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Score a Touchdown

With a Tour of West Point This Fall

The rich history of football will be on display this September when the University of Oklahoma Sooners travel to West Point to display their team skills against the Army Black Knights.  This should prove to be a wonderful fall adventure. 

Army’s football program began on Nov. 29, 1890, when Navy challenged the cadets to a game of the relatively new sport. The University of Oklahoma’s football debut was September 1895, when the team was organized by John A. Harts, a student from Winfield, Kansas. These were the beginnings of a long tradition and history for both teams.  

In 1899, an officer at West Point decided that the football team needed a mascot to counter the Navy Goat, so he chose the Army Mules to serve as the team mascot. When Boomer and Sooner Oklahoma’s costumed team mascots arrive at West Point, they will be met by the Army Mules. Now isn’t that an interesting concept?

The fall season at West Point can be an array of magical fall colors to chilly days and nights, just like Norman, Oklahoma. Sooner Nation football fans are looking forward to visiting West Point when OU plays Army this September regardless of the weather. Michie Stadium at West Point only accommodates 38,000 fans. Now is the perfect time to plan your trip to the OU Sooners Game at West Point.

One way to go to the game is to fly into New York City, spend a few days in the Big Apple, then take the ferry up to West Point on game day. For those of you who have been to New York City and really don’t want to go there again, I have fantastic tour suggestion. On Thursday you could take a chartered non-stop flight into Newark, New Jersey, a less hectic airport than JFK or LaGuardia, where you will be met and board a touring coach to Pearl River, New York. Pearl River, located in Rockland County, is known as one of the best places to live in New York. Pearl River is only 40 minutes to West Point.

A three-night stay at The Hilton Pearl River Hotel will be your pivoting point for the tours and game. On Friday, plan on an early departure to visit West Point before the OU Army game on Saturday for a private guided tour of West Point, which would include museums and the military cemetery. (You cannot tour West Point on game days!)

The area around West Point cannot be ignored. A visit and buffet lunch at the historic Thayer Hotel, seated on a hilltop with a commanding view of the Hudson River and the United States Military Academy, complete the visit to West Point. The Thayer Hotel has been a national treasure since opening in 1926. The hotel has been visited by past U. S. presidents and international leaders. Here you will discover a blend of over 200 years of military history.

To make the most of your time on Friday, there is still more to see and do. We would board the touring coaches traveling to Hyde Park to visit the Vanderbilt Museum, one of the region’s oldest Hudson River Estates. A one-hour tour should give you a visual taste of the life of the wealthy Vanderbilt family. The tour will have some walking and steps to maneuver. If you are not able to keep up with the tour, there are lovely waiting areas where you can still experience the museum. The Vanderbilt Mansion became a national landmark in 1940 and is now owned by the National Park Service.

To complete the day, enjoy a buffet dinner at the award-wining waterfront restaurant, Shadows on the Hudson, which is in Poughkeepsie, New York, not far from Hyde Park. Shadows on the Hudson is perched on a cliff 40 feet above the Hudson River. This restaurant will provide you with beautiful views as you dine and share the day with the rest of the travelers. A short drive back to the Hilton Pearl River will be relaxing after a full day of visiting this amazing area.

Game Day: Put on your game face and expect an early departure from the Hilton Pearl River for the game. We have been told, but it sure could change, that the game time will be noon. No matter what time the game is, you will arrive in plenty of time for the Army Golden Knights Paratrooper stadium landing display of talent and game kickoff.

Keep in mind everyone going to visit West Point and on Game Day will need to carry with them and have on their person valid proof of citizenship. If you are from Oklahoma, keep in mind the Real-ID act goes into effect in October. You will need to make sure your driver’s license has the Real ID Act Star imprinted on your driver’s license. 

As this fall football game at West Point concludes, the touring couches will be waiting to return you to Pearl River Hilton.

On Sunday, the tour comes to an end with the coaches returning you to Newark for your non-stop charter flight back to Oklahoma City.

The OU vs. Army football game tour can be customized for you by Bentley Hedges Travel Service. This year in September, Bentley Hedges Travel will celebrate 50 years in business. Our company has prepared many exceptional OU football game tours packages since the game package in New Orleans at the Tulane Stadium in 1974.

Bonnie Hedges is vice president of sales and marketing at Bentley Hedges Travel. For more information on this tour and others, call 237.3333.

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