The Georgia-Florida game, held annually in Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the most highly anticipated rivalry games in college football. If you’re headed to Jacksonville this year to cheer on the Dawgs, here’s a guide from fellow Bulldogs James Hopkins (BBA ’03) and Suzie Hutto (BBA ’06) for where to stay, eat, and sightsee.
Where to stay
Suzie said staying downtown in the San Marco area puts you within walking distance of many of her favorite restaurants. She said the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is the closest hotel to the stadium.
If you’re hoping to spend some time at Jacksonville’s beaches, James said The Margaritaville Beach Hotel and Springhill Suites Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront are along the beach and are still fairly close to downtown.
James advised against driving during the game weekend because of heavy traffic downtown, and he suggested focusing on seeing one part of the city at a time instead of trying to bounce all over town in a day. His favorite form of game day transportation? Water taxi or rickshaw!
Where to eat
Suzie and James both enjoy visiting some of the city’s rooftop bars and restaurants. For an elegant atmosphere, Suzie recommends Cowford Chophouse, which has views of the Main Street Bridge. For a more casual night out, she suggests the seafood and steaks at River and Post.
“They have a great happy hour,” Suzie said. “I love their ahi tuna.”
Estrella Cocina is one of James’ go-tos. The trendy Mexican restaurant and bar has a rooftop with views of the city, and James described it as “hip” and “very chic.”
For breakfast, James prefers Maple Street Biscuit Company. The chain’s original restaurant is located in Jacksonville and specializes in Southern-style biscuit sandwiches. Maple Street is a local hotspot, so for a quicker option James says to hit up Foxtail Coffee Co.
Near the beach, Suzie enjoys eating at The Local for its live music and grabbing late-night Mexican eats at the Flying Iguana. She and James raved about the restaurant’s guacamole, which is prepared tableside.
On game day
In addition to tailgates surrounding the stadium, Suzie and James suggest trying some of Jacksonville’s breweries before the game.
Intuition Aleworks is a brewery near the stadium where the Jacksonville Alumni Chapter has held events in the past. James likes visiting their walk-up counter and getting a beer to-go.
Wicked Barley Brewery has a dock—James says people can even kayak straight to it! If you don’t have a ticket for the game itself, the breweries are a great place to stay and watch with other fans.
If you have some extra time before or after the game, there are plenty of places to explore in and around Jacksonville.
James and Suzie both recommend shopping at St. Johns Town Center, an outdoor mall with a range of luxury shops and restaurants.
“That’s where I do all my shopping,” Suzie said. “They just got a Gucci store.”
Jacksonville has a large brewery scene, and many of the breweries are family-friendly. Suzie likes Strings Sports Brewery, which is located on Main Street. James enjoys Bold City, which is in the Riverside neighborhood downtown.
Not making the trip to Jacksonville and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you.