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GainesvilleUnited States of America

Equal parts scenic oasis and cultural hub, this vibrant college town is one of the gems of sunny northern Florida.

The home of the University of Florida is one of the region’s most popular destinations. Gainesville has outdoor attractions, cultural offerings and a lovely tropical climate.

Many of Gainesville’s attractions are located at the University of Florida, which occupies the town’s southwestern corner. Admire a selection of the 6,000 pieces of artwork at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art or watch a dance performance at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Cheer on the Gators football team at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium or stroll around the campus and admire the historic buildings.

In the downtown area, browse through shops and galleries or enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the bistros or restaurants. Stop by the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, which hosts live music and the weekly Union Street Farmer’s Market. When the sun goes down, join locals enjoying the nightlife in bars and clubs or catch a musical at the Hippodrome State Theatre.

Within a 20-minute drive from downtown are plenty of opportunites for outdoor recreation. At Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, see bison, alligators and hundreds of bird species thriving in their natural environment. Climb the observation tower to enjoy panoramic views of the wilderness.

Spend the day swimming or fishing in the warm waters of Lake Wauberg. If you’re a cycling enthusiast, head to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, where you can bike along 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) of trails. Stroll through rainforest at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park.

See fossils and interactive exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Walk through the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit and find yourself surrounded by more than 70 colorful species. Head to the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo to learn how keepers interact with the animals.

Gainesville Regional Airport is a 15-minute drive from downtown. The nearest Amtrak station is in Waldo, a 20-minute drive from Gainesville. Enjoy Gainesville’s sunny days and warm weather all year-round. Head to “Gator Country” for outdoor fun and cultural activities in a friendly, college-town atmosphere.

Where to stay in Gainesville

Gainesville which includes modern architecture

University Heights

4/5Very Good!(31 area reviews)

While University Heights isn't home to many top sights, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp) and Thomas Center are some notable places to visit nearby.

University Heights

Top Hotels in Gainesville

Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe
Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe
3.5 out of 5
5020 SW 30th Lane, Gainesville, FL
The price is $80 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 5

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Fred Bear Museum, UF Health Shands Hospital, and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Samuel ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (537 reviews)

"Staff were professional and friendly especially the evening manager, she recommended nice place to eat and gave us some great suggestions on some good Pinot noirs."…"

Reviewed on Sep 8, 2020

Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville
3 out of 5
4155 Sw 40th Blvd, Gainesville, FL
The price is $74 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Fred Bear Museum and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Shands at the University of Florida. Samuel ...

4.3/5Excellent! (916 reviews)

"I don’t like that you’re making me have to write something in this box"…"

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2020

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville
Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville
Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville
3 out of 5
4000 Southwest 40th Blvd, Gainesville, FL
The price is $90 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 5

Situated in Gainesville, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Fred Bear Museum and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Shands at the University of Florida. Samuel P. Harn Museum ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (1,472 reviews)

"Very pleased with the service and cleaning. They were super flexible with special requests and following Covid guidelines."…"

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2020

Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Gainesville

Staybridge Suites Gainesville I-75
Staybridge Suites Gainesville I-75
3 out of 5
3401 Sw 40Th Boulevard, Gainesville, FL
The price is $89 per night from Oct 9 to Oct 10

Situated in a shopping district, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Fred Bear Museum, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and Florida Museum of Natural History. ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (152 reviews)

"Un hotel muy tranquilo,limpio y las camas muy cómodas,el área de la piscina y el yakuzi es súper relajante,tiene una ubicación maravillosa,con restaurantes y supermercados"…"

Reviewed on Aug 30, 2020

Staybridge Suites Gainesville I-75
King Studio Close to U of Florida. Outdoor Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast
King Studio Close to U of Florida. Outdoor Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast
Gainesville, FL
The price is $94 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 5

Situated in Gainesville, this apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Fred Bear Museum, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and Florida Museum of Natural History. ...

King Studio Close to U of Florida. Outdoor Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast
Gator Alumni House, 2 Miles From Campus
Gator Alumni House, 2 Miles From Campus
Gainesville, FL
The price is $250 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 11

Situated in Gainesville, this vacation home is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Oaks Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of North Florida Regional Medical Center and Sante Fe College. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (29 reviews)
Great house in Gainesville

"Great place that I would highly recommend. Very cozy."…"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2020

Gator Alumni House, 2 Miles From Campus
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Gainesville

University of Florida
Image for University of Florida

University of Florida

4.5/5(833 reviews)

Take a campus tour or just explore the area around University of Florida, a top college in Gainesville. Stroll along the lakeside or attend a sporting event in the area.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Image for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

4.5/5(272 reviews)

Catch an event at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp) during your trip to Gainesville. Wander the college campus and lakeside in the area.

Devil's Den
Image for Devil's Den

Devil's Den

4/5(153 reviews)

Enjoy a trip to Devil's Den, a well-known attraction in Williston.

Florida Museum of Natural History
Image for Florida Museum of Natural History

Florida Museum of Natural History

4.5/5(171 reviews)

You can spend an afternoon exploring the galleries in Florida Museum of Natural History during your trip to Gainesville. Amble around the area's college campus or attend a sporting event.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Image for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field

4.5/5(261 reviews)

Catch an event at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field during your trip to Gainesville. Wander the college campus and lakeside in the area.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Image for Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

4.5/5(153 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, a lovely green space in Gainesville. Wander the college campus and lakeside in the area.

Top things to do in Gainesville

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Florida
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Florida

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Florida

$10
Per adult
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Florida
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Florida

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Florida

$20
Per adult
Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Florida
Image for Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Florida

Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Florida

$10
Per adult
Gainesville Bass Fishing Trip
Image for Gainesville Bass Fishing Trip

Gainesville Bass Fishing Trip

$150
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
St. Augustine Bass Fishing Charter
Image for St. Augustine Bass Fishing Charter

St. Augustine Bass Fishing Charter

$135
Per adult
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral
Image for Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral

Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral

$610
Per adult

Reviews of Gainesville

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
771
5 - Excellent 39.78328173374613%
4 - Good
879
4 - Good 45.356037151702786%
3 - Okay
257
3 - Okay 13.26109391124871%
2 - Disappointing
21
2 - Disappointing 1.08359133126935%
1 - Terrible
10
1 - Terrible 0.5159958720330238%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 24, 2020

Nice place to visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 23, 2020

Our trip was for my husband's surgery at Shands Hospital. We did get out to eat a couple times before his surgery and was impressed with the number of restaurants and the polite staff everywhere. I did some shopping and the shopping malls are great

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 18, 2020

Tom Petty Park. I appreciate his music and he and his band originated from Gainesville. I also liked the University of Florida Camus area although most places were closed due to the pandemic when I went through.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 3, 2020

Definitely a college town so be prepared for that, but we liked it overall.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 29, 2020

We love Gainesville

5/5 - Excellent

MGQ

Apr 25, 2020

Nice place to visit.

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