after a tough defeat to Old Dominion University. If your family or friends plan on traveling to Blacksburg for the first home game of the season, here’s how you can make it a weekend trip.
Whether or not you have classes on Fridays, this is the typical day of travel for Hokie football game day weekends. The game begins at 8 p.m. on a Saturday, providing ample time to reconnect with family or friends that may be visiting for the weekend.
To kick the festivities off, a filling dinner is crucial. While Main Street has the most congestion from foot and vehicular traffic, it’s a personal favorite spot to be at on the eve of a game day. My restaurant pick would be The Cellar or The Maroon Door. The weather as of now is forecasted to be cloudy with a high of 76 degrees, which makes it enjoyable to sit outside at either restaurant. Following dinner, dessert is never a bad idea. While there are a few strong options in Blacksburg, Gardner’s Frozen Treats & Grill in Christiansburg is a family-run ice cream shop with endless ice cream flavors at a reasonable price. Saturday will be a busy day, so it’s important to get a full eight hours and get to sleep at a sensible time.
Although there is much anticipation for the night game and a lot of time of build-up before kick-off at 8, there are a lot of options you can do beforehand. If you love to be outdoors, the Cascades hike is a four-mile walk you can do. With the weather projected to be overcast and 76 degrees, this would be a great day to go for a hike with a scenic view of the waterfall once you reach the destination. If you prefer to stay close to the action, the Blacksburg Farmers Market is on West Roanoke Street every Saturday morning from 8 a.m until 2 p.m. You can purchase fresh ingredients, flowers and homemade goods.
Sharkey’s on Main Street is a great place to enjoy lunch and watch the football games that begin earlier in the day. It’s important to fill up before tailgating at either Center Street or Lane Stadium because once the game begins at 8 p.m., it’ll be difficult to eat after. It is purely preference-based for choosing where to tailgate, but if you are looking for Hokie spirit and a place to connect with alumni or family, Lane Stadium might be a good place. You can’t go wrong with wherever you choose to be, because all of Blacksburg will be dressed to orange effect.
Since the game begins late, it’s estimated for the game to end around midnight, meaning that sleeping in Sunday morning will be vital for those who have to travel home. Once you rest up, I recommend enjoying brunch before saying goodbye to your weekend visitors. Joe’s Diner is a local spot on Main Street that is quick, close by and decorated inside with Hokie pride. If you are looking for a wider range of options depending on dietary needs, Gillie’s, which is also on Main Street, is versatile and inclusive.
Game day weekends go by quickly, so make sure to enjoy every second whether or not you have weekend visitors. Have fun, be safe and let’s go Hokies!