What’s Good Update from Visit Gainesville, Alachua County, May 7-13, 2020

This week we mark the annual commemoration of National Travel and Tourism Week with a virtual road trip, giveaways and more. While we cannot hold events and other planned activities as we have in the past, now more than ever we celebrate the businesses, venues, attractions and most importantly, the people that make up the tourism industry. We stand together with you in the Spirit of Travel.

We’re excited to share an expanded the list of open outdoor spaces to include the newly re-opened Florida State Parks like San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. For Mother’s Day this Sunday, instead of (or in addition to!) getting mom a bouquet of flowers, why not give her the entire garden with an excursion to KanapahaBotanical Gardens! And to make her day even more special, we have also included a great list of gift ideas and restaurant specials that she’s sure to love.

Now is the perfect time to plan for when the time is right to get back to exploring inspiring places with your family and friends. To help inspire you, we’re GIVING AWAY FREE TICKETS to various area attractions. Be sure to visit our Facebook page to enter!

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty  

Please continue to be safe. 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.

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


For more information on mass gatherings, visit the CDC Mass Gatherings COVID-19 website.

For current Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County Coronavirus website, 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).

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


Sunday is Mother’s Day. If you’ve been a little distracted and would like a few last-minute gift ideas and ways to share a special meal with mom, read below for a few suggestions with local flair.

angry looking mom in a track suit about to run in a race

MAGnify Momlife Virtual Storytelling with Guts & Glory GNV and First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, May 10, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hear stories told about motherhood from any and every perspective.

River Run Olive Oil, More than 60 Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegar for a Mom with Great Taste
Opening Thursday- Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Thornebrook Gallery Mother’s Day Packages 

Moms Need Beer Too at Blackadder Brewing Company
Sunday, May 10, 12 p.m.  – 5 p.m.

(Sold Out) Mother’s Day Brunch Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan Café
Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu from Sweetwater Branch Inn 
Place your order by Friday, May 8 

Mother’s Day Menu at Uppercrust
Friday, May 8 – Sunday, May 10 

Mother’s Day Lunch at Embers Wood Grill
Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Mother’s Day Dining In-house or Takeout at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood
Sunday, May 10, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

blooming sunflowers

Swallowtail Farm Mother’s Day Bouquets for Saturday Pick Up at Working Food


baby lemurs at Carson Springs

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
Opening this weekend for 2-hour socially-distanced wildlife tours.
See the baby lemurs, we’re pretty sure #SugarBear is the lucky dad!
Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m
Adults: $25; Under 12: $10 

Mother’s Day Family Tours
Sunday, May 10, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Adults: $29; Under 16: $15


Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is Now Open

Instead of giving mom a bouquet of flowers, may we suggest letting her see the whole garden? Spread across 68 acres, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens features the largest public display of bamboo in the state, the largest herb garden in the southeast and spectacular angel’s trumpets are now in bloom.

Visit their Facebook page for the latest COVID-19 protocols.

winding singleback trail at san felasco

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

This week, we’ve expanded the list to include Florida State Parks now open like San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens featuring Florida’s largest public display of bamboo.

There are over 100 miles of trails in Alachua County for biking and hiking. You can find some of the area bike trails listed here. However with many park closures, it may be difficult to figure out where you can still go for outdoor relaxation, recreation and exercise. Visit Gainesville, Alachua County has done the research for you, and provides the most up-to-date information on parks and open areas to explore. Click to find a list of open spaces, What’s Good Now.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change.


Dining section on Visit Gainesville website

Check out the Delicious Dining section on the website. You can now search by Takeout and Delivery.

Interact with Local Restaurants on the EAT GNV Facebook Group

Local Restaurants are Preparing Meals for Take-Out and Delivery. See this list from the Gainesville Sun


Sunrise at paynes prairie

Share your photos of what you love about Gainesville and Alachua County, like the image above of a Sunrise at Paynes Prairie by Lauren on Instagram @laurenharre. We’ll repost and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and will share our favorites on a blog post on

Tag us or use hashtags #WhyILoveGNV or #WhatsGoodAlachuaCounty


orchestra musicians playing from inside a home

A Cocktail Romance Home Edition, presented on Facebook and Youtube by The Gainesville Orchestra
Thursday, May 7, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Relax and enjoy an hour of romance and fun with favorite music and special guest artists from the Gainesville Orchestra hosted by Evans Haile.

Gainesville LIVE! With Travis Atria
Friday, May 8, 8 p.m.
On Fridays from May to October, 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 at the Free Fridays Concert Series, the region’s longest running free outdoor live music series.

To kick off the season this year, Free Fridays joins MusicGNV to offer free streaming music shows, live from Facebook.

FEST from Home with Live Streaming on Facebook
Thursday, May 7, 7:05 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
FEST hosts its 19th music festival in October featuring hundreds of bands in downtown Gainesville. In anticipation of this yearly sellout event, see live music sets from scheduled artists through the summer.

Elio Piedra live music on the patio at BTW

Latin Music and Percussion with Elio Piedra Live on the Patio at Hurricane BTW
Friday, May 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Gator BTW patio open will open for social distancing and live music from the talented and entertaining Elio Piedra. Guests are asked to maintain 6-foot distances from other parties and all tables will be spaced according to state and local guidelines.

Elio Piedra live

Online Fiesta with ELIO
Friday, May 8, 10 p.m. 
Until you can catch a live performance at The Wooly or Hippodrome Lower Level, invite Elio to your home (only on your favorite screen of course) and then turn your living room into a dance floor with your favorite Latin dance tunes accompanied by live percussion. Let Elio Piedra bring the fiesta to you.

Live at Heartwood

Live at Heartwood – If you are missing local live music performances try streaming some of THE BEST (prerecorded) indie bands to hit the stage at Heartwood Soundstage – on any device, the bigger the better!

Billy Buchanan performing with guitar

Live Streaming with Billy Buchanan
Narrow Magazine states that, “When it comes to innovation, and expanding musical horizons, Billy Buchanan is one of the premiere purveyors of music in our region.” Until you can get to a live venue for a rocking soulful performance from Billy Buchanan, let the groove come to you, live-stream style, here:
One Hit Wonders: Friday, May 8, 8 p.m
Worship Set: Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m.
Request Night Party: Sunday, May 10, 7 p.m.

MusicGNV Safe At Home Live Virtual Concert with Arrows in Action
Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
MuiscGNV announced the first five out of ten planned Safe at Home Livestream Concerts to be aired over the next few months. Each Monday at 7 p.m., tune in to your favorite Gainesville-based artists playing their music live from their Facebook pages.
May 11 – Arrows In Action
May 18 – Maggie Clifford
May 25 – tanna music and Faith & Majesty
June 1 – Palimony Revue


Shop Sustainably with Life Unplastic

Saporito Oil Vinegar Spice

River Run Olive Oil Company

Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies

Buffalo Girl Soaps

Thornebrook Gallery

Rose quartz collection at Auk Market

The AUK Market Virtual Sale
Find a variety of jewelry, soaps, art, ceramics, clothing and more created by local artists or curated by vintage vendors.


Some restaurants are slowly opening their dining rooms or providing outdoor patio seating. Please contact restaurants for additional information and any service changes.

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

Growler Fills and Kegs from Cypress & Grove Brewing Company

To-go Cans from Swamp Head Brewery

Drive-Thru Beer Pick Up at First Magnitude Brewing Company

Growler Fills and 32 oz. Crowlers at Blackadder Brewing Company

To-Go Cans from Big Top Brewing Company

Growler Fills at High Springs Brewing Company

Sangria, Wines and more at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

Cocktails To-Go

Looking for Cocktails To-Go?
Ingenious mixologists have delivered a new way to provide your favorite mixed drinks. Find to-go cocktails from Madrina’sBoca Fiesta, Cry Baby’sDragonfly Sushi and Sake CompanyIf It Is Kitchen & CafeThe Keys Grill & Piano Bar, Bahama Breeze, Public & General and more.


U Pick Blueberries

U-Pick Blueberries at Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries (check for availability)
Open Starting Friday, May 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Strawberry U-Pick and Food Market at Frog Song Organics
Thursday, May 7, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Farm Stand Fridays at Bambi’s Café
Friday, May 8, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Farm Stand at The Family Garden
Saturday, May 9, 8:30 a.m.

Drive-Thru Farmer’s Market CSA at Working Food
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Drive-Up Farmstand at Rogers Farm
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Order Online for Pickup and Delivery from Swallowtail Farm
Wednesday and Saturday Pickup at Working FoodDeliveries on Fridays

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
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.

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

Grove Street Farmer’s Market
Mondas, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.


Matheson history museum covid-19 community archive

Covid-19 Community Archive from the Matheson History Museum

Cade at home activities, illustrations of lightbulbs.

View Online Classes and Activities presented by the Cade Museum

GFAA The Garden exhibit

GFAA Virtual Gallery: The Garden

Take a Virtual Museum Tour with the Greatest Hits from Florida Museum of Natural History


Ballet dancers. online encore performance

Ballet and Beyond Encore Online
Monday, May 18
Dance Alive National Ballet presents their season finale performance, restaged from their dance studio.

For a complete list of events please visit

What's Good Alachua County

The more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Tickets are available while supplies last and will not be held. 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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