Visiting The Swamp for the first time, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by dmac17, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. dmac17
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    dmac17 New Member

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    First off; not here to troll, I need advice. Coming to Gainesville this weekend for the first time with a group of friends. I can't wait to see the town & Ben Hill Griffin. I've heard it's amazing! We plan on being there pretty much all day Saturday so we can take in as much of the Florida gameday experience as possible. So any recommendations y'all have for where to go during pregame, traditions we need to see or know about, sights to see on campus, or just anything at all that makes UF gamedays special or unique to you, would all be greatly appreciated. Definitely interested in Verizon Fan Zone & The Gator Walk, not sure if that last one is a good idea considering we'll be wearing the wrong colors, but I'd still like to see it. Also, where is a good place to go eat after the game? Preferably something you won't find anywhere else. Thanks in advance.

    Mods, feel free to move if I'm in the wrong forum.
  2. gatordavisl
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    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Gator Country. I hope you have an excellent time in the Swamp on Saturday (but not TOO excellent :wink:). One bit of advice is be very careful with open containers on/near campus. Keep it in a cup and stay off the sidewalks/streets. Hope you get to tailgator and hang with some of the best Gator fans. You won't have to try too hard to find 'em!
  3. gatorr4life
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    gatorr4life Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, cops will bust you quick with open containers. Don't make that mistake. If you want to go to a bar/ resteraunt, I'd go with gator city. It's got lots of room, food, beer/liquor, big screens every where and smoking is allowed. It's also within walking distance to the stadium. The rest of the bars on the strip are too crowded, IMO. The cons to gator city, it's a tad on the dirty side. But what college resteraunt/bar isn't? Lol

    If you want a nicer place, and still close to the stadium, "the swamp" is a good place. It's very close to gator city. Good food, clean, good service and you can sit outside and get beer from beer girls! Unfortunately, it gets pretty packed there.

    Can't stress the open container enough! Be careful...
  4. Speedofsand
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    Speedofsand New Member

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    Welcome to Swamp Gas dmac17. Open container even in a cup can be trouble if you are on campus. Here are some gameday links for you.

    Tenn. gameday guide

    Campus map

    Stadium gameday info


    Visitors often park near Univ Ave & 13th St.
    [​IMG]


    North side of Univ Ave is off campus. You should have no problem from Florida fans at Gator Walk. Its just the players getting off the bus and walking into the north end of the stadium. Personally I think coach should suggest to the players take their headphones off for 5 minutes while this is done.
    I don't have suggestions for places to eat, I take a grill and cooler and tailgator when I go. Take sunscreen and lots of water. Make sure you are in the stadium to see the team entrance and scoreboard video.
  5. fox
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    fox Well-Known Member

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    Make yourself a tee shirt that says, "I am Junior!" or "I Heart LULU!".
  6. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Well-Known Member

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    Dmac17, I recommend the Ichetucknee on a hot Saturday afternoon in the summer. :D

    Seriously, though, get to campus early, park for free, and avoid the gameday traffic. You'll be a welcome tailGATORer, but please don't Miami our campus by leaving scattered heaps of trash when you are done.

    The open container rules...er...enforcement is much different off-campus than on-campus. City-side: SWAT teams ambush tailGATORS and mercilessly beat fans (regardless of affiliation) who have ever known anybody to have even mentioned or thought about alcohol. Campus-side: officers appreciate getting invited for some grub and a quick game of beer pong; you get the smile and the "well, I shouldn't" followed by the pause and the "ok, just one game." Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration...regarding the campus police...but in general, as long as you are not causing problems and/or throwing your drinking in their face, you should be fine.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
  7. GatorCivil
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    GatorCivil VIP Member

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    For after the game grub, Ballyhoo's is an awesome seafood place between campus and I-75. It may take a little while to get a table on gameday, but when 100,000+ people all leave the game and tailgates at the same time everywhere will be backed up.

    It's one of the better local restaurants and a great place for fresh seafood while you're down in Florida, especially if you won't make it out to the coast while you're down here...
    (I'm assuming your coming from out of state, forgive me if I'm wrong)
  8. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay Well-Known Member

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    Hogan's for pressed subs.

    Check out Swamphead Brewery if you like beer.

    I never really go anymore, but Burrito Bros is a Gainesville staple

    Go to the GatorWalk. I don't think people will bother you.
  9. Rawpimple
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    Rawpimple Well-Known Member

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    College Gameday will be there so I recommend getting to the stadium at about 4:30 AM so you can get a good place. It will be on the north side of the stadium adjacent to University Ave. Don't miss it!
  10. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay Well-Known Member

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    http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/86903/

    They are going to North Dakota, not Gainesville.

    Not sure why they would pick our game anyway. That can't be the best/most interesting game of the week.
  11. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay Well-Known Member

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    I put Ballyhoo's as one of those over-rated places that is most popular for being featured on ESPN. I can think of 15 better places to eat. Definitely not worth the wait on GameDay.

    It's similar to Dreamland in Tuscaloosa. Was very disappointed when I got there. Had better BBQ in Arky and Columbia, SC.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Rawpimple
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    Rawpimple Well-Known Member

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    remember 4:30 AM. There will be loads of Gator fans there. Many bring breakfast and coffee for free so you wont have to worry about that. They treat opposing fans really well.
  13. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay Well-Known Member

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    Dude, that is messed up. They don't get there til 5:15. Why would you have him go there and wait like an idiot for 45 minutes...
  14. GatorCivil
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    GatorCivil VIP Member

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    Not disagreeing with you, but I always enjoyed it when I was a student. I could imagine the wait on gameday would be a disaster though.

    Funny you brought up Dreamland though, I think that's a very accurate comparison in terms of expectations vs. reality, but at the same time they're both a box to check on the away-game-to-do list.

    On another note, someone else posted a parking map earlier in the thread showing off/next-to-campus areas. If you want to walk around and enjoy the area (which it sounds like you do), those are just fine. If you want to set up your own tailgate at all, There are many free tailgating areas on campus where you can simply pull off into the grass, set up a tent and a grill, etc., but you have to get there very early to get a decent spot (probably 7:30 AM at the latest this week).
  15. dmac17
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    dmac17 New Member

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    4:30? Lol that's a little too early for a day I don't have to work, but thanks for the heads up. :D Y'all don't have to worry any about us pulling a Miami and trashing the place or getting drunk & causing any problems. From the way y'all talk it sounds like it's not that hostile unless someone is provoked. That's a good to hear the horror stories are just that, stories (that somebody probably blew up to be a big deal when it was nothing) I'll tell y'all one thing I really look forward to seeing; everybody singing Boys of Florida between the 3rd & 4th quarters. It sounds pretty impressive from what I'm heard and read.
    As for restaurants, so far we've got:
    Gator City
    The Swamp
    Ballyhoo's
    Swamphead Brewery (do they have food too, or is it just beer?)
    Burrito Bros
    Did I miss any?

    speaking of Columbia, SC & BBQ, Little Pigs is awesome!! We went there last year for the first time. Worth checking out if any of you ever go to a game over there.
    And yes GatorCivil, we're from out of state. 3 from Lawrence County, TN and one coming from Orlando that just moved there from Birmingham, AL in June.
  16. RealDeal
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    RealDeal New Member

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    if you need liquor, beer, there are tons of grocery stores within 5-10 minutes of campus (publix, walmart on archer road, publix on university / 34th st.) plus there is an ABC liquors a block away from campus on 13th st. and lots of smaller places selling beer, kegs, ... near campus on university
  17. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    Embers is excellent as well. It is expensive (think Ruth's Chris), but you get what you pay for. It is a Steakhouse, but if you want to go cheap order the Prime steak burger. It is about $12, being the cheapest thing on the menu, but it is the best burger I've ever had anywhere. It is worth every penny. It is one of Gainesville's best kept secrets in my opinion. Embers is top notch. Everything on the menu is fantastic.
  18. manigordo
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    manigordo Well-Known Member

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    The Swamp and the Copper Monkey are right by the stadium and will be packed, but they are both long time UF spots. A bit out of the way, but well-loved by Gator fans is Satchel's Pizza...a unique pizza spot.
  19. gottapanda
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    gottapanda Active Member

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    I agree with some others above that Ballyhoo's is overrated. It's nice enough for Gainesville but nothing special. Make sure you get breakfast at Ivey's. The service sucks but the food is good, especially if you've been doing some drinking the night before. Might be a good Sunday morning spot if you're staying after the game. Also, the newish place that's owned by the Indigo Girls is really good. I forget the name but it's at 43rd and 23rd. If you're in the mood for pizza, Leonardo's is solid and has awesome garlic rolls.
  20. ArtVandelay
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    ArtVandelay Well-Known Member

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