Catch a show at the Hippodrome - local professional theater housed in the historic federal building downtown. "Dont Dress For Dinner" was playing during our visit. The Hipp also houses student and professional cinema and visual art programs,
The highlight at the Hippodrome - in my opinion - comes during the holiday season during their annual production of " A Christmas Carol".
A city park with seven miles of hiking trail through long leaf pines. The park also has a living history exhibit where period renactors demonstrate day to day life on a 19th century farm on certain days.
The Devils Millhopper is a geological State Park on the outskirts of Gainesville. The main draw of the park is a giant sinkhole with dense rainforest-like conditions down inside it. You can hike down stairs into the sinkhole and see where a thin stream of water disappears into the ground. Very good photo opportunities, and hiking trail.
devil's millhopper geological state park is located north of downtown gainesville on SR 232. this large sink hole has been visited by tourists since the 1880's. the sink hole is 120 feet deep and has a board walk to the bottom of the formation. the walls of sink hole has lush tropical foilage and small water falls. the park has a small museum on the history of devils millhopper and a collection of fossilized animal remains found in the sink hole. for those interested in nature the devils millhopper is worth a visit when in gainesville. devils millhopper is listed on the national register of natural places. see the attached web site for more information.
This is actually about 50 miles south of Gainsville in Inverness.
This is a thrilling ride that takes you down the WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER AND
THROUGH THE SWAMPS LOOKING FOR THE FLORIDA ALLIGATOR!
Our river ride is just one of many custom adventures we offer, its a slow speed tour through the vast unspoiled wilderness of the Withlacoochee River wetlands. Our boats will seat a large or small group.
The tenth largest natural history museum in the US and IT IS FREE!
Florida’s official natural history museum is located on the University of Florida campus. It houses 21 million specimens of amphibians, birds, butterflies, fish, mammals, mollusks, reptiles, and fossils, and 4 million cultural artifacts.
The museum also does research, preservation, and interpretation of biological diversity and cultural heritage. Visitors can see some of the research being conducted. For instance, there are many glass windows through which you can view butterflies and moths being raised and researched in vitro, as well as mounting and cataloging of butterflies and moths from around the world.
The main attractions of the museum are free but there is a charge for some of the temporary exhibits. These charges are normally under $8 and are so the museum can recoop their costs
Permanent exhibits include:
• Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land
• Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife
• South Florida People & Environments
• Butterfly Rainforest: Where Science Takes Flight
Make sure you go to the butterfly garden next door (buy a combo pass to save $)
General Admission is free, although donations are gladly accepted. There is a cover charge for special exhibits and the Butterfly Rainforest. This museum normally has special exhibits
Florida Residents and college students get discounts off the paid exhibits so be sure to show your ID
Expect to be here 4 hours
Memberships are ALWAYS a good idea.
Student Membership for the butterfly exhibit is $25 ($10 is tax deductable), Individual membership is $50 - note only includes discounts to butterfly garden
See below for the Passport program (free admission to other museums - a great deal)
This is a wonderful 12 acres teaching zoo that is part of the Sante Fe College. This is the only accredited teaching zoo in the United States and most of the graduates go on to work at Disney's Wild Kingdom.
Students in the program (called Zooies) provide a guided tour that takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The tours are designed to give visitors a more educational and enjoyable experience and to give zoo students more experience working with the general public.
The Santa Fe Teaching Zoo houses 80 species of animals and approx 250 individual animals from around the world. Animals include gibbons, lemurs, American bald eagles, Galapagos tortoises, parrots, and Matschie’s tree kangaroos.
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays 9a-2p,
tour starts every 30 minutes, or by appointment.
Closed during semester breaks and holidays.
Admission: $4 adults 13-59;
$3 children 4-12.
Admission is free to students of the Sante Fe College
ben hill griffin stadium, also known as florida field and the "swamp" is home to the florida gators football team. the university of florida football program has won the NCAA national championship in 1996, 2006 and 2008. a note to tourists traveling through the gainesville on football weekends all of the hotels in the area are booked up months in advance of these events.
this interesting museum has a collection of prehistoric fossils. in the entrance lobby is a american mastodon and a columbian mammoth both found in north florida. currently on display through january 6th 2008 is the jaw of a megalodon, the largest known shark in the world. you can also visit the butterfly rainforest next to the museum. a great place to take children when in gainesville.
We had a blast going here probably would have stayed for hours if it wasn't so hot in the butterfly house. It was fun more for us than our 5 yr old she got bored after the first 20 minutes. I loved watching all the butterflies and having them land on us. We will be going back to this the cost wasn't bad and if you have a museum membership it is free to get in.
stephen 0'connel center also known as the o-dome is home to the university of florida basketball team. the florida basketball team made the NCAA final four in 1994 and 1996. the university of florida won the NCAA national championships back to back in 2006 and 2007.
I have traveled around the world and I don't think I've ever seen a town that is more bike friendly.
This town has bike trails and bike lanes EVERYWHERE. I also noticed a large number to bike racks...so bring your bike and a good lock and explore the area on bike. If I lived here I'd be using my bike instead of my car
Map my ride....Gainesville locals map out their favorite area bike rides
Here are some of my favorite bike trails....see the websites below each link for more information
One of the paved prettiest bike rides is down 441 are the Paynes Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Trails
Another great ride is Gainesville - Hawthorne Rail Trail, Florida which is 16 miles and has bathrooms around the route
There are also a large number of off-road trails (especially 45 minutes south in Ocala)
Mary and Peter Gregory created this haven for old, abused and abandoned horses in 1984.
Mill Creek Farm gives them the chance to live their last years in peace and tranquility.
11 a.m - 3 p.m.
As a not-for-profit organization, Retirement Home for Horses, Inc. depends solely on the contributions of individuals.
Admission: 2 carrots! (but a 5 lb bag is preferred)
Alachua is in North Central Florida, just a few miles north of Gainesville (home of the University of Florida).
US Route 441 between Gainesville and Ocala is part of the Florida Scenic Hwy program and its a drive you won't forget. In fact if you are a bicyclist or biker I'd suggest doing this route on a bike. There are bike trails for most of the route and its a great area for biking.
During this short drive you will pass the beautiful Paynes Prairie, the enchanting city of Micanopy (make a short detour) and another great little town called McIntosh.
My favorite part of the ride is through what is called the the southern mansions and the horse farms. This area is the horse capital of the world for a reason and you'll be amazed at the huge regal southern horse farms surrounded by white fences and with adorable immaculate horse barns (these are nicer than most people's houses)
My Suggestions - Spend the entire day making this drive
Be sure to stop at the following locations
1) Paynes Prairie outlook - free
2) Paynes Prairie Park - $4 a car. If you are here in the summer come early to avoid the heat. There are some great little walks here. Be sure to visit the visitors center and watch the video (free)
3) Stop at the city of Micanopy for lunch and some shopping - be sure to spend some time walking the streets and getting to know the locals. Stop at the Micanopy museum ($2)
4) Stop at a few of the more scenic areas to take pictures - Macintosh is a great place to stop
5) Stop at a roadside vendor for a Coke and a bag of boiled peanuts ~ note the peanuts the vendors sell are very salty so you'll need the Coke
6) Once you make it to Ocala you can take a horse drawn carriage tour of the area -
http://www.ocalacarriage.com/ (352) 867-8717. email@example.com
Micanopy pronounced (Mick-can-oh'-pee), is often called "The little town that time forgot."
Spending a day (or weekend here) will transport you back to another time...where things move slow and southern hospitality is king
Micanopy is the second oldest settlement in Florida and the oldest inland settlement in Florida It is so cute its been featured in movies...like Doc Hollywood
In addition to the old building and the majestic oaks and magnolia there is also an eclectic array of antique shops and a few cute little restaurants. I could easily have spent the entire day here and plan on going back soon. Spend your day walking the quaint little shops, go antique shopping, and visiting with the locals. Oh and don't forget your camera.
If your interested in a romantic weekend I'd make a weekend out of it. Be sure to get a room at the Herlong Mansion bed and breakfast.
Micanopy was voted "Best Antique Shopping" town and Paynes Prairie was voted "Best Place to View Alligators" by readers of Florida Magazine in 2006.