Gainesville, Florida is a medium-sized town of nearly 130,000 residents. Home to the University of Florida (UF), Gainesville—also known as Gatorville—has a very college-town feel. Gainesville summers are scorching, with temperatures often rising above 100 degrees, while the average day in winter is perfectly mild, with averages in the 60s.
About 50,000 students are enrolled at UF yearly, meaning a third of the population in Gainesville is made up of students who are diehard supporters of the Gators. Many of the school’s alumni also stay in town far beyond graduation, making the city a popular place for the young and upwardly mobile. More than 42 percent of adults are employed in professional jobs—like teaching, sales and office/admin—and are educated, with at least a bachelor’s degree. However, much of the city’s population—more than 34 percent—live below the federal poverty line. Some of Gainesville’s top employers include the University of Florida, UFHealth, Alachua County School Board and Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Downtown is stylish, and everything you need is within walking distance, while the UF area is full of students and emblazoned with the school colors (orange and blue). Northeast Gainesville is popular with young families and professionals, eccentrics and folks who adhere to an organic lifestyle, while Southeast Gainesville is the place to live if you’re in search of a peaceful, family lifestyle in the suburbs. Jonesville, located conveniently close to I-75, is more affluent and full of upscale shops and restaurants. While carless students should get along fine in Gainesville, most other folks find it beneficial to have their own vehicle. For the size of the city, it has good public transport with the Regional Transit System (RTS) buses.
Nature lovers might like to explore the city’s Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, visit the Florida Museum of Natural History or go camping, biking or canoeing at Paynes Prairie. You can also see waterfalls and wildlife at Devil’s Millhopper. And fans of sports won’t be bored with the UF Gators’ jam-packed year-round schedule of football, baseball and basketball.
The trees and forests in Gainesville stay green all year long. Photo credit: Jason Reidy / Flickr
Chacala Trail in Paynes Prairie Reserve State Park. Photo credit: Miguel Vieira / Flickr