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Gainesville

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Gainesville is in North Central Florida. It is home to the University of Florida, and Santa Fe College.

Get in[edit]

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 75 runs north and south to the west of Gainesville.

By plane[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • 2 Greyhound101 NE 23rd Ave (west of Main St). Greyhound has regular service to Gainesville, running through Jacksonville, Ocala, and Tallahassee.
  • 3 Megabus700 SE 3rd St (Rosa Parks Downtown Station). Service from Atlanta, Orlando, Tallahassee, Mobile, and New Orleans.
  • RedCoach. RedCoach offers a bus service from cities around Florida. The 4 RedCoach first and business class stop is located on Hull Road, across the street from the University of Florida's Southwest Recreation Center; the 5 RedCoach economy class stop is at the UF Commuter Lot on Gale Lemerand Drive.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. The nearest Amtrak station is in Jacksonville, Florida. Both the Silver Star and Silver Meteor service Jacksonville from Miami and Boston. You'll need to transfer to an Thruway connecting bus to to go Gainesville. The bus stops at the Rosa Parks downtown transit station at 700 Southeast 3rd Street. The bus ride takes about one hour and 45 minutes

Get around[edit]

Map of Gainesville (Florida)

By bus[edit]

Bus service is provided on 35+ routes. Some bus lines provide service until 2:00AM on weeknights. Late night service, referred to as the Later Gator, is provided on some lines, Wednesday through Saturday from 8PM to 3:00AM.

Here's a breakdown on service levels:

Weekdays 6AM to 2AM (Most Serviced Lines), Service can run from every 8 minutes on most utilized lines to every 60 minutes on less utilized lines. Make sure to check individual schedules.

Saturdays: 7AM to 7PM on most lines. Service every 30 to 60 minutes. Special Late Night Bus service begins at 8PM and ends at 3AM. These buses run every 10 to 15 minutes.

Sundays: 9AM to 5PM, very limited service. Buses only run every 60 minutes.

During school breaks and the summer holiday, RTS service runs less frequently with most routes ending service by 11PM.

See[edit]

Devil's Millhopper - Boardwalks as seen from bottom
  • Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park4732 Millhopper Road +1 352-955-2008. W-Su 9AM-5PM. A bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep which contains a miniature rain forest. Visitors can enjoy picnicking and learn more about this sinkhole through interpretive displays. $4 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian/bicyclist.
  • The Fest. One of America's premier independent music festivals concentrating mainly on punk; hundreds of bands, over three days in eight or more venues. Unmissable.
Statue of Albert A. Murphree, University of Florida campus
  • University of Florida, Phone: 352-846-2000. These folks are serious about their football and basketball. A full calendar of entertainment in sports and the arts is available. For information on the school's sports teams, known as the Gators, see the dedicated website.
    • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. University of Florida's stadium known as "The Swamp" seats over 90,000. It's one of the largest (and loudest) anywhere.
    • Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center has a reputation around the country – enthusiastic and friendly if you're a Gator...noisy, deafening and menacing if you're the opposition. Florida's student section, dubbed the "Rowdy Reptiles", has made the O'Connell Center one of the toughest places to play in the nation.
    • Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts315 Hull Rd +1 352-392-1900.
    • Harn Museum of Art +1 352-392-9826. Tu-F 11AM-5PM; Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 1PM-5PM. SW 34th Street and Hull Road.
    • Lake Alice on the UF campus. Lake Alice is a sanctuary for alligators and birds. At dusk, bats that roost in a nearby bathouse fly out to feed on the insect life that the lake nourishes. A trip out at dusk to watch the cloud of bats is a popular local pastime.
  • Florida Museum of Natural HistorySW 34th Street & Hull Road +1 352-846-2000. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Nice Butterfly Rainforest exhibit (extra charge). Permanent exhibits include the Butterfly Rainforest: Where Science Takes Flight!, Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife, South Florida People & Environments, Florida Wildflower & Butterfly Garden, and the Fossil Plant Garden. Suggested donation: Adult $6, seniors, students, children $4, under 3 free.
  • Hippodrome State Theatre +1 352-375-4477.
  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens4700 S.W. 58th Drive +1 352-372-4981. M,Tu,W 9AM-5PM; Sa,Su 9AM-dusk. Adults: $5; Children 6-13: $3; Children under 6: Free.
  • Matheson Museum complex513 E. University Avenue +1 352-378-2280. Monday - Thursday 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.. Alachua County history. The complex contains a museum housed in the old American Legion Hall and Matheson House, the second oldest house in Gainesville.
  • The Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo. Tours by appointment.
  • Haile Village Center. An award-winning planning and development community that is a throwback to the traditional style and beauty of a New England town. Restaurants, Shops, Events, Parks, and Trails. It's just a shopping plaza.

Do[edit]

  • Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy +1 352-466-3397. Florida´s first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Alligators, wild horses, bison and over 260 species of birds live in many diverse habitats here. Eight trails provide hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling opportunities. Ranger-led activities during weekends, November through April. 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.

    Admission Fees - $4/vehicle (up to 8 passengers). Single Car Occupant - $3, Motorcycle Fee (one or two persons) - $3, Admission Fee $1 per person, Camping Fees - $15 per night, Picnic Pavilion - A 65 person picnic pavilion can be reserved for $30 plus tax, Group Camping - Camping fee is $4 for each person with a minimum fee of $20 per night, plus tax. Equestrian fee is $10 for both horse and rider.

  • Ginnie Springs Outdoors7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643 +1 352 454-7188. Bring the family or a cooler of beer and friends and float down the natural spring-fed river. Amenities include beach volleyball courts, campsites, picnic tables, shower/bath facility, and dive excursions. Entry $12/person. Camping (including entry) $20/person.
  • Ocala Jai-alai and Poker4601 NW County Rd. 318 Reddick, FL 32686 (About 30 minutes south of campus on 441),  +1 352 591-2345. Su-Th 12-12 F-Sa 1:30-1:30. Watch live Jai-alai or play in the new poker room. Runs tournaments and sit'n'goes daily. 18+
  • Devil's Millhopper4732 Millhoppper Road Gainesville, Florida 32653. 9a-5p, Weds-Sun. 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. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers. A significant geological formation, Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s. Researchers have learned a great deal about Florida's natural history by studying fossil shark teeth, marine shells and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals found in the sink. Visitors can enjoy picnicking and learn more about this sinkhole through interpretive displays. $4/vehicle, $2/pedestrian.

Festivals[edit]

  • Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival.
  • Festival of Trees at Gainesville Woman's Club.
  • Old Time Christmas in Historic High Springs.
  • Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.
  • Dudley Farm Historic State Park Cane Grinding Day.
  • Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival, Waldo Railroad Days.
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Writers Workshop "Writing the Region".
  • Newberry Watermelon Festival.
  • The Fest.
  • Gainesville Improv Festival.

Buy[edit]

University of Florida Bookstore: Florida Gator fan gear and books.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company201 Southeast 2nd Avenue (at Union Street Station),  +1 352 371-3359. 11:30AM - 10PM. A trendy downtown sushi bar, Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company offers an innovative and gourmet selection of sushi, sashimi and Eurasian Fusion fare that's thought by locals and visitors alike to be some of the best in town, in an atmosphere that's hip and vibrant.
  • Ti Amo! Reasurant and Bar12 SE Second Avenue (Downtown Gainesville),  +1 352 378-6307. Mo-Th: 4PM-10PM, Fr-Sa: 4PM-midnight. Great Food. Fantastic Wine. Classic Dining Space.
  • Leonardo's 706706 West University Avenue +1 352 378-2001. Su-Th: 5PM-10PM, Fr-Sa: 5PM-11PM.
  • Amelia's235 S. Main Street (located in the downtown Sun Center),  +1 352 373-1919. M-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Excellent Italian fare in a cozy restaurant located in the heart of downtown Gainesville. $12-$20.
  • Burrito Brothers Taco Co.1402 W. University Ave (behind the Student Center),  +1 352 378-5948. M-Su 11AM-9PM. Famous, ever-crowded take-out locale situated right off the UF campus is ideal for tasty (and inexpensive) Mexican food.
  • Leonardo's Pizza by the Slice1245 W University Ave +1 352 375-2007. M-Th 9AM-10PM, F-Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 9AM-10PM. Eclectic atmosphere and great pizza highlight this popular eatery near campus.
  • Mr. Han's6944 NW 10TH PL +1 352 331-6400. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. A consistent recipient of the 'best Chinese restaurant in Gainesville' award, Mr. Han's serves up outstanding Peking, Szechuan and Hunan inspired dishes. There's a nightclub on the premises as well. $12-$40.
  • Liquid Ginger101 SE 2nd Place +1 352-371-2323. SUN CENTER. Open every day for dinner, 6 days for lunch (closed Sa afternoon) M-F 11:30-2:30 M-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-10:30PM, Su noon-10PM. A newer establishment in the downtown dining scene, Liquid Ginger offers an eclectic asian fusion cuisine at very reasonable prices. It can get quite crowded on weekends, so a reservation is good to have.
  • Falafel King3252 SW 35th Blvd +1 352 375-6342. If you're in the mood for falafel, gyro, baba ghanoush, tabouleh or some amazing hummus, this is the place to go. Located in Butler Plaza, this small restaurant gives you large amounts of delicious food for a really reasonable price.
  • Bento Cafe3832 W Newberry Rd and 3841 SW Archer Rd +1 352 377-8686 (Newberry), +1 352 224-5123 (Archer). In the mood for sushi? Perhaps a bento box with some Asian fusion food? Or maybe just some boba tea or sake? Bento Cafe, with two locations in Gainesville, has a large variety of Asian foods and wonderful sushi! There's even a Gator Roll for those looking for the ultimate Gator experience in Gainesville!
  • [dead link]The Swamp1642 W University Av +1 352 377-9267. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-11PM. Great college atmosphere for food and fun!
  • 2 [dead link]Mi Apa Latin Cafe114 SW 34th St. (The NW corner of 34th St and SW 2nd Ave.),  +1 352 376-7020. Sun-Th 7 AM to 10 PM; Fr-Sat 7 AM to 11 PM. Given its central location, it is walking distance from the west end of UF campus. It has a wonderful family atmosphere, with genuinely nice staff. The food is delicious and one of the finest examples of Cuban cuisine. A second location is in Alachua, Florida. About $16 with dessert and tip.
  • [dead link]Kabab House1129 West University Ave (One Block East on University Ave From 13 Street),  +1 352 374-2114. 11 AM-10 PM Seven Days a week. Kabab House serves meat (chicken,beef, & lamb) kababs cooked in the tandoor (clay oven). Offers wide variety of curries, rice and vegetables dishes. Average $8.99.
  • Indian Cuisine3550 Sw 34th St, Ste M, Gainesville, FL 32608 (Near the intersection of SW 34th St and SR-121/SW 35th Pl),  +1 352-271-1190. Closed Mondays. Great Indian restaurant with eclectic menu. Good atmosphere and helpful staff. $12-20.
  • [dead link]Fresco3117 SW 34th St +1 352 377-3484. M-Th 11:30-10 F-Sa 11:30-11 Su 12-9. Gainesville's finest Italian food. Always has original and delicious specials. Garlic bread, muscles, and fish dishes are to die for. Try the espresso cake for dessert. $12-15.
  • Miya Sushi3222 SW 35th Blvd (next to Publix),  +1 352 335-3030. Su-Th 11:30-10 F-Sa 11:30-10:30. Korean joint with some Japanese dishes. Great sushi roll choices and Korean BBQ, tempura, and lunch/dinner boxes excellent. Try the dinner for two that comes with soup, salad, spring rolls, sushi and a beef dish for $28. $12-25.
  • The Jones Eastside401 NE 23rd Ave +1 352-373-6777. Freshest breakfast all day, everyday. Some organic ingredients, vegetarian dishes. Friendly staff, and hip music. Must try.
  • 3 The Hyppo (Downtown Hyppo(two other Hyppo locations are in Gainesville)), 214 S.E. 2nd Avenue (One block east of Main Street in downtown),  +1 352 727-4233. 11 AM to 10 PM Sun-Th; 11 AM to 12 AM Fr-Sat. Serves frozen fruit popsicles. A large variety of unique flavors are offered, such as avocado coconut. The Hyppo is one of a chain of Hyppo establishments. Expensive high-end popsicles.
  • 4 The Twisted Peacock3610 SW 13th Street (From I-75 take Exit 382 east to SW 13th Street and go north. Restaurant on west side of street),  +1 352 505-6827. Mon-Sat 11 AM to 10 PM; closed Sun in summer. Indian restaurant. Quality of food excellent, and spicy. Serves beer and wine and some mixed drinks. $11.00-$30.00.

Drink[edit]

There are bars all over Gainesville. It's traditionally known as a huge drinking town. UF president Bernie Machen has tried to wage a war against alcohol and binge drinking since he took over several years ago.

The town in general isn't quite as hip and wild as it once was. As admission standards at the university continue to rise, a different crowd has trickled in. But there's still plenty of diversity, and partying, in Gainesville.

The area referred to as mid-town, directly across the street from the school on University Ave., has some of the more traditional Gainesville bars. Grog House, Salty Dog, Balls, XS, and Gator City (formerly the Purple Porpoise in Gainesville's heyday) all share the same building. Almost any night of the week one can find great specials and large crowds. Near by is the restaurant/bar Swamp housed in a former professor's house. It is a can't miss both for the atmosphere and the decent food.

The downtown area is a combination of clubs and more laid back bars. Places like the Loosey's, Lillian's (a former music store) and Stubby's, a bar that features hundreds of imported beers, cater to an older crowd. Clubs such as :08 and Sky having dancing and music but are usually most crowded on "lady's night." Most recently Rockey's Dueling Piano Bar has opened and added to the city's diverse music scene.

Bars close at 2AM due to the "Rave Law", passed in the late 1990s when Gainesville became one of Florida's premier rave scenes. Last call can be as early as 1:30 AM. After the bars close roads can be dangerous due to drunk drivers.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Orlando is 1½-2 hours South. Take I-75 South to the Florida Turnpike, then East.
  • Jacksonville is 1½ hours North. Take US-301 North to I-10, then East.
  • Miami is 5½ hours South. Take I-75 South to the Florida Turnpike, then East to I-95, then South.
  • Atlanta is 5 hours North along I-75.
  • Tallahassee is 2½ hours West. Take I-75 North to I-10, then West.
  • Tampa is 2 hours South along I-75.
  • Daytona Beach is 2½ hours East. Take US-441 South to Ocala, then State Rd 40 East.
Routes through Gainesville
MaconLake City  N I-75.svg S  OcalaTampa



This city travel guide to Gainesville is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.