Road Tripping: SEC Championship Edition

What: Southeastern Conference Championship
: University of Alabama
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Stadium: Georgia Dome,   seats 74,515,    FieldTurf
Record: 11-1
Distance: 71.3 miles from Sanford Stadium
How to get there: 316 to I-85 all the way downtown or MARTA.  MARTA is my choice of transportation but only if you are brave enough to handle the crowd at the station when you leave the Dome.  It works best if you are meeting up with friends who are tailgating at the dome so you have a spot to go to.  You can take your cooler on the train but on the way home I’d recommend leaving it with your friends because it’s very difficult to squeeze on the train yourself, it’s much worse if you have a cooler in tow.   There are also some pay lots around the CNN Center and the Dome if you want to brave that. 

Corbindawg:  I have been to Los Angeles and and D.C., and have taken their subway system.  I have only been on MARTA once.  I had no quams about blindly hoping on L.A.’s subway system.  Something about MARTA doesn’t sit right with me.  I’d rather park and fight traffic. 

In Atlanta:

Corbindawg:  I have been to the Dome 5 times in my life.  One was for Women’s basketball in the 1996 Olympics (Brazil vs. China baby!).  The other four times were for football games that involved UGA.  Never been to a Falcons game, and that really doesn’t bother me.  Maybe one day.  For the 2005 SEC Championship game, we just parked at a lot somewhere and sat in the car and drank.  When we went to the 2005 Sugar Bowl, we got there mid afternoon and tailgated for a little bit with someone else, then went to CNN Center and ate supper.  Fast food Chinese, if I remember.  The best tailgate experience was last year for the Boise State game.  We parked in a lot a good hike away from the Dome on Peachtree, then went to eat lunch at Ted’s Montanna Grill.  I am a big fan of that place.  It is very, very good.  I have been twice, and one time I saw Ted Turner in there eating a steak.  He came by our table and spoke to us.  It was pretty cool.  If you don’t mind spending some cash, the steaks there are excellent, but you can’t go wrong with a burger.  From Ted’s we went to the car and got our coolers and walked a country mile to the Dome to tailgate.  Walking so far lugging chairs and coolers sucked big time, but once we got there we had a blast. We just had styrofoam coolers, so we could leave it and not worry about it during the game. 

It really does suck tailgating around the Dome, so I would recommend going to a resturant and having lunch and some drinks there.  My brother lives in Atlanta and we have gone to some very good places.  My favorite has got to be Manuel’s Tavern on the corner of North Avenue and Highland.  Good atmosphere and lots of TVs to catch Gameday.   On the Weekends they have Brunch, so you can go by earlier and get some Bloody Marys.  Other favorites:  Felini’s Pizza, Everybody’s Pizza, Fox Brother’s BBQ, Daddy D’z BBQ, and of course, The Varsity. 


Maybe some of our more Atlanta-savvy readers can offer a suggestion on where to eat or go.  If you have a better suggestion, leave it in the Comment section.



3 Responses to “Road Tripping: SEC Championship Edition”

  1. 1 Georgia Roads Scholar November 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    If you’re heading in from Athens on 78, Community Q in Decatur (pretty close to Emory) is a great spot… it’s off Clairmont, about a quarter mile down from the intersection of Clairmont & North Decatur. Their brunswick stew is mind-blowingly good, as is the rest of their menu.

    But you can’t go wrong with any of the above places either.

  2. 2 Ron November 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    A couple of Atlanta & Tuscaloosa bars are putting on a pretty big tailgate about two blocks from the dome >>

  3. 3 Sanford222View November 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    The square in Decatur has some good spots as well such as The Brick Store and Leon’s Full Service. The nice part about this area is it is about a two minute walk to the MARTA station allowing you to take the East/West line in to the Dome.

    A Buckhead options for the same “near MARTA” strategy would be Dantana’s which is located just outside of Lenox Square Mall.

    I grew up in Atlanta and while the atmosphere inside the Dome is hard to beat during the SECCG the tailgating experience outside is miserable. I really wish the Falcons would build a new stadium north of the city with a retractable roof to resolve this issue but that is a whole other conversation.

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