STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – Tailgating is one of the best parts of college football. You can pregame with friends, tasty food, cornhole and be surrounded by thousands of others who share your love for your team.

At Penn State, the tailgating is legendary. Unfortunately, one of the most legendary things about tailgating in State College is how complicated the whole ordeal can be.

Don’t worry. We’ve got everything you need to know ahead of setting up camp to make sure you have a fun Penn State tailgating experience with as little stress as possible.

Getting there

Every Penn State fan knows the traffic to State College on game day will be miserable. To avoid being late to the tailgate, or worse the game, leave early or book a hotel room for the night before near or in State College. The ideal practice is to be parked in your tailgating spot hours before the game.

For a 1 p.m. or earlier kickoff, you should be in your tailgating lot and settles by 9 a.m. or earlier. To be on the safe side, consider sticking to parking at 9 a.m. even for 4 p.m. games. For night games, arriving to the lot by noon should put you in a comfortable position.

Day of lots will open at 8 a.m. for games that are not at noon and 7 a.m. for noon kickoffs. For the Michigan game the lots will open at 6 a.m..

Overnight RV (ORV) lots allow access starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday an will close at 4 a.m. on Saturday.

Where and how to tailgate

Follow the map. Purchase parking passes well ahead of each home game; the passes are available until 15 days before the game. Two weeks before the game the tickets will become available to buy at the Bryce Jordan Center box office on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Parking passes start at $50.

If you are a season ticket holder, you can purchase general season parking with a specified lot you will remain in all season.

You can purchase a parking pass for Lots 25 or Lot 36 on the day of the game, but this is not recommended as it depends on availability. To buy these, follow “E Zone” signs to Park Avenue. From there, there will be signs for day of game day parking.

If you have children, there is the option of purchasing tickets to the Family Friendly parking lot. It is paved and within walking distance to Beaver Stadium. If you purchase season Family Friendly passes, this is the only place you will be able to park.

There are different access points for each zone of parking. Pay close attention to these and be sure you are entering the correct way for your lot. The zones are sectioned off in red on the official map and the entrance points are as follows:

  • North zone – Access via Fox Hollow Road
  • East zone – Access via US 322/I-99 to Park Ave
  • South zone – Access via University Dr or Porter Rd from College Ave/US 26
  • West zone – Access via Atherton St to Park Ave

RV parking is in the North Zone., ADA parking is in the West Zone and the Family Friendly lot is in the South Zone.

The general rules

Make sure your tailgating crew follow the rules to enjoy a smooth tailgating experience. All of your tailgating essentials including tents, tarps, tables and chairs are required to be placed directly in front or behind your vehicle. Do not block the road or another parking spot with your items.

Charcoal grills and firepits are not allowed inside the tailgating area. Plan ahead and pack a propane grill if you plan on cooking.

Tailgating tips

There are trash and recycling bags provided by the university for game days. The clear bags are for trash and the blue are for recycling. If you put your discarded items in these, they will be taken care of for you.

Be respectful of those around you. Playing music is allowed, but remember to keep it at a reasonable volume so as not to disturb others enjoying their time.

Do yourself a favor and just apply the sunscreen. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Leave earlier than you think you will need to; there will be traffic, you might get lost, or a number of other issues could arise. Even if you have an easier time getting into your lot you will just have extra time to tailgate, which is never a bad thing.