Plan for another Sunshine State trip for Iowa's bowl game

Ben Rodgers

t's back to Florida for the Hawkeyes.

The Iowa football team was invited to play the Tennessee Volunteers on Jan. 2 in the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville at EverBank Field.

The Hawkeyes took part in the Outback Bowl last year in Tampa Bay, Fla., losing 21-14 to another Southeastern Conference team in LSU.

Are you thinking of making another trip to the Sunshine State? Here's the skinny on the trip south:

BOWL PACKAGES: Tickets can be ordered on the University of Iowa Athletics website. Prices for tickets through the university varies, with main-level tickets costing $85 and box-level seats at $125. The University of Iowa Alumni Association is also offering a bowl package, but details were not immediately available. According to the TaxSlayer Bowl website, tickets can cost between $65 and $465, depending on seating.

MORE: Brown: Iowa's bowl under national radar, but big in program's scope | With Florida bowl bid comes clean slate (even at QB) for Iowa | Scouting Tennessee: Young, talented, on the rise

TRAVEL: Brace yourself. One round-trip plane ticket from Des Moines to Jacksonville, Fla., leaving on Jan. 1 and returning Jan. 3 could run fans between $663 to $743, according to Priceline. And don't think you can get tricky by flying to Orlando and making a two-hour drive north — plane tickets run in the same price range to the theme park mecca, too.

Those fans looking to drive are looking at an estimated 18-hour car excursion. From Des Moines to Jacksonville the trip is 1,245 miles. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, round-trip gas costs from Des Moines to Jacksonville are estimated at $410.

THINGS TO DO: Jacksonville may not hold the glitzy sway that some other Florida cities possess, but there's still plenty of entertainment available to occupy yourself for a few days.

Attractions include: The World Golf Hall of Fame; Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens; The Ritz Theatre and Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art; Beaches Town Center, a beachside shopping district; and 22 miles of open beaches.

WEATHER: For the second year in a row, Iowa fans could escape the cold to enjoy sub-tropic weather. During the month of January, Jacksonville sees an average high temperature of 65 degrees, with a low of 41 degrees.