Let’s face it… sometimes it feels like there’s nothing to do in Gainesville. If you’re new to the area, you may be struggling to find activities, events, or places to go to. Here are some ideas on how to find something to do and have fun in Gainesville.
One of the best parts about Gainesville is its beautiful nature parks and trails. The landscape here is absolutely stunning, and going for a nice walk, jog, or hike is always a great way to pass the time. If you’re looking for a little adventure, consider taking a hike with a friend or walking your dog. 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. If you’re really trying to see some gators in the swamp, visit one of these spots. Try packing a bag with a blanket and some snacks and have a picnic in a nice, shady area.
Go Out to Eat
Grabbing a quick bite at Subway or Chick-Fil-A may be tempting when you’re around UF campus, but Gainesville has so much more to offer. There are some truly amazing restaurants in the city, offering all kinds of flavors for whatever craving you’re having. From pizza to sushi, Gainesville has it all -- including an awesome selection of vegan and vegetarian options. So many local restaurants are offering delicious food at affordable prices in inviting atmospheres, you’ll want to try them all!
Visit a Museum
Gainesville is a city rich in culture and knowledge -- it is home to the UF Gators, after all. Thankfully, there are a few museums and landmarks around town to help people immerse themselves in history and learn something new. The museums on campus, the Florida History Museum, and the Harn Museum of Art, both offer a wide variety of exhibitions that delve into equally fascinating topics. There is also the new Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention that just opened near Depot Park, which is exceptionally modern and innovative. With so many interactive science and technology exhibits, guests can easily spend hours here, taking in all of the intriguing information.
Enjoy a Show
There are quite a few theaters in the Gainesville area that show movies and feature live performances. The Hippodrome State Theatre is one of Gainesville’s iconic locations and it’s great for an elegant, classy night out. Considered a cultural centerpiece, “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. There are also lots of community-run theaters like Gainesville Community Playhouse, http://www.acrosstown.org/">The Acrosstown Repertory Theater, and the Actors’ Warehouse, that are a special part of the city’s culture.
Experience the Nightlife
Downtown Gainesville and Midtown are both vibrant areas that are perfect for a good time. Students from UF are always enjoying drinks at the best bars for happy hours, and dancing the night away at all of the clubs. There are always different events going down at places like Saga, Simons, and The Venue. If you’re looking for a more chill ambiance, sit back and relax at any of the cool hookah bars and lounges in Gainesville.
Take Advantage of Free Events
Not everything you do has to require money… In Gainesville, there are a lot of options for free fun. Bo Diddley Plaza, in particular, is one of the best places to hang out, make new friends, and attend a lively event. Engaging with the community and really getting to know the city will make all the difference in how you experience and enjoy Gainesville.