There are no dorms or on-campus student housing for students attending Santa Fe College, but there are some rental properties surrounding the school. Whether you're attending classes at the college or want to live in the area for other purposes, you will need to secure your own rental property without assistance from the school. This guide will help you identify some of the rental units near Santa Fe College while highlighting some of the best features of the surrounding community.
Shopping & Dining Near Santa Fe College
The Santa Fe College campus features a student bookstore, the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium. There aren't many restaurants or retail stores right next to the school, so you should expect a short commute to the north or south for dining and shopping opportunities.
NW 39th Avenue is about a five-minute drive or a 10-minute bike ride to the north and is lined with popular dining options, including fast food restaurants and some dine-in establishments. You'll also find a variety of coffee shops, pharmacies, grocery stores and retail shops on this road. The UF Health Shands Emergency Center is also located on this road and is about one mile north of the college and surrounding apartment complexes.
Another popular area for dining and entertainment is about three miles to the south on West Newberry Road. You'll find a large shopping center right off Interstate 75 that includes a Publix supermarket, a Bank of America banking center and some retail stores like TJ Maxx. You'll also find the North Florida Regional Medical Center, The Oaks Mall and some of the city's more popular restaurants just east of the interstate. Some of the restaurants located around the mall include Ocean Buffet, Yamato Japanese and BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse.
All of these retail and commercial zones are at least one mile from Santa Fe College, so you may want to select a rental unit a little further from campus if you plan on working in retail or at a local restaurant. The Santa Fe Trace apartment complex is conveniently located right off the interstate about halfway between the college and NW 39th Avenue.
If you want to live closer to The Oaks Mall and the surrounding restaurants and retail stores, consider complexes like the Legacy at Fort Clarke or The Paddock Club. If you don't mind living a bit further from the college, look at the Reflections Apartments or Fox Hollow Apartments just west of the mall.
Outdoor Recreation Near Santa Fe College
The Santa Fe College campus doesn't have the open green spaces and parks that you'll find on the University of Florida campus, but you can find opportunities for exercise and recreation within three miles of the college. If you head northeast to Millhopper Road, you'll find the Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, San Felasco Park and the Possum Creek Dog Park.
If you drive south about three or four miles, you'll find some of Gainesville's most popular recreational areas just east of the mall. This includes Cofrin Nature Park, Clear Lake Nature Park and Loblolly Woods Nature Park. The Plaza Royale Apartments are positioned right in the middle of these parks and are a good option for housing if you don't mind a longer commute to the college.
If you have your own car, you'll have the most options for housing and employment near Santa Fe College. There aren't many apartment complexes within walking distance of the college, and you will need to take a bus or ride a bike if you want to work at one of the restaurants or retail centers located nearby. A car will allow you to commute between the college and these surrounding areas faster while allowing you to live further from the college if desired.
If you don't have a car, there are some apartment complexes located close to the school along NW 83rd Street. Some of the options include The Village at Gainesville and the Santa Fe Oaks Apartments. You can walk to the college in under 10 minutes from the Santa Fe Oaks complex, and the bike ride takes less than five minutes. The commute by bike or on foot is a bit longer from the Village complex, but it's still manageable for many students.
You can also use the public busing system to get to campus from cheap apartment complexes that are further away. There are multiple stops along NW 83rd Street, including a few that are right on the edge of campus. These stops are connected to some of the city's main bus lines and will take you to the large shopping centers and restaurants north and south of campus. This gives you the option of living closer to employment opportunities while maintaining a reasonable commute to the college.
Selecting Your Santa Fe College Apartment
You ultimately must make one important decision when moving to the Santa Fe College area: Do you want to live closer to the school or closer to employment, recreation and entertainment venues? Your preferred mode of transportation will play into this decision, but you should also consider your lifestyle and the comfort of all members of your household.
Some apartments in Gainesville are more suitable to families with children while others cater exclusively to college students. Since the city provides a reliable busing system, you don't have to limit your search to apartments right next to the college. It's important to think about all areas of your life when making this decision.