Top 10 Best Things to Do in Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville Bucket List: 10 Best Places to Visit in Gainesville, Florida, USA

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) –  Famous for its picturesque natural landscapes and city greenery, the captivating city of Florida, Gainesville has become a popular tourist destination across the globe. Gainesville is known for its effort in preserving historical buildings and the natural environment, offering several best things to do in Gainesville, Florida.

If you are ready to tick off Gainesville on your bucket list, here are the 10 best things to do in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida Museum Of Natural History

Florida Museum Of Natural History By Todd Van Hoosear – 2018 Economic Development Tour of Greater Gainesville, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC

Situated on Hull Road in the vicinity of the University of Florida, the Florida Museum of National History is a popular attraction when visiting Gainesville. The facility is the official national history museum in Florida that houses permanent exhibits of fauna, flora, and various fossil collections.

Most of the exhibits in the museum are free of charge, except for other temporary exhibits and Butterfly Rainforest.

Cade Museum For Creativity and Inventions

Cade Museum For Creativity and Inventions By Owen Allen from Atherton, Australia – Gainesville_201906_0038, CC BY 2.0, CC

Named after the chief innovator of Gatorade Dr. Robert Cade, the Cade Museum for Creativity and Inventions is an educational and innovative museum that aims to encourage the future generation to develop innovative ideas that can help the community.

The museum houses innovative technological exhibits and a section of Dr. Cade’s former lab which includes the details of when he developed Gatorade.

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation photo via FB Page

If you are visiting Gainesville with kids, one of the most recommended destinations in the Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation. The educational facility serves as a rehabilitation sanctuary of over 25 species of rescued exotic animals such as bobcat, Siberian lynx, black and white lemur, Indian rhino, and other local wildlife.

Before heading, make sure to book a tour in advance since the facility is not open for walk-in admission.

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park photo via Wikipedia Public Domain

For nature tripping activity, head to the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, and bring along some food for a relaxing picnic while enjoying the harmonic water dripping sounds down from various spots into the 120 ft. deep sinkhole.

Also, bring plenty of water since you have to walk down 132 steps to reach the bottom of the sinkhole, and walk back up again.

Haile Homestead

Haile Homestead By Ebyabe – Own work, CC BY 2.5, CC

Situated at Kanapaha Plantation, the Historic Haile Homestead offers an informative tour during Saturdays and Sundays about the previous life of the Haile family and their slaves.

Built-in the year 1854 by 56 enslaved laborers, the 6,200 sq. ft. residence is famous for its “Talking Walls”, which consist of about 12,500 words on every corner of the house telling the real-life story of the past generation.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park By Pengd0t – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

For a more adventurous outdoor activity and nature sightseeing, visit the 2,241-acre national natural landmark, the Ichetuckee Springs State Park where various species of wildlife can be seen such as white-tailed deer, American alligators, bream, and catfish.

And if you happen to visit during summer, several recreational activities can be done in the park such as tubing, swimming, and scuba diving.

Harn Museum Of Art

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida By WillMcC – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

If you are looking for a place to spend a quiet time or you’re a big fan of museums, head on to the Harn Museum of Art for it is a must-see when visiting Gainesville.

Situated in the vicinity of the University of Florida, the 112,800 sq. ft. museum is one of the largest art museums in the South that is within a university, offering art exhibits of various art collections such as African Collection, Asian Collection, and Contemporary Collection.

Paynes Prairie

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Observation Tower By Muon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Situated in Alachua County, and another national natural landmark, Paynes Prairie is a 21,000-acre savanna state park that is a perfect destination for hiking and camping. With the vastness of the park, make sure to go around all the entrances to learn about the park’s history.

On the north side of the park you can spot various alligators and on the south side is the campground areas where wild horses and bison can be seen.

Union Street Station at Downtown Gainesville

Union Street Station at Downtown Gainesville photo via FB Page

Another way to enjoy your visit to Gainesville is by visiting the Union Street Station at Downtown Gainesville. You can go for a walk or rent a bike to be more acquainted with the local’s lifestyle, or go on a shopping spree before dining at the restaurants in the area.

Gainesville Food Tour

Embers Wood Grill photo via FB Page

To make your visit worthwhile in Florida, one of the best things to do is to book a three-hour Gainseville Food Tour. Other than the popular and historical spots in Gainesville, you will be guided to some of the top restaurants to savor the local dish in the area.


  • 15 Best Things to Do in Downtown Gainesville, The Crazy Tourist
  • Goodman, (2021), 15 Best Things to Do in Gainesville, Florida, Wander Wisdom
  • (2021), 20 Best Things to Do in Gainesville, Florida, Vacation Idea
  • (2021), 21 Fun Things To Do In Gainesville, Florida, Busy Tourist

Our Top Hotel Picks for Gainesville

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville – Highly recommended by both business and leisure travelers, DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville is located near popular attractions like Stage 7 KTV, Gator Cycling, and Boot Barn.
  • Hotel Eleo at the University of Florida – Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida, a 173-room boutique hotel in Gainesville, Florida. The hotel is owned by UFHealth Shands and features flexible meeting and event space, a fitness studio outfitted with high-end cardio and resistance equipment, and an unparalleled level of service.
  • Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville – Located on the University of Florida campus, this hotel and conference center boasts modern facilities along with many thoughtful amenities. The Hilton University of Florida Conference Center-Gainesville provides everything needed for an enjoyable stay, including a modern fitness center and in-room flat-screen TVs.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Gainesville and nearby cities? Check out our list of affordable Gainesville hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

Gainesville Travel and Tour Packages

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Gainesville, Florida, that you can add to your itinerary?

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Also read: What are the top tourist attractions in the Florida Keys?

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