Duck fans visiting UF

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by Ducks, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Ducks
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    Ducks New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My wife and I are huge Oregon Ducks fans. We grew up loving Pac 10/12 and west coast football. We've wanted for a while to head to the South and see some amazing stadiums and meet passionate fans. We scheduled a trip this September to see FSU vs Nevada (BOOOO noles) and UF vs Tennessee the next weekend, with some Disney World in between. We're essentially going in blind, though -- neither of us has ever been to Florida let alone Gainesville. We're looking for some tips from the natives on how to have the best time while we are there. We'll get into Gainesville midday on Friday 9/20 and fly out Sunday 9/22 in the morning.

    What do you guys think we should do while we're there? Must see sights, must eat at restaurants? Anything s[ecial to do or look for in the Swamp? Tailgating? Basically what do we need to do to maximize our experience in Gainesville and at the game in our short time there?
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  2. No1GatorFreak
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    No1GatorFreak Active Member

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    Embers wood grill is an awesome Resturant off of 34th street in Gainesville. Try that for food. One of my best friends is part owner there so I'm biased but I assure you it will exceed expectations.
  3. gatordavisl
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    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

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    You and your wife are guaranteed a fantastic football experience. I'd love to see a game in Eugene. Prepare for a very hot and humid climate. Pretty sure that will be a 3:30 kickoff, so the game will begin during the hottest part of the day. Enjoy as many beverages as you wish, but also be sure to hydrate.

    Things to do: If you like college bars, hang out for a little while just northeast of the Swamp on University Avenue, particularly The Swamp and The Copper Monkey. Do this prior to the game/tailgatoring time. Good dinner eats include Leonardo's 706 (Italian and gourmet pizza) and Reggae Shack Cafe (Jamaican). Both are in the same approximate location on W University.

    Spend some time walking around campus, esp. along Museum Road at Lake Alice. There might be some alligators in the lake, though these days they only keep the smaller ones.

    Party a little bit downtown after the game, but know that things do not crank up until about midnight. I don't know which are the best bars any more, as that scene has changed a bit during the past few years.

    Oh, and here is a campus map.
  4. SeaBud
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    SeaBud Active Member

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    Sorry for the longish post, but I started getting fired up for the season! My take on a plan for a couple in their 40's:

    First, prepare yourself. It's gonna be hot and sticky. Not warm, not "I am perspiring a little", but sweat your ass off hot. That being said, here would be my schedule.

    - If you must go to Orlando, and visitors seem to think they must, do 1 or 2 days tops. It is fake, tourist Florida stuck in the no breeze zone. Go East (my preference) or west to the beaches. I'll leave west to another fan, but East takes you to Canaveral national seashore (beautiful beaches) and the Space Center visitor tour (surprisingly fun). Do an airboat ride thru the swamps (mornings or evenings) to see cool wildlife.
    - Golf, surfing/paddleboarding, fishing (offshore, coast and inland) - all great options and September is when fishing starts picking up. Beats any Disney ride for my money.
    - Gainesville - Friday night go to Paramount Grill for a nice meal/wine. Plenty of time for beer/wings tomorrow. Drive by the stadium to see it lit up, maybe around campus and go to a local bar downtown for drinks/fun. You sound a little older than students so you might try Lillian's Music store or the like.

    Saturday - Wear sunscreen. Walk the campus, tailgate (arrive before 9am to get a spot - maybe near the plaza of the Americas). Eat wings, drink beer, get fired up at what we called "The Purple porpoise" during lunch (not sure of the name now as it will always be the porpoise to me - on university across from the stadium). Maybe watch the gator walk around 3 hours before kickoff (team exits bus and enters stadium lined by crowd. Overrated to me because it is hot, crowded and interferes with my pregame preparation, but chance to see players - they are huge!).

    Game - Be inside before kickoff to hear "HEEEEERRRRRRREEEEE Come the Gators!". It is much louder than anything out west (if a good game). Been to many stadiums and only ones that compare are in the south (LSU, Clemson, Auburn). Student tickets require ID (warning) and are in direct sun - but man is the student section fun (rarely sit, deafening, scenery). Speaking of scenery, wear sunglasses for 2 reasons: sun and so you can see without being seen by your wife. Alumni side is shaded around 5pm with seats. Unfortunately, The Swamp is not what it used to be in terms of chaos/loudness/crowds, but you will have fun. Between the third and 4th quarters we all sing "We are the Boys." Look up the words online, wrap your sweaty arms around both neighbors, sway and sing!

    Post game - mock the vols. It will be 8 straight years (I think) and they enjoy it. OK - they may not enjoy it but they are used to it. Join in! Usually too hot to eat a ton but decent sushi in the plaza near the swamp, pizza/burgers/burritos (burrito brothers is an institution) everywhere. Go to a student bar that night to watch/participate in the pandemonium.

    Can't emphasize enough avoiding the fake world of touristy Orlando (unless you have small kids).
  5. danky1313
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    danky1313 Active Member

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    Save this thread Mr. Duck and let us know how you liked an SEC rivalry game in The Swamp! Hope you have a safe and fun trip!
  6. gatorr4life
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    gatorr4life Well-Known Member

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    Best place to go eat and have a beer on game day would be gator city. It's within walking distance to the stadium, lots of big screens, (plenty) of room, solid food (bar/resteraunt food) and people are friendly. Downside, it's not the cleanest. But given its pros, it's worth it. The rest of the bars are too small and packed beyond belief.

    If you want a nicer bar/resteraunt, and still close to the stadium, the swamp resteraunt is a solid spot. It's close to the stadium as well. It has out door seating and good food. It gets very packed though. But they have beer girls outside!

    If you want a dive bar, Salty Dog is the place. Very small, but LOTS of different types of beers. Food is nothing special. Serviceable, I would say.

    Quick note: DON'T walk down the road with an open container! They will bust you quick. Doesn't matter that its game day. Stick to solo cups, if you're going to venture around with a beverage. Even then, I would be careful.

    Make sure to check out the statues of Tebow, Spurrier and Danny on the side of the stadium. (I know you're not a gator fan, but still makes for a good picture) The O dome (basketball) is directly across from the statues. Pretty hard to miss.

    Lastly, wear blue shirts for that game.
  7. GatorSean
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    GatorSean Well-Known Member

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    They play football on the West coast?

    But if you're looking for passion, I'd skip f$u and try to work in a Bama, Auburn, or even a uga game. They're not that far from Tallahassee. If you're into high flying circuses though, f$u would be your top choice.
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  8. uflawyer
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    uflawyer Well-Known Member

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    Two Words: Burrito Brothers!

    Best fast Mexican Food in the world. It is a Gainesville Establishment. Is located in a Church courtyard just north of the Florida Bookstore on University Avenue. They are famous for their red sauce so make sure you get extra on the side. There are usually long lines around noon on game days so plan accordingly. If you get to town on Friday afternoon they used to leave the gate open to the Swamp and you could walk down on the field. I dont know if they still do that.
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  9. allanhovey
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    allanhovey Premium Member

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    I don't live in Gainesville, so I'm not sure, but I've heard the following:

    For Security reasons, the field is locked on Friday before Sat games. Other days there
    is always a gate open so you can go in and wander around. Not supposed to play
    any sort of games on the field.

    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Edit:

    OK, looked it up on UAA website.

    Is the football stadium open to the public?
    The stadium is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m via Gates 2, 6, 15 and 18. Gate 2 is open on the weekends. The public must stay off the field at all times. On football weekends, the stadium locks down on Thursday at 1 p.m. until Sunday at 7 a.m. The UAA reserves the right to close the stadium at anytime
  10. Gator4Peace
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    There's only a few good restaurants in G'ville. Dragonfly, KC Crave, Emilio's, are the only that stand out.

    Go to The Swamp, Salty Dog, Grog House, Balls, and Gator City to have a shot on game day. Any other type of drink makes you meander. Not enough time for that!

    Walk around campus before the game. There are people that will invite you to their tailgate because they are trying to have fun. Accept this invitation. It will be worth it!
  11. deathroll
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    deathroll Well-Known Member

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    As previously stated, it will be HOT! Apply sunscreen, wear a baseball cap and eat LOTS of Italian ices (lemon).

    Closed Saturday and Sunday but on Friday, visit the Heavener Center (football trophy room) and the Baughman Center (always empty, air conditioned, meditation center/building) on Lake Alice (alligators).

    Watch the bats fly off at dusk (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/bats/).

    Visit the Butterfly Rainforest (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/exhibits/always-on-display/butterfly-rainforest/); it's on campus and very nice. So is the Natural History Museum (adjacent).

    Treat yourselves to a VERY Southern restaurant. The Yearling is not in Gainesville but is just down the road a piece (http://www.yearlingrestaurant.net/). You'll like this.

    If you wanna do something kinda different, tube down Itchetucknee Springs (https://www.google.com/search?q=itc...Q&biw=1280&bih=666&sei=5BgQUqK1EKes2wWWxICwBQ)

    Please do not judge Southern football by the 11 halFSU fans that you'll find at their game (ACC).

    Marvel at TN folks inability to learn more than one song/cheer.

    If you want to see an Orlando theme park, go and enjoy. But once you've visited the park, leave Orlando; there's nothing in Orlando.
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  12. tilly
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    tilly Superhero Moderator VIP Member

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    Welcome! Enjoy your stay! Southern Fried Football is something to behold.
  13. gatordavisl
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    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

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    This is simply not true. There are many good restaurants. To name a few:

    Garlic and Ginger - (Korean) at corner of Archer and Tower Rd
    Liquid Ginger - (Asian fusion) downtown
    Emilianos - downtown - good tapas and wine specials
    Mark's Prime - downtown - one of the better steaks I've had
    Emilio's - agree with you here; the chef is a friend and he rocks it
    Satchel's Pizza - northeast- a G'ville institution
    La Tienda - 13th St - authentic Mexican (only authentic place in town to my knowledge)
    Leonardo's 706 at 706 W. University - not Leo's pizza at corner of 13th and university. This is a real restaurant with live jazz on Mondays and Thursdays

    Reggae Shack Cafe - across from Leo's 706 - try the oxtail; it's dangerous
    Bentos - locations on Archer and Newberry Rd; Asian, not the best, but very good for the $
    The Top - Main Street; uber beatnik joint with a good menu
    Blue Highway Pizza - Town of Tioga; delicious
    Gator Suyaki - Authentic Szechaun

    That's just scratching the surface. Having left G'ville one year ago, after spending 12 years in town, I miss the food options.

    I don't include Dragon Fly in the "good restaurant" category for G'ville. It's like the "wine cooler" of Asian food in G'ville.
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  14. deathroll
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    deathroll Well-Known Member

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    UF hosts Alabama in (women's) soccer on Friday night (the 20th) at 7 PM.
  15. deathroll
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    deathroll Well-Known Member

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  16. tilly
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    tilly Superhero Moderator VIP Member

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    Theres everything to do in Orlando.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tablet using Gator Country
  17. Tolbert1906
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    Tolbert1906 Active Member

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    Walk around the historic section of campus (except for the part on the NE corner of campus that they just tore up for construction of a new building). The area around the old dorms is pretty nice. The Plaza of the Americas is a pretty nice area.

    The walk down museum road along Lake Alice is nice. If you have small children, take them to the Butterfly Rainforest on campus. They'll like it.
  18. qwghlmgator
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    qwghlmgator Well-Known Member

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    Dizney's fine, but make sure you take some time to see the real Florida before it's gone.

    On your way East from Tallahassee to Orlando/Gainesville, head down I-10 to Exit 283 (U.S. 129) and the Suwannee Canoe Outpost for a leisurely trip on the famous Suwannee river. This beautiful river is dyed black from the tanins in the 500 year old oaks that line its banks, and was just named by Canoe & Kayak Magazine as one of the best paddles in the world. The Outpost will rent you a canoe, then take you up river and drop you off for a easy one-way downriver paddle through primeval upland oak forest and haunting limestone grottos.

    suwanneeoutpost.com/

    Then just north of Gainesville, try tubing down the beautiful, spring-fed Ichetucknee River (in the Ichetucknee Springs State Park). Crystal clear and 72 degrees year round, see this natural wonder before it's gone. Just make sure you get there between 7 and 8 to claim a spot, as only a limited number of people are allowed on this fragile gem each day. Allow three - four hours for the float.

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/ichetuckneesprings/

    If you're history buffs and want to check out a real Civil War battlefield, head to the Olustee Battlefield State Park (halfway between Gainesville and Jacksonville) to the site of the only real Civil War battle fought in the state of Florida.

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/olusteebattlefield/

    And of course, don't forget St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Its Old City is a fantastic place to spend a day shopping and marveling at the history (including majestic Castillo De San Marcos) of Spain's first settlement in North America. While there you can check out Anastasia State Park to get a feel for what Florida's beautiful beaches were like at the time of Ponce De Leon...

    http://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/
    http://www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia/

    And then there's golf in Ponte Vedra at the World Golf Village, home of the PGA... :grin:
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  19. gatorr4life
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    gatorr4life Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I was going to post this earlier, but was feeling lazy and didn't want to type it all up. Though I disagree with you on dragon fly. LOVE that place.

    Reggae shaq is the bomb, by the way! Good call
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  20. g8rgrad07
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    g8rgrad07 New Member

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    I agree with the above post about tubing. It is such a relaxing experience. In addition to Ichetucknee River, there is also Ginnie Springs just north of Gainesville as well. If you're going to venture up just north of Gainesville, you could stop in Alachua for some good food at Conestoga's. That restaurant may have the best burger I've ever had, and at least in the top 3.

    Also, I'm heading to Portland in about a month and hoping to travel around Oregon. I know one thing I want to experience is Mt. Hood and I'm hoping to make it down to Eugene for a football game. Do you have any other suggestions for must-see places in Oregon. I'm so excited and I've heard Oregon is such a beautiful place.

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