Share with your friends!

Welcome to Gainesville, home of the University of Florida Gators! If you’re heading to town to catch a game at UF, here’s what you need to know about where to stay, eat, drink, and tailgate. First, a few stats:

  • SEC team: University of Florida Gators
  • Coach: Dan Mullen
  • Stadium name: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Fun fact: Florida’s longest active win streak against an SEC opponent is against the University of Kentucky.

SEC All-City Guide

Where to Stay in Gainesville

There are a wide variety of options for places to stay in Gainesville, ranging from traditional bed and breakfast to comfortably appointed modern spaces.

Sweetwater Branch Inn Gainesville Florida

Gainesville’s idyllic Sweetwater Branch Inn offers a selection of cozy guest rooms and cottages. Image: Sweetwater Branch Inn

Sweetwater Branch Inn

625 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 • (352) 373-6760

Complete with cozy cottages and homemade breakfast, Sweetwater Branch Inn is an idyllic spot to stay in Gainesville. Plus, it sits just a few blocks from the University of Florida.

AC Hotel Gainesville

151 NW 14th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32603 • (352) 792-1151

Located right in midtown, you’ll be able to hear the roar from the stadium from AC Hotel Gainesville — you’re that close to the scene! Inside your room, there are plenty of fantastic amenities to keep you comfortable.

Hilton University of Florida

1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32607 • (352) 371-3600

Hilton University of Florida is conveniently situated on the University of Florida campus and is just two miles from Ben Griffin Stadium. The hotel also boasts an outdoor pool.


Where to Eat & Drink in Gainesville

If you’re looking for a bite to eat ahead of the game or perhaps items to pick up for your tailgate (including adult beverages, of course), here are some of your best bets located near campus.

Flaco’s Cuban Bakery

200 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 • (352) 371-2000

You can’t be in Florida and miss the opportunity for good Cuban food. Flaco’s Cuban Bakery is the place to go in Gainesville for a good Cubano or fresh pastries.

Gator Beverage Inc.

1126 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 • (352) 336-6128

Stop by Gator Beverage Inc. for all your alcohol needs on game day.

Peach Valley Cafe

3275 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608 • (352) 376-1834

Peach Valley Cafe is a smaller establishment, and their (spicy) chicken and waffles with blueberry butter will really hit the spot on Sunday morning.

Satchel’s Pizza

1800 NE 23rd Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32609 • (352) 335-7272

A quirky pizzeria in downtown Gainesville, Satchel’s Pizza is extra fun, thanks to the atmosphere and unique food. They cater too if you want to bring some pizza to your tailgate!


Bars in Gainesville

If you’re in the market for a pre- or post-game drink, here are a few hotspots to check out — equally well-suited to celebrating or drowning your sorrows.

Beer and Wine Cheers

From arcades to taprooms, Gainesville nightlife has a little something for everyone.

Salty Dog Saloon

1712 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32603 • (352) 375-6969

Enjoy beer from around the globe at Salty Dog Saloon. The bar also offers daily happy hour specials from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


9 West University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 

Visit Madrina’s for your fix of delicious, creative cocktails. Be sure to stop in on a Sunday when they offer all-day happy hour specials.

The Arcade Plex

6 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 

Located in downtown Gainesville, The Arcade Plex is home to four local hotspots — Arcade Bar, The Dime, The Alley, and Pop-a-Top Corner Store.

The Bull

18 SW 1 Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 • (352) 672-6266

The Bull offers the ultimate bar experience with craft beer, wine, and live music. They offer light snacks in case you get hungry, too.


Where to Tailgate in Gainesville

You can play your luck and look for space in a parking lot to set up a tent. You can also reserve a spot so you know you’ll have some ground to set up your tailgate on game day — even if you’re a bit late. Check out Tailgate Guys, too, for your convenient tailgating needs. Purchase a package, and all you have to do is show up!

SB TIP: If you’re a former Gator, you can show up at Emerson Alumni Hall for a pregame tailgate with fellow alums. For more information, click HERE!


  • If you can get to the stadium early enough, park in one of the small lots behind Health Shands Cancer Hospital (1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608).
  • Sundresses are popular attire for women at the games.
  • Corn on the grill is a great tailgate food and popular at UF games.

Go Gators!



Subscribe to StyleBlueprint for a Life of Style + Substance!

Share with your friends!