After living in Gainesville since 1992, it’s easy to see why we’re getting a lot of attention as one of the best places to live, work and play. Here are some of the things that make Gainesville and Alachua County such great places to live:
Location, location, location. Gainesville is the geographic center of the state and has an affordable cost of living while being less than two hours from great beaches in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, an hour to sport fishing in Cedar Key, two hours to Orlando and all the theme parks, two hours to Tampa, and five hours to Atlanta or Miami. There’s no other place in Florida that has such ease of access to the rest of the state. Gainesville is also close to many of Florida’s beautiful rivers and state parks, including the Hawthorne Trail, a 16-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting Gainesville to the town of Hawthorne.
Gainesville offers big city attractions with a small town feel. With just 250,000 people in our metro area (Gainesville and Alachua County) we have world class institutions: the University of Florida, Santa Fe College (recently named one of thetop community colleges in the country for its graduation rate and work with minority students, and UF Health/Shands. We have a thriving restaurant scene including many featuring local and organic produce, and year-round local farmer’s markets. Internationally recognized performers regularly appear on stages around the city.
Gainesville also has seasonal art festivals which draw regional, national and international artists in events which offer live music, food and family-friendly activities. For the bibliophile, Gainesville offers the biannual Friends of the LibraryBook Sale, the largest in Florida, with over 500,000 items including books, records, dvds, comics and art. Last but certainly not least there are the dominant sports teams at UF. Not just football and basketball, we have national champions from softball to gymnastics to swimming to baseball, many of whose games and events are free for children.
Gainesville is dynamic in many sectors, with a business environment that promotes growth. From the UF Innovation Hub, a high-tech startup incubator, toIndieGainesville, a collective of locally-owned businesses, Gainesville is active at all levels of the modern economy. You can't miss the energy of 70,000 college students. It makes for great nightlife and adds to the flavor of the city.
This city celebrates all kinds of people. The University and Santa Fe have a faculty and student body who hail from all over the world, and they in turn bring something of their culture with them, making Gainesville truly unique among Florida cities. This diversity sustains Gainesville as an open and accepting place to live. There is something for everyone here, from our many cultural events, premier collegiate sports, great restaurant scene, diverse, affirming community, and vibrant business culture. Consider Gainesville when you’re looking for a lower-key Florida lifestyle!