Don’t Miss Gainesville On Your Next Visit to Natural North Florida–It’s Where Nature and Culture Meet!

While Gainesville is our region’s largest city, it’s still relatively small compared to Florida’s “mega-cities” like Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater.  Gainesville’s size is largely due to its central location, its access to US Interstate 75 and to the fact that it’s home to the University of Florida, our “flagship” university.  Gainesville is the county seat of Alachua County and despite its urban feel, it’s really a rural place.  Here, you can shop in upscale stores, eat at fine restaurants, see symphonies and operas, visit world-class museums and still get into the heart of rural Florida by just driving a few miles in any direction.

A visit to Sweetwater Wetlands Park in south Gainesville is a “must” for birdwatchers and photographers.


Gainesville has two major art festivals (spring and fall) each year, attracting nationally known artists.


It’s just a short drive from Gainesville to one of the region’s favorite swimming spots, Poe Springs.


Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park is one of Florida’s largest. It spans the prairie just south of town and is a great spot for alligator watching!


Interested in art? Spend a day at the Samuel Harn Museum on the University of Florida campus. The Florida Museum of Natural History is right next door!

There’s all sorts of food in Gainesville–from fine dining to a pizza joint where you can eat in a converted van and then buy goofy gifts to take home to the kids!  Don’t miss eating at Satchel’s!


There’s plenty of entertainment in Gainesville, at clubs or public venues.


You can purchase fresh foods at any one of several farmers’ markets, held weekly.


Gainesville wouldn’t be as much fun without the presence of the University of Florida or Santa Fe College. Combined, they account for almost half of Gainesville’s  population and a good part of our lifestyle!  And yes, we have football!

We’ve just shown a few examples of what Gainesville has to offer visitors.   Needless to say, things change and events are added on an almost daily basis.  Luckily, our fine local tourism group, Visit Gainesville/Alachua County has an excellent website that’s kept up-to-date.  Be sure to visit it regularly, as well as their Facebook page!