by By the editors | October 13, 2022

18 Places You Must Visit When You’re in Gainesville

From game days to new games, here are our favorite spots in Gator Country.

Above, L-R: Century Tower, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Hippodrome Theater, University of Florida Bat Houses, Satchel’s Pizza; Illustration by Leslie Chalfont.
  1. HIPPODROME THEATER Heralded as the centerpiece of the city’s culture, the historic theater screens period films, hosts a strong season of plays, and houses a permanent art gallery. It is a gathering place for artists and aesthetes. 25 SE Second Place
  2. HIGH A hipster hotspot known for both its inventive vegan dishes and hearty burgers, making it popular with carnivores and vegetarians alike. 30 N. Main St.
  3. DEPOT PARK What was once a toxic rail yard has become the green center of Gainesville. Roller skate in the conservation area or channel your inner child at the water park. 874 SE Fourth Street.
  4. FIRST MAGNITUDE BREWING CO. Help save our springs with every sip at this downtown tap room, which serves everything from hazy IPAs to sweet and sour beers and has raised over $60,000 for the Florida Springs Institute. 1220 SE Veitch St.
  5. CADE MUSEUM Creativity is king in this museum designed to spark inspiration. Walk the Milky Way, meet the mothers of innovation, and quench your thirst for knowledge with the creator of Gatorade, the institution’s namesake. 811 Main Street S.
  6. HEARTWOOD SOUND SCENE This intimate listening room and recording studio is known for its acoustic perfection. From local folk groups to national artists, hear the music the way it was intended – up close and personal. 619 Main Street S.
  7. DRAGONFLY SUSHI Fish imported from Japan combine with the freshest local produce to create the best sushi and sashimi in the swamp. Don’t know what to order? Ride with the staff favorites menu. 201 SE Second Avenue Suite 104
  8. MADRINA’S No $2 PBR here. Escape the college crowd by stealing a stool at this intimate cocktail bar. Whether you’re ordering a classic or a crazy creation, these bartenders know the secret to perfect service. 9 W. University Avenue.
  9. BEN HILL GRIFFIN STADIUM Cheer on the all-weather orange and blue at the Sunshine State’s largest stadium. Remember, in Swamp Country, it’s always right over left. 157 Gale Lemerand Drive
  10. RAMEN CRANE Even die-hard ramen connoisseurs will be impressed by this downtown haunt serving homemade ramen in bowls as big as your head. Slurping is encouraged. 16 SW First Ave.
  11. WOOD GRILL WITH EMBERS This upscale steakhouse is all about the finer things in life, right down to beef hand-selected for its perfect marbling, decadent chocolate cookies and milk. 3545 SW 34th St. Suite A
  12. CONSERVATION OF LUBEE BATS Spend the afternoon with sky puppies at this facility that specializes in caring for endangered bats. Feed furry flyer kebabs, meet rare residents, and learn how this nonprofit is bringing bats back from the brink. 1309 NW 192nd Ave.
  13. CYM COFFEE CO. This quaint house with a sprawling porch is actually one of the most beloved cafes in town. Drop by for a specialty latte or curl up in an ottoman with a good book. 5404 NW Eighth Ave.
  14. FLORIDA NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Venture where the dinosaurs still roam and the Calusa still rule when you visit this small but mighty museum on the UF campus. Don’t skip the butterfly rainforest, where blue-spotted charaxes float freely. 3215 Hull Road
  15. THE SATCHEL PIZZA Both wacky and well-executed, this eclectic pizzeria has been serving up slices since 2003. Enjoy a pie on an airplane or surrounded by handmade stained glass windows by Satchel himself. 1800 NE 23rd Ave.
  16. PAYNE PRAIRIES RESERVE Encounter bison, encounter alligators, and reconnect with raw Florida at this sprawling state park. If you fancy spotting alligators, La Chua Trail and Bolen Bluff Trail are popular heavy hitting spots. 100 Savannah Blvd.
  17. SWAMP HEAD BREWERY Whether you go for a Stump Knocker lager or whet your whistle with a Wild Night Honey Creamer, the beers from this quintessentially Floridian watering hole are highly regarded and world class. 3650 SW 42nd Ave.
  18. KANAPAHA BOTANICAL GARDENS Huge Victoria water lilies, towering Chinese king bamboos and flowering Asian snake calla lilies flourish in these 68 acres of tropical flora. 4700 SW 58th Drive

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