Road Trips and Travel Tips
Getting to the Airport
It's a toss-up whether you want to take a door-to-door van to the airport, or drive yourself and park in a long-term parking lot. The long-term lots are hard to find and then you wait for the parking shuttle. On the other hand, there's that wait in the pre-dawn darkness while you wonder if the van driver will find your address; and on return, the wait in the van while he circles the airport looking for more passengers and the extra ride while he drops off other riders in strange neighborhoods before getting to your place.
Cost-wise for a 4-day trip for two people it's about a wash.
Of the vans, SuperShuttle is very professional. You can reserve online, and they provide an automated call to your cell-phone when the van is approaching your house. We've ridden South and East Bay a number of times without problems as well. If you're feeling flush, 101 Limousine will take you in solitary grandeur (not a shared ride) in a Lincoln town-car for about twice what a door-to-door van charges. (Look for cut-price coupons in local shopping papers.)
Airport Parking (updated Sep 2012)
ParkingReservations.com has a nice search that lets you find and book the best off-airport parking at (apparently) any US airport.
For SFO you can park in the airport-run long-term lot for $18/day, now payable with credit card or with FasTrak.
There are several other SFO options: local Anza Parking which offers an online coupon rate of $12/day, or multi-city Park and Fly (Select Oakland, San Francisco or San Jose in the dropdown menu), with comparable rates. Fasttrack Parking no longer serves SFO or SJC, only OAK.
At SJC, the airport-run long-term lot costs $15/day (unchanged for 2012, unlike all the others). Parking here has changed quite a lot since the inception of Terminal B; allow some extra time.
Use these sites to find flights and hotels.
|hipmunk.com||Our favorite flight-search site. Quickly enter your departure and destination airports and your dates. Instantly you get a clear, compact table showing when all flights depart and arrive. Click a flight for details or to book it.|
|Two great starting points: you enter your air travel information once; each returns links to a number of sites that offer the best fares.|
|southwest.com/||Southwest schedules and ticket sales must be accessed at the company site; they are not available from Expedia, Travelocity, or other aggregator sites.|
|seatguru.com/||When booking a flight, before you get to the seat-selection part, open this site in another window. Click on the airline and enter your flight number. Seat Guru shows you the seat map as that airline configures that type of plane, showing which seats to prefer and which to avoid.|
|us.lastminute.com/||For the bold and/or feckless traveller, buy bargain seats at the last minute.|
|booking.com/||The most comprehensive hotel search site, finds hotels in the most obscure towns worldwide and lets you book them directly.|
|Priceline.com||Bay Area Consumer's Checkbook found that Priceline produced hotel rates "lower than those available on other booking sites." Using the fairly complex "Name your own price" bidding process described in this article you can get a 4- or 5-star hotel stay well under $100/night.|
|tripadvisor.com/||Hotel price comparisons based on four other sites including Expedia and Travelocity; and user reviews of hotels.|
None planned as of 12 September. Let Eileen Roche know if you would like a booster bus to Santa Clara (11 Nov) or Davis (30 Nov). Presumably a Cal bus will run on 8 January.
This year there is no "travel committee" as such. If you want to help organize fan activities on one of these trips, write to The FBC and volunteer!
Below is some information about the logistics and local attractions for some away trips.
The Cardinal play in the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu the weekend before Thanksgiving. The scheduled games are:
- Friday 2:30: Stanford v. Baylor
- Friday 5:00: Tennessee-Martin v. Hawaii
- Friday 7:30: Men's basketball, Hawaii v. Illinois
- Saturday 4:30: Tennessee-Martin v Baylor
- Saturday 7:00: Stanford v. Hawaii
- Sunday 2:30: Baylor v. Hawaii
- Sunday 5:00: Stanford v. Tennessee-Martin
There are many nonstop flights to HNL from SFO, OAK, and SJC for $400 round-trip, give or take. To see all the Stanford games you need to go on Thursday 15 Nov. and return on Monday 19 Nov.
TicketsTickets should not be difficult to get at the site; the Stan Sheriff Center is huge. You can now purchase advance tickets for each of the three days at this site. Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday events are inexpensive ($7) and general-admission. The Friday event is billed as a "triple-header" with the two women's games and a men's game on one ticket. The site doesn't seem to want to sell a triple-header ticket, but you can buy a ticket for the evening men's game.
Things to do
Honolulu is a major tourist destination with lots to do. The schedule of games leaves you with most of Saturday and Sunday morning for sightseeing. If you've not been there in recent years you might want to take a package tour; here are some vendors:
- Discover Hawaii has a variety including a Segway tour of downtown.
- Hawaii Active has a tour of Pearl Harbor including the Arizona memorial and battleship USS Missouri; seven hours long but should end in time for the Saturday games.
- All Hawaii Tours has more tours including a sunrise hike to Diamond Head.
You needn't take a package tour; if you have a car you can hit one or more of the highlights on your own:
- The Bishop Museum for Hawaiian and Polynesian history.
- There are three attractions accessed from the Pearl Harbor visitor center, the Battleship Arizona memorial, the Battleship Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum with WWII aircraft in their original Ford Field hangars.
- The National Memorial Cemetery is on a hilltop with a great view over the city.
- Sea Life Park has a splashy dolphin show and penguins.
- Foster Botanical Garden has acres of tropical plants, an orchid house and a butterfly garden. The Wahiawa Botanical Garden, somewhat further out of town, emphasizes its collection of native Hawaiian plants.
- The Polynesian Cultural Center is a multi-acre exhibit of the life styles of all the Pacific Islands.
- Iolani Palace is a restored grand house.
- Diamond Head Crater is green bowl overlooking the city and the ocean.
- The Honolulu Zoo, André says, has "Amazing birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians surrounded by beautiful gardens."
Part of every visit to Hawaii should be the purchase of a good quality Aloha shirt by Reyn Spooner or Tori Richard, and you can't do better than shop at Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts.
There are lots of decent restaurants in Honolulu. The schedule of games means that you will be dining "fashionably late" on Friday and Sunday. Saturday Stanford plays at 7pm so, if you can bear to miss Tennessee-Martin v. Baylor, get a meal in early. FBC member André highly recommends Ono Hawaiian Foods: "Kalua Pig, Laulau, Lomi Salmon, Poi, and lots of other delicious dishes. The staff loves to explain the foods to you, so don't be shy. This place is tiny and world renowned. Plan to wait."
For more, here is a link to Yelp's highest-rated Honolulu restaurants.
Info later... Booster Bus?
The Cardinal make a one-game trip to Spokane to play Gonzaga on a Sunday afternoon. Flight logistics and tickets are both an issue.
Getting There and Back
You could actually do this trip in one day. Alaska will take you from SFO, or from SJC, to GEG (Spokane's airport code) via Seattle, arriving at 11am. Take a cab straight to the campus. After the game, cab back to Spokane's pleasantly small airport to catch the Alaska departure for Seattle at 6:30.
The McCarthey Athletic Center seats 6,000 for basketball, so, a bit smaller than Maples, and for
this game might well sell outLate news from Wally Mersereau: as of 1 November there are no single-game tickets available below the top seven rows and the game will sell out. Advance purchase is a good idea essential, and the sooner the better!. The Gonzaga website (updated link) now has the event. However, calling them at 1-800-325-SEAT (7328) is probably best.
Just in time for Christmas, a trip to the Southeast. The Cardinal visit Columbia, SC for a Wednesday evening game, then go on to Knoxville TN for a Saturday afternoon game.
The SC Lady Gamecocks run about 3,100 average attendance, meaning tickets are likely to be available at the door, although the better seats may be filled ahead. The online purchase page is live now (6 Nov), or call them at 1-800-472-3267.
Tennessee fills most of the orange seats in its big arena for every game so buying ahead at the Online ticket page is recommended.
The Cardinal open the PAC-12 season on the road with a Friday night game at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a Sunday afternoon game at UU, Salt Lake City.
Getting to Boulder is easy-peasy; it is less than an hour by car from that massive hub, Denver International Airport. Frontier and United have several nonstops out of SFO and United out of SJC that get to DEN in plenty of time to drive to Boulder for the 8pm game. (This being Friday afternoon in a major urban center, one might allow extra time; still, the United flight from SFO arriving at 4:15, or the one from SJC arriving at 2:50, should be fine.)
From Denver to Salt Lake is also easy; Delta, Frontier and United all have nonstops all day Saturday. But an intriguing option is that one could take Amtrak. It's a longer journey, 8am to 11pm, but it is the cheapest option by far and the scenery might be good.
For the return flight, Delta has a nonstop SLC-SJC departing 9:45pm on the Sunday, and United a 7:12pm nonstop to SFO. And there's an Amtrak Salt Lake to Emeryville departing at 11:30pm. It doesn't get in until Monday 4:30pm, but again, way cheap.
The Buffaloes average less than 3,000, and the Utes less than 1,000, attendance, each in a large arena, so plan on buying at the door.
Stanford plays Cal at Haas Pavilion on Tuesday and then at Maples on Sunday.
The traditional Booster Bus for the Tuesday game is scheduled and you can sign up now.
The bus ride fare includes a general admission ticket. Those who've been in Haas pavilion remember that G.A. seats are not particularly good. If you'd rather have a reserved seat somewhere near the visitor bench, you need to buy it from Cal. The Cal online sales page does not list the Stanford game as of 30 October. You should probably call them at 1-800-462-3277 every monday until they finally release the tickets. You want seats in section 1, behind the visitor bench, or section 17, across from it, if possible.
The Oregon game in Eugene is on Friday evening at 6pm (television). The OSU game in Corvallis on Sunday at 2pm. The flight logistics are tight but doable with good weather. There are morning flights Friday to PDX from SFO and SJC. Better, there are Sunday evening return flights. It's a two-hour drive on a Sunday night from Corvallis to PDX, giving just about enough time to catch the 8:10pm Alaska or 8:20pm Southwest flight from PDX to SJC; rather less than enough to catch the United's 7:20 departure to SFO.
If you have the time to drive from Palo Alto, the itinerary would be:
- Thursday drive 5 1/2 hours to Ashland, OR (many good motels and restaurants);
- Friday morning drive another 4 hours to Eugene; check into hotel; rest;
- See game at the Knight Center.
- Saturday at liberty in Eugene;
- Sunday drive to Corvallis for brunch; then the 2pm game. Afterward, drive 5 hours south on I-5 to Ashland (plenty of motels, no need to prebook even for this late arrival);
- Monday have breakfast in Ashland, complete the drive home.
Fan Plans - Eugene
Once again, Oregon fans and the Eugene Stanford Alumni will host a pre-game meal. The time: 4pm. The place: The Bridge Bar and Grill, directly across the street from Knight Arena. No reservations necessary, just show up in Stanford gear.
Also, we will pre-purchase a block of seats so we can get a bunch of red shirts in the general vicinity of the bench. The price is $11/seat.
PLEASE TELL US NOW HOW MANY SEATS YOU WILL WANT: email travel (at) stanfordfbc.org !
No orders will be taken after the USC game of Sunday 1/20.
Tickets will be delivered and money collected at the the pregame dinner.
Fan Plans - Corvallis
Ed and Mary Jennings, long-time fans, own a home in Corvallis and have invited everybody to stop by Sunday morning from 11am to 1pm for a light brunch and chat. Their house is just minutes from Gill Coliseum:
Click on "View Larger Map" above to get a nice printable map with the address on it.
You can order Beaver tickets at their Online Store or purchase at the arena. Note that Sections C and D are back of the visitor's bench, and are sold out as of 1/15.
Where to Stay
It makes sense to stay Friday and Saturday nights in Eugene, a town with more attractions than Corvallis. Here is a map of hotels near the Knight Center.Inn at Fifth, a new "boutique" hotel, and just around the corner from it, the Hilton, a large business person's hotel.
Things to do, places to eat
- Via Magazine's articles on Eugene (2009), on Corvallis (2003), and a head-to-head comparison between the two towns (2010).
- The local paper's "Best of Eugene" listing for 2012 may be of interest.
- Tours of U of O Campus, including such amazing landmarks as the fraternity house featured in the movie "Animal House."
- University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
- Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon.
- Scenic day trip driving to Coos Bay/North Bend.
This year the Cardinal play USC at 8pm Friday Feb 15 and UCLA on Sunday afternoon at 12:30. Flight planning should not be difficult; there are plenty of flights Friday afternoon and Sunday evening to all local airports.
Allow time for an early arrival at the Sunday game because it will be held in the new Pauley Pavilion (click for a UCLA press release with pictures). Cut your brunch short and get to the place by 11:30 so you have time to poke around.
Things to Do
The following are some things that FBC members have enjoyed on previous trips to LA.
- The Getty has lots of fine art in a stunning setting. On a clear spring day, great views of downtown. Room to wander and sit, and a nice cafeteria.
- The Huntington has even more, and more varied exhibitions than the Getty, and a vast garden. Nice cafe and tea room.
- Hancock Park, including the La Brea tar pits, the Page Museum in which the Tar Pit discoveries are displayed and explained, and right next door, the massive L.A. County Museum of Art. Just north of Hancock Park at 419 N. Fairfax is Canter's Deli, hit it for a pastrami, blini or an egg cream.
- The Norton Simon in Pasadena is another world-class art museum. On the way back, for something completely different, stop at the Soda Pop Stop, with 450 kinds of sodas and sarsaparillas and 500 kinds of bottled beer.
- The Skirball Center is a Jewish cultural center and a world-class museum.
- Gamble House is a magnificent turn-of-the-century villa, designed and stuffed full of furniture by Greene and Greene.
- Los Angeles: there is a "there" there, and you can find it on a walking tour led by the Los Angeles Conservancy. The docent-led tours are mostly on Saturday, or get one of their self-guided tours for use on another day.
- Disneyland! 'nuff said!
- Descanso Gardens, not as vast a garden as the Huntington but just as big a variety of plants and lots of places to sit and meditate.
- Is the Universal Studios Tour corny and kitschy? You betcha, and we loved it!
- For birders, Bolsa Chica ecological preserve in Huntington Beach has a great variety of shore birds visible from an easy walking trail.
- Not enough gardens? Here's a list of great LA gardens with eight more besides the Descanso and Huntington.
The Cardinal plays in Seattle on Thursday night in Seattle and in Pullman on Saturday noon (not Friday/Sunday as with the other weekends away). There is a 6:30pm Saturday flight from Spokane to SEA, from which you can get evening flights to SFO or SJC.
See the next topic for Seattle attractions.
Spokane is not the home of the Washington State Cougars, but it is where the team and visiting fans usually stay. Downtown Spokane has supposedly become more interesting in the recent years with much renovation and the completion of the River Park Square mall (caution, slow-loading flash-based site). The historic Fox Theater is a renovated performance venue (click for schedule), which now houses the Spokane Symphony.
The Riverfront Park (which features "one of the best outdoor skating rinks in the nation"), the Riverside State Park and the Spokane River Centennial Trail are all either in or very close to Spokane and offer plenty of possibilities for hiking or biking—weather permitting.
It is about a 2 hour drive from Spokane to Pullman, where the Cougars lurk (keep that in mind when booking your return flight). Check the official WSU Campus Map.
In a welcome change, the tournament is at Key Arena in Seattle. Seattle is easy to get to, with many flights by many carriers; and a wide range of hotels. Key arena is in the Seattle Center with plenty of parking and the monorail for access from downtown.
A post on the Travel Blog outlines the schedule, the location, and contains links to nearby hotels.
are now available from were available but are now sold out at
the Stanford Ticket site.
The PAC-12 is making general-admission seats available on a "flex plan": $32 gets you four vouchers that can be used for GA seating in any of the four sessions. The general admission seats include the areas directly behind the baskets as well as the usual corner and rafter seats. Click here to view the seating chart and purchase.
Things to do
Seattle is famous for its coffee, and that does not mean just Starbucks. There are indeed many Starbuckets, but there are also many local coffee shops and cafes where you can escape the rain. Check this coffee fan's list of Coffee Shops I Can't Stay Away From.
To properly lounge at a coffee house you need a book, and the Elliot Bay Book Company at 101 South Main rivals Powell's Books in Portland, a great browsing bookstore (with a just-OK coffee shop in the basement).
If you have the time, it might also be worth visiting the famous Pike Place Market, which is consistently rated as one of the best places to shop for food in the US. Close by is the Olympic Sculpture Park, an outdoor wing of the Seattle Art Museum.
First and second rounds at Maples Pavilion once again; buy your tickets now!
Order from the Stanford ticket office on Tuesday, 26 March.
The Final Four is in New Orleans, LA.
Order from Stanford ticket office on Wednesday, 3 April/
Things to do