Gainesville Things to Do

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    The bottom of the devils millhopper
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  • entrance to morningside nature center
    entrance to morningside nature center
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Best Rated Things to Do in Gainesville

  • Katmosphere's Profile Photo

    Nature Trail at Paynes Prairie

    by Katmosphere Written Jul 8, 2005

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    This is a very nice place to hike. We saw a lot of deer, rabbits and a snake but there are also wild turkey, white ibis, hawks, egrets, meadowlarks and BISON!!! YES, BUFFALO!!!
    We didn't run into them, but if you do see them you are supposed to keep your distance because they can be brutal. They say if a bison raises its tail, you should get away immediately, it is a sign that the animal may charge...

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Butterfly Rainforest

    by Katmosphere Written Jul 14, 2006

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    Within the University there is the most beautiful butterfly rainforest garden!! There are hundreds of butterflies flying around you as you walk through the rainforest. If you stand still they land on you--so many different species and colors--it's beautiful!!

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    florida museum of natural history

    by doug48 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    florida museum of natural history

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Travel with Pets
    • Museum Visits

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    stephen o'connel center

    by doug48 Updated Dec 3, 2008

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    stephen o'connel center

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Adventure Travel

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    university of florida

    by doug48 Updated Oct 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    century tower

    the university of florida dominates the economic and cultural life of gainesville. the university of florida was created by combining several small colleges in 1905. the 1905 buckman act established the university of florida in gainesville, the florida female college (FSU) and the state normal school for colored students (florida A&M) in tallahassee. the university of florida is the third largest school in the united states with a student population of over 50,000. the university of florida has a beautiful campus and interesting neo gothic buildings.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park

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    ben hill griffin stadium

    by doug48 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    ben hill griffin stadium

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Adventure Travel

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    harn museum of art

    by doug48 Written Oct 20, 2007

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    harn museum of art

    the harn museum of art is located on the university of florida campus. this museum has collections of african, mesoamerican, asian and modern art. a very good collection for a town the size of gainesville.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    hippodrome state theatre

    by doug48 Updated Oct 20, 2007

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    hippodrome state theatre

    located in the historic 1911 federal building the hippodrome theatre company was established in 1972. hippodrome presents plays and cinema. they also have the backstage bar on premises. for events and times check their website.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Theater Travel

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    devils millhopper state park

    by doug48 Updated Jul 25, 2012

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    devils millhopper

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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  • noidiotsplease's Profile Photo

    Devil's Millhopper - climb down a lush sikhole

    by noidiotsplease Written Aug 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located northeast of UF and downtown, in the middle of a suburban residential area, Devil's Millhopper is a very unusual and scenic state park. Here, you can wind your way down a boardwalk into the base of a giant sink hole full of lush vegetation. You can even see a few waterfalls along the way.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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    Gennie Springs.Canoe, Tube,...

    by pulgaron Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gennie Springs.Canoe, Tube, and Snorkeling Rentals Waterside Entry and Sun Decks Riverside Nature Trails Volleyball Courts and
    Playground Covered Pavilions for Groups and Parties Picnic Tables and Grills Private Boat Ramp
    Camping, float down the river, scuba dive caves and caverns. Get scuba certified. Volley Ball, barbq. Just a fun place to spend a day or two.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • tampa_shawn's Profile Photo

    Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

    by tampa_shawn Written Sep 12, 2008

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    Nature Trail at Paynes Prairie

    Paynes Prairie is biologically, geologically, and historically unique. This park became Florida´s first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774.

    Over 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife, including alligators, bison, wild horses, and over 270 species of birds. Exhibits and an audio-visual program at the visitor center explain the area´s natural and cultural history. A 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center provides a panoramic view of the preserve.

    Eight trails provide opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling. Ranger-led activities are offered on weekends, November through April. Fishing on Lake Wauberg is allowed and a boat ramp provides access for canoes and boats with electric motors. Gasoline powered boats are not allowed. Full-facility campsites are available for overnight visitors. Located on U.S. 441, 10 miles south of Gainesville.
    Hours of Operation

    Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

    Admission Fees - $4.00/vehicle (up to 8 passengers). Single Car Occupant - $3.00
    Motorcycle Fee (one or two persons) - $3.00
    Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicles with a holder of an Annual Individual Entrance permit - Admission Fee $1.00 per person.

    Camping Fees - $15.00 per night

    Picnic Pavilion - A 65 person picnic pavilion can be reserved for $30.00 plus tax.

    Group Camping - Camping fee is $4.00 for each person with a minimum fee of $20.00 per night, plus tax. Equestrian fee is $10.00 for both horse and rider.

    I am of course am a huge fan of Annual Passes -- For an annual pass to ALL Florida state parks see http://www.floridastateparks.org/annualpass/default.cfm

    Individual Entrance: $43.40 each
    Family Entrance: $85.80 each

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    Florida Museum of Natural History

    by tampa_shawn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Florida Eco-system
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    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)

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/membership/ASTC_May2008-Oct2008.pdf

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  • tampa_shawn's Profile Photo

    Butterfly Rainforest

    by tampa_shawn Updated Sep 16, 2008

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    An absolutely magical place the setting is beautiful and you won't believe all the butterflies! I spent hours here and really and truly could have spent more! Be sure to bring your camera!

    Be sure to come for the butterfly release (where the newly "hatched" butterflies are released into the terrarium). The website (below) provides an up to date listing of the times. We were there on Saturday afternoon and butterflies were released about every hour. The staff who released the butterflies gave some great information. Although I must say that the staff here were wonderful and kept on stopping buy and giving me more information.

    There is an attached museum with all sorts of information on butterflies and an overwhelming display of various preserved butterflies from around the world. Be sure to look at the hatching area and the labs and storage areas.

    Note this exhibit is part of the Florida Museum of Natural History and next to the Han Museum of Art - so you can attend all at the same time.

    Also remember to check the website (below) for special events (like the butterfly migration and the butterfly release) these are GREAT

    Hours: Monday - Saturday 10a-5p; Sunday 1p-5p. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Parking

    Reserved parking for museum visitors - excluding University holidays - is $3 per day (cash only), 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The reserved parking area is immediately east and north of the Harn Museum of Art in the UF Cultural Plaza. Please see attendant in gated booth.

    Parking is free on weekends and State holidays.

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    Santa Fe Teaching Zoo

    by tampa_shawn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    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

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Gainesville Things to Do

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