Welcome Race Fans to Gatornationals 2022 – Rev Up the Fun! Find Dining, Craft Beer and Things to Do in Gainesville and Alachua County

Rev-up the Fun! – If you are headed into Gainesville this week for a chance to see drag-racing history in the making, the following is what you need to know about dining, lodging and fun activities to make the most of your time.

Still looking for tickets to the main event, March 10 – 13, 2022?
Find your place at the starting line here.

NHRA Gatornationals Update: Suns Out, Cars Out! — As of early Saturday afternoon, the rain has stopped. The track is ready and races are back on. Wishing race fans a well-earned fun day at the Gainesville Raceway!

Great Dining Before and After the Races

“The Ocean” Farm Dinner Experience with Chef Charlie Keller of Covey Kitchen and Cocktails at Swallowtail Farm
Saturday, March 12, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Fuel up with delectable dining options will have your tastebuds (and your travel companions) thanking you for the inspiration.

Gainesville restaurants Satchel’s Pizza, Crane Ramen and Dragonfly Sushi were featured on CNN, and VegNews Magazine featured Gainesville “at the top of the list of the most veg-friendly cities in the country.” Down on Waldo Road, the original Sonny’s BBQ serves up pitmaster favorites since 1968.

Food and Wine magazine highlighted Madrina’s Cuban-inspired craft cocktails as part of a national trend, and Bon Appétit magazine featured local restaurants The Top and Afternoon for their delectable cuisine.
Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille puts Gainesville on the map with one of the state’s largest restaurants, featuring a memorabilia museum, farm-to-table ingredients and rooftop bar. Savor fresh menus in High Springs at The Great Outdoors Restaurant and the Pink Flamingo Diner.

Browse more restaurants online. Use the drop-down menu to search by cuisine and location.

Flights of beer served in a Florida license plate at First Magnitude Brewing Co

Raise a Glass to Racing and Friendship an Award-Winning Craft Brewery

Sample award-winning beers that have been recognized at the prestigious Best Florida Beer annual competition and the World Beer Cup. Click here and make a plan to visit to every local brewery.

Blackadder Brewing Company
618 NW 60th St., Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32607
View their tap list online at

Big Top Brewing Company
201 SE 2nd Ave. #101, Gainesville, FL 32601
See what’s on tap at

Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Click here to see what’s on tap at

First Magnitude Brewing Company
1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Visit to see the list of special releases and year-round beers.

High Springs Brewing Company
18562 NW 237th St., High Springs, FL 32643
Check their Facebook page for new beer releases, upcoming live music and events.

Swamp Head Brewery
3650 SW 42 Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Check their Facebook page for new beer releases, and upcoming events.

Craft Brewery Events This Weekend:

The Funky Miracle Band at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, March 11, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cool Off Indoors with a Little Browsing and Shopping

Butler Plaza and Butler Town Center
Explore 150 retail stores and over 50 dining options featuring nationally recognized brand names like REI, Anthropology, Cheesecake Factory in addition to local boutiques.
3597 SW 32nd Ct., Gainesville (15 miles from Gainesville Raceway
(352) 372-3581 |

bass pro shops

Celebration Pointe
A walkable destination for dining, shopping and
entertainment, featuring Bass Pro Shops, Tommy Hilfiger
and Nike, along with Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, Miller’s Ale
House and Dave & Buster’s.
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville (16 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 204-9008

Oaks Mall
Access to over 100 stores featuring favorite brands, including
major department stores, specialty shops and a food court.
6419 W Newberry Rd., Gainesville (15 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 331-0040

Thornebrook Village
Local boutiques and shops in a walkable, park-like setting. Find jewelry, fine chocolates, Gator wear, upcycled furniture and al fresco dining at Cintrón and Formaggio’s.
2441 NW 43rd St., Gainesville (12 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 378-4947

The Cade Museum

Cade Museum
Named after Dr. Robert Cade, one of the lead inventors of Gatorade, celebrate science, creativity and invention with dynamic and
interactive exhibits that are fun for kids and adults alike.
811 S Main St., Gainesville (9 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 371-8001
Thursday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Florida Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest
Find permanent and traveling exhibits plus the Butterfly Rainforest and Discovery Zone.
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville (13 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 846-2000
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Harn Museum of Art
Explore over 10,000 works of art, including Claude Monet’s Champ d’avoine and exhibitions including African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, photography, and one of the world’s most extensive collections of Florida art.
3259 Hull Rd., Gainesville (13 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 392-9826
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Closed Monday

Matheson History Museum
Browse permanent and temporary exhibits detailing Alachua County and Florida history. The museum is located in the heart of historic downtown Gainesville and adjacent to the 1867 Matheson House.
513 E University Ave., Gainesville (9 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 378-2280
Wednesday – Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy Evening Entertainment

32nd Annual International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Ceremony at Hilton University of Florida Conference Center
Thursday, March 10, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Museum Nights: Art Excursion at the Harn Museum of Art
Thursday, March 10, 6 p.m.

Shock Illusionist Dan Sperry: The Anti-Conjuror / The Freak Island Musical Sideshow at High Dive
Thursday, March 10, 8 p.m.

High-Energy Bluegrass with Boilin’ Oil at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, March 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunset Movie Series Featuring Encando at Depot Park
Saturday, March 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Activities and Events to Round Out Your Itinerary

kanapaha botanical gardens blooms and bamboo

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Explore Florida’s most diverse botanical garden, with 24 major collections accessible by paved pathways, including the state’s largest Bamboo Garden and the largest Herb Garden in the Southeast.
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville (17 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 372-4981
Monday – Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Closed Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – the earlier of 7 p.m. or dusk

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Visit over 250 individual animals from 70 species, including white-handed gibbons, lemurs, ocelots, bald eagles, Galapagos tortoises, otters and more.
3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville (15 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 395-5601
Open daily from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., last entry at 2:30 p.m.

Carson Springs Wildlife
Book a tour and see over 30 rare and endangered species in a 275-acre naturalistic environment.
8528 E CR 225, Gainesville (8 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 468-2827

Depot Park
Located in downtown Gainesville, Depot Park features wide open spaces, a splashpad and playground, eateries, the Cade Museum and connections to
the Gainesville-Hawthorne bike trail. This March, Depot Park is lit up with green lights and clovers.
874 SE 4 St., Gainesville (9 miles from Gainesville Raceway)
(352) 393-8510

High Springs Gateway to the Springs Mural

High Springs is the gateway to the Santa Fe River and freshwater springs. Did you know North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude freshwater springs in the United States? Plan your visit and make a splash into the springs.

Micanopy is the oldest inland town in Florida. The town turned 200 in 2021. If you enjoy historic towns with southern charm, you should spend some time in Micanopy. Click to plan a visit in the town that time forgot.

Make a trek through Alachua County. Hike through these Top 5 Family-Friendly and Dog-Friendly Trails.

Find plenty of attractions and things to do that are completely free. Bike or hike the 16-mile Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. See hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from the UF Bat Houses. Take a mural tour in Gainesville and High Springs. Bring your own kayak, canoe or paddleboard and take a relaxing trip down the Santa Fe River. Visit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, a.k.a. “The Swamp” and see where Gators Football plays. Click to find more free things to do in Gainesville and Alachua County.

Brunch with Bottomless Mimosas at Big Top Brewing Company
Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Pi Day Pie Contest at Blackadder Brewing Company
Saturday, March 12, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Events Around Town

Thirsty Thursday Free Beer Tasting at Crafty Bastards Restaurant and Pub
Thursday, March 10, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

florida ballpark

Gators Baseball vs. Seton Hall at Florida Ballpark
Friday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 13, 12 p.m.

Tioga Movie Night Featuring Encanto at Tioga Town Center
Friday, March 11, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Free Family-Friendly 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Saturday, March 12, 7:30 a.m.

Rim Ramble Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Sinkhole Guided Walk at Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Gators Softball vs. Mississippi State at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Saturday, March 12, 12 p.m.
Sunday, March 13, 4 p.m.
Monday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Gainesville Street Rods Car Cruz-In at Springhill Commons
Saturday, March 12, 5:30 p.m.

Gainesville Cars and Coffee at Butler Town Center
Sunday, March 13, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Find more things to do this weekend with our What’s Good weekly event guide.

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