Life in Gainesville

Lake Alice

“Gainesville is the perfect little city. It’s a college town with a good number of bars and very tasty restaurants. Everything is so convenient, and the cost of living is so cheap! It is located about 1 hour from the east and west coasts of Florida, 90 minutes from Jacksonville, and only 2 hours from Orlando. Gainesville is calm and relaxing after a long, stressful day at work. As someone who enjoys time outdoors, I’ve also appreciated the many outdoor activities available to those living in the area!” – Brian Coffey, Class of 2022

Baughman center

 “I’m excited to be settling down in warm, sunny, snow-less Florida! In Gainesville, I’ve been able to enjoy all of my favorite activities including going to the beach, exploring nature parks and trails, visiting historical sites, learning about new wildlife, and calisthenics.” – Tiffany Eisenback, Class of 2024

“Gainesville is an affordable city with great weather and a surprisingly good food scene.  In addition to the creative restaurants, cafes and bars, buying locally grown produce from the many farmers markets here makes eating well even easier, since almost everything grows in this climate.  There are also many state parks and freshwater springs to explore, and a quick drive to Jacksonville or Orlando if you want to spend a weekend in the city.”  –Nick Nelson, Class of 2022 

Dr. Babi's Boat“Gainesville has proved to be every bit as friendly and fun-loving as previously described. There is much more to Gainesville than meets the eye, the food-scene is experiencing a tremendous revival, downtown is blossoming and the parks around the city of Gainesville are drop-dead gorgeous.” – Meghan Humbert, Class of 2023

“I enjoy taking my camera out – Gainesville has great scenery to help diversify my amateur photographer portfolio. I also really enjoy salsa dancing, which keeps me connected to my Cuban roots.” – Lorena Figueredo Rivas, Class of 2024

 “Gainesville has plenty of sunshine and there is always something fun to do if you like the great outdoors—-whether it’s swimming at the springs, visiting the gators at Paynes Prairie, or playing beach volleyball with your friends after work” – Natalie Buchwald, Class of 2021

Sunset on Paines PraireLiving in a college town is fun. There are always events going on or sporting events to attend. It may not be the largest city, but there is always something fun to do.” – Michael Morris, Class of 2020

 “I enjoy the warm weather and all the awesome springs in and nearby Gainesville.” – Hsin-Pin Lin, Class of 2021

View from Bicycle“The beautiful springs with their crystal-clear water all around Gainesville.” – Torge Rempe, Class of 2020

“The winter and rainy seasons are great. I like spending time on biking trails and the Butterfly museum.” – Lakshmi Reddy, Class of 2020

“Gainesville is a town that has everything one could possibly need. There’s shopping, entertainment, and great restaurants. I love that there’s many different areas to explore including lots of great nature walks and trails. As an added bonus, the weather is amazing all year round!” – Amol Mehta, Class of 2022

Residents at climbing wall

“So far Gainesville is a great place to live given so many outside activities – springs, rivers, hiking, camping, farmers markets, and plenty of places to take my dog for runs and walks.” – Zach Newcomer, Class of 2020

“I love the college town atmosphere and huge number of things to do in the area.” – Justin De Prey, Class of 2021

 “Living in Gainesville is easier than most places, locally sourced produce is in abundance, and there are tons of outdoor activities to do.” – Matt McAdams, Class of 2019

Residents BikingGainesville is a true “University City”. It has been consistently ranked as one of Florida’s most livable cities, mainly because of its beautiful landscape and urban “forest.” The climate allows year-round outdoor activities. Easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast, and many lakes and fresh water springs in the area makes Gainesville a perfect home for water sports enthusiasts. Tennis, racquetball, golf, biking, and swimming can be enjoyed year round. The city also has an impressive variety of jogging and bicycle paths, including the Gainesville-Hawthorne Rail Trail, which winds through the Paynes Prairie State Park, home to bison, wild horses, and, of course, alligators. UF housestaff may rent a variety of boats and sports equipment to use at Lake Wauburg . The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens offer a quiet respite to enjoy nature while Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is built around one of Florida’s natural wonders – sinkholes!

The Swamp

The University of Florida Gators are perennially among the nation’s leaders in athletics with many teams achieving national recognition, including football, basketball, women’s tennis, volleyball and soccer, track, and swimming to name a few. There is always the opportunity to attend home games and meets, and to get into the Gator spirit by tailgating!In the Swamp

The University and its community provide a rich assortment of cultural events. All graduate and undergraduate facilities are available to our residents and their families. There is a Performing Arts Center on campus with symphony, opera, chamber music, Broadway musicals, and jazz performances featuring internationally known artists. Popular recording stars often perform at the O’Connell Center, an arena seating 12,000. The Hippodrome Theater downtown hosts a great variety of local plays year-round. In the summer, there is live music in Bo Diddley Plaza and the Tioga Town Center. On campus, residents enjoy Harn Museum of Fine Arts and the Florida Museum of Natural History, with an impressive butterfly garden.

Gainesville has a diverse restaurant scene with cuisines for any craving.

Downtown Gainesville Sun Center

For more information about Gainesville, please explore the following links:

In addition to everything Gainesville has to offer, residents take advantage of many Florida attractions in close proximity for a day trip or weekend getaway. St. Augustine on the northern Florida coast is the oldest city in the United States, with a walkable historic Spanish downtown district and many great restaurants. The beaches of the Atlantic and gulf coasts are both easily accessible. The theme parks in the greater Orlando area, including Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld, and Legoland, are a fun destination for kids of all ages. Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa are all an equally short drive from Gainesville and offer major airports and other large-city amenities.

The University of Florida has a robust and supportive community for housestaff, including frequent GME social events, wellness programs, job assistance, and local discounts (