Life in Gainesville

Lake Alice“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

Baughman center

“I have been in and out of Gainesville since 2004 so I know it quite well! It has a smaller city feel with the attractions afforded by hosting one of the largest public universities in the US. I really like our downtown for a fun weekend night, but also enjoy heading out to the surrounding springs and rivers when I have the time. It’s also an extremely affordable and livable city, which puts more money in the bank for our vacations and weekend trips.” – Matt Broderick

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

“The beautiful springs with their crystal-clear water all around Gainesville.” – Torge Rempe

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

“Living 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

“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

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

“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

“It’s affordable, safe, there is minimal traffic, and plenty of outdoor activities to do.” – David Ho

Residents at climbing wall

Gainesville 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!

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 (