What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, August 20-26, 2020

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This weekend, grab your co-pilot and enjoy an off-the-beaten path driving cell phone tour of the Old Florida Heritage Highway. Exploring new places via a scenic car trip may just be the perfect activity during these uncertain times. Satisfy your wanderlust by exploring inspiring vistas and historic sites, all from the air-conditioned and socially distanced comfort of your car.

Best of all, the What’s Good guide has you covered with a mapcell phone tour audioinsider tips on where to eat and the perfect places for your Insta-worthy shotsPeep the accompanying blog here.

You can also plan an “axe-citing” afternoon at Gainesville’s first and newly opened axe-throwing bar, The Hatchetbury, or celebrate Cypress and Grove’s third anniversary and sample three new, limited-release craft beers.

We are proud to live in this mindful, resourceful and resilient community, and to share with you all that we have to offer – What’s Good.

Wear your mask and stay at safe physical distances while you enjoy the most of each day.Please adhere to public safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Be safe and be well,– Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County 

The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

Safety First. Be Informed About COVID19

In Alachua County, certain types of businesses require masks. Masks or face coverings are also required when social distancing is not possible. For additional details on the requirement as well as any exemption information please read the latest Alachua County Emergency Order.

For additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County COVID19 Community Resource Portal, the Alachua County Facebook page, call the Coronavirus Information Line at 866-779-6121, visit the Florida Department of Health website, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Learn About Snail Kites: A Paynes Prairie Success Story at the Big Anniversary Speaker Series
Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitor Center
100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy FL 32667

This year the Florida Park Service is 85 years old, Paynes Prairie Preserve State park is 50 years old and Friends of Paynes Prairie is 35 years old, and you’re invited to celebrate the Big Anniversary.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Rob Fletcher discusses Snail Kites, a bird of prey previously found only in South Florida wetlands and marshes like The Everglades. In 2016, people spotted the rare bird in Alachua County for the first time in 20 years, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Now the number of Snail Kites seen at Paynes Prairie and Sweetwater Wetlands Park is ever increasing.

Located just south of Gainesville in Alachua County, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park has been a key environment for the snail kites providing clean water, a wetland that is relatively free of trees and, especially, the abundance of apple snails. The park features hiking and wildlife viewing of hundreds of species across 20,000 acres.

Discover the Scenic Old Florida Heritage Highway with a Driving Cell Phone Tour through Alachua County

Cruising nature, picturesque roads and historic points of interest with a scenic driving cell phone tour is perhaps the ideal socially-distanced activity to discover unique locations and learn something new — while staying cool in the air-conditioned comfort of your car. Plus, you just might find a great place to have lunch along the way too!

Get started here with a map and instructions to a cell phone guided tour that will take you just south of Gainesville, driving through the historic communities of Micanopy, Rochelle, Evinston and Cross Creek.

Road Trip Pro Tips:

  • Travel safely by using an approved cell phone holder in the car and using hands-free technology for the tour
  • Have a passenger assist with playing the audio for each stop
  • Plan your route and location
  • Pack to protect and sanitize
  • Avoid mechanical breakdowns by maintaining your vehicle. Know your emergency repair and health emergency options.
  • Double check planned restaurant stops for current COVID19 hours and procedures

For more of the timely entertainment information you love, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty.

View Sunsets over the University of Florida from the Rooftop Pool at the Holiday Inn University Center and Enjoy 20% off Your Next Stay or Meeting

Located directly across from the University of Florida, only one mile from downtown Gainesville and surrounded by local shops and eateries, the Holiday Inn Gainesville University Center is in a prime, walkable location. Enjoy a day of swimming, relaxing and watching the sunset from the rooftop pool that overlooks Gainesville and UF, then head downstairs and enjoy lunch or dinner at the excellent onsite restaurant, Piesanos Pints and Pies.

Holiday Inn University Center is a Safe Stay Property, making sure guest safety is of utmost importance so you can enjoy your stay while knowing your room meets the highest standards for cleanliness.

To redeem this 20% off offer, call 352-376-1661, x: 181 and mention code “Visit.”

For the list of all the Alachua County places to stay, including information about the safety measures being taken at hotels and inns, click here.

Dinner and Live Music: Savor Authentic Italian Food in a Family Friendly Atmosphere, Accompanied by a Heaping Helping of Bona Fide Southern Rock
Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Tony & Al’s Restaurant
14960 Main St., Alachua, FL 32615

In addition to two indoor dining areas, Tony & Al’s now features expanded outdoor seating. Known for their authentic Italian cuisine, great steaks and service with a smile, this Thursday the restaurant adds crowd-pleasing, southern rock to the mix brought to you by the masterly duo of Allan Lowe and Don Henesy.  Allan Lowe was the lead singer and acoustic guitarist for the Dixie Desperadoes, and for the last six years lead vocalist and acoustic guitar with Wild Blue Yonder, and has two Dixie Desperados albums and one Wild Blue Yonder albums under his belt. Don Henesy was a session musician in Los Angeles for many years. Together, they bring their expansive musical repertoire to keep your toes-tapping through the night.

View the World From a Different Angle. Zoom in on the GFAA’s Virtual Gallery Art Exhibit “Close Up”
Online Gallery from Gainesville Fine Arts Association

Regional artists display their artwork with virtual exhibits Close Up and Summer Showcase. The Gainesville Fine Arts Association, Inc. (GFAA) has fostered and encouraged the study of the visual arts through every medium since 1923. View current shows, award winners and exhibit archives here.

Three Cheers for Three New Beers to Celebrate Cypress & Grove Brewing Company’s Third Anniversary
Friday, August 21 – Sunday, August 23 | Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601

This Friday, Cypress & Grove releases 3 beers to celebrate their 3rd anniversary. Sip and socialize in their wide open green space with friends and family while socially-distancing. New beer releases include 400 Feet Cherry Wheat – a crisp and refreshing blend featuring the tart flavor of cherries, Creek Crosser Gose – a refreshing wheat style beer infused with prickly pear cactus, and Roaming Rhino IPA referencing an ancient time when rhinoceroses roamed local wetlands and has citrus flavors to balance its hops and malt. Enjoy a pint at the Cypress & Grove meadow or order your craft beer to go.

axe throwing targets at the hatchetbury

Grip It, Rip It, Sip It at the Grand Opening of The Hatchetbury Axe Throwing Bar
Open Thursday – Sunday | The Hatchetbury Axe Throwing Bar 213 NW 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

Axes have been around since prehistoric times, but only in the past several years has axe throwing in popularity as a fun recreational activity. Book your session and let “Ax-perts” review safety and axe throwing basics before you take aim to hit wooden targets. View safety information here. With a commitment to following CDC guidelines, The Hatchetbury aims to be safe place to let off some steam. Book online at

Learn Environmental Lessons from the Marjories with Hannah Brown & Becca Burton
Thursday, August 20, 6:30 p.m. | Online Event with Alachua Conservation Trust

Join the Alachua Conservation Trust for a presentation from The Marjorie, an environmental reporting nonprofit inspired by Florida’s three Marjories: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Marjorie Harris Carr. Registration for the Zoom webinar is full, but it will be live on YouTube here.

During this presentation, Hannah Brown and Becca Burton will share some of their favorite lessons from the three Marjories and show examples of how those lessons have inspired them to move beyond daily news coverage to capture untold perspectives of environmental issues in Florida.

Alachua Conservation Trust protects natural, historic, scenic, and recreational resources in and around north central Florida. View a list of parks, preserves and conservation properties here.

Let Gainesville LIVE! Round Up the Soundtrack for Your Friday Night, with Classic and Original Western Tunes by Talented Members of the High Nooners
Friday, August 21, 8 pm. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Michael Claytor and Sam Moss form the High Nooners. The duo present classics and original songs portraying the cowboy experience and Western culture. Access the livestream on Facebook.

Gainesville LIVE! is brought to you by the City of Gainesville as a temporary way to share with the public the joy of the Free Fridays Concert Series. The series typically takes place from May to October when hundreds of visitors and locals head to the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to listen and dance to a superb assembly of bands and talented musicians. It is the region’s longest running free outdoor live music series.

Virtuoso Brazilian Guitarist Tabajara Belo Shakes off Your Monday Blues, Live on Facebook
Monday, August 24, 7 p.m. | Online Event with MusicGNV

MusicGNV’s Safe at Home concert series delivers livestreaming music from Facebook. Monday’s performer is one of the outstanding Brazilian musicians of his generation. He has made a name for himself as a virtuoso guitar soloist, composer and arranger. He blends his concert programs with classical, Brazilian popular/folk and jazz music. Access the live-stream on Facebook.

grove street farmers market

Shop for Fresh Veggies at the Grove Street Farmer’s Market
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Find locally grown food at the vibrant outdoor market every Monday. Learn about local food providers and pair your shopping with live music. Grove Street Farmers Market was founded out of a genuine love for community, food that is fresh, healthy and authentic, and offers farm fresh eggs, organic fruits and vegetables, free-range beef and chicken, honey, cow and goat milks and cheeses, organic coffee, and artisan crafted foods and products.

Circus performer training in the air

Dare to Fly with Gainesville Circus Center. No Experience Necessary.
Class times and locations vary. Check the schedule at

If you are feeling a little closed in, perhaps it’s time to fly! Find arts, culture and athletics rolled into one with various acrobatic classes brought to you by Gainesville Circus Center instructors. Now offering reduced class sizes and increased sanitizing for the following fun activities: aerial silks, lyra, mixed apparatus & flexibility. Gainesville Circus Center also features trapeze artist classes, performances and a kids camp.

Cade Museum

Chill Out with Cool Inventions with the Science of Cool and the Last Weekend to Skate on Synthetic Ice
Thursday, August 20 – Saturday, August 22, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Learn about inventions like air conditioning and refrigeration with the summer’s The Science of Cool theme. Skating on the new synthetic ice rink is included with regular admission. Advanced registration is required for Thursday’s “Movie Characters” skate night.

Kayaks on the Santa Fe River

Create Your Own Adventure with a Paddle Trip on the Santa Fe River and Discover Springs, Scenery, and Wildlife
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643

Cruise down the Santa Fe River in your stress-free time capsule… err, we mean in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fee Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.

Explore Additional Parks and Trails Bike, Hike or Just Change Your View – Explore Gainesville and Alachua County’s Bountiful Outdoor Open Spaces

Find the park that suits you best! Most of the parks and trails in Alachua County have reopened including – Alachua County Parks, Playgrounds and Preserves including Poe Springs Friday-Sunday, city parks, Alachua Conservation Trust preserves and all Florida State Parks.

Find the list of Alachua County Parks and Preserves here.
Find our What’s Good Now list of additional open spaces to explore here.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others, avoid large groups of people and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change and some facilities may not be available.

Arts & Theatre

Experience Theatre with Star Center Theatre LIVE! on Zoom
Thursday, August 20

Online Poetry Jam with Civic Media Center
Thursday, August 20, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

View Paintings from Sara Morsey at the Opening of “Conversation/Emerging/Ascending” at Black C Art Gallery Friday, August 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Music & Performance

Live Acoustic Music with Pat Crawford at Muñecas Downtown Taco Garden in Bo Diddley Plaza
Friday, August 21, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Enjoy live music in the outdoor courtyard of Muñeca’s Downtown Taco Garden in beautiful downtown Gainesville every Friday night (weather permitting)! Enjoy local brews and craft tacos with good friends!

Party at Home with Fest at Home and Livestreaming Pop Punk from Sarchasm and Grumpster
Thursday, August 20, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Live Stand-Up Comedy at Flaco’s
Thursday, August 20, 7:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Stand-up and House Improv Comedy Live Stream with High Dive
Thursday, August 20, 7:30 p.m.

Classic and Modern Hits with Richy & Chelsea at One Love Cafe
Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m.

Enjoy Songs from Ed Sheeran to Old Dominion with Thomas Anthony Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Thursday, August 20, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Classic Rock and Country Music with Doc Adams at on the Patio at Great Outdoors Restaurant, High Springs
Friday, August 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Favorite Alternative Music with The Remedy at One Love Café
Friday, August 21, 6 p.m.

Country Music with Chris McNeil Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Friday, August 21, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Whiskey Jones at The Green House Nursery
Friday, August 21, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Rock and Blues with Soulful Singer Song Writer Cassie Evans at One Love Cafe
Saturday, August 22, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Solo Acoustic Artist Mike Johnson Plays a Variety of Genres on the Patio at Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs
Saturday, August 22, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Pop and Rock covers with the Barstool Prophets at One Love Cafe
Saturday, August 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Americana Singer Songwriter Paul Eliot at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, August 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Classic Rock Hits with Mark Miale Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Saturday, August 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Stand Up Comedy with Dean Napolitano from HBO and the Late Late Show at Woodyard Grill
Saturday, August 22, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Order Craft Beer To Go

BINGO Night for Charity at Blackadder Brewing Company
Thursday, August 20, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Open Mic Hosted By Exotic Breed Band at High Spring Brewing Company
Saturday, August 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, August 25, 6:30 p.m. – 7: 30 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, August 25, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

$6 Burger Wednesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, August 26, 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, August 26, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Wine Pops at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

U-Pick Muscadine Grapes at Bluefield Estate Winery
Thursday, August 20 – Sunday, August 23

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Haile Farmer’s Market at Haile Village Center
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Alachua County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Waldo Farmer’s Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites & Brunch

Sweet Dreams Ice Cream Pop Up Pint Sale at East End Eatery
Thursday, August 20, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Dine at Local Restaurants and Enjoy New Outside Seating Options

Some restaurants are welcoming diners back into their dining rooms. You may also notice additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks, into parking lots or into the street.

Did you know that our dining scene regularly makes national headlines? Find out why We Chomp with the best of them!

Find a searchable list of Alachua County restaurants here.


archer aiming at targets

Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, August 21, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Ave., Newberry, FL 32669
Join the most fun you can have with a bow for open shooting and archery games including tic-tac-toe, battle ship, bowling with bows and more. A free orientation is required and is offered at 5 p.m.

If you worked up an appetite after all that fun, you may wish to visit nearby restaurants like Arepas Milko, Villaggio Pizzeria, Woodyard Grill or neaby Tioga Town Center.

North Florida Cornhole Tournament at Celebration Pointe
Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tri-County Opens Classic Fishing Tournament at Little Lake Santa Fe
Saturday, August 22, 5 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Off Road RC Racing Super Cup Championship Series at Newbery RC Park
Saturday, August 22, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

6th Annual Bow Hunter’s Challenge at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Saturday, August 22, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center

RC Drag Racing Test and Tune at Toys & More
Sunday, August 23, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Record breaking Victoria Cruziana waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Don’t Miss Record-Breaking Giant Waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Open Fridays – Wednesdays
Giant Victoria Water Lilies grow over 6 feet in diameter and are only a summer phenomenon at the gardens. Plan your visit at

River & Springs

Tubing at the springs

Splash Into the Springs Near Gainesville

North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude fresh water springs in the United States. The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the natural side of the state. Did you know the crystal clear water flows from underground at a refreshing 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celsius, all year round? Make sure to add a visit to the springs to your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.

Museums & Galleries

Rental set up at the florida museum. Decorated table in the Denny gallery with mammoth skeleton in the background

Book the Florida Museum for Special Events
The Florida Museum is again accepting rental reservations. Whether you need a meeting space, a unique location for a small dinner, or you just want to host a group to explore exhibits after hours, the rentals team strives to make sure your event is safe and enjoyable. Find out more about our rental options at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Butterfly at the butterfly rainforest

Explore Florida’s History and Walk With Flying Butterflies at the Florida Museum
Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Browse Galleries Featuring Over 600 Works at the Harn Museum of Art
Open Thursday- Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

Drive-Through Safari at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation, September 5

Florida Gators Football vs South Carolina, October 3

Megaladon Exhibit Opening at Florida Museum, September 19

AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, September 25-27

Swamp Head Brewery Adult Trick or Treating, October 23

For a complete list of events please visit

Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Your participation, communication, and sharing of events and programs is a key way for us to market our community to visitors and to enhance the engagement of residents in all of the incredible programs you create.

Put simply, the more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please read the attached PDF document for additional ways in which your organization can participate.

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County | (352) 374-5260 | 33 North Main Street, Gainesville 32601 Never miss an event: Follow Visit Gainesville, Alachua County on social media.

This publication contains information about events, venues and activities in Alachua County, Florida. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors or omissions in the information provided. For complete details, contact the host directly. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not represent, warrant, undertake or guarantee that the information is correct, accurate, complete or non-misleading. We will not be liable to you in respect of any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.  

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