Explore our blend of chic urban and rustic rural experience
Visitors are discovering what Gainesville residents have long enjoyed: the benefits of living in the heart of Florida freshwater springs country, award-winning trails, an explosion of cultural opportunities, farm-to-table cuisine and world famous sports teams.
Our cultural season is exemplified by our Primavera Festival which debuted in 2012 with over 200 cultural events taking place at over 60 diverse venues within the span of just four weeks. This annual event takes place from March 20 to April 22nd, Spring Equinox to Earth Day. Every day of the year, visitors can enjoy our downtown Cultural Plaza, two vibrant arts districts, world class performance halls, theater, dance, music, craft . . . the opportunities are endless to partake of local, national and world-class performances, exhibits and workshops.
At the center of Florida's Eden
Gainesville is at the center of "Florida's Eden" -- the original land where Florida tourism began centuries ago. People have always come here for the same three reasons: to explore our wild, mysterious, natural environs; to inspire their own creativity; and to rejuvenate their health and well being.
The result defines the area today with its wealth of naturalists, artists and healthcare professionals.
The ancient Timucuan peoples inhabited this area. Over the last 500 years a succession of peoples have visited and settled, arriving from Europe, Arica, the Caribbean, South America and Asia. Each group has contributed their part to the richness that makes up local architecture, food, music and art. As the first part of Florida to be settled intensively, it is not unusual to meet 5th, 6th, even 7th generation Floridians. Visit the oldest working federal post office: an unpainted, wood-heated working general store which looks for all the world like the Pony Express will ride in at any moment. Heritage areas include century pioneer farms, elegant historic neighborhoods, and small rural hamlets filled with the nostalgia of an earlier time.
As the gateway to the Earth's largest concentration of fresh water springs, we're also on the cutting edge of water science. This is the freshwater cave diving capital of the world, attracting the planet's most renowned divers and explorers. We view ourselves as the headwaters of a sustainability movement to create 21st century innovations to use less water and renewable forms of energy. We are a leader in land conservation initiatives, providing visitors with pristine landscapes, recreation and wildlife opportunities.
Travel our network of award-winning cycling, hiking, equestrian and paddling trails which criss-cross our city, extend across the county and connect to regional trail systems. Florida is ranked number one in visitors who come for wildlife viewing. The Great Florida Birding Trail offers guidance to birdwatching throughout the state -- with many prime viewing opportunities available at easily accessible locations throughout Gainesville and Alachua County.
Spend a day exploring our breathtaking natural environs, then change attire for a farm-to-table supper and live music under the stars at an urban cafe. Then applaud a world-class performance at a local music club, theatre, dance venue or concert hall. Come hang out with us and we'll show you a Florida that enjoys a seamlessl blend of chic urban and rustic rural lifestyle.
Gainesville is sports! The University of Florida’s (UF) Gator Nation is synonymous with “Title Town.” Our reputation as a premier sports community is well known, and athletes come here from all over the world to train. We have award-winning facilities and year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation. We are becoming a center for youth sports, and new competition venues are under construction. On land, we have a vast network of hiking, cycling, and birding trails that crisscross our city and connect to our small towns. On the water, kayak and canoe trails connect the many springs, rivers, and state parks throughout our region.
Florida is the number one state for fishing in the nation, both salt and freshwater. With easy access to lakes, rivers and both coastlines, Gainesville is a perfect starting place for your next fishing vacation.
Locals enjoy “coast-to-coast” weekends where we head to the Atlantic Ocean after work on Friday and rise with the sun for a beach walk on Saturday. After a good breakfast and a little shopping, we hop from one freshwater spring to the next across the state and end up in a quaint fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico Saturday evening in time for sunset, cocktails and a freshly caught seafood supper. Enjoy a long, luxurious Sunday of kayaking amid Gulf islands before heading home!
Spend a day exploring our breathtaking natural environs, then change attire, enjoy a farm-to-table supper and live music under the stars, and applaud a world-class urban performance. Come spend time with us, and we'll show you a Florida where you can
move seamlessly from chic urban to rustic rural lifestyle, and back again.