Located in north central Florida on the I-75 corridor halfway between Atlanta and Miami
Nine hundred and sixty-five square miles including Archer, Alachua, Cross Creek, Gainesville, Hague, Hawthorne, High Springs, La Crosse, Melrose, Micanopy, Newberry, Rochelle, Santa Fe, Traxler, Waldo, and Windsor.
Moderate temperature averages 71 degrees F with summer highs in the 90's and winter lows in the 40's. Average of 2,803 hours of sunshine each year.
Forty-six motels and hotels, several bed & breakfast inns and a wide assortment of over 100 restaurants
Delta Airlines and USAir Express, and several commuter airlines serve Gainesville Regional Airport.
Starting at the Clock Tower in Gainesville, tour the Northeast Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 63-block area of 290 buildings reflects Florida architectural styles from 1880 through the 1920's.
Step back in time and see what Florida was like in the 1800's by visiting Micanopy, located 13 miles south of Gainesville on US 441. Featuring antique, art and curio shops, Micanopy is Florida's second oldest town. High Springs, an old railroad town, is located 23 miles north of Gainesville. Main Street has many shops, a restaurant in the old barber shop, an early 1900's church still in use and a sports store in an old opera house. Waldo, 15 miles northeast of Gainesville, features an Amtrak Station and antique shops.
Enjoy 57 acres of oak hammock and marsh traversed by a 1200-foot promenade. Wildlife sanctuary, nature center, picnic tables, pavilion. Open daily 8:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Free.
Next to the Harn Museum of Art, Hull Road and 34th Street
University of Florida, Gainesville
Center Series Calendar and Information
From the best of Broadway, opera and dance, to the superstars of pop, jazz, classical and country music, Gainesville's new Center for the Performing Arts presents the finest in world-class entertainment. Opened in 1992, the Center features a state-of-the-art, 1800 seat theatre with a large proscenium stage, versatile orchestra pit, and the latest in sound and lighting technology. Also houses a 200 seat, multi-purpose Black Box Theatre.
Enjoy a dozen small waterfalls as you follow 232 steps to the bottom of a 120-foot deep, 500-foot wide sinkhole containing plant species found rarely in Florida. Guided walk 10:00 a.m. every Saturday. Visitors center, picnic tables. Open daily 9:00 a.m. to sunset. Oct. 1 - Mar 30, open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission.
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida, Gainesville
Explore a full-size Florida limestone cave, a Mayan palace, and the Hall of Florida History at the largest natural history museum in the Southeast. Discover Florida fossil specimens, skeletons, and computer games in the Fossil Study Center, and examine hundreds of natural science specimens up close in the Object Gallery. Collectors Gift Shop. Open Mon. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sun. and holidays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed Christmas day. Free.
(352) 376-2411 (Extension 5)
Lion, elephant, cape buffalo, brown bear and wolf. See these and other specimens collected from around the world by Fred Bear, expert bow-hunter. Authentic spears, shields, carvings, artwork and Indian artifacts also on display with ancient tools and weapons. Gift Shop. Open Wed. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Closed Christmas day. Admission.
Lightning speed and thundering excitement, and home of the NHRA Gatornationals, the Raceway hosts a full year-round calendar of professional and amateur drag racing, auto shows and motorcycle racing.
Take your seat next to the three quarter round Hippodrome stage and enjoy the very best in contemporary plays starring actors from all over the country. The Theatre also offers an exciting cinema series on the Second Stage, and a gallery which displays the work of local artists. Founded in 1963, the Hippodrome is the only professional theatre in north central Florida. It is housed in the former U.S. Post Office, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Off the Archer Road (I-75 Exit 75)
Delight in 62 acres of woodlands, meadows, vineries, and specialized gardens which feature butterflies, wildflowers, hummingbirds, rocks, carnivorous plants, and spring flowers. Visit the Southeast's largest herb garden, Florida's largest bamboo collection, our palm hammock, water lily pond, fern grotto, and sunken garden. Gift shop, plant nursery, and picnic area. Mon. - Tue. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Wed. - Sat. and Sun. 9:00 a.m. - sunset, closed Thurs. Admission.
21 Miles Southeast of Gainesville on Highway 325
Wander through the home and farm of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings just as it was when the noted author of The Yearling lived here. Learn about Florida cracker living in quiet Cross Creek. Guided tours of the house, limited to 10 people each, on the hour. First come, first served. Thurs. - Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; closed Tues. and Wed. Mon. available for small seminars by reservation. House closed August 1 - September 30, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. Admission.
The Matheson Historical Center houses 18,000 Florida post cards, 1200 Stereo-View cards, 400 Florida prints, 50 Alachua County and Florida maps, and 2500 volumes on local and state history. Open Tue. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Sun 1:00p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission.
Located in teh old Thrasher Warehouse, with a wooden shingled roof and a large Coca-Cola sign painted in the 1920's, the museum transports visitors back in time with old photographs, memorabilia, artifacts and exhibits that reflect a proud heritage. Open Fri., Sat., Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Bookstore. Admission.
Experience the life style of a family farmer in North Central Florida 100 years ago. Visit the 278-acre Living History Farm featuring barnyard animals, an 1840 cabin, a turn-of-the-century kitchen, heirloom garden and barn. Explore 7 miles of trails and boardwalks through sandhill, long leaf pine and cypress habitats including over 130 bird species, 225 wildflower species, mammals and reptiles. Live animal exhibits, educational programs and a wildlife observation blind. Open daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Free.
I-75 Exit 76
North central Florida's largest shopping center offers 5 major department stores, 22 restaurants, 10 movie theatres, a one-mile measured indoor walking course in a temperature controlled environment, and 160 specialty shops. Open Mon. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sun noon - 6:00 p.m.
Boat, camp, hike, bird watch, fish, and picnic on this 20,000-acre wildlife sanctuary. With ponds and 3 lakes, Paynes Prairie is a wintering area for many migratory birds such as the sandhill crane, and home to Florida alligators and a wild herd of American Bison. Trail Head: 16-mile Rail Trail from Gainesville to Hawthorne. Observation tower and Visitors' Center with Museum. Free Ranger-led activities October - March. Trail maps available. Recreation park open 8:00 a.m. to sunset daily. Visitors' Center open daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission.
Make a big splash in the cold, clear waters of Poe Springs. This 197-acre park on the Santa Fe River features rolling hills, bluffs, two springs, a hardwood swamp and a variety of wildlife. Concession building, boat ramp, nature trail, multi-purpose building, playground and picnic area with shelters. Open daily 9:00 a.m. - sunset. Admission.
University of Florida, Gainesville
One of Florida's newest and largest, the Harn offers a variety of changing exhibits. The Museum features American paintings, African, and pre-Columbian collections, as well as contemporary works of art. Film and lecture series, workshops and performances. Museum Store open during regular Museum hours. Tues. - Fri. 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., last admission 4:45 p.m., closed Mon. and State holidays. Free.
3 1/2 miles west of Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site
Nature trail through 6,500 acres of sunny pine forests and shady hardwood hammocks, past steep sinkholes and over bubbling brooks. Rare plants and champion trees, birds, bobcat, gray fox, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey. 1st Saturday of month: guided horseback ride, 2nd Saturday: hike and overnight camp out with Rangers, 3rd Saturday: 8 - 10 mile day hike, 4th Saturday: orienteering. Programs by reservation . Admission.
The only community college teaching zoo in the nation houses reptiles, birds, animals, and endangered species from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Open Sat. - Sun. 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. or by appointment Mon. -Fri. Free.
Gainesville's Cultural Center is housed in a beautifully restored Mediterranean Revival-style hotel. The Thomas Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and contains art galleries, 1920's period rooms, local history exhibits, and is surrounded by lovely gardens. Open Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Sat. - Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Admission for special events. Guided tours by request. Handicapped accessible. No charge to visit.
The Historical Campus
UF has many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places such as University Auditorium. Above the Auditorium, visitors will find Century Tower, a 49 bell carillon which rings throughout the day at quarter hours. Maps at the gated entrances and at the Campus Shop and Book Store on Stadium Road. Visitor passes at at U.F.'s main entrance, S.W. 13th Street (U.S. 441) and S.W. 2nd Ave.
Cheer Gator basketball, track, swimming, volleyball, and gymnastics teams in the 296,000 square-foot O'Connell Center, featuring an air-supported roof. Sit back in one of the 12,000 sears for an evening of celebrity performers. Admission varies with event.
Located directly east of the O'Connell Center and seating 83,000 fans, Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is better known as "The Swamp" - the home of the "Fightin' Gators" football team.
See these intriguing scaly creatures in their natural habitats from the shores of Lake Alice at the western end of Museum Road on the UF campus.
Alachua County enjoys a full schedule of special events which include dance, theatre, music, festivals, exhibitions, sports, fairs and showcases. Calendars and information available at the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau
Alachua County's year-round mild climate and recreation facilities attract athletes from around the world for training. Swimming pools, tracks, baseball fields, and jogging trails and tracks at Santa Fe Community College, University of Florida, City and County Parks. Cyclest discover miles of scenic roads and paths. Information regarding Parks and Recreation available at the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
2 miles south of Hawthorne on US 301
Enjoy one of the largest private collections of mounted birds, animals, and reptiles in the Southeast. Over 1500 wildlife specimens from all over the world are displayed in natural settings in lighted, glass cases. Open Mon. - Sat. 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Closed Sundays. Donations accepted.
Tower Road and SW 41st Place
I-75 Exit 76
A unique lesson in history . . . and a deeply moving memorial to the individual men and women of Alachua County and the University of Florida who gave their lives for freedom. Literally travel through time down a granite, brick and tile berm walk where one linear foot equals one year in time. Spanning 219 feet, A Walk Through Time covers 10 wars from the Revolutionary War through Desert Storm. Handicapped accessible. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Free.
South of University Avenue and Hawthorne Road
This 17-mile trail designed for walking, cycling and horseback riding extends from Gainesville's historic Boulware Springs Park at Paynes Prairie through Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area to the town of Hawthorne. Travelers on the Trail are treated to changing landscapes past Prairie vistas, deep lakes, and lush forests, and the plants and animals who live there. The Trail Head is at Boulware Springs Park and Hawthorne. Parking and daily access to the Trail from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
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