Best Things to Do in Gainesville
Gainesville is a city in the northern reaches of Florida. It is the county seat of Alachua County and is home to the University of Florida, so if you’re a college student looking to spend some of your money, then Gainesville is for you. The city is also home to Santa Fe College, so if you’re a commuter student, then you can attend Gainesville for a portion of your education.
As one of the oldest cities in the state of Florida, Gainesville has a lot going for it; from the University of Florida to the Gator marching band, it’s a city that has a lot to offer tourists. If you’re looking to do some fun and interesting things in this city, here are some ideas to get you started
1. Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Housed within the University of Florida’s Center for Arts and Sciences, the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention offers a variety of programming and exhibits, such as The Seven Layer Book: The Art and Design of Colin Stetson.
Guests can explore the Multimedia Lab, in which they can create music with an eclectic mix of instruments, including drums, samples, and electronic media. Visit with the Hialeah Uncle Frank from television’s Adventures of Coyote Ugly, Mickey, for Halloween.
Visit an old jail with an amazing historic jail tour, and enjoy programs and lectures with award-winning authors, such as Francine Prose and Susan Strecker. Goodall Osteological Museum This museum is named after David Goodall, an English botanist and a world authority on cicadas.
Address: 811 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: (352) 371-8001
2. Gainesville Artisans Guild Gallery
Gainesville is home to many talented artists. One of the best ways to see their work is to visit the Gainesville Artisan Guild Gallery. The historic district’s gallery is located on Southwest 4th Avenue and showcases area artists by displaying and selling their works.
The Gainesville Artisan Guild Gallery is a performance space used by local musicians, artists, and poets. Walking into space feels like a journey into the past, with a full cafe to the left of the main room and a fully stocked bar on the right.
The main room is a large space to host and accommodate any size crowd, with a stage, and a second-floor balcony for extra space. The gallery is available to rent at an affordable rate, so if you are looking to contact a local band to play for a party, or you are an aspiring artist looking for a place to show off your work, this is the place to be.
Address: 811 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: (352) 371-8001
3. Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
The award-winning Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation has grown from an educational initiative for the Gainesville/Alachua area into one of the nation’s largest educational non-profit wildlife conservation organizations.
It offers programs for all ages with the goal of educating young people about the environmental and conservation issues facing their local community and beyond.
It provides hands-on educational opportunities for school groups, scout troops, church groups, and youth summer camps, with local wildlife presented positively, meaningful, and engaging.
Address: 8528 E, County Rd 225, Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: (352) 468-2827
4. Florida Museum Of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History is a place that’s been in Gainesville, Florida for over 100 years. The museum is home to all of the natural history of the state of Florida.
There are collections of artefacts from palaeontology to zoology. They also have a collection of more than 60,000 artefacts that range from mastodon bones to animal skins. This place is fantastic for kids of all ages as well as adults.
They also have great learning opportunities and events that educate people about our history in Florida. It is one of the largest museums in the Caribbean region, and the largest natural and cultural history museum in Florida.
It is a component of the University of Florida Cultural Plaza, a complex of buildings that includes the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum of Art, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, the Florida Gymnasium, and the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Address: 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611
5. Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a hidden treasure in Florida. This amazing site, which is located in Gainesville, contains a natural sinkhole that drops 60 to 65 feet into a cave system.
While sinkholes are common in Florida, most are smaller depressions in the ground that are submerged in water. Devil’s Millhopper is a dry sinkhole, which is uncommon in Florida. This park is a natural wonder and has been designated a National Natural Landmark because of its unique attributes.
This state park has eight hiking trails and a place called Devil’s Millhopper, a deep sinkhole 80 feet across and 120 feet deep. The sinkhole is at least 400 feet in diameter and has a small pond inside it.
The sinkhole was created by water erosion and carved out by a small stream at the bottom of the sinkhole. “Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park” is located in Gainesville, Florida, which is in the northeastern corner of Alachua County.
This state park is perfect for hikers, and the trails are in great condition since they are well maintained. You will have to pay a small fee to get into the park.
Address: 4732 Millhopper Rd, Gainesville, FL 32653
Phone: (352) 955-2008
6. Haile Homestead, Gainesville, Florida
Haile Homestead is a historic site in Gainesville, Florida, that is dedicated to preserving the history of Alachua County and the surrounding area.
It is located at 6800 S.W. 27th Way, near the intersection of 27th Way and Tram Road. The homestead was first purchased in the 1830s by William Haile, who was running a plantation at the time.
It is now a museum that showcases the living conditions of Florida pioneers and some of the farming and agricultural techniques they used.
During the Great Depression, the federal government started the Resettlement Administration. The goal of the Resettlement Administration was to relocate Americans from the Dust Bowl and other impoverished areas.
The Resettlement Administration’s goal was to create successful communities; some of the communities they created still exist today. The Haile Homestead in Gainesville, Florida was one of those communities.
Address: 8500 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL 32608
Phone: (352) 336-9096
7. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, Florida
A trip to Gainesville is not complete without a trip to the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium. Located at the University of Florida, this planetarium makes for a great date night or a fun outing with the family. You can see everything from a solar system walkthrough to a live show featuring your favorite constellation.
The planetarium also offers free educational programs after school, for kids in 4th grade and up, that will be sure to make you the coolest parent or teacher in your child’s eyes.
Gainesville, FL is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, and it is blessed with a little gem. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, located right on campus at the University of Florida, is a small planetarium with a big heart.
Named after a beloved Gainesville educator and science advocate, the planetarium has taught its community about the stars for more than 40 years.
Address: 3000 NW 83 St Building X, Gainesville, FL 32606
Phone: (352) 395-5225
8. Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation in north-central Florida. The park’s most popular attraction is the Ichetucknee River, which flows through the park and is fed by a series of seven crystal-clear springs.
It is a great place for a family picnic or for a day of swimming and canoeing. The day I went to a spring-fed river in Florida is special for me. I’m pretty sure there are many springs in Florida, but none like the Ichetucknee.
This spring is located in the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, a place I had always wanted to go to. The Ichetucknee is a great place to spend a weekend if you want to enjoy nature.
9. Loblolly Woods Nature Park
The Morningside Nature Center (established 1987) is one of several excellent naturalists and environmental groups located near the city. The Nature Center’s permanent collection, created with a local community grant, includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits, ranging from birds to insects to plants.
Several interesting trails can be found along the rolling hills on the nature center’s grounds, giving you a great opportunity to observe nature from different angles. One trail takes you to a winery where you can learn more about the plant and animal life that grows on the property.
Another trail, the Bat Trail, will get your adrenaline going as you hike through a roosting area and learn about the winged residents’ importance.
Address: 3315 NW 5th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32607
Phone: (352) 334-5067
10. Harn Museum Of Art
The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida is a museum focused on works of art from the Americas in the collection of the University of Florida. It is located at the north end of the UF campus, on Museum Road, in Gainesville, Florida, United States.
The museum is named for Albert and Amanda Harn, who donated their collection of pre-Columbian art in 1949. This collection is one of the most important collections of Pre-Columbian art in the United States and the core of the Harn Museum collection.
Just as the name implies, the Harn Museum of Art is a great museum for anyone interested in art. It is located on the University of Florida campus and provides a three-story museum for you to explore. The museum has been ranked as one of the top ten university museums in the country.
The museum includes works from famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, and Diego Rivera. The museum also has one of the largest collections of China trade silver in the United States. The collection includes more than six hundred objects.
Address: 3259 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32608
Phone: (352) 392-9826
11. Downtown Gainesville
Downtown Gainesville is the cultural and administrative heart of the city. The downtown area is home to the Gainesville City Hall, the Alachua County Courthouse, the Main Library, the University of Florida Health Science Center, and various city and state government offices. Downtown is also home to the Madison Social, a favorite local bar, and the Gainesville Sun, a major local newspaper. For a more complete list, here is a list of attractions in Downtown Gainesville.
Here you can find a variety of local shops and restaurants. It’s also home to the Hippodrome State Theatre, the Fresh Arts Centre, the Regional Transit System (RTS), and the Downtown Post Office. You can also find a variety of affordable hotels in Downtown Gainesville, FL.
Weather: 76°F (24°C), Wind E at 12 mph (19 km/h), 37% Humidity
Population: 132,127 (2019)
Area code: Area code 352
ZIP code: 32601–32614, 32627, 32635, 32641, 32653
12. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, FL
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is home to a huge variety of plants and bird species and is located on the grounds of a former nature preserve. Nature-lovers will feel right at home, as the grounds are dotted with ponds, lakes, marshlands, and wooded areas. The grounds are large and not overly crowded, which is a nice change from many other Florida parks.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a self-supporting unit of the University of Florida. It is dedicated to the preservation of Florida’s native plants. With over 13,000 species of plants, some extremely rare and even endangered, Kanapaha has become a must-see for anyone visiting Gainesville.
Address: 4700 SW 58th Dr, Gainesville, FL 32608
Phone: (352) 372-4981
13. Curtis M Phillips Center for Performing Arts
The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is the largest multi-use venue in Gainesville, Florida. It is named after Curtis M. Phillips, former mayor of Gainesville and developer of the neighboring Phillips Center Office Park.
The 1,828-seat venue is home to performances by the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Community Chorus, Gainesville Youth Orchestra, the University of Florida small ensembles, and a variety of other performances.
The center brings in a large variety of theatre, music, dance, and other performing arts. The center has been in existence since October of 1992 and is named after Curtis M Phillips who was a Gainesville developer, businessman, and philanthropist. The center is a large complex that can hold multiple events at one time.
Address: 3201 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: (352) 392-2787
14. Mix N Mingle Fun Bikes
Find out where to drink at the best places on the Mix N Mingle Bike Tour. The pedal party starts when you get on the sixteen-person cycle on University Avenue.
With the inboard music blaring you’ll cycle around Downtown before stopping at the designated pubs for leg rest and refreshment.
You’re guaranteed to meet new people whenever you go on this tour. The tours last for two hours.
15. Ironwood Golf Course
The Ironwood Country Club in Gainesville, Florida is one of the more unusual golf courses in the area, not because of its facilities, but because of its history. The course was built in the late 1980s on what was once the site of a plantation in the 19th century.
Before that, however, it was one of the most popular sports in the area for illegal duels. (The area was nicknamed “Ironwood” because of the abundance of trees where the duels took place.)
Get a taste of the golfing experience by riding a cart around the lakes and pines or walking the entire course in pursuit of that elusive hole in one. Have no prior golf experience? Hit the range for some driving practice.
This golf course is a designated Audubon Sanctuary and aims to minimize its impact on the environment by incorporating environmentally friendly practices throughout its operations.
Address: 2100 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: (352) 393-8500
Map of Things to Do in Gainesville, FL
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