Florida Gators: Ultimate 5-Star Fan Guide to Gameday in Gainesville

by Dustin Schutte
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Outsider has teamed up with On3 to create the most in-depth Gameday guides.

UF Gameday GuidesRestaurants Bars | Activities | Tailgates | Parking | Watch Parties

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has earned a reputation as one of the most intimidating venues in college football. When Florida takes the field, “The Swamp,” comes to life, with 90,000 strong standing and cheering on the Gators. It’s truly one of the best stadiums in the SEC.

There’s more to Gainesville than just “The Swamp,” though. There’s plenty to eat, drink, see and do across this SEC college town. We talked with Nick de la Torre and Corey Bender of On3’s Gators Online to give you the most in-depth gameday guide during your trips to Gainesville. Whether you’re looking for the best restaurants, things to do or trying to find the best spot to tailgate, we’ve got you covered!

Map of Gainesville, FL

Are you a rare visitor or making a first-time trip to Gainesville on gameday? You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the area — especially around the downtown and University of Florida locations. A map should help you navigate throughout the city, making your adventure a little easier before you head to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to see the Gators in action.

Finding the Perfect Parking Spot

One of the biggest concerns on gameday in any SEC city is parking. That’s no different in Gainesville, especially with a spread-out campus and gameday road closures. The University of Florida makes life as easy as possible, providing fans with a parking map through the athletics’ website, as well as plenty of pointers. We’ve also provided some of the top locations to park your car — varying from single-game spots to season-long areas and park-and-ride options.

The Tailgate Scene

Who’s ready to break out the grill and start cooking up all the essential foods before a Gators game? Gainesville offers an awesome tailgate scene on gameday, one that provides fans with plenty of options! If you’re bringing an RV to campus, there are opportunities to start the party as early as 4 p.m. on the Friday before kickoff. There are ways to secure season-long tailgate spots, as well. Or, if you don’t want to deal with a lot of the hassle, REVELxp provides stress-free tailgate options. No matter how you enjoy tailgating, Gainesville has you covered.

Where to Eat & Drink

For those looking to enjoy the restaurant and bar scene of Gainesville, you’ve come to the perfect spot. Whether you’re making your way downtown, stopping at Celebration Pointe or looking for a good brewery, this college town has plenty to offer. Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille (a restaurant, bar AND museum) has become a pilgrimage for Gator fans. If you’re not heading to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, swing by First Magnitude Brewing Co. to watch the game on the projection screen while enjoying a few cold beers and grabbing some grub at a food truck on site.

Things to See & Do

There’s no question that the Gators take the spotlight in Gainesville on those fall Saturdays. A Florida football game is far from the only thing to do in town, though. You can visit Bo Diddley Plaza for a free concert, take a hike at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, check out the Cade Museum or paddle through Gainesville’s breweries. For gameday fun, you can check out the Heisman statues outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and see your favorite players during the Gator Walk.

Florida Gators Football Schedule 2022 Season

Sep. 3, 20227:00 PMHomeUtahGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Sep. 10, 20227:00 PMHomeKentuckyGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Sep. 17, 20227:30 PMHomeUSFGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Sep. 24, 20223:30 PMAwayTennesseeKnoxville, TN
Oct. 1, 202212:00 PMHomeEastern WashingtonGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Oct. 8, 2022TBAHomeMissouriGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Oct. 15, 2022TBAHomeLSUGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Oct. 29, 20223:30 PMNeutralGeorgiaJacksonville, FL
Nov. 5, 2022TBAAwayTexas A&MCollege Station, TX
Nov. 12, 2022TBAHomeSouth CarolinaGainesville, FL (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Nov. 19, 2022TBAAwayVanderbiltNashville, TN
Nov. 25, 20227:30 PMAwayFlorida StateTallahassee, FL