Tailing the Tigers? Where to stay and what to do at LSU away games

When LSU hits the road, thousands of fans pack up and follow.

This football season, the Tigers will be playing in four SEC cities, and they begin their 2013 schedule on the road Saturday against TCU in the Big D (technically, the AT&T Stadium is in Arlington). If you haven’t been to the plush arena where the Cowboys play, the trip is worth it for that experience alone.

Of course, the highlight for traveling Tiger fans is the game. But, while you’re there, don’t miss out on a chance to take in the sights of these other Southern cities.

If you haven’t already made your plans, start now. In some cities, like Athens, home to the Georgia Bulldogs, hotels are already filling up.

You can get more information at each city’s tourist commission. And, some cities, like Athens, also have their own page of football info. (VisitAthenGa.com/football).

So, when you’re ready to go, take along this handy guide to these away-game cities.

LSU vs. TCU

Aug. 31 at Arlington, Texas

What to see: Downtown Dallas is home to museums such as the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which offers a historical timeline to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There’s also the performance spaces of the arts district, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and the flagship Neiman Marcus department store.

Where to eat: Check out the $3.5 million Draft Sports Bar, a 4,500-square-foot space, in the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

LSU vs. Georgia,

Sept. 28 at Sanford Stadium, Athens

What to see: Athens was named the No. 1 College Music Scene in America by Rolling Stone Magazine. Athens is home to R.E.M., the B-52’s and Widespread Panic, so a night out for live music is a must. Downtown Athens is charming with shopping, nightlife and roadside wonders, such as the double-barreled cannon. The Terrapin Brewery is fun for a tour and sampling.

Where to eat: “Top Chef” Hugh Acheson’s Five and Ten and The Last Resort Grill on Clayton Street are popular choices.

LSU vs. Mississippi State

Oct. 5 at Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville

What to see: New South Weekend offers special events surrounding home game weekend, including a family friendly Friday Downtown Block Party with live music, a tailgating fashion show and a kids village. visit.starkville.org. Warning: the stadium gets loud with all those cowbells, but, hopefully, the Tigers will keep them from clanging.

Where to eat: Brian Michael’s Burger Company, Stromboli’s for pizza, fish and chips at Hotel Chester’s Beer Garden or The Veranda for fried chicken. For more upscale fare, try Restaurant Tyler, which is ideal for Sunday brunch.

LSU vs. Ole Miss

Oct. 19 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford

What to see: The historic town square, named the “Best Downtown Area” in the 2013 Best of Mississippi by Mississippi magazine, offers high-end boutiques, delightful restaurants, art galleries and Square Books, one of the finest independent bookstores in America.

Where to eat: Friday night enjoy the Snack Bar for some raw oysters and contemporary Southern cuisine. On Saturday, try the Mississippi Reuben with “comeback sauce” at the historic City Grocery. For Sunday brunch, try Ravine, a few miles from the town square.

LSU vs. Alabama

Nov. 9 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa

What to see: Tuscaloosa’s Jack Warner amassed hundreds of pieces of American fine and decorative arts. Today, The Tuscaloosa Museum of Art displays approximately 1,000 of these works. For football fans, there’s the Bear Bryant Museum on the UA campus.

Where to eat: Dreamland Bar-B-Que began the same year that Bear Bryant began coaching at Alabama and both are equally famous in Tuscaloosa. Just be prepared to wait on game days. The line is sometimes up to two hours long.