About Gainesville

US Airways Magazine - Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville – Where Nature and Culture Meet in North Florida

Gainesville is a university community located in North Central Florida midway between the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The area is known for its natural beauty with its stately live oaks and many springs, lakes, and rivers. There are a number of parks in Gainesville and the surrounding area where residents and their families can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, bicycling, camping, and other sports. The climate encourages outdoor activities throughout the year. Gainesville offers the excitement of a large city with the convenience of a small town. Culturally, the city is enriched by the influence of the University. The population of Gainesville is approximately 111,000 with a surrounding population of 220,000. The city offers a diverse cultural environment, excellent public schools, and a low cost of living, which makes Gainesville an attractive and affordable place to live. Gainesville was ranked #1 in the Top 10 College Towns: Great Cities for School & Life After Graduation by Livability.com.

Explore Gainesville in 60 Seconds

Fun in Gainesville

Dance, Musical and Theatrical Performance Venues

UF Performing Arts

The Phillips Center for Performing Arts, The University Auditorium, The Baughman Center hosts a variety of musical and theatrical events in three venues.

The Phillips Center for Performing Arts

Hippodrome State Theatre

The Hippodrome Theatre (often referred to by residents as the Hipp) is a regional professional theatre in downtown Gainesville,

Inside The Hippodrome Theater

University’s Florida Players

Florida Players is an exploratory student-run theatre company that provides diverse opportunities for artistic and professional growth through hands-on work in live theatre.

silhouette of three performers on stage

Gainesville Community Playhouse

The Gainesville Community Playhouse is one of the oldest community theaters in the state of Florida.

Group of adults on stage acting


Cade Museum

The Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention is named for Dr. James Robert Cade, a professor of renal (kidney) medicine at the University of Florida and the lead inventor of the sports drink Gatorade.

aerial view of the cade museum

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

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.

Inside the Harn Museum

The University Gallery

University Galleries is comprised of three art galleries that play an integral role in the teaching mission of the School of Art + Art History, College of the Arts at the University of Florida, as well as serving the entire UF and Gainesville community.

University Galleries

The Florida Museum of Natural History

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.

Butterfly Vivarium at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Santa Fe Gallery

The broad range of quality artwork shown at the Santa Fe Gallery, Exhibition Halls, and in public spaces on the Campuses suggests to college students, faculty, staff and visitors the endless variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional arts.

Woman looking at abstract painting

Athletics and Outdoor Activities

Lake Alice

Lake Alice is a signature feature of the University of Florida campus. It is a proven sanctuary to alligators as well as many birds.

View of lake alice

Lake Wauburg

Lake Wauburg offers UF students, faculty and staff a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Wakeboarder on lake wauberg

Devils Millhopper Geological State Park

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.

Looking down into the sinkhole at devils millhopper

San Felasco State Park

Outstanding birdwatching, the area’s best off-road biking, stunning scenery and a rich historic past are only a few of this preserve’s highlights.

Brown sign at the entrance to San Felasco

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 ½ mile paved walkway

large old oak tree at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens


Gainesville is home to many diverse restaurants. From locally owned to large chains, you won’t go hungry in our town.

Housing in Gainesville