BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — After a year without fans in the stands at most NFL stadiums, Bills fans are itching to root on their favorite team in person. With the release of the 2021 NFL schedule on Wednesday, we break down the best road trips to make for Bills fans this upcoming season.
8) Sunday, Nov. 14 @ New York Jets
Unless you're in the mood for grabbing a slice from your favorite New York pizza joint, this is probably the least exciting trip on the schedule in 2021. There's nothing wrong with a road trip down the 90 to visit the city, it's just not as exciting as some of the other trips on the schedule.
7) Sunday, Dec. 26 @ New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium is a cool spot to watch a football game and the Patriots very well could be a playoff team in 2021. Getting to Foxborough is a pretty painless drive but with the game scheduled the day after Christmas, this trip could throw a wrench into your holiday plans.
6) Sunday. Nov. 7 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Jacksonville, and I'm sure it's a great city. Any trip to Florida in November is nice, especially if we have one of those winters that start around Halloween. Trevor Lawrence was a beast at Clemson and it'll be fun to see how his game translates to the NFL. For my golf friends, Jacksonville is only about half an hour away from TPC Sawgrass, which would take this trip to a whole new level.
5) Sunday, Sept. 19 @ Miami Dolphins
If this game was later in the season, it may be higher on our list. Any trip to Miami is a good one, especially if you're escaping cold weather in WNY. The Dolphins will be good once again in 2021 and when you combine a competitive team with a fun city, you make for a great trip. If you plan on making the trip, Elbo Room in Fort Lauderdale is usually the place to be the Saturday before the game.
4) Sunday, Dec. 12 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Our run on Florida trips comes to an end with the defending Super Bowl champs. Before putting together this list, I assumed Tampa would be higher based on their recent success and the time of year this trip takes place. Don't get me wrong, this has the potential to be an elite trip, I just don't put it on the same level as some of the other cities in 2021.
3) Monday, Oct. 18 @ Tennessee Titans
One of my favorite trips while covering the Bills was the visit to Nashville in 2019. As someone who enjoys hot chicken and country music, the city lived up to the lofty expectations I had set.
Well, it’s clear to say, we, #Billsmafia, LITERALLY took over #Nashville! LETS GO BUFFALO!!! (There’s many more Bills fans in other lots tailgating, I mean, there’s thousands of us!) @gageazeez84 @SalSports @RobertBigman3 #Billsmafia pic.twitter.com/iX7YZjmfD2— Chris 🦬 // Mr. “I Love Ya’ll” (@ChrisOB413) October 6, 2019
Everyone thinks of Nashville as a party city, and it certainly is, but there are plenty of other cool things to do when you're not on Broadway. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is awesome and a must-see for fans of music. The downtown area is all walkable and you can bet there will be thousands of Buffalonians who make the trip.
But yeah, if you're going to Nashville, you're going to be spending some time on Broadway. Tootsies Orchid Lounge is incredible. You'll have fun at every bar on Broadway but seriously, go to Tootsies.
2) Sunday, Oct. 10 at Kansas City Chiefs
From a strictly football standpoint, this deserves the top spot on our list. The Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC and the Bills have a score to settle after the AFC Championship game earlier in the year. Arrowhead Stadium is an exceptional place to watch a game and the tailgating in Kansas City is some of the best in the NFL.
As far as the city is concerned, I was impressed during our first trip to KC in January. Downtown Kansas City has several awesome bars and restaurants that will be perfect for Bills fans, especially in early October.
If you're craving wings, look no further than Al's Bar and Grill in Parkville, which is about 20 minutes from downtown. Al is from Buffalo and serves up some wings that would go toe to toe with the top dogs in Western New York.
Al is from South Buffalo.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) January 22, 2021
He owns a sports bar in Kansas City that serves chicken wings and Labatt Blue.
He has plenty of friends in KC....but he wants this one, dammit #fanfeed #BillsMafia @WKBW pic.twitter.com/boOD9XveQb
So what about the barbecue? I tried both Q39 and Joe's and thought both were worth the hype. My colleague Hannah Buehler went into the kitchen at Q39 and saw what Chiefs coach Andy Reid orders when he comes in.
I can't promise a win from the Bills if you make the trip but I can promise you'll have some great food and the game-day atmosphere will be awesome.
1) Thursday, Nov. 25 at New Orleans Saints
To many, Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest party night of the year. Now imagine that, but on Bourbon Street, with the Bills on the schedule the next day. Sure, if you make the trip to New Orleans you'll have to pass on the Turkey Trot and Black Friday shopping at our local malls, but this trip will be worth it.
As with most of the cities on this list, New Orleans has plenty to offer when it comes to delicious food and entertainment. Everyone knows about Bourbon Street, but Magazine Street is a great spot for shopping, and St. Charles Avenue is where you'll find some of the most impressive homes you've ever seen.
When I went to New Orleans for the first time my friends insisted we visited some cemeteries. It sounded strange until I realized it's a very tourist thing to do. Ghost tours are also pretty popular in town if you're looking for something spooky.
But let's not kid ourselves, if you're making this trip, you're going to want to have some fun. Pat O'Brien's in the French Quarter is one of the most famous spots in town and they serve the iconic Hurricane, a delicious combination of rum and fruit punch.
New Orleans is awesome, and I can't imagine what it will be like with thousands of Bills fans running around. This takes the top spot on our list but every trip, if done right, can be a ton of fun. Only four months until football!