ACC Roadtrip Guide For NC College Football Fans

College football is finally here, and NCSharp has the definitive ACC road trip guide for the five best games involving North Carolina teams.

With two, maybe even three ACC teams looking like challengers for the College Football Playoff, there are some massive games on the ACC schedule this season.

Now, you could stock your fridge and plan some marathon couch time watching these games, but you could also gas up the car, truck, van or RV and hit the road to watch these matchups in person.

If you’re ambitious and want to make a road trip out of it, we’ve got the guide for you.

Here is our countdown of the Top Five Must-See ACC games in the 2023 season. AP rankings included.

Along with being a big year for ACC football, 2023 will mark a major year for the Tar Heel State as this is the final college football season before North Carolina sports betting goes live.

5. Notre Dame (10) vs. NC State

Date: Sept. 9
Location: Raleigh, Carter-Finley Stadium

The Fighting Irish roll into Raleigh fresh off Week 0 and Week 1 blowout victories over Navy and Tennessee State. This matchup will look nothing like the first two games for the Irish and Notre Dame fans as NC State will give them all that they can handle.

NC State will also taste a little blood in the water as Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman, a familiar face, returns to Carter-Finley Stadium. Last year when Hartman played for Wake Forest, he gouged the NC State defense for 397 passing yards but threw three interceptions, took four sacks and the L. NC State’s defense will test him again this year, and the Wolfpack fanbase will be ready to rock in their home opener.

Best food near the stadium

  • The Backyard Bistro is the closest bar and restaurant from Carter-Finley Stadium (a ten-minute walk) and serves excellent bar fare. Get the mac and cheese board. You won’t be sorry.
  • Raleighwood, located between Carter-Finley and PNC Arena, is a great food and beer option on the stadium grounds. You’ll find food trucks and entertainment options as soon as the gates open.

Best pregame activities

Join the Walk of Champions at the car park on the corner of Trinity Road and Peter Karmanos Jr. Drive at Stadium Gate B to see the Wolfpack team get off the bus joined by the band and cheerleaders. Fans line the path and you can join them to help rally the team into the stadium.

4. Miami vs. North Carolina (17)

Date: Oct. 14
Location: Chapel Hill, Keenan Memorial Stadium

This is a huge game for UNC, especially if they are still in CFP contention at this point in the season. A home win against the Hurricanes on a national stage could prove that North Carolina is a contender, and put Drake Maye squarely in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

October is also a beautiful time of year in Chapel Hill.

Best food near the stadium

  • Mels Commissary and Catering has a great sandwich menu and game day-style appetizers and is only 1.5 miles from the stadium.
  • Walt’s Grill is an excellent choice for southern comfort food less than a mile from the stadium.

Local attractions

  • North Carolina Botanical Gardens
  • The University of North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame
  • Chapel Hill Festifall Arts Markets

#3  NC State vs. Wake Forest

Date: Nov. 11
Location: Winstom-Salem, Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium

NC State versus Wake Forest is one of the ACC’s most intriguing in-state rivalries. While the two teams do not always have national relevance or even challenge for many ACC titles, they seem to always play exciting games. In their last ten matchups against one another, the series is 5-5, and the last three matchups have all been single-digit point differentials.

What to do on a Raleigh to Winston-Salem road trip

It is only about a 100-mile, one-and-a-half-hour trip. So, a day trip is possible, especially if this ends up being an afternoon game.

Eating at the famous Print Works Bistro in Greensboro is a fun experience. The wine list has over 75 options with a great seasonal cocktail menu; add that to an incredible French-inspired menu, and it will not disappoint you.

If you have young children, the Greensboro Children’s Museum is a great stop. The 37,000-square-foot facility is full of interactive activities and something for children of all ages.

2. Appalachian State vs. North Carolina (17)

When: Sept. 9

Location: Chapel Hill, Keenan Memorial Stadium

After Appalachian State upset UNC last year in Boone, the Tar Heels will no doubt be looking for some revenge this season. By today’s standards, UNC has a gauntlet of a non-conference schedule, with this being just one week after the Tar Heels play South Carolina.

Places to stop on a Boone to Chapel Hill road trip

A 162-mile road trip that quite a few Mountaineer fans will make is littered with places to eat, explore and have some fun.

If you need to stop a little over halfway to kill some time, check out Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem. The mall and surrounding areas have quite a few shops and restaurants to choose from. Everything from fast food to higher-end eats and places like Dave and Busters where you can eat and play. Plus, Hanes Mall is just off the highway, so it will only add a little extra travel time.

A short stop in Wilkesboro County is also a good call. There you can check out the historic NASCAR North Wilkesboro Speedway, visit Stone Mountain State Park or get some great photos at the scenic W. Kerr Scott Dam and reservoir.

1. North Carolina (17) vs. Clemson (25)

Date: Nov. 18
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson

The Tar Heels and the Tigers could have their biggest game ever this November. It is possible both teams come in with one loss or fewer, and this game could lead to either making the College Football Playoff. Not only that, it could be the type of game where Drake Maye cements his Heisman campaign.

Best food near the stadium

  • Sardi’s Den has some of the best ribs in South Carolina and is just 2.5 miles from the stadium.
  • Palmetto Smokehouse and Oyster Bar is only a half mile from the stadium and has an awesome everything South Carolina-themed menu.

Local attractions

  • Explore the Bob Campbell Geology Museum at Clemson (free admission)
  • Throw a few axes at Stump House Axe Throwing

North Carolina online sports betting coming in 2024

Before long, North Carolinians will be able to take advantage of the best college football betting sites in NC. Online sports betting is scheduled to launch in North Carolina sometime between Jan. 8 and June 14, 2024. The chance of a launch before this year’s national championship are slim, but when kickoff happens in 2024, online sports betting will be live.

About the Author

Caleb Tallman

Caleb Tallman is a Journalist working with NC Sharp and has been writing sports and sports gambling content since 2019. Caleb has also written for various other publications, mainly as a ghostwriter. With solid experience and a wealth of sports gambling knowledge, whether legal information or betting predictions, Caleb provides everything sports bettors could be looking for.