We all know “Netflix and chill” can get boring after a while. Sometimes, it may seem like there’s nothing to do or nowhere to go, but in Gainesville there always is. Whether you just matched on Tinder or you’re practically married, there are plenty of places around town to go on a cute and romantic date.
Explore Gainesville’s Nature
This city is known for its breathtaking nature and wildlife. If you’re looking for a little adventure, consider taking a hike together at any one of Gainesville’s awesome parks and trails. Not only will you be experiencing the stunning beauty of nature, but you’ll also get some exercise in. You may even catch a glimpse of wildlife, like sunbathing alligators or colorful birds. Consider packing a bag with snacks and blanket, so if you find a nice, shady area on your hike, you can sit and have a cute picnic together. Just make sure to bring some bug spray.
Get Wild at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Going to zoo is always a fun idea. Relive childhood memories and get up close and personal at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. This observational facility, maintained by the college’s Zoo Animal Technology Program, features over 75 different species. From pumas, to hippos, to peacocks, the Santa Fe Learning Zoo has it all. Sometimes visitors are given the opportunity to interact with the animals hands-on, along with the college program’s students. All Santa Fe students and staff can visit the zoo for free with their student identification card. University of Florida students can enjoy a discounted rate, as long as they show their Gator 1 card, and all other visitors pay just $6.
Make a Splash at Lake Wauberg
It’s pretty much impossible to be bored when you’re at Lake Wauberg when there’s so much to do. Whether you just want to lounge and tan by the water or go on a full-fledged sailing adventure, Lake Wauberg is the place to go. The Lake offers two different UF RecSports parks, North Park and South Shore, open to all UF faculty, staff, and students. Admission and activities are free with a Gator 1 Card. Individuals with a Gator 1 Card may also bring up to four guests. There is an endless list of possibilities at Lake Wauberg. Take part in any of the fun activities, including boating, sailing, swimming, biking, rock climbing, and so much more. To learn about Gainesville’s other bodies of water, check out this post.
Take Some Selfies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
The lush environment of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens makes it a dream for social media. The vibrant flowers and towering trees make it a great place to go on a romantic walk, hand-in-hand, and snap the perfect Instagram pic to post later. As of 2005, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens contain Florida's largest public bamboo gardens and the largest herb garden in the Southeast.
Some of its main features include the arboretum, the butterfly garden, the hummingbird garden, the rock garden, the palm hammack, the rose garden, and the vinery.The admission price is $8 per person, and you can enjoy the stunning scenery until the gardens close (you can view the hours of operation here). There’s also a cute gift shop where you can pick up a souvenir from your memorable date.
Take a Walk Through The Butterfly Rainforest
For a quick and fun excursion, take your significant other to UF’s Butterfly Rainforest, located in the Florida Museum of Natural History. Getting into the museum is free if you’re a UF student or faculty member, but there is a fee for the Butterfly Rainforest. It’s an enclosed garden space with lots of flowers and small trees, where you can take a stroll and look at butterflies, moths, and a few small birds. If you wear bright colors, you may even attract a few butterflies -- just don’t make your date jealous.
Catch a Show at The Hippodrome Theatre
For an elegant and classy night out, hit up the cultural centerpiece that is The Hippodrome Theatre. “The Hipp” feature live theatre, films, gallery exhibits, classes, and special events over 340 days a year. It also serves as Gainesville’s only art-house cinema, so you can be sure to see independent films, hard-hitting documentaries, critically-acclaimed world cinema, and throwback classics showing there. If you prefer live performance art, you definitely won’t be disappointed. The Hipp is markedly unique and will always offer an extraordinary, cultural experience. It’s also fun to get dressed up and hit Downtown with your boo after the show.
Get A Buzz at Swamp Head Brewery
This young, fresh, local brewhouse is a chill and cozy spot to have a few drinks with your significant other. The brewery often has fun events going on and they also offer weekly tours of the taphouse for just $4. Besides that, Swamp Head Brewery has a warm and inviting vibe and a practically endless selection of ales, stouts, and lagers.