Ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States, Gainesville is a captivating city in North Central Florida. It is both a graduate and cultural centre. A large part of the community’s economic activity is focused on its two universities—the University of Florida, home to the famous football team the Gators, birthplace of Gatorade, and Santa Fe College. Outside the universities, the city is rather picturesque with peaceful streets lining an impressive diversity of trees. Gainesville’s five historic districts include some 1500 buildings. Among these properties is the Thomas Center, built in an elegant neo-Mediterranean style and dating from 1910, which now serves as a cultural events centre.
Closeness to large universities is a definite influence on the area’s culture and its diversity in the arts. As well as the various fascinating museums, diverse cultural activities are offered in Gainesville each year.
The Spring Arts Festival, renowned for its unique and impressive works of art, is one of the biggest annual events in Gainesville. The Downtown Festival and Art Show includes many award-winning artists and attracts more than 100,000 art lovers. True to its university culture, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire has been one of the most popular attractions for over 30 years. This medieval festival takes place over two weekends in late January and receives an invasion of fairgoers to the Alachua County Fairgrounds north of the city. For those who prefer the outdoors and are looking to escape into nature, Gainesville is a destination of choice.
The havens offered by the Paynes Prairie State Preserve and the surrounding lakes allow an escape from the stress of urban life. There is nothing like a stimulating hike on one of the eight trails available in this unique park. Besides being home to over 270 diverse species of birds, bison and alligator, the park is home to small herds of wild horses, the Florida Cracker Horses.
Due to its unique climate, the city’s flora and fauna are distinct from the rest of the coastal regions of the state. Gainesville enjoys a brief period with Fall colours at the end of November, followed by a long Spring that goes from mid-February to early April. With its meadows and serene atmosphere, the charming university town of Gainesville offers a little-known side of Florida.
When to Go
Events We Love
Downtown Festival and Art Show features more than 100,000 art lovers who fill the streets to enjoy and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork. Artists display original oils and acrylics, unique sculptures, photography and much more.
Fest 15 is an independent, underground music festival held annually in Gainesville. Bands perform across a variety of venues varying from small bars to large concert halls.
A great way to visit Gainesville is by car. Enjoy driving around the city, the university as well as discovering the many springs it has to offer.
Gainesville has several cycling trails available. Experience the most beautiful scenic landsape in Florida while riding by bike.
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