Any advice on where to tailgate, park, places to avoid while wearing a Michigan shirt, anyone else going?
Going to Iowa
regardless of the team they are playing and never had a problem with the Iowa fan base (can't say the same for visiting fans- looking at you Sparty). Not to say that you might not find a knucklehead in the college bars near campus late at night. Anywhere in Coralville should be mellow in terms of going out. There is the Alumni tailgate closer to the stadium if you don't have anywhere else to land.
I'll be there in my maize & blue ... I'm counting on my easy-going disposition & hawkeye friends to keep me out of trouble. No idea where my seats are (friend acquired tix), but I ain't scared. I'm excited to see Kinnick, I hear it's fun times.
I've been wating for this topic to pop up. Four friends and I are headed out this weekend as well. We are going to stay up in Cedar Rapids. Is there any public transportation between CR and Iowa City? I really haven't sen anything other that taxis.
No there is definately no public transportation. That is probably about a 20-30 minute drive on a normal day. On gameday I would try to get to Iowa City early, or it will be hard to get anywhere around Kinnick.
This thread from June has some info as well:
You must get a pie milkshake. It's not negotiable.
Iowa is one of the 2 best away games in the conference. I think the other is Penn State though I'm looking forward to Nebraska next year.
The crowd knows the game, so they don't boo or complain about idiotic things, they're a respectful home crowd and Kinnick is just plain cool.
Have a great trip.
Places to avoid, are the south side of the stadium the streets off Melrose tons of rody kids there.
The party bus is in the University of Iowa Dentist Parking Lot and all along Hawkins drive up to the stadium there are plenty of spots to tailgate. or the library parking lot.
For parking: there is the parking ramps on Clinton St, is where I have always parked you will have to pay for it but that is the best place. Library is right down the street. It is not a bad walk to the stadium. You can park at the Coral ridge Mall and walk down the street and have the Hawkeye Express train take you to the stadium. Its like a 10 minute train ride.
For places to eat: avoid downtown Iowa City there are tons of hawk fans after the game that swarm down there. All the bars will be packed. I would recommed Joes downtown or the Summit. when I went in dressed all Michigan gear it got pretty ugly
Hope you like the Black Eyed Peas.
two years ago and had a blast. Rented an RV and parked Friday night through Sunday morning in a commuter lot about 10 minutes from the stadium (shuttle service available). It was free and mostly Michigan fans, which was nice. There is RV parking closer to the stadium, but the golf course seemed like an odd set-up (looked like there were only a few RVs in there) and we didn't want to shell out for a scalped RV lot pass.
The town was a lot of fun. Went cruising around downtown and the surrounding areas on Saturday morning / afternoon (it was a night game). Don't remember a ton, but I didn't have a black eye and my wallet wan't missing, so it must have been alright!
Im heading out there with a couple buddies, seeing as its such an early kick (11am local), we're just hitting up the UM Alumni tailgate. Theres still tickets available at http://alumni.umich.edu/sports/football/amazin-blue-tailgate-tour
They've got a buffet meal included and a bar.....
I lived in IA City/Coralville for a couple years...gameday parking is definitely a challenge. In the few instances I actually drove to a game, the only available parking was in the hospital parking deck basically across the street from Kinnick. The deck sucks for tailgating, and getting out after the game literally takes hours. They don't park on their golf course and sidestreet parking near the stadium is prohibited if I recall correctly, but like A2, some folks do offer up their yards for a small fee. Try Melrose street.
There is a train called the Hawkeye Express which runs between the mall in Coralville directly to Kinnick (roughly 2 mile ride). Google Hawkeye Express, should find a web info page. It makes parking easy (mall parking), but it stops running something like 90 mins after the game is over, so if you don't catch it, you're fukked. Drinking on the train was not verboten (at least 5 yrs ago it wasn't), but you basically lose your ability to tailgate with any sort of football atmosphere where you park. You'll have to worm your way into someone elses tailgate closer to the stadium. There are some great house parties across the street from Kinnick, but getting access isn't always easy or guarnteed.
Try hawkeyesports.com has a gameday parking map for "official" lots
You might be able to find some parking in lots along Highway 6 in Coralville and hoof it up to the stadium, there is a great little bar called the Wig & Pen on Hwy 6 (great pizza) which is not too far to walk, and a neighboring sports bar called the Vine.
Kinnick is a great place to see a game, best described as intimate? Expect Hawkeye fans to generally be courteous but not overly friendly. While not EL or Columbus, they are fanatical about their team and they really seem to not like Michigan very much, so you'll take some heckling (mostly good natured) in the stadium. If you make your way down to the pedestrian mall in IC after the game (recommended), you'll likely take a lot of schitt for wearing your MI garb. Lots of drunk students, but the Ped Mall rivals any Big 10 college drinking scene with great late night food carts as a bonus.
I suspect hawkeye fans are reeling a little this year from their painful losses to ISU and Minny, so they may a little more subdued than in previous years.
We liked to eat at the Vine (there are 2 - go to the one in Coralville)
We also liked Bob's your uncle - I recall they had good pizza:
Mondo's was also a good place, likely to be crowded:
Atlas near the ped mall is great - one of my favorites - an amazing tall stack of ribs:
For your 2 am gyro hit, please try George's best Gyros. He stays on the ped mall until 2-3 am serving his best gyros from a little cart.
For a place very similar to Ashley's (but more limited selection) try the Sanctuary
Keep in mind, Iowa City will be crazy on game night. There isn't much else going on.
I would add Mesa Pizza if you are looking for a post-bar hop slice or two. Also, Sparti's (I know unfortunate name) is a good spot for a gyro. I also highly recommend Jimmy Jack's BBQ if you are in town friday night. Jimmy Jack's is a-maize-ing and very reasonably priced given the amount of food you get.
The nice thing about Iowa City nightlife is that all the bars are centered around the ped mall so if you walk in and don't like the scene you just walk next door. Another plus is that all the bars are now 21+ only so they aren't as crowded as they were two years ago.
Full disclosure, my gf is at Iowa Law, and I've spent a lot of time in Iowa City with that and going to college in Iowa (but not at Iowa).
I've got to agree with most everything said so far, but can't comment on wearing Michigan gear around town on game day (I've mostly stayed in to watch Michigan games on those days). My general advice would be don't be an ass, and you shouldn't have problems. If you go to Hamburg Inn, then definitely get the pie shake. If falafel is more your thing, then try out Oasis, right next to Hamburg. If you like sushi, I'm personally a fan of Oyama Sushi, www.oyamaiowa.com.
Summit and Joe's are both solid choices. I was actually at Summit last weekend for a Halloween party. And Sanctuary is kind of like Ashleys, but I think Sanctuary has way better food albeit a smaller beer selection (but still more than adequate). Also, there is a grilled cheese stand in the ped mall at night. And Mesa is amazing at the end of a long night.
Biggest piece of advice I can give: watch the public intoxication. Not an offense in Michigan, but definitely exists out there. And as to the bars being 21+, that kicks in at 10pm, sometimes cops come through and check IDs on everyone in the bar. It's funny to watch underage undergrads run towards the back exits when that happens.
And most importantly, Go Blue!!
Iowa City turns into thunderdome on gamedays. It's almost impossible to make it through the day and not get sucker punched by a drunk hawkeye fan who thinks iowa still has a shot at the national title
anything's possible, especially if your an ass, but to say that you're almost guaranteed a sucker punch is not my experience.
I live in Cedar Rapids and went to Iowa for law school so I've been around the game day atmosphere a bit. What other people have said about Iowa fans being generally genial is true. There are exceptions, everywhere (and the exception is the rule in Columbus and E.L.) but Iowa fans are not in-your-face aggressive, especially not this year when a lot of fans have resigned themselves to going to a very mediocre bowl, at best.
As for parking, I park downtown and walk to the stadium. There's a good garage at the corner of Iowa Avenue and Gilbert, it's an easy walk from there to the Ped Mall (walk up Iowa Ave. and go left on Dubuque Street), where, as noted, there are plenty of bars that will be open for bar-gaiting before the game, e.g., Mickey's and The Sports Column (both on Dubuque between Iowa Ave. and Washington, just north of the Ped Mall), and Brothers, The Union (meh) Donnelly's and others -- all on the Ped Mall itself. It's about a fifteen minute walk from the Ped Mall to the stadium. If you're going to go to the Ped Mall / downtown Iowa City after the game anyway, you're better off having your car there rather than paying to park twice.
The public intox is true but, like the supposed sucker punch, they're usually reserved for people asking for it.
One other tip: if you're going to Iowa City from Cedar Rapids, exit at Penn Street off I-380 and head east on Penn. Just past 965 (traffic light) you'll go right on N. Dubuque Street, which will eventually land you right in downtown Iowa City, missing a lot of traffic. Go left on Iowa Ave. to go to the parking garage ("ramp," at they call it here) on your right or go right, then left on Clinton, and there will be another parking ramp on your right a few blocks down.
I was born and raised there. My suggestions are:
a. come into town around 7:30 or so and park at the garage at Clinton and Burlington
b. have breakfast at Joe's Bar on Iowa Ave between Clinton and Dubuque
c. pick up a few Iowa sweatshirts and caps at Iowa Book and Supply, Iowa and Clinton (kidding)
d. Prairie Lights, Dubuque betw Iowa and Washington, remains a top-10 independent bookstore, if you are a literary sort
e. Pagliai's Pizza, Bloomington betw Gilbert and Linn, after the game will be mobbed; it is my favorite pizza, and I lived in NYC.
f. A quiet place to unwind with Writer's Workshop types is Dave's, NE corner of Market St. and Gilbert
Anyone maintaining even a minimum of decorum will have zero problem in a Michigan cap.
I avoid the student bars, so can't comment on what they are like, but the townie bars always have people from the out-of-town school and in my experience, they're treated well -- like anyone else. Iowa City is probably the inverse of Columbus, OH, a place I'm unlikely to return to on a football Saturday.
2nd the recommendation for Prairie Lights. It's my favorite book store, amazing selection, great authors in for readings, signings...
One other very important thing to mention is that open containers are no longer allowed on the streets around Kinnick. Ticket is $125 and the cops love to give them out. Any campus or private property is totally fine, just don't cross Melrose drinking a beer.
If your gps brings you near Clinton Iowa, right on the IA/IL border, there are a couple nice restaurants here that are worth a 30 minute stop.
Chief among these is the Old Towne Inn for a great diner meal, or Sisters, for what Im told is a great breakfast place, the garbage omelette is the pick of the menu. Ask for the cheese on the inside, if that's your thing though, or it won't come that way.
Other M fans from Iowa on the blog (in Cedar Rapids myself). I happen to have been born and raised in Clinton, IA and don't even know about Old Towne Inn or Sisters; I need to get back more often!
Try the Deadwood Tavern, a great old-school drinking hole in the middle of town. You'll find some M fans there.