Gainesville, FL

Home to Gator Nation

Have you heard about beautiful, historic Gainesville? With its varied neighborhoods, Gainesville is at once vibrant and exciting as well as laid-back and relaxed.

The more you know about Gainesville, the easier it will be to see why so many people love calling this city home.

History of Gainesville

Long ago, a Timucuan Indian village sat on the spot that is now Gainesville. The Spanish assumed control of the territory in 1817, but held it for just a few years until 1824 when the U.S. annexed Florida. Agriculture was the main industry in the region, and when a railroad line came through the area, the residents decided to establish a town called Gainesville in 1853.

The new city was placed on high, dry land and was laid out according to a gridiron plan. While the Civil War slowed development for years, Gainesville residents rebuilt with an emphasis on education. At the same time, the city became an important cotton shipping station, and agriculture, phosphate mines and timber were major industries.

By the early 20th century, the University of Florida was established here, becoming a critical economic factor as other industries declined. As Gainesville moved toward the future, the residents worked to preserve much of the city’s old architecture while continuing to expand.

Things To Do

What will you find to do when you move to Gainesville? Here’s a sampling:

  • Morningside Nature Center of Florida Families love coming here to experience the 19th century living history farm. With an old-fashioned schoolhouse, cabin and barn, historic reenactors truly make history come alive.
  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens: This soothing collection of gardens includes displays of rocks, roses, bamboo, butterflies and much more. Keep an eye out for special events taking place throughout the year.
  • Harn Museum of Art: Known to locals as “the Harn,” this museum displays approximately 10,000 creations. Galleries include traditional and contemporary art, and be certain to set aside some time to explore the gardens.
  • Gainesville Raceway: Looking for high-octane excitement? Then Gainesville is the place to be. The raceway is a dragstrip used by professionals and amateurs that also hosts the annual NHRA GatorNationals.

The University of Florida

Home of the Florida Gators, UF is the sixth largest university campus by enrollment in the U.S. You don’t have to be a student or a member of the faculty to participate in the many events that happen on and around campus.

You might take a guided tour of the campus or attend the football games each fall. Families love visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History, which boasts a butterfly rainforest. Another favorite on-campus spot is Lake Alice. Though small, this is a great place to spot softshell turtles, and the UF bat house is nearby.

Whether you come for the sports, performances or art galleries, there’s always something happening at UF.

Fun Facts

Even if you’re pretty familiar with Gainesville, you may be surprised by these fun facts:

  • Gainesville is a central point offering short drives to Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville
  • Santa Fe College, a highly ranked community college, is located in Gainesville too
  • The University of Florida developed Gatorade
  • Tom Petty and Stephen Stills are both closely associated with Gainesville
  • Lake Alice is home to alligators
  • Money Magazine frequently ranks Gainesville among the best places to live in America

Real Estate

Finding the perfect home in Gainesville begins with understanding the various neighborhoods.

In the northeast part of town, you’ll find lots of growing families as well as entrepreneurs, professors working at UF and recent retirees. The neighborhoods are relaxed and easy-going, yet close to I-75, UF and the mall. Outdoor enthusiasts love this part of town thanks to the available recreation activities.

With highly rated schools, nearby hospitals and plenty of available stores and services, this is a great place to buy real estate in Gainesville.

Crowded, bustling and vibrant, southwest Gainesville is filled with residents who have close ties to Shands or UF. Students, professors and medical professionals live here, and they all make use of the many local boutiques and restaurants. Expensive homes abound here, and the neighborhood includes a golf course. UF school spirit is rampant, especially on football game day. Various parks and playgrounds in the area are connected by trail systems.

On Gainesville’s northeast side, you’ll find eclectic neighbors who are vegan and probably grow much of their own produce. They like their privacy, but once they know you, they are warm and friendly. This laid-back area is ideal for you if you love arts and crafts and want to take full advantage of the locally owned businesses, shops and restaurants. Filled with older homes, this may be the place to find a bargain.

With plenty of parks and trails and a unique local flare, Gainesville’s southeast is filled with smaller homes that sit side-by-side. The neighborhoods here are traditional and emphasize family values. If you like down-to-earth neighbors and are looking for a home on a budget, this may be the perfect neighborhood. With lots of churches, local grocers and hometown-favorite diners, this is a cozy place to call home.

Contact Florida's Choice Realty

Are you ready to learn more about Gainesville’s vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods? If so, then give the local experts at Florida’s Choice Realty a call. Our experienced Realtors can help you choose the perfect Gainesville neighborhood where you are certain to find your dream home.

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