Greater Gainesville is alive with history, culture and leisure activities. The diverse offerings match the diverse community that calls this region home. Everything from a vibrant visual art haven to a bevy of performing arts to the culinary and beverage arts. There are 37 museums and theaters, 26 art websites and fairs, 11 local springs, and 7 fishing and hunting clubs within our area. Add to that listing 449 different types of eateries and breweries. This community can definitely satisfy your cravings. Shopping Whether you want to hop on the latest fashion trend or discover unique items at a quaint antique store, Greater Gainesville hosts a wide variety of shops, boutiques, malls and galleries that will fulfill all your shopping needs. Take a scenic stroll through downtown Gainesville and explore one of the many shops that offer a personalized shopping experience. Reconnect with the origins of your food at the Union Street Farmers Market, where you can purchase locally grown produce every Wednesday. Head over to The Oaks Mall, your one-stop shop for anything you need. Featuring over 140 of your favorite stores, the mall houses department stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Sears as well as retail stores that appeal to individuals of all ages including Banana Republic, Forever 21, GNC, Francesca’s, Gap, H&M, LOFT, American Eagle and Express. Conveniently located along Archer Road in the booming southwest area of Gainesville, Butler Plaza is the largest retail center in North Central Florida and is still expanding. You will find leading retail stores like Target, Walmart, Publix Super Markets, Lowe’s, OfficeMax, Best Buy and CVS at the current plaza. Construction is already underway for its extension, Butler North, which will include Sam’s Club and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Enjoy the fresh Florida weather while you shop at the Tioga Town Center in Newberry. The open-air shopping center offers quality merchandise, excellent customer service and an inviting community atmosphere. For artisanal products and a picturesque shopping experience, stop by Thornebrook Village. Its beautiful landscaping and covered breezeways make the shopping plaza a pleasant place to idle and window-shop. Savor the handmade confections of Thornebrook Chocolates, or treat your eyes to some original stained glass art at McIntyre Stained Glass Studio and Art For antiques and collectibles, explore Smiley’s Antique Mall in Micanopy. Open since 1994, the 25,000-square-foot mall is packed with hidden treasures. The Antique Center of High Springs and the Waldo Antique Village also offer antiquing experiences that are second to none. Dig your way through time, take your findings with you and add a bold accent to your new home. When it comes to shopping in Greater Gainesville, there’s always something new to discover. Dining Let your taste buds run wild through Greater Gainesville, where the dining options are as diverse as the population. From fine Italian restaurants to casual barbeque joints and everything in between, Greater Gainesville has the perfect dining location for any occasion. Start your day off right at one of Greater Gainesville’s many breakfast spots. When it comes to homemade biscuits, omelets and hot cakes, the Pearl Country Store and Barbecue in Micanopy does it right. For creamy grits and Southern charm, make your way to the Flying Biscuit Cafe. If you’re looking for an outside-of-the-box breakfast experience, Country Foodly serves up classic American breakfasts with a Korean twist. Have Sunday brunch at Emiliano’s Cafe, where Latin flavors meet American flare. With food this good, the only thing you’ll be wondering after breakfast is, “What’s for lunch?” You don’t have to travel south of the border to enjoy real Mexican food. You can find the harmonious blend of lime, cilantro, onions and tomatoes right here in Greater Gainesville. Local favorites like La Tienda Latina in Gainesville, Cilantro Tacos in Newberry, and El Molino in Waldo offer casual Mexicanstyle settings where you can sit outside, take a crunchy bite out of a freshly prepared tostada and enjoy a light Mexican beer. If you want to be licking barbeque sauce off your fingers by the end of your meal, Greater Gainesville has over 100 places you can go to. Adam’s Rib Co., Mojo Hogtown Bar-BQue, and Newberry’s Backyard BBQ are a few popular establishments firing up smokers and offering fall-off-the-bone ribs capable of pleasing even the pickiest of eaters. Great news for coffee lovers: Coffee culture is growing all over the country, and Greater Gainesville is no exception. If you’re trying to avoid the dreaded midday crash, there are a variety of coffee shops waiting for you to walk in and sample their premium roasts. In downtown Gainesville, you will find two local favorites, Maude’s Classic Cafe and Volta Coffee, Tea and Chocolate. The dynamic aroma of ginger, garlic and chilies sizzling away in a pan is popular throughout Greater Gainesville. With over 50 Asian restaurants to choose from and an infinite number of flavors to try, you will feel like you are halfway across the world. Visit Fuji Sushi in Newberry or Dragonfly in downtown Gainesville for a taste of Japan in an ideal date-night location. If you crave sautéed vegetables, fluffy white rice and stir-fried beef short ribs, head over to Yummy House for authentic Chinese cooking. In Greater Gainesville, Italian food is easy to come by but hard to forget. For an upscale dining experience featuring creamy sauce, fine wine and roasted garlic, try Manuel’s Vintage Room. If you’re seeking a rustic, fun experience with your kids, make your way to Satchel’s Pizza, where upcycled pieces of art abound in every corner. The mix of lively college students and cultured locals provides for a diverse bar scene in Greater Gainesville. From cocktail bars like Whiskey House to breweries like Swamp Head, you are sure to find the perfect spot to please your taste buds and wallet. BREWERIES —— & —— DISTILLERIES If you crave the pungent aroma of fruity wine, if you know laughter is imminent with a cold glass in your hand and if you can’t resist the taste of a crisp craft beer hitting your palate, Greater Gainesville is the place for you. With four local breweries and two wineries, you are sure to find your next favorite drink. At Swamp Head Brewery, the team members pride themselves on incorporating natural Florida flavors into their beers. Combining local ingredients with skillful brewing processes, Swamp Head has been serving up an array of seasonal and year-round favorites since 2008. You can enjoy the craft beers at the brewery’s newly opened tasting room, The Wetlands. Natural light seeps into the establishment through a window-lined wall. Guests can enjoy their beer of choice outdoors in the patio area or inside while resting their elbows on a table made of fine Florida wood. On select days, you can join a Swamp Head tour to get a glimpse of the brewing room and learn about beer making. Taking inspiration from Greater Gainesville’s many freshwater springs, First Magnitude Brewing Company was named after the largest and most powerful type of spring. Working with only four ingredients — water, malt, hops and yeast — is more of a privilege than a challenge for the First Magnitude Brewing team. The company’s innovative beers are available at The Source, the on-premise tasting room. With 18 taps and a friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing pint with friends and family. In the midst of downtown Gainesville lies a nanobrewery producing award-winning craft beers. Alligator Brewing may be small, but the beers take on big flavor. By blending new and old-world methods of brewing, the Alligator Brewing team creates bold, unique tasting beers and is often able to be more adventurous and risky with beer styles because of its small operation. The company is currently housed in Tall Paul’s Brewpub, which was a horse stable for the Gainesville Fire Department in the 1880s. While the building has since been significantly renovated, the structure’s character is still reminiscent of its early days. Located in downtown Gainesville, Fish Hawk Spirits is a distillery tasting room which offers patrons a unique experience. Owned by David Molyneaux, Fish Hawk Spirits sells a variety of spirits and allows customers to sample bottles before purchasing them. Blackadder Brewing Company is owned by a Gainesville couple and brews Belgian-inspired beers. The microbrewery and bar location at 618 NW 60th St. opened at the end of 2016. If you prefer a glass of wine, head over to the Island Grove Wine Company, which specializes in fine blueberry wines and also produces a variety of fruit wines like Southern Strawberry, Bold Blackberry and Crisp Green Apple. Sourcing Grade-A quality blueberries from Island Grove Ag Products, the company makes its blueberry wines from 100 percent blueberries. At Bluefield Estate Winery, you will find muscadine grape wines in addition to blueberry and other fruit wines. The tasting room is a great place to relax, gaze out at the vineyard and sip the latest sweet products. There is always something brewing, fermenting or aging in Greater Gainesville; come check it out!
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