Hike the Trails and Cheer for the Gators at UF
Book hotel rooms at the Country Inn & Suites in Gainesville to stay within 10 minutes of the UF campus and the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Gators. Discover a wealth of fun things to do during your downtime, from hiking Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail or Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park to browsing the galleries at the Harn Museum of Art. You can also catch a performance at the Hippodrome theater, tour the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation or walk among hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest.Arts and Culture:
- Florida Museum of Natural History (2.5 miles)
You can learn about Florida’s flora and fauna at this museum owned by the University of Florida. All of the exhibits except for the traveling displays and the Butterfly Rainforest offer free admission.
Phone: +1 (352) 846-2000
- Harn Museum of Art (2.5 miles)
The Harn Museum of Art is one of the largest university-owned art museums in the South. Its collection boasts 6,200 works by artists like Ansel Adams and Claude Monet.
Phone: +1 (352) 392-9826
- Hippodrome (5.6 miles)
Located in the heart of Gainesville’s historic district, this local theater hosts film screenings, art exhibits and plays throughout the year. To purchase tickets or to see current performances, visit their website.
Phone: +1 (352) 375-4477
Shopping and Tours:
- Celebration Pointe (0.6 miles)
Shop for a new outfit, people-watch at the promenade, grab a bite to eat or catch the latest blockbuster film at Celebration Pointe, a shopping and entertainment complex that also hosts year-round events and festivals.
Phone: +1 (352) 333-9333
- Swamp Head Brewery (1.9 miles)
Sample a variety of bold beers that were created to honor the state in which they were brewed, including the Cottonmouth, Stump Knocker and Midnight Oil, or try a seasonal pour. Learn how the beer is made with a facility tour.
Phone: +1 (352) 505-3035
- Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation (3 miles)
Open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays, this historic homestead was built in 1854 by the Haile family. During your visit, you can see more than 12,500 words written on the walls by the homeowners.
Phone: +1 (352) 336-9096
- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park (22 miles)
This 1930s homestead is where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Yearling. While there, you can walk scenic trails, explore the seasonal garden or enjoy a guided tour of the home.
Phone: +1 (352) 466-3672
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (1.1 miles)
Founded in 1978, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens feature 24 themed gardens, including an arboretum, a vinery, a rose garden and a butterfly garden.
Phone: +1 (352) 372-4981
- Sweetwater Wetlands Park (4.8 miles)
Explore 125 acres of wetlands and ponds at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, home to birds, butterflies, Cracker Horses and alligators.
Phone: +1 (352) 393-8520
- Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail (7.8 miles)
This 16-mile path is an ideal place to hike, run, skate or bike. Parking is available at four locations along the trail.
Phone: +1 (352) 466-3397
- Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park (11.3 miles)
A hidden rain forest in a 120-foot-deep sinkhole, this verdant oasis is filled with lush vegetation and fossilized artifacts. Pack a picnic and learn all about this sinkhole via interpretive displays.
Phone: +1 (352) 955-2008
- Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (12.5 miles)
When you first arrive at this 21,000-acre savanna, stop by the visitor’s center to watch an informative video before climbing the 50-foot observation tower or hiking one of eight trails for chances to glimpse alligators, horses and other wildlife.
Phone: +1 (352) 466-3397
- San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park (13 miles)
San Felasco Hammock Preserve is a 6,500-acre state park with 20 miles of mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails.
Phone: +1 (386) 462-7905
- University of Florida at Gainesville (2 miles)
In addition to being a large research university with a beautiful 2,000-acre campus, UF is home to the Florida Gators football team, winner of the 2009 BCS National Championship.
Phone: +1 (352) 392-3261
- Santa Fe College (8 miles)
Cheer on the Santa Fe Saints sports teams or tour the beautiful 175-acre northwest campus at this state college, home to more than 15,500 students.
Phone: +1 (352) 395-5000
Worth the Drive:
- Devil’s Den Spring (19.7 miles)
If you’re a scuba diver or a snorkeler, don’t miss an opportunity to explore the prehistoric underground cave at this destination. Descend a narrow flight of stairs that leads underwater and into the impressive Devil’s Den.
Phone: +1 (352) 528-3344
- Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation (23.6 miles)
Make an advanced appointment through the foundation’s website for a guided tour of this facility that houses rescued exotic animals and native wildlife, including a puma, an emu and an East African oryx.
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park (35.6 miles)
Step into a tube or paddle boat and glide down this park’s crystal-clear river, surrounded by a canopy of cypress, oak and pine trees. Be on the lookout for otters, turtles, deer and more along the way.
Phone: +1 (386) 497-1500
Want more information about things to do in Gainesville? Take a look at this helpful guide from the Gainesville Sun.
View a map of area attractions and restaurants in Gainesville.
- Bass Pro Shops
- Florida Farm Bureau Insurance
- Infinite Energy
- Nationwide Insurance
- Sam's Club