As any good real estate professional will tell you, location is everything. If you’re considering building a custom home in Gainesville, you might be asking yourself “What is there to do in Gainesville, Florida?” Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are plenty of terrific things to do around Gainesville. While we believe the area deserves more credit for the many fun things there are to do in Gainesville, the fact remains that it tends to get outshined by spots like Miami and Orlando. Gainesville is not a resort town, but it’s an excellent place to build a home, raise a family, and get the full American Dream experience.
That said, here are a few of the most popular attractions in this terrific, down-home, American town.
12 Great Things to do in Gainesville
The great thing about a spot like Gainesville is there’s plenty to keep you busy in the local area, but you also have easy access to the fabulous resort locations mentioned above. It’s a bit like what the Central California Coast is to Los Angeles. It’s not the state’s biggest hot spot, but it gives you access to the hot spots without the pressure of living right in the thick of it. That said, here are Gainesville’s top attractions.
You don’t need to be a butterfly aficionado to appreciate the surreal beauty of this location. It’s a nice place to visit any time of year. But when the butterflies are there, it’s absolutely magical. The trees look as if they have butterflies for leaves, and the butterflies travel to and fro between the trees. We think you’ll agree, it is dreamlike.
Museum of Natural History
Love learning about the planet’s past? Who doesn’t? You’ll see mammoth skeletons, and skeletons that are mammoth! You’ll also learn all kinds of amazing facts, see beautiful and amazing artifacts, and have a great time. Best of all, you’ll be supporting an institution that has contributed much to our knowledge of this marvelous world we all live in.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
The climate of Florida is unique among the American states. That means that a visit to the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens will let you set eyes on an array of plant life that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else. Ever wonder what a lily pad in the age of dinosaurs might have looked like?
Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
Here, they have a dizzying array of wildlife specimens that you would never see in Florida otherwise, and that’s probably a good thing. Would you have ever guessed that you’d have a chance to make eye contact with a spotted leopard? Take our word for it, it is not something you want to go your whole life without doing.
Placid, serene, a perfect spot for relaxed reflection and a gentle stroll. Fortunately, it’s protected land. So now we all get to enjoy it any time we please.
University of Florida Bat House
A lot of people are afraid of bats. But the truth is that they are wily, intelligent, and amazingly specialized creatures. They are the only mammal that is capable of true sustained flight and their ability to navigate via echolocation is also unique among non-aquatic mammals. What’s more, they are an important part of nature’s effort to keep insect populations from growing out of control.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park
With all the charm of a southern swamp and the unique addition of tropical flora, the Sweetwater Wetlands Park is wholly unique in the American landscape. Enjoy a pleasant hike, a peek at a wide variety of birds, wild horses, alligators, and learn about the one-of-a-kind climate that you may soon call home.
University of Florida
Did we mention that Gainesville is a college town? That’s just part of why it’s an excellent place to raise a family. But that also means that the downtown area offers plenty of culture and interesting shops. Culture and colleges always go hand in hand, and Gainesville is no exception.
Devil's Millhopper Geological Park
Enjoy a pleasant afternoon hike among the trees, over wooden bridges, and see the legendary Devil's Millhopper sinkhole. It’s 120 feet deep and 500 feet across, and it’s a stunning example of why Florida is geologically unique.
Santa Fe College Zoo
If you love looking at exotic animals, Carson Springs will not exhaust the area’s offerings. The College Zoo was built to help students in biological studies, but it’s a wonderful place for anyone to see some of this planet’s magnificent inhabitants.
Strap on your roller skates or just lounge in the beautifully restored area that was originally envisioned as "Gainesville's Central Park". There is something for everyone with events scheduled to entertain children, families, nature lovers and fitness buffs alike.
La Chua Trail
Yet another great spot for stretching your legs and getting a little leisurely exercise. There’s plenty of fresh air and it’s a great spot for anyone who appreciates the ability to cast one’s gaze as far as it will go.