Surrounded by rivers and lakes in North Central Florida in Alachua County, Gainesville is home to the University of Florida (fourth largest university in the United States) and Santa Fe Community College. Interstate 75, a major artery between Miami and Tallahassee, offers easy access to outdoor activities and beautiful nature parks for biking, canoeing, hiking, camping, and bird-watching. Gainesville offers more than just its looks. It is definitely a city to be proud of. It has one many awards, such as, “America’s Smartest City”, “Number One Place to Retire in Economic Downturn”, “50 Best Places to Live and Play” and much more.
Gainesville’s must see attractions include the Butterfly Rainforest, Hawthorne Historical Museum, Matheson Historical Center, Micanopy Historical Society Museum, Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Harn Museum of Art. Performing arts programs are held at the Curtis M Phillips Performing Arts Center and the University of Florida Baughman Center. The Santa Fe Teaching Zoo and the Kanapaha Gardens are two great places to go also. A couple of historical sites to check out would be the Thomas Center and the Dudley Farm State Park. Golfers will enjoy picturesque and challenging courses at the Gainesville Country Club, Ironwood Golf Course, Meadowbrook Golf Course, and West End Golf Course. Other sports events are held at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville Raceway, and the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Among Gainesville’s many cultural events all year long are the Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, Old Time Christmas in Historic High Springs, Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival, Waldo Railroad Days, the Newberry Watermelon Festival and more.