Satchels and Springtime in Gainesville


Hi! I’m Tammy, the newest addition to the Natural North Florida blogging team. If you’re new to our site (like me!) welcome to the Sunshine State’s most authentic resource for all things off the beaten path, the hidden gems from Gainesville to Cedar Key to Steinhatchee to Tallahassee, and every nook and cranny in between awaiting your discovery! I’m excited to share with you all of my personal faves as I tour, experience (and eat!) my way through our pristine region! Of course, as I’m a local girl, you’ll hear a lot about my regular traveling companions, my microbrew lovin’ husband (luckily we have a few of those around here) and our daughter, the precious, darlin’ Milliebug (and two bad dogs who occasionally may pop up for pet-friendly affairs!)

As we’re celebrating Spring Break this week, I had hoped to “dive” into my blogging debut with a feature of our gorgeous freshwater springs, but alas the temps ‘round here have barely topped 50 degrees in the past few days so we have resigned ourselves to eating our disappointment. Our first stop was Satchel’s Pizza, which is a Gainesville icon! They reached their 10th anniversary this month and after surviving a kitchen fire last year, came back better than ever and continue to evolve. No visit to Satchel’s is ever quite the same, as the artwork, live music, and property features are always changing, and I’m delighted to say that their newest addition is a treehouse table… with a hammock underneath. Nothing says “relaxation” to me like lazing about in a hammock with a Left Hand milk stout in my hand while waiting for Satchel to serve up my standby pie of ricotta and pineapple (for reals. It’s so good!) The treehouse table is part of the seat-yourself setting in Satchel’s junk shop Lightin’ Salvage, where you can now pony up to their shiny bar and order salad and pizza to be delivered to you while you enjoy the live music, bocce ball court and playground. There’s no waiting for a table, as in addition to the treehouse table and various seating options inside Lightin’ Salivage, there’s picnic tables and, we were excited to see, seating added to the greenhouse as well. But, if you’re the impatient type, the Swamp Head beer on draft will help you pass the time!

With all the eclectic art on display at Satchel’s, it’s not surprising that when I first spotted the retro frozen bananas sign in the junk shop, I thought it was merely artwork. To say that I was tickled pink would be an understatement- I was ecstatic to discover that Satchel’s now offers chocolate covered frozen bananas in 4 flavors! I opted for coconut lime, which sounds weird but was tropical, chocolatey, and delish, particularly when enjoyed while swinging in the aforementioned hammock. Yummm.

Full bellies have healed the wound left by our lack of outdoor adventure this week but we’re hoping the Easter Bunny brings us some warmer weather so we can participate in Ginnie Springs’ Easter Egg Hunts on Sunday morning!  They’ll be hiding more than 6000 Easter eggs and dividing the hunts by age group starting at 10 a.m. Older young’uns (ages 12+) can take the plunge with their snorkeling hunt beginning at 8 a.m!

In the coming weeks we’ll be checking out the Florida State Bluegrass Festival in Perry, the antique tractor show at Stephen Foster Cultural State Park (both April 4-6) the Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin’ Fest on April 13 and more! I look forward to being your guide to Natural North Florida!

2 comments on “Satchels and Springtime in Gainesville

  • Don’t forget to mention the Sister Cities Blues Jam that is upcoming at Lightning Salvage on Saturday, April 6 from 6-9pm! Gainesville enjoys a 3-way sister city relationship with Kfar Saba, Israel and Qalqilya, Palestine! Delegates from both cities will be honored guests as we share the culture of Gainesville on this historic night!

    Also, Blues Art by PONZ will be on display at Satchel’s this weekend only! Don’t wait!

  • Sharron Britton says:

    It’s never too cold to jump in the springs – they are 72 degrees all year long so the water feels warm when it’s cold out (as long as it’s sunny). If you have a chance, come by the High Springs Emporium when you’re up this way. I have a labyrinth be hind the store made of agatized coral and chert from our local rivers plus more rocks and minerals than you have ever seen in one place. I love your blog about the hidden treasures of north Florida. I’m a native Floridian and moved up here in 1968 to go to school. The wild heart of Florida is still alive here, so I have made it my home.

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