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If you want to be tempted to plan a Seminole Getaway Weekend this fall – maybe with a beach day, round of golf or a redfish involved – you’re in the right place.

Many of our readers travel a long way to see their Seminoles play (and party with friends) and we know the cost of travel is a factor.

In this issue, we share findings on the price of travel, some of which may surprise you. Throughout the fall, will report on lodging-ticket packages and fun events – both indoor and outdoor – to help readers find experiences to make their visits to games more memorable and affordable. We hope to turn Seminole games into destination weekends. 

Let’s not kid ourselves, a good-looking team is the main draw and in this issue of Unconquered, you’ll find a number of articles on the site explaining why football is going to be better looking. But below, we’re going to focus on our travel findings to tickle your sense of adventure.

Flying into a home game

Would you believe a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville is $60 round trip? Crazy! How about Baltimore under $90? Round trip!

Jacksonville has attractive prices on round-trip flights from major Seminole markets, especially the Northeast and South Florida. So before you write off a getaway to Doak, check out the price into JAX.

And don’t sleep on flights to Tallahassee especially if you are travelling from the Mid or Far west. While the Capital City can’t touch JAX prices from SoFla or the Northeast, you may prefer to fly directly to TLH when the difference is less than $100 per person.

Many lodging options are available

There are good, better and best options depending on your budget, time and interest. We’ll start with the destination packages Seminole Boosters and the Osceola has organized for you on Panama City Beach and at St. James Bay Resort (see offers below). We also cover Tallahassee lodging options and fly-stay packages in Jacksonville.

Our goal is to offer affordable options to give you a reason to come home to Doak this fall.

Osceola Experience at St. James Bay

or Edgewater Beach & Golf Resorts

If you want to experience the beauty of the area, while enjoying a home football game, check out St. James Bay Resort, which is just an hour south of Doak on the Gulf of Mexico or Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort in beautiful Panama City Beach.

A two-bedroom condo at St. James Bay is $149 a night. If two couples travel together, the cost per couple drops to $75 each and there’s room for the kids on the couch and a kitchen to minimize the cost of a meal or two. If you rent a three-bedroom and split it three ways, the cost drops even more. Do the math when four friends come to play golf or fish and the cost per person per night drops to $37.505 per person per night.

Packages at Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort in Panama City Beach are similar when you consider you are getting a ticket to the game and transportation.

When considering Panama City Beach (ECP) you should know airfares are better if you fly in on a Thursday or Monday. Flights from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Nashville, for example, drop to $178 and allow you to enjoy extra round of golf or day at the beach.

The JAX Pack

Package a great flight into JAX with a hotel and a rental car. Your search engine offers vacation packages at the Marriott Sawgrass or on Amelia Island, great choices for the Boise State game or a three-day destination weekend. But if your focus is only Seminole football, select a convenient airport hotel or another affordable option on the way to Tallahassee.

For example, your search engine will show Marriott’s Aloft for $113. If you select it with two $90 airfares, your core travel costs including a rental car ($50) and a tank of gas are less than $500 for two. Add food and beverage and a pair of game tickets and you have an affordable football getaway.

Tallahassee has attractive options

Many want to get to Tallahassee in time to enjoy the lighting of the spear and to revel at the Friday Night Block Party.

Local hotel prices vary by game. Every room is $299 a night or less for the home opener with many rooms available for $149 or less. Prices rise above $300 a night for high demand games but you can still find properties at $149 or less
per night.

Some hotels are not requiring a two-night stay, especially those further from Doak, so try booking one night on your search engine.

Put your creative hat on – the garnet one with the gold FS – and visit Airbnb or VRBO where you will find hundreds of properties with something for everyone.

If you or the spouse demand privacy, you’ll find nice Midtown condos for $150 a night and homes for $200 to $250.

But you don’t have to stop there. Add more fun to your football weekend by packaging in a natural resource at the beach, on the flats or a river, and by enjoying the campus traditions on game day (see Osceola experience box below).

Where there’s a will there’s a way. We hope this article helps you find your way back home to have fun and to give your team a home field advantage.

See you at Doak!

Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort

Expansive views of the most beautiful beaches in the world packaged with the most beautiful stadium in college football. Edgewater offers a choice of Golf Villas and Beachfront condos, activities and amenities with golf course and beach views. Includes charter service to Doak Campbell Stadium and the choice of stadium or Dunlap Champions Club seats, which feature air-conditioned clubs, food and beverage with beer, wine and mixed drinks available for purchase.

1-Bedroom Golf Villa & 2 stadium seats $499

One-bedroom Golf Villa, two stadium seats (add $80 Miami).

2-Bedroom Beachfront & 4 stadium seats $789

Two-bedroom Golf Villa, four stadium seats (add $160 Miami).

1-Bedroom Golf Villa & 2 Dunlap Champions Club seats $729

One-bedroom Golf Villa, two club seats (add $110 Miami).

2-Bedroom Beachfront & 4 Dunlap Champions Club seats $1,249

Two-bedroom beachfront, four club seats (add $220 Miami).

(Add tax and parking fee.)

Reservations (877) 807-4830

St. James Bay Golf Resort

Nestled in the North Florida pines and along the Gulf Coast waters that shape the Panhandle’s famous Big Bend, St. James Bay Golf Club offers premier lodging in the heart of the Forgotten Coast, where the fishing is prime year-round and the championship golf course is the area’s only Audubon Signature Sanctuary.

Condominiums have vaulted ceilings, kitchen, laundry, and a view of the course. Crooked River Grill, which is on site, features the best in Southern and Coastal-inspired comfort food with a full-service bar.

3-bedroom Condominium (max of 8) $199

2-bedroom Condominium (max of 6) $149

Lodging includes: A welcome cocktail, 10 percent off breakfast, lunch and access to gym, pools, tennis courts and driving range. 

Optional: Round of golf with cart ($40) and game tickets (vary by game). Ask about arranging transportation to the games, fishing charters and water activities.

Reservations (850) 697-9606

[email protected]

Note: Prices as of 7/26/2019. Prices vary by weekend with savings on Thursday or Monday. Use your search engine to find a schedule to suit you and your budget. Flying Thursday or Monday also provides time to turn a football weekend into a destination experiences with a beach day, on the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, testing the new Seminole golf course or enjoying other leisure pursuits.

Osceola Experience outdoors

Fans can kayak in the morning, tailgate in the afternoon and have time for a night kickoff. (Photo by Mike McNamara)

Bend a rod with Captain Mike McNamara during redfish season on the pristine St. Marks saltwater flats. Ask about kayak and paddleboard trips on clear rivers or an eco or photo tour. Trek North Florida’s Piney Forests. Contact Mike at [email protected].

Osceola Experience tradition

Friday dusk: Lighting of the Spear on Langford Green across from University Center Club in South Endzone of Doak.

5-10 pm: Dinner, drinks and music on the Terrace of Doak Campbell Stadium overlooking Bobby Bowden Field. For UCC membership info call 850.644.8528.

5-10 pm: Friday Night Block Party on Madison in CollegeTown (see page 50).

5-10 pm: Dinner, drinks at Seminole Boosters’ upscale club “51 on Madison” in CollegeTown. Exclusively for Seminole Booster members. Reservations required. Call 850.241.7152.

Gameday: All festivities on east side of Doak near Dick Howser Stadium

2.5 hours prior to kick: Cheer the players as they walk from the busses to the lockerroom.

2 hours prior: Check out the Marching Chiefs “skull session” in Dick Howser Stadium.

1.5 hours prior: The Sod Talks at the Sod Cemetery, right outside Howser. Meet former players and listen to their tales of games past. Get a selfie and an autograph to treasure.

1 hour prior: See  Osceola’s Ceremonial garb and makeup applied (inside stadium under NE end zone).

15 minutes prior: Be in your seats to see the greatest tradition in college sports as Renegade rears and Osceola plants the flaming spear.