Welcome Race Fans to NHRA Gatornationals 2024 – 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, here’s everything you need to know for your weekend at the races.

Still looking for tickets to the main event, March 7 – 10, 2024?
Find your place at the starting line here.


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

Covey Kitchen and Cocktails offers American classics and dishes with global influences with a chef-driven seasonal menu.

black and white photo of original sonnys bbq location with sonny tillman

Close to the race track on Waldo Road, the original Sonny’s BBQ serves up pitmaster favorites since 1968. You’ll also find the iconic Satchel’s Pizza – just look for the 1965 Ford Falcon Van and enjoy a menu of tasty pies, salads and homemade sodas. Sublime Tacos serves up tacos, burritos, bowls and nachos.

satchels pizza slices

In downtown Gainesville, find New American at The Top, Japanese fusion at Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company, unique sandwiches with bold flavors at The Paper Bag Deli and Venuzuelan flavors at Tinker Latin Food. At 4th Ave Food Park find a variety of menus including Detroit style pizza at Satch Squared, housemade sausage and small plates at Fehrenbacher’s Meats and Eats, buttery baked goods at Baker Baker and beverages that hit the spot at Opus Coffee located in a converted Airstream.

spurriers bull gator room

Part sports museum, part restaurant, Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille offers an elevated menu with a great atmosphere and rooftop bar named after Steve Spurrier’s signature headwear, Visors.

Savor fresh menus in High Springs at The Great Outdoors Restaurant and the Pink Flamingo Diner. Find espresso and sweet treats at Colsie Coffee. In Micanopy, grab a slice at Blue Highway Pizzeria, BBQ with all the fixin’s at Pearl Country Store and locally roasted coffee or freshly baked sourdough at Mosswood Farm Store and Bakehouse.

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


After the races, raise a glass to racing and friendship at a brewery taproom.

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

Award-winning craft breweries are part of the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail.

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

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

Daft Cow Brewery
13800 Tech City Cir., Alachua, FL 32615
Click to see upcoming events, food trucks and tap list

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:
Blossom, Brew and BBQ: Gainesville Garden Club Celebrates 100 Years at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Pi Day Pie Contest at Blackadder Brewing Company
Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Classic Rock with 8 Track Revival at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Retro Fashion and Art at The Florida Vintage Market at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Sunday, March 10, 12 p.m.

Blossom, Brew and BBQ with Gainesville Garden Club at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.


Brecky Breck Books and Bike Tour: BMX Clinic for Kids 5 and Under at High Springs BMX
Wednesday, March 6, 6:30 p.m.

Tequila Comisario Tasting with NHRA Driver Camrie Caruso at Covey Kitchen and Cocktails
Thursday, March 7, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., RSVP required

Premier Screening of “Shirley,” the Documentary About the Legendary Shirley Muldowney at Hilton University of Florida Conference Center
Friday, March 8, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Country with Nick Shoulders at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, March 8, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Ultimate RUSH Tribute with Apex at High Dive
Friday, March 8, 8 p.m.

Gainesville Circus Center Presents Dusty’s Ragtime Circus at UF Performing Arts Center
Friday, March 8, 7 p.m., Saturday, March 9, 7 p.m.

Gainesville Cars and Coffee at Ford’s Garage
Sunday, March 10, 9 a.m.

The Gainesville Guitar Festival at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday, March 10, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.


Browse national brands and local boutiques.

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, Ford’s Garage 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


Cool-off indoors and make discoveries with unique museum experiences.

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 – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 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, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Plant To See Top Attractions


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. 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.

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