Where to Stay
There are somewhere around 40 hotels, motels, B&B's, and other accommodations around the Gainesville, Alachua county area. Obviously, the nicer, closer to the stadium hotels fill up the quickest, but as of the date of this article (July 30th, 2008), rooms are still available for each game. All rooms will fill up within a month or so of your game-day, so book early! You can find a list of all Alachua County accommodations can be found at this handy-dandy map (which was designed by the author!): http://www.visitgainesville.com/lodging/
To find available rooms, check out the Alachua County Visitors Bureau's Available Rooms page at http://www.visitgainesville.com/available/. Keep in mind that when booking the room, most hotels will make you stay a minimum of two nights. If you do not see any rooms available on this site, give our local visitor's bureau a call at (866) 778-5002. They will be happy to accommodate you.
Where to park?
Traffic to campus will start getting heavy around 10am of game-day. We recommend getting you your tailgate earlier than that. There are a couple different options to park.
If you get to campus early enough (usually before 9am), you can park on campus. Find any available space on the grass (that's not marked off with tape or cones) and pull in. You'll see lots of other vehicles doing the same, so you won't feel out of place. This spot can become your tailgating spot!
You can drive up University Avenue (and the neighborhood to the north) and pay for parking at a house. It will cost between $20 and $40 depending on your proximity to the Swamp. A perk of parking at a house is that you can usually party with the crew hosting the parking. They (should) provide a keg, beer-pong, a TV, and other fun activities!
Use a park-and-ride. There are a number of shuttles coming to the stadium from the Oaks Mall area and other areas. See http://www.go-rts.com/GatorAider.html for more information. Note that the author does not recommend this option. The author recommends that you get your but out of bed early and get a parking spot to tailgate!
What about RV / Motorhome parking?
A lot of people bring their RV's to Gainesville for the game. Many have lots reserved with the University of Florida Transportation and Parking Department (see http://www.parking.ufl.edu/pages/rvparking.htm). If you don't have any reserved lots, you can park next to the Hilton Hotel on 34th Street starting at 6PM on the Friday before the game. You will want to get there as early as possible, because this lot fills up quickly. Another great option for Gators is Grand Lakes RV Resorts (located about 20 minutes south of the Swamp), who has specials for Gators Parking, including shuttles to and from the GatorTailgating tailgate on campus. For more information on this, see http://morganrvresorts.com/files/GatorTailgateFlyer.pdf
There is also public RV parking available near the corner of Hull & Mowrey Road that is first come/first serve. This will also fill up quicky. For more information, contact the UF Transportation and Parking Dept at (352) 392-8048.
How Do I get Tickets?
Hopefully, you already have tickets. To get alumni side season tickets, you have to donate a lot of money to the university and then purchase the tickets. To get student tickets, you have to enter a student lottery to be eligible.
If you don't have a ticket hookup, you'll most likely need to buy scalped tickets. It was either last year or the year before that Florida finally legalized scalping. If you are here in Gainesville and finding yourself without Gator tickets, the truth is, for the right amount of money or skills you can get tickets on game-day. There are a few tricks of the trade you should be aware of.
Unless you're looking for tickets in the alumni / bullgator lot in front of the O'dome you are dealing with people that paid under face value for the tickets. They buy bad seats for low prices. These guys are sleazy and they can talk most sellers into selling to them for very cheap. If you are dealing with a true scalper, low ball the heck out of them. Talk to them for a little while, but keep low balling. This will help later if you haven't been able to get tickets yet.
If you can't get tickets from the sleazy guys around campus, then wait. 10-15 minutes before kick-off start walking the alumni lot. It helps if you have an attractive girl that will come up to us. Have her play the "I don't have that much money, please, please, please, I want to go so bad" Alumni are sympathetic, we were once gators and we know the magic of the swamp. This only failed for me once and it now works on me. I know what I paid for my tickets and I can't make a nice person trying to see the game pay 2 or 3 times that. Note, there are people who can and don't have feelings, but it not often.
If you are really low on cash the easiest way to get into the game is to wait for the game to start. At this point scalpers are running wild. They have run out of options. These guys rarely watch the games. Be on the lookout, they are trying to get rid of their tickets like mad men. 4-5 minutes into the 1st quarter you can offer them $20 and they will probably take it, unless they paid a lot more, which is doubtful. They are businessmen and at this point they are losing money, do them a favor and help them cut their losses.
One more thing: to get admittance with a student ticket, you need a University of Florida student ID. Don't buy a student ticket unless you have a University of Florida student ID, or the seller is selling his/her ID with the ticket.