Looking for an authentic college football experience? Gainesville is the place for you! Just a short hour to hour and a half drive from Jacksonville, you will find yourself smack dab in the middle of the quintessential college town. Drive into town on a Friday evening and you can find a plethora of restaurants. One of the areas that is conveniently located to the campus and features a variety of options is the Midtown area. Midtown holds a number of bars on the main street within walking distance to the campus and stadium.If you are looking for a great place to have dinner and drinks, I highly recommend The Social at Midtown. This festive, two story sports bar includes a dining area, rooftop bar, pool tables, and televisions for watching the games. At night a dance floor opens up on the lower level, this facility has everything for a night out! The menu features your classic bar food; burgers, wings, flatbreads and a full bar, all reasonably priced. Prices range from $5-$15 for these items. Plan to pay at least a $5 cover at most of the bars in this strip. If you are looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend the Sleep Inn & Suites University/Shands. This hotel is reasonably priced, starting at $84/night. Free breakfast is included with your stay. Other quality features include a cookout lunch served on game days and a free shuttle to the stadium with pick up after the game. Don’t forget to grab your clear bag to stow your belongings in. The stadium will not permit any covered bags for safety reasons inside. We learned that lesson the hard way, don’t forget the clear bag! Once you have been dropped off on campus from the shuttle, take some time to walk around and see the beautiful architecture of the University of Florida, one of Florida’s oldest colleges.
You may even have the chance to see the band practicing on campus before the game!
As kickoff time approaches, make your way to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. You’ll pass the midtown bars on your way there, feel free to grab a drink as you pass by! This stadium is huge, holding close to 92,000 people. Grab a snack once you’ve found your seat, sit back and enjoy the game! Go Gators!