Gainesville Attractions

Gainesville isn’t like any other place in Florida. The combination of college-town vitality and protected natural beauty makes it truly one of a kind. Opportunities abound for things to do in Gainesville! Whether you are here to cheer for the Gators, take in an outdoor adventure, or enjoy the nightlife, you’ll find countless things to see, do and explore for every budget. A rich melting pot, Gainesville is full of lively, college town fun, budget-friendly and often free attractions for the family. Additionally, you can enjoy peaceful, relaxed outdoor experiences for those seeking a slower tempo.

With Gainesville’s myriad of attractions, it is easy to become a bit overwhelmed. We invite you to stop by our friendly front desk for guidance on the best museums to visit, recommendations for our favorite dining spots, or perhaps we’ll let a local tip or two slip. We look forward to hosting you as our guest!

Featured Attractions

University of Florida

Gainesville is a hub of education and culture and home to the University of Florida, the largest and oldest university in the state. If you are on a quest to decide your college future, you can schedule a student tour to get acquainted with the campus. Tours are offered Monday through Friday with two tours offered each day. Come watch the famous Florida Gators play on their home field. Our hotel is very popular with Gator fans! We invite you to make our hotel your home away from home on game days!

Florida Museum of Natural History

Powell Hall is the Museum’s main Education and Exhibition Center. Visitors will encounter exciting temporary exhibits and permanent exhibition halls that explore Florida’s unique habitats and rich cultural history, including information about some of Florida's early Natives. Enjoy an Indian welcoming ceremony and take a peek at the mammoth and mastodon skeletons from the last ice age. Visitors age 8 and under will love the new Discovery Zone hands-on exploration area. Additionally, while visiting the museum make sure to explore the Butterfly Rainforest for a fun time for people of all ages.

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo

Another popular college in Gainesville is the Santa Fe College. Their Teaching Zoo houses 70 species and 250 individual animals in its zoo. Learn about white handed gibbons, red ruffed lemurs, ocelots, bald eagles, Galapagos tortoises, African grey parrots, and Matschie’s tree kangaroo. The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is Gainesville’s community zoo and the training facility for the college’s Zoo Animal Technology Program. Tours are offered and designed to give visitors an educational and enjoyable experience and to give zoo students more experience working with guests. Days Open: Monday - Sunday 9 am – 2 pm.

Things to Do

Dining

Shopping

  • Newberry Crossing 0.4 mi
  • Tower Center 0.6 mi
  • The Oaks Mall 0.8 mi
  • Millhopper Shopping Center 3.0 mi
  • Thornebrook Shopping Center 3.3 mi