Gainesville, located in North Central Florida, is home to the University of Florida, which is one of the largest colleges in the country by enrollment. UF’s Florida Gators football and basketball teams are some of the most celebrated in NCAA sports. Gainesville is known for its local music scene, which has spawned many successful bands over the years, such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Against Me!, and Less Than Jake. Gainesville is considered to have a generally high quality of life and is a great place both to live and visit.
Step one to your Gainesville travel plans is to find a good place to stay in the city. If you are looking to stay in historic Downtown Gainesville, the Hampton Inn and Suites Gainesville Downtown is a great choice. Other excellent options located near Downtown and the University include the cozy and quaint Sweetwater Branch Inn, and the beautiful lakefront Paramount Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. For mid-priced accommodations near the University, you might consider the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville or the Holiday Inn Gainesville. Budget options near the University include the Quality Inn University, Econolodge University, and Days Inn Gainesville University.
As are most college towns, Gainesville is on point when it comes to food. One of the more popular restaurants in the city that you should be sure to check out if you enjoy sushi and Japanese food is Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company. For fresh American cuisine with an emphasis on using only the best ingredients available, the Paramount Grill and Mildred’s Big City Food are top choices. Satchels Pizza is the place to be if you’re in the mood for a good pie, while Mi Apa Latin Café has got you covered when it comes to Latin cuisine in Gainesville. If you are looking for healthy and organic food with a lot of eclectic vegetarian and vegan options, The Jones is a local favorite.
College town and nightlife might as well be synonymous terms, and Gainesville is no exception to this rule. If you are looking for live music, venues to check out include the Back Stage Lounge, the Double Down Live, and Lillian’s Music Store. In terms of sports bars, you’ll want to look at Gator’s Dockside and Gator City Sports Grill. Stubbies and Steins or the Gainesville House of Beer are great choices for the beer lovers, while the wine set should check out Half Cork’d (also featuring a good craft beer selection). If you are looking to get your dance on, Status Nightclub, Fubar and The Vault are some of the top dance clubs in Gainesville. 08 Seconds is a great Country nightclub and live music venue. For a good straight-ahead bar, check out The Swamp or the Salty Dog Saloon,
From the college sports, to the exciting nightlife, to the generally liberal and laid-back atmosphere of the city, Gainesville is a great travel destination for those that love to have a good time. We all think about big cities like Miami and Tampa, or tropical travel destinations like Key West when we think about fun in the Florida sun, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had in a lively college town like Gainesville.