Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cincy Tailgate and Visitors Guide '11

Cincinnati Skyline and the Ohio River

This is one of a series of tailgating guides for Big East football schools written by
Syracuse fan and tailgate aficionado TexanMark. If you have any feedback or additional information you think belongs in this guide, please drop an email message to Mark by clicking here.

First Things First: GETTING THERE

Cincinnati location wise is the second most western among Big East Football teams. However, a large Delta Airlines hub makes it possible for just about everyone to get a nonstop flight to Cincy. BTW, the airport is actually about 10 miles SW of downtown and in Kentucky! Much like when Pittsburgh was dominated by a single carrier you may actually find a better rates flying into Dayton, Louisville, Indianapolis, or Columbus. All of these airports are within two hours of Cincy. I recommend checking Dayton Airport as your first alternative as it is not that far from Cincy and has some outstanding airfares. Amtrak might be an option for fans coming from West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana and Chicago. Questions about getting from the airport, train and bus stations can be seen here.
If you plan on driving, Cincy is less than two hours from Louisville. Pittsburgh and Morgantown based fans can get there in less than five hours. If you make good time, the next closest is Syracuse at 9 1/2 hours. Otherwise, the other locations are a bit too far to make unless you have a couple extra days. Unless you know someone with connections, a trip to Cincy might prove frustrating for tailgaters (due to lack of facilities) but you should come anyway as the information below will give you the inside info you need as a visiting tailgater. As UC grew in Football stature the amenities for great tailgating have developed as you see below. The campus and stadium are located about two miles north of downtown. You can get a nice view of the campus here. I have never been to UC but it looks like a neat campus and could become a favorite destination despite some tailgating handicaps. The campus is broken into two main sections. The west campus has the stadium and close by parking. The east campus has the medical school. Some very detailed campus parking and shuttle info and a nice interactive map of the west campus. Another reason to visit: Forbes Magazine listed UC's campus as one of the 14 most beautiful campuses in the World.

The information below has been taken from the Cincinnati Football Guide:

Nice Overhead View of Varsity Village--Click to enlarge

Getting to the Stadium:

Nippert Stadium is located on UC’s main campus in Clifton (about two miles north of Downtown), and is conveniently accessed from the East via I-71 and from the West via I-75. 2011 Fan Guide Used For Directions

FROM I-71 South (Columbus)
• I-71 south to exit 3 - Taft Road.
• Stay on Taft approximately seven blocks to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue.
• Depending on your designated parking facility turn right onto Jefferson Avenue continue straight.

FROM I-75 North or South
• Take exit 3 - Hopple Street. At the end of the ramp (stop light) turn left (east).
• Cross over interstate and through Central Parkway.
Hopple eventually becomes Martin Luther King Drive, the campus will appear on the right.

FROM U.S. 50 (Portsmouth and the East)
• U.S. 50 to Taft Road (Taft is one-way going west).
• Stay on Taft to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue.
• Depending on your designated parking facility turn right onto Jefferson Avenue continue straight.

FROM I-74 (Indianapolis and the West)
• Take I-74 to I-75 south
• Follow directions above from I-75.

Nippert Stadium is actually one of the oldest stadiums in America. It is smallish (about 35,000 capacity) but affords excellent sight lines. It is one of neat, unique venues in college football. Like several other Big East stadiums beer may be purchased inside the stadium until the middle of the third quarter.

Nippert Stadium Night and Day Views--click to enlarge

Seating Chart For Nippert Click For More Details

Game Day Parking:

Cincy fan, Bourgeois Rage states,
"Parking is mostly limited to parking garages on UC's campus. But if you don't mind walking parking is available around campus for free. There isn't a lot of tailgating and where it does happen it is mostly off campus in small lots. I don't think I've ever seen the big campers that you see at some schools as there isn't a large lot for them to park at (on campus). It's mostly out of the back of people's cars/trucks/SUVs."
The information below has been taken from the 2010 Cincinnati Football Guide:

For the entire 2010 home game schedule, each season parking pass holder will be assigned to park in one garage according to preference and availability. Cash parking is on a space available basis for $10 in Campus Green, Woodside, Clifton Court (enter on Clifton Avenue) and Eden Garage. Eden Garage is located on east campus and a free shuttle service will be provided. Handicap cash parking is available in CCM garage at the end of Corry Boulevard. A state-issued handicap pass or license plate is required.

Another garage on Calhoun near Dennis is the parking garage tower next to the Soccer Field (Gettler Stadium). There are spots available there (usually) on gameday. You might get lucky and find some spots on top. It has a great view of the campus. I heard you can find gameday parking on Calhoun for $10. Might be worth investigating.

Close by parking for disabled patrons is available in CCM Garage on Corry Ave. near Nippert Stadium. You’ll need a state issued handicap tag or placard. Patrons with disabilities should contact the UC Athletic Ticket Office so that their needs may be attended to effectively.


Map of Cincinnati Campus Click to enlarge

NOTE: UC Campus is not RV friendly. Cincy is a cramped campus so you don’t have a classic tailgate environment. I would strongly recommend to leave the RV behind and tailgate out of a Van, Pickup truck, SUV, etc… unless you have inside connections and do some extensive pre-trip planning if you are going to park on campus. If you are bringing a RV I recommend the Short Vine District below as a great alternative. The Schiel School Lot allows overnight parking as detailed below. The two on-campus tailgating lots are sold as a season package for $120. They are the Corry Lot (next to the new UC Baseball Stadium) and the Sandler Lot (just below the Corry Lot on W. Charlton Street). They open the lots three hours before kickoff.

One more option for RV'ers is to arrive early and park on the street along Jefferson Ave. There are meters but Cincy fans said they don't ticket on Saturdays for not paying the meters. Apparently the meter maids do not work on Saturday. You need to arrive early (4+ hours before takeoff) and park any where on Jefferson between Martin Luther King and Calhoun (roughly the eastern campus border).

Tailgating-Alternative Short Vine District

The Short Vine District is located two blocks east of the campus and is probably the best area for visiting fans to congregate. As always the sooner you arrive the better chance you can get your party close together. I recommend arriving four hours before kickoff. These three additional off campus lots only total several hundred tailgating spaces. They do allow normal tailgating activities to include grills and best of all they allow RV's.

From the Short Vine website:
There's a new place to tailgate before and after UC home football games...on Short Vine! The Short Vine business district, just a 'football field' east of UC's Nippert Stadium, will be transformed into one giant tailgating party during the football season!

Short Vine (check out their website HERE) has everything you'll need to supply, or re-stock, your tailgating needs. Enjoy carryout, or dine in, at Martino's On Vine, The Holy Grail, Good Fellows, Daniels Pub, Papa John's Pizza, Gold Star Chili, LaRosa's, as well as a number of other restaurants. If you need ice, pretzels, chips, dips, hot dogs and more, Kroger's is right here as well. If you're looking for catering try Martino's Catering. They can accommodate your needs, whether large or small.
The streets open for tailgaters four hours prior to kickoff. For more information, please call Martino's at 513-221-8487.

Most Important: The Three Lots

Schiel School Lot: located on the corner of Vine and Daniels streets, across from the Sigma Sigma House. This lot is actually a primary school. They open up the lot after school closes on Friday. It costs $20. You are welcome to stay both Friday ad Saturday nights if desired. I recommend calling the school if you are bringing an RV to work out special arrangements. Some of my own tailgate group used this lot in 2010. They arrived early and had no issues. If you plan on arriving two hours before kickoff it will probably be sold out. I suggest trying Bogart or Martinos' Lots. The Schiel lot has WI-FI! BTW, The Bearcat Tailgaters are here every home sure to say hello.

Bogart’s Lot: located behind Bogart’s on the corner of Glendora Street and Corry Boulevard.

Martino’s Lot: located directly behind Martino’s Restaurant on Short Vine. I've been told that the Bogart/Martino's Lots behind the restaurants charge $12. FYI: Martino's Restaurant was originally located in Pittsburgh. They are a Steelers' Bar on Sundays.
For information call: Martino's, 513-221-8487.

Some basic tailgating rules to follow on UC Campus or Short Vine District:

1. Tailgating lots open four hours prior to kickoff and will close one hour after the conclusion of the game.
2. There are no designated parking spaces; cars will be parked on a first-come first-serve basis.
3. Tailgating passes are required for the two on-campus lots while the four off-campus lots will park cars on a first-come first serve basis.
4. All alcoholic beverages must be kept in a cup at all times.
5. Grills are allowed in tailgating lots but a fire extinguisher must be present with your grills at all times. Please note that alcohol and charcoal grills are prohibited for fans parking in an on-campus garage.

Stratford Heights: Tailgate Cash Lot on West Side of Campus

Stratford Avenue
between Joselin Avenue and Straight Street is a cash lot available on game day. The area is surrounded by a hospital and housing.

Another option is Deaconess Hospital Garage. Obviously you can't tailgate here...but just west of the garage is a cash lot that offers spots. This would work well for visiting fans. The early birds set up in the outdoor lot and any late arrivals have the option of parking in the hospital garage. The garage charges $5 and you pay via machine on the way out. The lot is located at the corner of Straight St. and University Ct.

If you (the reader) know of any good tailgate spots in private lots pass them on. I’ll need an address, cost, charity if any they support, and how many cars it can park and when does it fill up. Email me or drop a comment in the blog.

Finally this Tailgate Group (Bearcat Tailgaters) has an awesome website and is a great source of info

Tailgate Alternative On Campus From the official UC Website

For the Kids:
Starts Two and a Half Hours before Kickoff
The BEARCATS FAMILY ZONE is always the place to start your family fun before every UC
football home game. Located on Sheakley Lawn adjacent to the Richard E. Lindne Center
and Nippert Stadium (GATE 2 Entrance), this area features inflatable games, a face painting station, and other entertaining acts. Bring your next generation Bearcats to "FUTURE BEARCATS FIELD", a mini football field where your little Cat's can try on uniforms and play on the field just as the big Bearcats do. The UC Cheer and Dance teams accompany the UC Marching Band for the official Pre-game Pep Rally one hour before kickoff.

For the Adults:
You don't want to miss out on CATTITUDE, the official pre-game party for all Bearcat home football games. Located in the heart of Varsity Village, CATTITUDE transforms Marge Schott Stadium into the largest sports bar in the Queen City, featuring live college football action on the CATSvision Video Board, the live BEARCAT GAMEDAY SHOW featuring former UC student-athletes, local and national media and other guests, plus much, much more! This starts three hours prior to kickoff.

An Easy Tailgate Alternative:
CATTITUDE Hospitality tents are the perfect place to entertain your clients, employees, family and friends before the Bearcats take the field against a great lineup of Nippert Stadium opponents. Prices for tents, tables, chairs and set up/breakdown are very affordable, so pick a game and sign up now! To place your order or for more information call 1-877-CATS-TIX. Spaces are limited to twenty (20) tents per game so call now and make your pregame party plans today.

The UC Alumni Association hosts pre-game activities just north of Nippert stadium at the Myers Alumni Center and Sigma Sigma Commons. The Bearcats Blitz starts three hours before game time and runs until 30 minutes prior to kickoff so fans can be in their seats for the start of the game. On the Commons, the Bearcats Blitz features music, a cookout with food and beverage vendors, Cornhole, and plenty of
open space (bring your football). Also, corporate and group tents can be rented prior to each game. To inquire about reservations, call 513-556-4344 or email.

Inside the Myers Alumni Center, the Bearcats Blitz offers food and drinks, big-screen TV, and plenty of fun with UC alums. Out back, the Myers Alumni Center parking lot offers tailgating for Bearcats alumni and fans.

A New Tailgating Option for 2011

I'll add more as I hear about it but the school is building a tailgate area on campus where people can rent plots of land...sounds like what Ole Miss, SMU, etc... does. Apparently they'll have security watching the area so you can leave your stuff out during the game and come back to post game tailgate. Anyone have a link about it please send it to me. Thanks

Lazy Man's Tailgating Option 150 Feet From Nippert!

Okay so you don't want to tailgate...well if you want some beer and food before or after the game try the Tangeman University is literally just steps west of of the 50 yard line. The Catskeller located on the bottom floor fancies itself as a sports bar...I can't vouch if they get ESPN Gameplan but it might be a good spot to hangout if the weather is crummy. The other floors have restaurants and even a bookstore (to buy some Bearcat Gear).


Paul Brown Stadium: Home of the Bengals and now the Bearcats

Cincy looks like they are playing one or two games a season at the home of the Bengals. Obviously the info you read about downtown is valid. I want to add a few things to help you out. It was opened in 2000 and hold over 65,000 seats. Amenities are good and expect beer to be sold.
Seating Chart

Parking should be fairly easy if you arrive early. RacineJake stated, "The Banks development downtown will be a new pre-game destination for many fans before Bengals/UC games at Paul Brown Stadium (PBS). The development will literally connect the open space between PBS and Great American Ballpark that has traditionally been parking space (since Riverfront Stadium was demolished). I'm not sure how that development will impact the parking situation around Paul Brown Stadium, but I can say one of the best spots for tailgating near PBS is Longworth Hall. It's a HUGE lot and is typically pretty crazy on gamedays. I can't remember what it costs to park there so maybe someone else can chime in. There are also several other cash lots around the stadium and I've never had a problem parking for a Bengals game." A real nice brewpub/microbrewery is located at the Moerlein Lager House and it is situated in Riverfront Park. Finally, the Rock Bottom Brewery offers a sports bar environment across from the Westin Hotel downtown.

Paul Brown Stadium is very accessible from the airport. No more than 10 miles away. Hope this helps.

SPORTS BAR ALERT! Buffalo Wild Wings, 200 Calhoun Street
#513-281-9464 recently opened on the ground level of the University Park Apartments on Calhoun. The national restaurant chain, Buffalo Wild Wings (aka BW3 or B-DUB) offers all the sports packages like ESPN Gameplan and NFL Ticket. So if you want to catch that hard to find game, BW3 is your best bet. Local Cinci fans used to swear by the Holy Grail on W. Charleston in the Short Vine Area but it has recently closed. A new Holy Grail just opened in 2011 downtown. Not sure if they have ESPN Gameplan but they are set up for watching sports. As mentioned above you can also view games at the Catskeller in Tangeman University Center.

Tailgate Supplies

Get Bearcat Gear at College Flags and Banners

Last Minute Tailgating Supplies

If you are in the shortvine area you have a Kroger's right there. Also in the Short Vine area is Staggerlee's Carry Out--they sell a lot of beer. United Dairy Farmers is a large chain of gas station convenience stores. They sell beer and also have excellent ice cream and frosty malts. If you are coming from the north side of campus there is Keller's IGA at the corner of Clifton and Ludlow. NOTE: Keller's IGA is closed there is a plan to reopen it. Beer rating on variety of beers offered.

United Dairy Farmers Store--ahhh the good ole days gas under $1.50


If you like to gamble the area southwest of Cincinnati along the Ohio River offers three casinos. Belterra, HollyWood Indiana and Grand Victoria.

A real nice website to get you acquainted with Cincy, it should help you with your search where to stay. There isn't a whole bunch of lodging near the UC campus but I think I have found most of it. Kingsgate Marriott Hotel on UC's campus is a nice, brand new facility. The Vernon Manor unfortunately closed in March 2009. NEW FOR 2011: A Hampton Inn and Suites opened and it is walkable to the campus for most people. There are other hotels near UC. A Holiday Inn Express is about two miles north of campus. If you are interested in a "B+B" the Parker House and the Gaslight Bed and Breakfast are nearby. If you want to save some money you have several budget motels available bunch nearby about a 3/4 mile west of campus. I can't vouch for their cleanliness but offer them as an option. The Rest Inn, 3244 Central Pkwy, #513-559-1800 cheap under $60, no website. Nearby is also a Budget Host Motel and an Interstate Motel, 3035 W McMicken Ave, #513-559-0600 (no website). Finally, this guide is good for giving you phone numbers for various "Mom and Pop" Motels.

Downtown Lodging

There are other hotels downtown which are about two miles south of UC. Several of these are business hotels and if you catch the right weekend you might find a great weekend rate. I have attached Hyperlinks to many of the downtown hotels:
Cincinnatian Hotel, Symphony Hotel, Millennium Hotel (click on Cincy in location box), Quality Inn at Union Terminal, Garfield Suites Hotel, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Hyatt Regency, and the Westin. If you are coming from the south you might also consider Covington, KY across the Ohio River. The Radisson comes highly recommended.


The big shopping areas are the Tri-County Mall, but it's quite a drive from UC. Rookwood Commons is a new outdoor mall that is very popular right now. Newport on the Levee is just over the river in Northern Kentucky and is very popular on the weekends. Downtown Cincy does have some limited shopping. If you are coming from the north or east try Jeffersonville Prime Outlets. There are also some motels out here if you have a spouse you are leaving behind on game day.

Newport on the Levee

While in Newport hop on a Riverboat

Christy's and Lenhardt's is a close bar/restaurant just south of UC's campus. Grab a beer or some good German Cuisine here. The sauerkraut balls are a specialty. The Clifton area is just north of campus, it is famous for its' gaslights. Today you can grab an ice cream and some famous Skyline Chili on Ludlow Avenue along with several other good restaurants. Skyline Chili is a must for those from out of town and have locations throughout Cinci. The closest is on Ludlow in Clifton, which is about 1/2 a mile north of UC. The Ludlow area also supports a variety of locally owned restaurants. This area is about 1/2 mile north of UC. Typical with other cities in the Big East is the Main Street area. It has several bars and restaurants in a restored urban warehouse environment. About 2 miles NW of the campus is The Grove and it is a must visit. They have the best burgers and cheesecake around.

If you want to hang with the younger crowd there are several places around campus. Christy's Rathskeller, Uncle Woodie's and others come recommended. Mecklenberg Gardens offers a more diverse crowd but it is a great place for beer and German food. Cincy fan Sluggur1 says, "Just south of campus, there's Cilantro Vietnamese Bistro, a couple Chinese places, and Indian place, a sushi place, Floyd's (awesome middle eastern dive), Myra's (they do a lot of vegetarian stuff), Papa Dino's (pizza dive), Baba Budans (coffee, mostly), along with the usual assortment of chains: Penn Station East Coast Subs, Arby's, Starbucks, Jimmy John's Sandwiches, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Panera, Chipotle, Spicy Pickle..." Another restaurant with some good reviews is Tex-Mex Cactus Pear.

Calhoun Street Marketplace

The 200 block of Calhoun has been revitalized. A huge student housing complex and parking garage was built. New restaurants have been added. Five Guys Burgers is a new chain offering huge fresh burgers and tons of fries (great burgers and fires), Buffalo Wild Wings as mentioned above, Potbelly Sandwich Works are awesome, Panera Bread, etc...Just walk down Calhoun and see what you like. Other great non-chain burger joints in Cincy are: Quatman Cafe, Zip's Cafe, Terry's Turf Club, and Gordo's. Over in Short Vine you must check out, Cincy Steak and Lemonade. They have great burgers and Greek food.

Another area to check out is the Mount Adams area, about 3 miles from the UC campus, the area features a number of fun bars, as well as some restaurants and nightclubs. The area along 7th street and on Walnut downtown has a few bars like Rock Bottom Brewery. Also, in this area is Arnold's Bar and looks really cool and offers live music at times. You can park in the Fountain Square garage (5th & Vine) and walk to all of them. This downtown area around Fountain Square is a must see of Cincinnati; one of the city's icons. Another nice variety of dining options is available at Newport on the Levee.

Finally, If you love ribs try the Montgomery Inn Boathouse on the Ohio River. The Boathouse is the place to be for ribs in Cincy. The restaurant has a sports bar upstairs.

Main Street Click to enlarge


Cincinnati is far enough south to enjoy consistently good golf weather in October and sometimes even to Thanksgiving.
If you have some free time, the area boasts many excellent golf courses.

Belterra Golf Course at the Belterra Casino about 30 mins southwest of Cincinnati has developed a nice reputation. This Tom Fazio beauty will challenge you after an evening of pulling the slots.

Shaker Run Golf Club, Ohio's Premier 27 Hole golf facility has been providing Tri State golfers with a Championship Golf Course to call home since opening the original 18 holes in 1979. Conveniently located between Cincinnati and Dayton, public golfers are continually delighted at the beauty and challenge provided by each of the three nines - Lakeside, Woodlands, and Meadows. Beginning golfers, as well as those who have been playing for years delight at the easy playability and scenic holes which were designed to impress.

Shaker Run

The Vineyard
This is one of the better municipal courses in the country. The web site states, "Located at Woodland Mound, The Vineyard is sculpted from soft, rolling meadows and lined by dense woods. The Vineyard's challenging layout, three ponds and meticulously groomed tees and greens compare favorably with the finest country clubs."

Kings Island Theme Park is open weekends throughout October. A stay in the northern suburbs might be the ticket for families wanting roller coasters, golf and football. The golf center at Kings Island is a Jack Nicklaus designed beauty. Play this course if you want to stay out at Kings Island. Otherwise, there are some better values to consider.

Blue Ash Municipal Golf Course (located NE of downtown), like The Vineyard, is one the great municipal courses; high on playability and high on value. The web site states, "Golf Digest magazine has rated the Blue Ash Golf Course one of the top 75 municipal golf courses in the United States (out of approximately 10,000 such courses). The 18-hole, 6,800 yard, par 72 championship layout will challenge even the most discriminating golfer. The golf course is open year-round, weather permitting."

Blue Ash Municipal Golf Course

Short on Time?For those only with a few hours to spare or if you're a hacker, try one of the many other city courses.
Hope this helps. I'd like to thank Cincy fan Bourgeois Rage, who helped with this guide.

The opinions expressed in this guide are those of TexanMark. While every effort has been made to ensure all the information presented is accurate and current, it would be wise to verify things when possible. Please note that this guide is not endorsed by, or its site publishers, administrators and/or moderators.

Return to TexanMark's Tailgate Guides Main Page


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Army Tailgate and Visitors Guide '11

This is one of a series of tailgating guides for Big East and other select football schools written by Syracuse fan and tailgate aficionado TexanMark. If you have any feedback or additional information you think belongs in this guide, please drop an email message to Mark by clicking here.

First Things First: GETTING THERE

If you have a game scheduled at West Point you are very lucky indeed. Often cited as one of college football's best places to watch a game, you will be amazed at its' splendor. West Point is literally a piece of land that juts out and forces the Hudson River to make a 90 degree turn. A quick online overview of the majesty of West Point is offered by the school.

Arriving by air to West Point has to be done with a well thought out plan. Are you coming in for just the game? Or are you coming in to visit NYC?


If you are coming in just for the game you should first look into Newburgh Stewart International. Stewart (SWF) is located about 10 miles north of West Point. It is a small airport and offers Delta, Jet Blue, and USAirways air service. Airfares can be very expensive as there is little competition. Rental cars and taxis are available. The taxi drivers are well versed on driving to West Point. Stewart Newburgh International does offer scheduled bus service to the Beacon MTA Train Station. It is coordinated so you have minimal wait time at the train station. You can get into NYC in about 2 hours from the airport.


TexanMark's Tip: Albany International Airport (about 90 miles north of West Point) offers Southwest Airlines. Airfares generally are much better than Stewart. Rent a car and it is a easy drive down the Interstate (I-87). The rental car gives you the flexibility to even visit NYC easily. You can park your rental car at many of the Metro North Train stations and take the train into the city. The Beacon Station across the river from Newburgh has a lot of parking. It even has an Enterprise Rental Car Agency at the Station. This avoids the hassle of taking a taxi or limo to get to the train station. I only recommend experienced urban drivers to take their rental car into the city for the day.

Other Airport options will require a rental car or a least the willingness to take some trains, taxis or buses. One thing I highly recommend is to work a game around a visit to the most exciting city in the World.

TexanMark Tip: Visconti Ground Transport is located in Newburgh at the airport. They are well versed on providing transport to the Cadets. If you want a limo I would call them first (even if you are flying into the NYC airports).

Flying into NYC

New York City is served by three airports: JFK , LaGuardia , and Newark Liberty. Actually, the closest airport to midtown is in New Jersey. You can get to midtown via bus, train and taxi from any of the three airports. Two other options are available: White Plains Airport is about 30 miles southeast but should only be used if you have a rental car and MacArthur Islip Airport is about 25 miles east of NYC on Long Island. Note: Southwest Airlines serves MacArthur Airport but it is far from West Point and there is a lot of urban driving. If you are an experienced urban driver this can be a good option to rent a car from Islip otherwise Albany or even Hartford might offer an easier Southwest Airlines option to West Point.

If you find yourself taking a NYC Subway this helps you explain about the MetroCard.

John F. Kennedy (JFK) International

This airport is located the furthest from West Point of the three major airports. It still possible to use public transportation from the terminal to midtown Manhattan and MSG. This website details your public transportation possibilities to/from JFK to Midtown Manhattan. A video showing how to make the connections is here.

AirTrain your way out of JFK
AirTrain takes you around the airport for free. You connect between the airline terminals, parking, hotel shuttles, and rental car facilities, there's no fee to pay and no ticket is required. In order to catch off airport transportation, take AirTrain to Jamaica or Howard Beach Stations. You have to pay a $5.00 per person access fee in order to connect to or from the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), subway, local bus, or street. For about $7-12 total (peak, includes AirTrain $5.00 fee) you can take the Subway/Long Island RR into Penn Station. Follow the instructions on how to purchase metro cards. Here is a good PDF file of regional rails serving the NYC area.

A taxi to midtown is about $50. This makes sense if you are traveling with several bags, your hotel is far from a subway or bus stop, or you have one or two other passengers to split the bill with or you don't want to mess with public transportation. Another option: the various privately owned shuttle buses (just google shuttle buses + JFK--here is one listed her). They cost about $15-20 per person. A low hassle way to midtown is an express bus shuttle for about $15 and if you really know the city and have time you can find info at the above link about regular city buses.

LaGuardia (LGA) Airport

If your flight takes you into LaGuardia International you likewise have many options. Prices vary from as little as about $2.50 (Bus/Subway) to about $40 or so with a Taxi to midtown Manhattan. LaGuardia is located in northern Queens about 6-7 miles from midtown. If you are comfortable with taking the bus/subway, this link will give you a nice overview of the bus routes leaving LaGuardia to connect with the subway. The easiest option from LaGuardia in my opinion is either taxi or ground shuttles. A list of all your options is here. A website showing a commercial bus to Penn Central Station. They run about $10-12 one way. This is an excellent way to go for first time travelers to NYC. Note: It will stop first at Grand Central Station. If you have a hotel on the east side you might want to exit at Grand Central. If you are going up to West Point you want to get off at Grand Central also. If your hotel is more than a couple blocks from one of the train stations you might consider a taxi. If you are going directly to West Point look below for the Grand Central to West Point instructions.

Newark (EWR) Liberty International Airport

Newark is a great option even though it is in New Jersey. It is located about 8 miles southwest of midtown Manhattan. It is the easiest of the three NYC airports if you plan to rent a car. If you have a portable GPS take it as it is very confusing as you leave the airport. It is about 75-90 minutes to West Point. A real nice option is to fly into Newark and take the train to midtown...stay a few days. Take the train back to the airport. Pick up a rental car. Drive to West Point and take in the game. Drive back to Newark and drop off the rental car and catch your flight home. Unless you are an experienced urban driver you might save your self a lot of stress and fly into Stewart Newburgh or Albany International (90 miles north of West Point) though.

If you are not getting a rental car. You use public transportation from the terminal to midtown Manhattan. Taxi Cabs are most expensive. Expect to pay about $50-60 to take you to midtown Manhattan. If you are traveling in a group of 2 or 3 you can get a group deal which will make it competitive to other transportation options. This option is great if you don’t want to wait, have a lot of baggage or your hotel is not near a subway or bus stop. Other options are numerous. If you want a low hassle trip to Penn Station via bus this link is for you. If you are traveling light the AirTrain and NJ Transit is a great option. Once you deplane and gather your bags you need to take the AirTrain. As the guide says, “All AirTrain rides within the airport are free, so if you only use AirTrain to connect between the airline terminals, parking, hotel shuttle and rental car facilities, no ticket is required.” However, most of you will need to pay $5.50 to leave the airport via AirTrain and hook up with NJ Transit to Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. The $5.50 will be included in the price of the ticket.

From the official website:
AirTrain arrives and departs every three minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight and approximately every 15 minutes between midnight and 5 a.m. On Sundays, the train arrives and departs approximately every 15 minutes from midnight to 7 a.m., during which time a shuttle operation is in effect that may require a transfer of trains. For more information, see AirTrain Newark Map.

NJ Transit Map Click to enlarge

Airtrain Your Way to NYCIt is a little tricky to leave AirTrain and hook up with the NJ Transit service. The train runs around the airport and hooks you into mass transit. It isn’t seamless as explained here. Click this link and this link to help you. The Newark airport guide states: “When you exit AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station, follow the signs to NJ TRANSIT trains. You will go up one level, pass through the fare gates and go down one level onto the NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak train platforms. It takes approximately 5 minutes to get from AirTrain to the NJ TRANSIT or Amtrak platforms.” Lastly Amtrak is another option and it is the fastest train to Manhattan but also the most expensive at almost $30.

You can buy your NJ Transit ticket in the Airport terminal before you get on the AirTrain. The Newark airport guide states: “If you are going to take NJ TRANSIT, stop by any one of the NJ TRANSIT ticket machines located on the airport near the entrances to the AirTrain stations in terminals A, B and C, at the Ground Transportation Center in Terminal C, or at Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station.” The trains go into Penn Station (Madison Square Garden is above it). Note: if you are proceeding onto Grand Central Station you need to walk, subway or taxi there.


Okay so you are staying downtown and want to get to the game. If you are in a group, an easy option is to order up a limo. If you are more adventurous you can take the Metro North Train from Grand Central Station to the Garrison Station. From there you need to get a taxi (about $25) to West Point. They usually have some waiting. If not call a taxi out of Highland Falls or Peekskill. If you are visiting a USMA Cadet this is the station you get off for the ferry over to West Point. They can take the ferry over and escort you over. The cost is a whooping 25 cents. NOTE: This is only an option if you know a Cadet. If you want to rent a car I suggest going a few miles further north to the Beacon Station. The Beacon train station (on the east side of the Hudson River across from Newburgh) is a great place to go to if you want to rent a car. Enterprise Car Rental is at the station.

West Point Driving Directions
From the Four Airports as supplied by USMA

From JFK Airport

VanWyck Parkway to Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. After crossing the bridge,
look for the Cross Bronx Expressway. Follow the Cross Bronx Expressway
to the Bronx River Parkway north. Take the Bronx River Parkway to left fork
for the Sprain Brook Parkway. Follow Sprain Brook Parkway to Route 287,
left exit to Tappan Zee Bridge and Interstate 87 (New York State Thruway).
Over bridge, take exit 13N onto the Palisades Interstate Parkway heading
north. Take the PIP north to its end (Bear Mountain traffic circle). Follow
signs for Route 9W north (3d exit off traffic circle). Take the first “West
Point, Highland Falls” exit. This will lead you into Highland Falls, past the
Visitor’s Center and Museum, and through to Thayer Gate.

From LaGuardia Airport

Take the Whitestone Parkway to Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. After crossing
the bridge, look for the Cross Bronx Expressway. Follow the Cross Bronx
Expressway to the Bronx River Parkway north. Take the Bronx River
Parkway to left fork for the Sprain Brook Parkway. Follow Sprain Brook
Parkway to Route 287, left exit to Tappan Zee Bridge and Interstate 87
(New York State Thruway). Over bridge, take exit 13N onto the Palisades
Interstate Parkway heading north. Take the PIP north to its end (Bear
Mountain traffic circle). Follow signs for Route 9W north (3d exit off traffic
circle). Take the first “West Point, Highland Falls” exit. This will lead you
into Highland Falls, past the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and through
to Thayer Gate.

From Newark Airport

Take Interstate 78 West to the Garden State Parkway. Take the GSP north
to the end and follow signs for the New York State Thruway (I-87) south.
Exit Thruway at exit 13N onto the Palisades Interstate Parkway heading
north. Take the PIP north to its end (Bear Mountain traffic circle). Follow
signs for Route 9W north (3d exit off traffic circle). Take the first “West
Point, Highland Falls” exit. This will lead you into Highland Falls, past the
Visitor’s Center and Museum, and through to Thayer Gate.

From Stewart Newburgh Airport

Exit airport, make left turn onto New York State Route 207 to the New York
State Route 300 interchange. Make left turn onto Route 300, cross New
York State Route 17K to the Interstate 84 interchange. Take I-84 east
to exit 10 (Route 9W). Make right turn onto 9W south. Take the second
“West Point, Highland Falls” exit. This will lead you into Highland Falls,
past the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and through to Thayer Gate.

Campus Info: West Point is not your ordinary campus. It reminds me of of a medieval city sitting hard by a European River with mountains in the backdrop. I can find few places in the USA I would rather be at to watch a game amid October/November Foliage than at Michie Stadium. It is easy to forget you are actually on a military facility. NOTE: Campus is actually a misnomer. The Army would bristle at it being called a campus and rather prefer you use the word "Post". Also, don't refer to where the Cadets stay as dorms they are called barracks.

TexanMark Tip: Print this map and bring it with you when you visit.

On gameday I highly recommend: getting a great pair of walking shoes and walking the post (be sure to look for signs that prohibit you from the cadet barracks areas--do not enter those areas unless you are escorted by a military member). Gameday is a good time to view some of the buildings on foot. There are numerous historic buildings. Be sure to walk to Trophy Point. It is one of the most impressive vistas in America. TexanMark Tip: If you don't want to walk much and you have an extra day I highly recommend the guided bus tour. You might even get lucky and see a parade.

The View From Trophy Point (Pic from Wikipedia)

Washington Statue in Fall Glory (from Wikipedia) and a Picture I took Veterans Day 09

Game Day Tailgating/Parking:

Gameday parking is orderly but can take awhile. There are only a few entrances. I highly recommend getting there several hours in advance. Army instituted a fee for gameday parking in 2009 and will continue for 2011. From the Army website, "All vehicles entering West Point on a Football game day will be required to have a parking pass, which can be purchased in advance for $15 or $20 on game day (cash only). All single-game parking passes will be for general admission lots located around West Point."
Here is the link to order in advance for $15...Disabled, Bus and RV links here too.

Bus parking passes can be purchased in advance for $25, and $30 on game day (cash only). All bus parking is located at the Ski Slope just outside of Washington Gate (Blue Gate).

RV parking passes can be purchased in advance for $75 and parking is located at North Dock. RV's are required to enter West Point on the Friday before the game and can stay until noon on the Sunday after the game. Fans with RV's are encouraged to purchase their parking pass in advance as we cannot guarantee space at North Dock on game day. RV's coming to West Point on game day without a parking pass may be directed to park at the Ski Slope. BTW, RV parking is awesome at West Point. But be aware there are steep grades.

NOTE: The Official West Point Sports website is a wealth of information.

The parking areas are color coded as Red, Green and Blue. If you are tailgating together you group must all arrive together as you are directed into lots and don't have a choice which lot you can park in (Handicapped excepted).

For Military Members: If your car possesses a DOD sticker and you have a Military ID you can use the DOD express lines at the Thayer and Stoney Lonesome Gates.

Gates To Enter The Post

Stoney Lonesome Gate: It is the most popular gate on gameday and usually suffers from backups out onto 9W. It is the gate of choice for red parking areas. The BX and Commissary are conveniently located near the Stoney Lonesome Gate.

Thayer Gate: It is the gate next to the Thayer Hotel and sits next to the quaint village of Highland Falls. This is the gate I recommend going into. It is located next to Buffalo Soldier Field which is a huge and awesome tailgate area. It is the gate of choice for green parking areas.

Washington Gate: It is located off NY 218. It is the gate of choice for Blue parking areas.

A PDF showing all the gates and parking areas is here. Another link giving lots of game day info here and here (Army Fan Central).

RV parking is at the North Dock Area. It is a nice area near the Hudson River. It is available at Noon the day before the game.

Tailgating is very congenial here. There are very few rowdies and obnoxious behavior is subject to arrest. Army fans are very accommodating and will usually invite opposing fans to join their tailgate. Alcohol and charcoal grills are allowed. Everyone is expected to police their own trash and recycle.

Important Times to Know
6 Hours--Parking Lots Open
4.5 Hours--Shuttle Buses Begin Running (Remember what color parking area you are in)
3 Hours--Black Knights Alley Opens
3 Hours--Cadet Review On The Plain
2 Hours--Black Knight Walk
2 Hours--Michie Stadium Opens
1.5 Hours (after end of game)--last shuttle bus run

Michie Stadium--One of the best vistas in college football


My West Point Son Would Love This

New to 2010 are great tailgate products offered to my readers...BTW, you get a 10% discount.

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If you are looking for more than just college try their sister company.

Other Sports Flags:
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If you are a DoD card holder your best bet for last minute supplies are at the Post Exchange or Commissary. As far as military facilities they are small/medium sized but should have all your essentials. For the rest of you the pickings are slim...there is a fairly small IGA super market on the main street of Highland Falls. Your best bet is to make sure you have everything before you arrive. TexanMark Tip: If you don't want to worry about planning a tailgate let the Cadet Restaurant cater your tailgate. They have many packages available. They aren't cheap but they do release you of the burden of planning. Grant Hall (Bldg 602 on this map) offers quick takeaway meals, drinks and places to sit on gameday. Also, with 8-10 days notice the IGA mentioned above will cater your tailgate for you. They use Boars Head Meat.

If you are staying in Newburgh or Fishkill check out the Walmart Supercenters.

Scalpers and You:

Normal scalping rules do not apply here. No professional scalpers here. Usually you just ask around the tailgates who has an extra. Very little chance you'll get ripped off. It is not unheard of that an old Army grad will give you tickets for free or for a beer or two.


West Point is located in a small, idyllic location. Of course, that is the main problem. Lodging options are expensive for the most part if you you want to stay within a few miles of West Point. An overview provided by West Point has links to local tourism websites.

The Thayer Hotel is the best option if you can get in there. It is pricey but it is a historic hotel set on the Hudson River. It is located in the Village of Highland Falls next to the West Point Gate. The West Point Point Museum is located a few steps away.

There are about a dozen other places of varying size and quality within and close by Highland Falls.

The NE Ohio West Point Parents' Club put together this great resource on lodging
. It actually has their own comments for many of the motels. Note: Turn your speakers me. LOL

If you like Bed and Breakfast Places there are numerous options around West Point. Here is a list of many B+B's with 20 miles of West Point.

Newburgh Lodging: If you are flying into Stewart Int'l or driving in from the north you might consider Newburgh. Newburgh offers shopping and restaurants and quick access to I-84 and I-90.

Central Valley Lodging: If you are flying into NYC or driving in from the south you might consider Central Valley. Central Valley offers extensive shopping at the woodbury Premium Outlets and also offers a lot of restaurants.

Fishkill Lodging: Fishkill is on the east side of Hudson from Newburgh. If you are driving in from New England or along the Thruway (I-90) you might consider staying at Fishkill. Fishkill offers an impressive array of motels which cater to the Sun-Thur night business crowd. It might be a good place to look if you can not find a room closer.


To get a good flavor of West Point you should try eating in the Village of Highland Falls. It is literally located outside the Main Gate. The restaurants closest to the gate cater to Cadets, families and old Grads of West Point. A few favorites are: The Park Restaurant, Schades Deli and Restaurant and Dong Fong Chinese. The Cadets also love Sushi King and Andy's Restaurant in Highland Falls.

The Thayer Hotel offers Fine Dining. The Sunday Brunch is the best in the area. I have eaten there for lunch and found the deli sandwiches huge and great. The salads are excellent too. Definitely a place to go if you want linen table clothes.

If you are staying in Newburgh you have several worthy options. I personally recommend The Lakeview House. It is about 5 miles north of the city on Orange Lake. It is a beautiful setting and the food is all prepared by scratch. Johnny D's Diner is a classic NY style diner. It offers all sorts of excellent comfort food. If you show them your motel room card you'll get a discount. Newburgh has been revitalizing the waterfront area. There are about 10 restaurants on the riverfront or close by.

You want a special experience and wiling to drive 40 minutes or so? Then a trip to the world famous Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park for a meal is in order.

SPORTS BARS: If you know of a good sports bar let me know.

Shopping: Okay if you have a spouse who does not want to go to the are in luck. About 20 mins south of West Point is a fantastic outlet. Woodbury Commons is huge and should entertain your spouse for hundreds err hours of shopping. If you are looking for Army gear or a last minute rain suit, sweatshirt or hat and you are "on post" (army term for being at the installation) you should try the Association Of Graduates Gift Store. Also south of West Point in West Nyack, NY is the huge Palisades Center. It has almost every conceivable shopping, dining and entertainment option out there.

A Shopper's Nirvana--Woodbury Common

Things to Do: There is so much to do around West Point. I highly recommend the West Point Tour. West Point Tours is a family run company and does a great job. The tours start and end at the West Point Visitors Center.

Newburgh--Home of Orange County Choppers

If you like motorcycles be sure to visit Orange County Choppers. The retail store is located near most of the Newburgh Motels.

Orange County has a good website detailing all that the area has to offer.


West Point Golf Course--Public Welcome

The Golf Course at West Point actually is open to civilians. The price is reasonable for the area. It is a must do golf course.

Garrison Golf Club

Located across the Hudson (about 25 mins from West Point) this gem is available for play. From the website: The Garrison Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course. Perched some 800 feet above the Hudson River with stunning views of the rugged Hudson Highlands terrain as its backdrop, few courses in the country are favored with as lovely a setting. Designed in 1961 by architect Dick Wilson as a challenging highlands course, it is characterized by a varied topography with woodsy, rolling hills, many elevation changes, tough tee shots over deep ravines, side hill lies and challenging greens.

Patriots Hills Golf Course

This gem about 20-30 mins south of West Point. The course is well manicured and has sand on most holes. It isn't super long but will challenge the average player. A video tour can be seen here.

The Golf Club at Mansion Ridge

From the website: "Created by legendary golfer and world-renowned golf course architect Jack Nicklaus, Mansion Ridge is carved out of the mature forests and rolling hills of a 220 acre estate. It is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course open to the public in New York State. The spectacular 18-hole championship course features stunning rock formations, extreme elevation changes, and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Designed to test shot-making skills, this layout will challenge you to negotiate a variety of wetland areas, bunkers, and of course, all the subtle features you would expect from the Golden Bear."

This 6,889-yard, par 72 course has rates are about $60+.

Budget Golf

Coyote Run Golf Course

For the beginner or if you want a quick round. It is a lighted par 3 course and is located about 10 mins north of West Point. I can't vouch for the quality other than it is pretty cheap for a round.

Mill Creek Golf Course

A 9 hole course located in the small village of Marlboro (a few miles north of Newburgh).

The opinions expressed in this guide are those of TexanMark. While every effort has been made to ensure all the information presented is accurate and current, it would be wise to verify things when possible. Please note that this guide is not endorsed by, or its site publishers, administrators and/or moderators.
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