Gainesville Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by justluckie
  • The bottom of the devils millhopper
    The bottom of the devils millhopper
    by grasshopper_6
  • entrance to morningside nature center
    entrance to morningside nature center
    by grasshopper_6

Gainesville Highlights

  • Pro
    doug48 profile photo

    doug48 says…

     fun college town 

  • Con
    Erin09340 profile photo

    Erin09340 says…

     Traffic is getting terrible and when did college kids get so rich? 

  • In a nutshell
    KARLPORTER56 profile photo

    KARLPORTER56 says…

     You wouldn't think you can have fun on a getaway there but you really can.. 

Gainesville Things to Do

  • The Hipp - Live Theater downtown

    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...

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  • History in the woods

    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.

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  • The Devil's Millhopper

    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.

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  • devils millhopper state park

    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...

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  • Wild Bill's Airboard tours and Wild Life...

    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...

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  • Florida Museum of Natural History

    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,...

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Gainesville Hotels

Gainesville Restaurants

  • The Jones

    Cool little cafe near downtown. Diverse menu with a semi vegetarian bent. We were there for breakfast, but they have great offerings for lunch and dinner, a full bar and live music some nights. Soy Merguez vegetarian sausage

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  • barbecue

    bono's barbecue was established in jacksonville in 1949. they are now a regional chain with numerous locations in florida. they specialize in chopped pork barbecue. they also have ribs and chicken. in my opinion not the best barbecue in the south but they serve good food at moderate prices. chopped pork plate or sandwich.

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  • burgers and beer

    the swamp is located on university ave. in the heart of the college area across the street from the university of florida. basically a student hangout but they serve good burgers and sandwiches. a good place to have lunch in the student area of gainesville.

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  • cajun

    harry's seafood, bar and grill is a very good new orleans style restaurant and bar in downtown gainesville. located near city hall and the alachua county court house the clientele is older that most of the restaurants and bars in gainesville. i recommend this restaurant and bar when in gainesville.

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  • barbecue

    sonny's was established in gainesville in 1968. today it is a regional chain with numerous locations in florida and georgia. they specialize in sliced pork and beef barbeque as well as chicken and ribs. in my opinion not the best barbecue in the south but still good food moderately priced. sonny's has three locations in gainesville. pulled pork...

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  • seafood

    the ballyhoo grill is a key west style restaurant on university ave. good seafood selection as well as steaks and poultry. good food moderately priced. try the bananas foster.

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Gainesville Nightlife

  • As you would expect in a...

    As you would expect in a college town, there are plenty of places to party all night. Downtown is the place to be. There are dance clubs, jazz clubs, theatres, and places to get into the vibrant and always interesting local music scene. I'd give specific names and descriptions, but these things change too fast for an occasional visitor to keep up....

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  • Cluck-U Chicken

    This is strictly for UF, and visiting students. A good hang out with cheap beer is Cluck-U Chicken. Nobody really eats chicken there. They just go for the beer and the DJ. It is a great student hangout. People and specially americans love a challenge. And this is what makes this place a success. Here is how it works. You pay from $5 to $8 for a...

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  • Gainesville Hotels

    45 Hotels in Gainesville

    408 Reviews and Opinions

Gainesville Transportation

  • Gainesville is the most...

    Gainesville is the most bike-friendly city in Florida. I didn't have a car in college but it didn't bother me much. The bus system isn't great compared to cities in other regions, but it's one of the best in the state.

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  • The I-75 runs rigth through...

    The I-75 runs rigth through Gainesville. It is the best and most direct way to reach Gainesville by road. There is also an airport with connections to many major cities.There is bus service, the standard Grey Hound bus line, and a small company that runs a bus, called, what else, The Gator Bus, from gainesville to Miami. this is the fastes way by...

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Gainesville Warnings and Dangers

  • crime statistics

    gainesville is a very safe place to visit for the tourist. gainesville does have some crime area that you should avoid. seach gainesville on the attached web site for area crime statstics.

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  • Lovebug Season

    For several months during the summer/spring Lovebugs abound. The exact date varies for some reason...depending on rain I've heard....This year they were particularly bad in mid/late SeptemberThese totally horrible annoying creatures are really flies but are called "lovebugs" because they mate and stay attached for pretty much their entire adult...

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  • Safety in Gainesville

    Gainesville is a relatively safe place. Rumors that it is a dangerous place began with the serial killer that killed 5 people back in 1990 and the freak act of random violence that killed a college student back in 2000. Otherwise Gainesville is a great place to stay out until the bars closes at 2:00. The only place that I would avoid late at night...

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Gainesville Tourist Traps

  • by letaluu Written Jul 20, 2009

    Tried to get a beer at the Copper Monkey in the UF Plaza, at 1700 W University ave in Gainesville, but the bar was closing. It was around 10 PM on a Sunday. The parking lot was mostly empty. Although signs were posted indicating towing of unauthorized vehicles, we ran across the street to get a beer at an outdoor bar. We were gone about fifteen minutes. Came back to find our vehicle was gone! Apparently somebody saw us walk across the street and called a tow truck. Cost $80, plus $15 for the Taxi.

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Gainesville What to Pack

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    by KARLPORTER56 Updated Feb 14, 2006

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Just remember to bring some kind of cap besides all that other stuff.... We forgot our first run and I have hundreds of ball caps I never wear,.. However since you are going to be on the river for about 3 hours .. The cap will really help keep the sun off your face..

    Photo Equipment: Disposable camera only.. just in case you fall in. .. I did and I was able to salvage a few pics. Disposable camera will cut your losses if you lose your pics due to dampness..These pics were actually after I had dropped our disposable camera in the water.. Fortunately they kind of came out.

    Miscellaneous: Since you park your car at the finish area and catch a shuttle to the beginning you have to come up with some ingenious idea about what to do with your keys.. Either some way to tie them on your person or a spare key box.. I think both are good ideas..Leave the door key in the spare box hiddden on your car.. Leave the ignition key in your car hidden.. The area is very safe but you never know..

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Gainesville Off The Beaten Path

  • cross creek

    cross creek is home to marjorie kinnan rawlings historic state park. marjorie kinnan rawlings bought a 72 acre orange grove at cross creek in 1928. in 1939 rawlings won the pulitzer prize for her novel "the yearling". in 1946 the yearling was made into a movie and rawlings became nationally famous. today you can tour rawlings' home and farm. the...

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  • payne's prairie state preserve

    payne's prairie state preserve is located 10 miles south of gainesville on US441. the state preserve offers hiking, canoeing, camping, and a boat ramp on lake wauberg. the prairie is a large marsh where you can see alligators, bison, wild horses and numerious bird species. the state preserve is an excellent place for viewing florida wildlife.

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  • dudley farm historic park

    located 4 miles west of newberry on SR26 is dudley farm historic state park. the park has numerous period buildings which demonstrate the evolution of florida farming from the 1850's to the 1940's. dudley farm is an authentic working farm and you can see planting and harvesting crops depending on the time of the year. also on the walking trail...

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Gainesville Sports & Outdoors

  • Your dog can enjoy football gamedays too

    My dog's daycare facility is going to be open during football games this fall. We are super excited that we can go to the games and not worry about him home alone (or for you travelers, in a hotel) for long hours. Camp Marlin is a great place to bring your dog - its worry free and a lot of fun for your pup!

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  • Go Gators!

    Whether or not the Gators are playing, a stop at the Swamp is a must. The gates are open most days and you can usually see a handful of students running the stadium steps, studying, or just working on a tan. You're not supposed to play on the grass, but it's fun to do, anyways...

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Gainesville Favorites

  • A Great College Town

    There are so many different things to do in Gainesville that it's hard to say what you 'must' do. It depends on what you like. There are three very nice and very different nature parks, two good museums, many interesting shops and restaurants, a thriving local music scene, art galleries and fine local theater, and the beautiful UF campus to...

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  • A Cool Collage-Town

    Gainesville is the coolest town I've ever seen. A real collage town, all young people, many nice bars and places to go.The first time I vistited Gainesville during a Football-Game Florida Gators vs. Miami Dolphins. Everybody went crazy, many people had their BBQ and TV's at the side of the road.The second time was much calmer but still very...

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  • Most people that visit...

    Most people that visit Gainesville do so either to visit a student at the University of Florida, watch a Gator football game or visit the excellent Sands Hospital. Well Gennie Spring is worth a visit. You can float down the river in perfectly chilled water. Floats can be rented at the dive shop. Camping faciliteis are also in the grounds. Gennie is...

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