Travel Guide: Bowls

Updated: December 11, 2006, 7:49 PM ET
By Ron Berler and Bill Evans | Special to ESPN SportsTravel

ico_orbitz Look for vacation packages to selected bowl destinations
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Whether you're following your alma mater, looking to catch some bowl football, or just want a winter escape to a warm climate, we've got your one-stop shop to get you started on your bowl travel.

Below find primers on each of the cities which are hosting bowl games this season. Look for flights and hotels, gather up information on the stadiums, and find tips for food and entertainment options -- and visit our SportsTravel City Guides for more in-depth information.

Page 1: Dec. 29-Jan. 8 | Page 2: Dec. 21-28

PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL
SAN DIEGO, DEC. 28, 8 p.m. ET
California vs. Texas A&M

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
SAN DIEGO, DEC. 19, 8 p.m. ET
TCU vs. Northern Illinois

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
• Stadium location: About 8 miles northeast of downtown
• Address: 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: San Diego
• Nightlife areas: Gaslamp Quarter, Pacific Beach, The Boulevard
• Sports bar: Seau's (1640 Camino Del Rio North, Web site) - ex-Charger delivers another hit.
• Restaurant: The Fish Market (750 N. Harbor Drive, Web site) - near water? Eat fish.
• Cheap eats: Rubio's (many locations, Web site) - the original San Diego fish taco.
• Attractions: Beyond two of America's favorite attractions -- SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo -- there's Wild Animal Park, San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum... and miles of beachfront.

ico_orbitz Book San Diego travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



TEXAS BOWL
HOUSTON, DEC. 28, 8 p.m. ET
Rutgers vs. Kansas State

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Reliant Stadium
• Stadium location: South of downtown
• Address: 1 Reliant Park, Houston, TX 77054
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: Houston
• Nightlife areas: Old Market Square, Montrose, the Richmond Strip
• Sports bar: Home Plate Bar & Grill (1800 Texas Avenue, Web site) -- where Houstonians go when they're hungry for sports.
• Restaurant: Café Annie (1728 Post Oak Boulevard, Web site) -- Southwestern cooking done right.
• Cheap eats: Goode Company Texas Barbeque (5109 Kirby Drive, Web site) -- lip-smacking barbecue.
• Attractions: Houston is at the heart of American space exploration. Tour NASA's Mission Control within the Johnson Space Center. You might even see astronauts as they train for a mission. If you're a fan of Six Feet Under, head to the National Museum of Funeral History. Rockets host the Hawks on the 29th, too.

ico_orbitz Book Houston travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



PETROSUN INDEPENDENCE BOWL
SHREVEPORT, LA, DEC. 28, 4:30 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State vs. Alabama

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Independence Stadium
• Stadium location: About 1 mile southeast of downtown
• Address: 700 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport, LA 71166
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• Nightlife areas: Red River District, Louisiana Boardwalk
• Sports bar: Wet Willie's (450 Clyde Fant Pkwy., Web site) -- specialties are televised sports and drinks mixed with grain alcohol.
• Restaurant: Ernest's Orleans Restaurant (1601 Spring St. South, Web site) -- go native; dine at the city's finest Cajun restaurant.
• Cheap eats: Pete Harris Café (1355 Milam St.) -- this is the place for Southern/soul food dining. Save room for the sweet potato pie.
• Attractions: Five riverboat casinos, LSU, R.W. Norton Art Gallery.

ico_orbitz Book Shreveport travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



EMERALD BOWL
SAN FRANCISCO, DEC. 27, 8 p.m. ET
Florida State vs. UCLA

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: AT&T Park
• Stadium location: Just east of downtown
• Address: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: San Francisco
• Nightlife areas: North Beach, Mission District, Pacific Heights, SoMa
• Sports bar: Zeke's Sports Bar & Grill (600 3rd Street, Web site) -- a terrific sports bar near AT&T Park.
• Restaurant: Aqua (252 California Street, Web site) -- the best seafood in a seafood town.
• Cheap eats: Taylor's Automatic Refresher (1 Ferry Building , Web site) -- in the glorious Ferry Building Marketplace at the foot of Market St., Taylor's is an upscale take on an old-fashioned diner.
• Attractions: This is a city of distinctive neighborhoods, from North Beach to Union Square to Chinatown to the Mission District to Haight-Ashbury. Wander Golden Gate Park and hike across Golden Gate Bridge. Visit Alcatraz. Don't miss Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookstore. Also, the resurgent Warriors are home across the bay in Oakland on the 26th, vs. Philly.

ico_orbitz Book San Francisco travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



MOTOR CITY BOWL
DETROIT, DEC. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Ford Field
• Stadium location: Downtown
• Address: 2000 Brush Street, Detroit, MI 48226
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: Detroit
• Nightlife areas: Downtown, Royal Oak
• Sports bar: Hockeytown Café (2301 Woodward Avenue, Web site) -- three floors, 35 TVs and the feel of a Detroit sports museum.
• Restaurant: The Rattlesnake Club (300 River Place Drive, Web site) -- memorable steaks and lobster.
• Cheap eats: Cyprus Taverna (579 Monroe Street, Web site) -- the best of Detroit's Greektown restaurants.
• Attractions: Explore the city's two major contributions to American culture -- the automobile and soul music -- at the Henry Ford Museum & Village and the Motown Historical Museum. Don't miss the soaring architecture of restored downtown Detroit. Stay an extra day to ctach the beloved Red Wings on the 27th.

ico_orbitz Book Detroit travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



SHERATON HAWAII BOWL
HONOLULU, DEC. 24, 8 p.m. ET
Arizona State vs. Hawaii

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Aloha Stadium
• Stadium location: About 9 miles northwest of downtown
• Address: 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard, Honolulu, HA 96818
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• Nightlife areas: Waikiki, Ala Moana & Kakaako, Aloha Tower Marketplace
• Sports bar: Legends Sports Pub (411 Nahua Street, Web site) -- all the U.S. games, plus sports from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Great Britain.
• Restaurant: Chef Mavro (1969 S. King Street, Web site) -- rated by Fodor's as one of the world's top ten restaurants.
• Cheap eats: Eggs n' Things (1911-B Kalakaua Avenue) -- a breakfast that will carry you over through lunch.
• Attractions: Tour the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Hike Diamond Head. Watch the surfers. Catch a wave. Walk some of the world's finest beaches.

ico_orbitz Book Honolulu travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL
FT. WORTH, DEC. 23, 8 p.m. ET
Tulsa vs. Utah

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Amon G. Carter Stadium
• Stadium location: About 4 miles southwest of downtown Ft. Worth, about 37 miles west of downtown Dallas
• Address: 2850 Stadium Drive, Ft. Worth, TX 76129
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: Dallas
• Nightlife areas: The Stockyards, Sundance Square in Ft. Worth. Deep Ellum, Greenville Ave., West End in Dallas.
• Sports bar: Coconuts Sports Bar (6861C Green Oaks Road, Web site) -- dens with sofas looking onto big-screen TVs, ping pong, pool, Golden Tee, ice-cold beer -- sounds like a Texan's paradise.
• Restaurant: The Mansion on Turtle Creek (2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Dallas, Web site) -- Southwestern-style cooking at its best.
• Cheap eats: Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse (several locations, Web site) -- great barbecue in a town that takes barbecue seriously.
• Attractions: Ft. Worth is known as Cowtown for a reason. Visit the Stockyards National Historic District, where, among rodeo coliseums and the old stockyards you'll find Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky-tonk. In Dallas, head to Dealey Plaza, where President Kennedy was assassinated, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the former book repository from where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his deadly shots.

ico_orbitz Book Ft. Worth travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



NEW MEXICO BOWL
ALBUQUERQUE, DEC. 23, 4:30 p.m. ET
New Mexico vs. San Jose St.

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: University Stadium
• Stadium location: On the University of New Mexico campus
• Address: Avenida Cesar Chavez and University Blvd., Albuquerque, NM 87131
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• Nightlife areas: Old Town, Nob Hill, University district
• Sports bar: Spectators Sports Bar & Grill (1640 Camino Del Rio North, Web site) -- 40 TVs, ribs, nachos, guacamole burgers -- who needs more?
• Restaurant: Ranchers Club of New Mexico (1901 University Blvd. NE, in the Albuquerque Hilton, Web site) -- the best steak in the city.
• Cheap eats: El Patio de Albuquerque (142 Harvard Dr. SE) -- order the green chile chicken enchiladas.
• Attractions: A number of pueblos dot the area just outside the city. Each has its own culture and customs. In Old Town you'll find the American International Rattlesnake Museum. Beautiful Santa Fe is just 60 miles away, and there's great skiing in Taos, about 135 miles from town.

ico_orbitz Book Albuquerque travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL
BIRMINGHAM, AL, DEC. 23, 1 p.m. ET
South Florida vs. East Carolina

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Legion Field
• Stadium location: About three miles southwest of downtown
• Address: 400 Graymont Ave. W., Birmingham, AL 35204
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• Nightlife areas: Five Points South
• Sports bar: Indigo Joe's Sports Pub & Restaurant (5299 Valleydale Rd., Web site) -- fish tacos, burgers, 20 varieties of beer, solid walls of plasma and HDTVs.
• Restaurant: Highlands Bar and Grill (2011 11th Ave. S., Web site) -- down-home cooking with uptown flair.
• Cheap eats: Ironside Café (1906 1st Ave. N., Web site) -- the Southern-fried inspiration for Fried Green Tomatoes.
• Attractions: Birmingham was at the heart of the civil rights struggle, and its Civil Rights District is now hallowed ground. Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th St. Baptist Church (where in 1963 four teenaged girls died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing) and, across the street, Kelly Ingram Park and its famed Freedom Path.

Also, about an hour outside town is the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum, adjacent to the Talladega Superspeedway.

ico_orbitz Book Birmingham travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



R&L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
NEW ORLEANS, DEC. 22, 8 p.m. ET
Rice vs. Troy

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Louisiana Superdome
• Stadium location: Downtown
• Address: 1500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• Power Weekend: Louisiana
• Nightlife areas: French Quarter, Warehouse District, Faubourg Marigny
• Sports bar: Kabby's Restaurant and Sports Edition (2 Poydras Street, in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Web site) -- the definition of a New Orleans sports bar? 32 large-screen, plasma and LCD TVs, oysters on the half shell and lots of rum drinks.
• Restaurant: Galatoire's (209 Bourbon Street, Web site) -- if Creole cooking is heavenly, then this is heaven.
• Cheap eats: Domilise's Po-Boys (5240 Annunciation Street) -- the best po-boy you'll ever have.
• Attractions: This is a walking town -- for people watching, for architecture, for art museums, for curios, for galleries. Stroll the French Quarter, the Garden District and the cemeteries where the ghosts of voodoo still live. If you're feeling lucky, visit Harrah's New Orleans.

ico_orbitz Book New Orleans travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights



PIONEER PUREVISION LAS VEGAS BOWL
LAS VEGAS, DEC. 21, 8 p.m. ET
BYU vs. Oregon

• Web sites: Official | Wikipedia

• Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium
• Stadium location: About 11 miles southeast of downtown
• Address: 7000 E. Russell Road, Las Vegas, NV 89120
• Stadium web sites: Official | Seating chart | Wikipedia

• ESPN SportsTravel City Guide: Las Vegas
• Nightlife areas: The Strip
• Sports bar: Caesars Palace Las Vegas sports book (3570 Las Vegas Boulevard, Web site) -- why go to a bar when you can go to the world's greatest sports book?
• Restaurant: Aureole (3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, in Mandalay Bay, Web site) -- the best of the best in Vegas is saying quite a lot.
• Cheap eats: Lotus of Siam (953 E. Sahara Avenue, Web site) -- Gourmet calls it "the single best Thai restaurant in North America."
• Attractions: Start with the casinos. Continue with world-class golf at Shadow Creek. By all means visit the Liberace Museum, Elvis-A-Rama and Chapel of Love. Also, Prince is currently playing shows every Friday and Saturday at 3121 in The Rio.

ico_orbitz Book Las Vegas travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights

Also see: Bowls from Dec. 29-Jan. 8

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