Gainesville, with its sunny Florida weather and abundant scenic beauty, has a wide array of area attractions. For the sports enthusiast, Gainesville is home to the University of Florida Gators and spectators are able to witness the Gators play football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and more! Gainesville also offers outdoor fun for everyone – including hiking trails, swimming in the springs, visiting the zoo, or admiring the natural beauty of several of Gainesville’s state parks. Art and culture fanatics can enjoy multiple art galleries and several performing arts venues. Lastly, there are plenty of shopping and movie theater options. Gainesville offers unique opportunities to visit and interact with some of the best natural, historical, and entertaining areas in Florida!
Museums & Theatres
The Florida Museum of Natural History is a leading authority in biodiversity and cultural heritage, using its expertise to advance knowledge, solve real world problems, and impact public policy and perception.
The University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art collaborates with university and community partners to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art.
The Hippodrome Theatre (often referred to by residents as the Hipp) is a regional professional theatre in downtown Gainesville,
The Gainesville Community Playhouse is one of the oldest community theaters in the state of Florida.
ART develops new talent, plays, audiences and ideas while also celebrating and revivifying the great plays of the past. The ART provides a safe place where people of all ages, genders, races, socio-economic backgrounds and beliefs can create unsafe theatre– thinking people’s theatre– theatre that transforms.
The Phillips Center for Performing Arts, The University Auditorium, The Baughman Center hosts a variety of musical and theatrical events in three venues.
Parks and Gardens
The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, a unique 10-acre zoo in Gainesville, Florida, is the only zoo on a college campus accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Nowhere else in Florida can visitors experience wild-roaming bison and horses. Nearly 300 species of birds also frequent the park along with alligators, deer and many other animals.
In the midst of north Florida’s sandy terrain and pine forests, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 ½ mile paved walkway.
The most common species living here is the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis. The Southeastern bat, Myotis austroriparius, and Evening bat, Nycticeius humeralis, also live in the structures.
The Baughman Center is a stunning, elegant contemplation space in the heart of the University of Florida campus. Designed to bring the picturesque outdoor setting inside, the soaring windows and delicate natural materials echo the serene Florida surroundings.
With world-class fishing, snorkeling, canoeing, tubing and kayaking, there’s always plenty to do on the water. On land, those so inclined may enjoy birding, hiking, biking, fishing and pretty much everything else under the sun.
A charming streetscape awaits you at The Oaks Mall in Gainesville, where you have access to more than 100 stores featuring all your favorite brands.
Butler Plaza is a large retail complex located in southwest Gainesville, Florida. It is the largest retail power center in Florida and among the largest in the southeast United States.
Located on the Santa Fe River in High Springs Florida, Ginnie Springs is one of the clearest springs in Florida. The 72-degree water is perfect for river tubing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba and cave diving.
This spring, known as Gilchrist Blue, has outstanding water clarity and discharges water through a shallow spring run about one-quarter mile to the Santa Fe River.
The park features a playground, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, volleyball courts, softball/kickball/soccer field, nature trails and its own spring.
Manatee Springs State Park proves boardwalks aren’t only for the beach. The park’s 800-foot boardwalk runs through a majestic cypress forest overlooking one of Florida’s breathtaking first-magnitude springs.
Hart Springs Park and Campground is a family-oriented recreation area and one of the Largest Spring-Fed Swimming Areas in the State of Florida.
Traveling the pristine waters of the Ichetucknee River is the perfect outing, whether you’re looking for a vigorous adventure or a relaxing day on the water.