Gainesville, nestled in North Central Florida between the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico, embodies a vibrant university community that thrives on the area’s natural splendor. With majestic live oaks gracing the landscape and an abundance of springs, lakes, and rivers, the region beckons outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Parks dot the city and its surroundings, offering a playground for residents and their families—swimming, boating, fishing, biking, camping, and an array of sports await. The climate is an ally, encouraging an active lifestyle in every season.
This city is the perfect fusion of big-city excitement and small-town ease, offering the best of both worlds. The University’s influence enriches its cultural tapestry, infusing it with diversity and dynamism. Its population of around 111,000, accompanied by a surrounding community of 220,000, creates a lively yet close-knit environment.
Gainesville boasts a rich cultural scene, exceptional public schools, and a cost of living that makes it an inviting and affordable place to call home. It’s no surprise that it earned the coveted spot as Livability.com’s #1 choice in the Top 10 College Towns: Great Cities for School & Life After Graduation.
Florida Travel: Explore Gainesville in 60 Seconds
Fun in Gainesville
Dance, Musical, and Theatrical Performance Venues
The Curtis M Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Squitieri Studio Theatre, Upstage at the Phillips Center, The University Auditorium, and The Baughman Center hosts a variety of musical and theatrical events in these venues.
The Hippodrome Theatre (often referred to by residents as the Hipp) is a regional professional theatre in downtown Gainesville since 1974.
Florida Players is an exploratory student-run theatre company that provides diverse opportunities for artistic and professional growth through hands-on work in live theatre. We produce engaging works that challenge both our members and audiences. Members will collaborate on all aspects of live theatre, including but not limited to: direction, design, performance, playwriting, stage management, and leadership.
The Gainesville Community Playhouse is one of the oldest community theaters in the state of Florida. as The Gainesville Little Theater in 1927.
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, a museum in Gainesville, Florida, is committed to transforming communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.
The University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art’s mission is to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art.
In 1891, The Florida Museum of Natural History (formerly known as the Florida State Museum) got its start when Frank Pickel, a professor of natural science at Florida Agricultural College in Lake City, purchased research collections of minerals, fossils, and human anatomy models as aids in teaching biology and agricultural sciences.
University Gallery is comprised of three art galleries that play an integral role in the teaching mission of the School of Art + Art History, College of the Arts at the University of Florida, as well as serving the entire UF and Gainesville community.
Comprised of the Santa Fe College Gallery, the President’s Hall Gallery, the Student Life Gallery, and the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall Gallery, support the college’s mission of adding value to the lives of our students and enriching our community by exhibiting quality artwork in gallery and public locations.
Located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, the Matheson History Museum is home to the 1867 Matheson House, permanent and temporary exhibits on Alachua County and Florida history, and a local history library and archives filled with resources for the researcher and the curious alike.
Athletics and Outdoor Activities
Lake Alice is a signature feature of the University of Florida campus. It is a proven santuary to alligators as well as many birds and turtles. There are also many things to do around Lake Alice.
Lake Wauburg offers UF students, faculty and staff a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors
The sinkhole is 120 feet deep and 500 feet across. A half-mile nature trail follows the rim, and a 232-step stairway descends to the bottom of the sink.
Outstanding birding opportunities, the area’s best off-road biking, stunning scenery and a rich historic past are a few of the preserve’s highlights.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a stunning 68 acre facility located in Gainesville Florida. The gardens feature 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 1/2 mile paved walkway. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is home to Florida’s largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast.
Gainesville has many choices for the foodie in you. From locally owned to large chains.