Best Places to Go and Top Things to Do in Gainesville, FL, in the Alachua County. Tick off our Favorite Attractions

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting place to visit, look no further! There are plenty of things to do in Gainesville, FL, from exploring its state parks to checking out its museums.

things to do in gainesville

In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the best attractions in town. So put on your walking shoes and let’s get started with exploring this charming town!

Downtown Gainesville

One of the best things to do in Gainesville is to explore its downtown area. This historic district is full of shops, restaurants, and cafés, as well as art galleries and museums. Be sure to check out the Thomas Center, which was built in 1906 and is now home to the city’s cultural arts programs. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, make sure to stop by one of the many restaurants downtown, such as The Top restaurant or Palace Saloon (it is the oldest bar in Florida).

Go Back in Time

Last but not least, be sure to visit the Haile Homestead. This historic plantation was once home to slave labor and is now a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can tour the grounds, which include the main house, a kitchen, and a cemetery. It’s a fascinating place to learn about Gainesville’s history.


The Matheson History Museum is another must-see for visitors to Gainesville. This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the city and the surrounding area. It features exhibits on everything from local Native American tribes to the Civil War. The museum also has a library and archives, which are open to the public.

The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is a must-see for anyone visiting Gainesville. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the creative minds of people from all over the world. It features exhibits on everything from fashion to architecture to advertising.

The museum also has a library and archives, which are open to the public. So if you’re interested in learning more about creativity and invention, the Cade Museum is definitely the place for you!

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More museums are to be found at Univeristy of Florida below! Keep reading, Folks!

University of Florida

No trip to Gainesville would be complete without a visit to the University of Florida. This large university is home to over 50,000 students and offers plenty of things to do, including museums, sports facilities, and libraries. Be sure to check out the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History while you’re here.

The Harn Museum of Art

The Harn Museum of Art is one of the most popular attractions on the University of Florida campus. This museum is dedicated to showcasing art from all over the world, and its collection includes pieces from artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe. There’s also a rotating selection of exhibits, so you can always expect something new and exciting when you visit.

The Florida Museum of Natural History

The Florida Museum of Natural History is another must-see attraction on the University campus. This museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the natural history of Florida, and its collection includes items such as mastodon bones and alligator fossils. There’s also a variety of exhibits on display, including one that celebrates the diversity of Florida’s ecosystems.

Bat Houses

No, you are not in a Hitchcock movie :). The University of Florida is home to a colony of bats. These hairy creatures live in two bat houses on campus, and during the summer months you can watch them emerge from the houses to hunt for food. The bats typically eat insects, so they are a great asset to the university’s gardeners. If you’re lucky, you may also see some of these placental mammals migrating south in the fall.

Attractions for Nature Lovers

Searching for outdoorsy things to do in Gainesville? If you love nature, you’ll definitely want to visit Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. This beautiful park is home to over 24 different gardens, including an aquatic garden and a butterfly garden. There’s also a walking trail that winds through the park, making it the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll.

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Gainsville’s State Parks

If you’re looking for something truly unique, head to Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. This state park is home to a 120-foot deep sinkhole that’s filled with lush vegetation. It’s an amazing sight to see and absolutely worth a visit!

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. These parks are perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking. So if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, make sure to check out one of these parks.

Depot Park for Kids

Depot Park is a great place to go if you’re looking for something fun to do. There are lots of things for kids to do here, like play on the playground or go swimming in the pool. You can also have a picnic or just relax under the trees.

Alligator Searching

If you’re looking to get up close and personal with some alligators, be sure to visit one of Gainesville’s many state parks. These parks are home to several gators, so you’ll have a chance to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park and Paynes Prairie Preserve Park are two of the best places to go if you want to see some of these reptiles.

If you’re not interested in visiting a state park, don’t worry! You can also see alligators in Gainesville’s city parks. Lake Alice, for example, is home to a large population of alligators. You can often see them sunning themselves on the banks of the lake or swimming in the water. So if you’re looking for a chance to see some gators, Gainesville is definitely the place to be!

Saturday Night Fun

Looking for some fun things to do in Gainesville on a Saturday night? Head to one of its many live music venues, such as The Wooly or The High Dive. Or if you’re in the mood for some dancing, check out Club Impulse or Pure Nightclub. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to do in Gainesville! Stage 7 Karaoke Bar & Event Venue, Space Ultra Lounge for 1 and above, Arcade Bar with best games, Fluid Lounge with the perfect cocktails or Tuna Tartare for great foods

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Quick Summary on Gainesville Florida

These are just some of the many things to do in Gainesville, FL. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head on down to this charming city today! You won’t be disappointed! If you want to explore everything that Gainesville and Alachua County have to offer, make sure to check out our list of favorite attractions. From the Downtown area, where you can find unique shops and restaurants, to historical sites like the Haile Homestead, there’s something for everyone in this charming Florida town.

And if you love nature, be sure to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History or one of the many bat houses in the area. Of course, no trip is complete without experiencing some of Gainesville’s nightlife, so make sure to save Saturday night for a good time! We hope you enjoy your stay in Gainesville, gators fan or not!

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