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1. See the Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers exhibit & walk along “Depot Street”

Yes, this is first on the list because it’s awesome and a must-see for Tom Petty fans. The exhibit dives into the making of the Wildflowers album in 1994 and is full of artifacts that were previously on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It’s open June 8, 2024 — October 20, 2024 and you can get tickets to see it here. The museum also spills out into Depot Park, which runs along Depot Avenue, which Tom sings about in the Mudcrutch song called “Depot Street.”


2. Drive by his childhood home

The house, now owned by Petty’s first wife, Jane Benyo Petty, was built in 1952 and sits at 1715 NE 6th Terrace just minutes away from Tom Petty Park. It’s been remodeled many times over the years, but still has the same pink tile from the time that Petty spent living there as a kid. Read more about the house in The Gainesville Sun. (The cut out sign is no longer on display but the house is easy enough to find!)

3. Run around in Tom Petty Park

Tom Petty Park was named after Tom in 2018. It has lots of beautiful long-leaf pine trees, a dog park, tennis and racquetball counts, trails, a playground, and more. It’s a great place to have a picnic and during the springtime, you can see the Florida fireflies dance as the sun sets. It’s really magical.


4. Check out the murals

Gainesville loves murals and Tom Petty so you guessed it — we have lots of Tom Petty murals! The most notable ones can be found at:


5. Try the “Tom Patty Melt”

The Top restaurant’s menu pays homage with its mouthwatering Tom Patty Melt. This perfectly Southern burger is served on Texas Toast with bacon, sautéed onions, provolone cheese, and their delicious secret sauce. No meat? No problem. You can order it true Southern-hippie style with a Beyond or house-made black bean patty with seitan bacon. 


6. Visit the site of the old Mudcrutch Farm

It’s the place where Mudcrutch lived, practiced, and played from 1969-1974. Mudcrutch Farm no longer stands but you can visit the site at NW 45th Ave and NW 25th Dr. Photo by Red Slater.


7. Rock out during Tom Petty Weekend!

This year’s Tom Petty Weekend festival will take place October 10 – 13, 2024 at Heartwood Soundstage and draws attendees from all over the world. (During Tom Petty Weekend, a few craft breweries, including First Magnitude Brewing Co. and Swamp Head Brewing have previously released Petty-themed beers.)


8. Join the sing-a-long in The Swamp

If you get a chance to see the Gators play a home game, “I Won’t Back Down” is the rallying cry at the end of the third quarter for all games in The Swamp. In 2022, the University of Florida began celebrating “Tom Petty Day” complete with special merch, pregame tribute videos, and a fireworks show. This year’s Gator game schedule can be found here.


9. See where he went to high school

Tom graduated in the class of ’68 from Gainesville High School, where he roamed the halls and likely studied algebra with Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), and Don Felder and Bernie Leadon (Eagles).


10. Sing “Dreamville” at Lillian’s Music Store

Lillian’s Music Store (the actual music store) first opened in 1933. Tom sings about buying guitar strings there and reminisces about his youth in “Dreamville” which he told Rolling Stone is “…one of the best songs I ever wrote.” While the spot no longer operates as a music store, it’s a great place to grab a drink. In 1974, Lillian’s Music Store, became a bar — and they kept the name and the sign. Lillian’s, touted as one of the oldest bars in North Central Florida, hosts karaoke every Wednesday night at 10pm, so go sing “Dreamville” or your favorite Petty song and pour one out for Tom!

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