Things to do in Gainesville

Things to do when family and friends visit Gainesville

In town

  • Natural History Museum / Butterfly Rainforest
    Entrance to the museum is free, you only have to pay for the Butterflies or temporary exhibits. Butterfly Rainforest fee is $13/6 for adults/kids. Current UFL students get in for free.
  • Paynes Prairie State Park
    La Chua trail on the East side of town is where the large alligators are. Lake access, trails, and a lookout tower are on the West side. Bison are usually on the West side.
  • Devil’s Millhopper State Park
    Large sink hole with 200 step staircase going down into it. A short nature trail surrounding it. Worth seeing but probably not for more than an hour or so.
  • Sweetwater Wetlands Park
    Man-made wetland with boardwalk nature trails. Scarcely-shaded so ideal to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Outside of town

  • St. Augustine.
    A nice beach, historic fort & downtown.
  • Springs
    Numerous springs around Gainesville worth a visit. Most are state parks and have an entrance fee. See a map here.


  • East End Eatery - Great breakfast, closes after lunchtime.
  • Satchel’s Pizza -
  • The Top - Good food all around, large beer collection
  • Boca Fiesta - Good mexican food
  • La Tienda - Really good mexican food.
  • Sweetberries - Great sandwiches and ice cream, close to campus.
  • Mi Apa Latin Cafe - Really good Cuban food

Bike Shops

  • Reitz Union has a student bike repair shop – services (basic?) are free.
  • Joan recommends Bikes & More on NW 6th St.
  • Gator Cycle on Archer Road seems good, too (Hao is getting his wheels trued there)