Midtown is just steps away from UF’s campus and offers a wide variety of lively bars and restaurants and urban living options. The area stretches from NW 34th St. to NW 6th St. and from University Ave. to NW 8th Ave. You can expect to see flocks of university students grabbing a bite to eat between classes or having a drink after taking that dreaded exam.
Midtown is located pretty much in the heart of Gainesville. Its close proximity to campus makes it easy to roll out of bed and walk to class. It’s also easy to stumble home after happy hour. The area is always bustling; there are UF students absolutely everywhere, so it’ll take a bit of skill maneuvering the crowds. If you’re looking for cozy, quiet living, Midtown is not the place for you. Now, if you’re a natural night owl or a party animal, look no further.
There’s always something going on in Midtown. Fraternity and sorority members will be strutting down the streets in their coordinating outfits and red Solo cups will sprinkle the sidewalks after a Gators victory. On game days, you may even be able to hear cheers coming from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which is situated just across from Midtown. The entire area embodies the college experience, with views of UF’s classic brick buildings and lush landscaping, shining neon bar lights, and students lugging their backpacks to Library West.
Midtown is always busy, so you can expect for people to be around constantly. It’s also a hangout hotspot, so those people may get rowdy quite often. The demographic of the area is predominantly UF students, so it may not be the ideal place for a family. Not only can you expect for it to be packed and loud, but it may even be a bit dangerous -- especially at night.
Statistics show that the crime rating for areas around UF campus are worse than average, putting inhabitants at higher risk. Burglary, robbery, and aggravated assault are most prominent. The crime rating on campus is average and the University of Florida Police Department has a special alert system to keep residents informed of crime occurring in the area. Students also have a variety of resources to seek help in case of an emergency, such as the UFPD, the Counselling and Wellness Center, and the UF Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
A major issue in Midtown is the parking. As mentioned beforehand, the area is always full of people, and practically all the parking spots are taken 24/7 -- not to mention there really isn’t enough parking to begin with. The streets of Midtown are cramped; tons of bars, restaurants, and boutiques are positioned one right after the other. There isn’t much greenery aside from the landscaping on UF’s actual campus. The only shade you’ll be getting during a sunny day is from the construction cranes towering above. That being said, the noise pollution in the air won’t only be coming from drunken frat boys.
“More in Midtown”
Currently, Midtown is undergoing a transformation. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has begun working on a project called “More in Midtown.” The project is dedicated to improving what locals call “that street behind University Ave.” Members of the CRA see NW 1st Ave. as a great opportunity to help Midtown reach its full potential. They are striving to make Midtown more spacious, more safe, more green, and more fun. Their goals include adding more parking (including handicap-accessible parking spots and bike racks), new streetlights and sidewalks, more trees and recycling bins, and public art to give the area that much more appeal.
With this new revitalization, it’ll make it much easier for people renting near UF to explore Midtown and enjoy all that it has to offer. If you can deal with the sound of construction for some months and the rambunctious nightlife on weekends, Midtown’s new look will totally be worth it.
Rentals in Midtown
If you think Midtown is the right place for you, you should definitely scope out rental units in the area. The following are a few suggestions to get you started. Keep in mind that Midtown is a prime location and units that close to the heart of Gainesville can be a bit pricey.
College Park Apartments
College Park is located at 303 NW 17th Street, three blocks behind Midtown’s renowned restaurant, The Swamp. You can’t get any closer to the heart of campus unless you were living in a dorm.
- Offers 1-4 bedroom units from $749/month
- Apartment parking decals for parking right next to campus
- Varying unit styles from classic to modern
Third Place at Midtown
These townhouse-style apartments at 1740 NW 3rd Pl. offer luxury living just a few minutes away from Midtown’s best hotspots.
- 4br/2ba units at $611/per room
- Newly renovated
- Relaxing community courtyard
- Reserved parking spots outside units
- Central A/C (which is rare in Midtown apartments)
Gator View Apartments
Gator View is located only 3 blocks from UF at 300 NW 18th St, tucked away a few streets behind the popular spots on University Ave.
- 1-2 bedroom apartments from $749/month
- Rent includes 1 free parking spot, water & sewer usage, trash pick up and pest control.
- Newly renovated kitchens, bathrooms, and fixtures
Top 3 Attractions
- The Swamp: This gator hotspot doubles as an amazing restaurant and fun bar. The Swamp offers an ambiance like no other with the upstairs deck and outdoor lawn where you can gaze at the lit up oak trees and sip on masterful cocktails. Even though a night out at The Swamp can clean out your wallet, locals will assure you that it’s always worth it.
- Tijuana Flats: In the mood for some awesome Tex-Mex food? Look no further. Countless students flock to Tijuana Flats for their famous Taco Tuesdays...and every other day of the week. It’s a great spot for some cheap, good food that’ll go perfectly with a cold margarita.
- The Social: The Social is a popular sports bar that provides the ideal atmosphere to watch a Gators game. With everyone on the edges of their seats, waiting for another touchdown, draft beer in hand -- you’ll go home feeling good even if the Gators don’t win. The Social is always bursting with people on weekends, so don’t be surprised when you see a huge line wrapping around the building.