If you fancy yourself a fervent backer of the Burnt Orange, but have yet to experience the pride, pressure, pomp, and circumstance of a Texas road game, your Longhorns Football Fan résumé is woefully incomplete.
Granted, procuring tickets to Longhorns games is never easy, especially for road games, but if fear of the unknown is your only reason for staying home when the ‘Horns hit the road, then prepare to run out of excuses because after the jump is everything you need to know to join the stampede in Laramie, Wyoming.
First off, while I've certainly done the research, I am by no means an expert when it comes to Laramie, Wyoming. The information below was collected about six months ago, so if anyone reading this has updated or additional information, please don't hesitate to comment below. Thank you.
Overview: Escaping the insufferable Texas heat may be reason alone to make the trip to Southeast Wyoming this September (Average High: 72 degrees). Though Cowboys fans are known for getting more than a little riled up when conference rivals Utah and BYU come to town, the locals will undoubtedly roll out the "welcome wagon" when the Longhorns arrive in Laramie.
Transportation: A few commercial carriers serve the airports that are closest to Laramie – located in Cheyenne and Fort Collins - but the most popular way to get there is to fly into Denver, rent a car, and make the scenic two to three hour drive via Route 287.
Lodging: Hotel options in Laramie are limited and most places will probably be booked solid long before the weekend of the game. Consider alternative accommodations in Cheyenne or Fort Collins.
Holiday Inn, 204 S. 30th Street, 307-721-9000, holidayinn.com
Hilton Garden Inn, 2229 E. Grand Ave., 307-745-5500, hiltongardeninn.com
Hampton Inn, 3715 E. Grand Ave., 307-742-0125, hamptoninn.com
[UPDATE]: I have it on good authority that all the hotels in or near Larmie are booked and have been for a while. Suggest trying Fort Collins or other locales in Northern Colorado.
Restaurants/Bars: When asked where the best place to eat in town was, a local responded, "Applebees." So there isn’t exactly a whole lot to write home about when it comes to dining out in Laramie, but there are a variety of eclectic restaurants and bars located near the intersection of E. Grand Avenue and S. 3rd Street and that is most likely where many of the visiting Longhorns fans will be found the night before and after the game.
Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, 320 S. 2nd St., 307-721-4031
Calvaryman Supper Club (Steakhouse, $$$), 4425 S. 3rd St., 307-745-5551
Lovejoy’s Bar & Grill, 101 E. Grand Ave., 307-745-0141
Library Sports Grille & Brewery, 1622 E. Grand Ave., 307-742-0500
The Cowboy Bar, S. 3rd St., 307-745-3585
Tailgating: Again, Cowboys fans have a reputation for drinking with the best of them, so Longhorns fans shouldn’t have any trouble fitting in. Tailgating is encouraged and parking lots open at 8 a.m. on game days, but only the lots located north of the stadium allow open containers (Lots AA, H, IPF, X, and Brown). For more details, check out the comprehensive "Visitors Guide" available at wyomingathletics.cstv.com. Also of note, the Rocky Mountain Texas Exes are hosting a tailgate and details can be found at: rmte.blogspot.com.
Tickets: War Memorial Stadium seats just over 30,000, but there is a possibility that temporary bleachers will be installed for the Texas game. If tickets can’t be secured through the University of Wyoming’s ticket office (800-922-9461, wyomingathletics.com), try acquiring tickets via online auction sites like eBay or Craig’s list. Scalping is legal near the stadium.
Gameday Traditions: Cowboy Joe IV, a small pony donated to the school by a local fan, is Wyoming’s 4th generation mascot. As the team takes the field, Cowboys fans sing the school’s fight song, Ragtime Cowboy Joe. And a photograph of a famous bucking horse named Steamboat, who was reared not far from Laramie in the early 1900’s, inspired the iconic emblem on the side of the players’ helmets.
Local Attractions: Locals rave about the Snowy Range Mountains located to the west of Laramie and encourage visitors to take the short drive out Highway 130 for the spectacular views. There’s also a dude ranch about 20 miles outside of Laramie called the Vee Bar Guest Ranch that offers horseback riding, fly fishing, and a buffet-style dining in the informal Western tradition (veebar.com) for those fans looking to extend the trip.