Uncover the unexpected in North Central Florida! Gainesville isn’t like any other place in Florida. Our combination of college-town vitality and protected natural beauty makes us one of a kind—a place “where nature and culture meet.” Gainesville offers 30+ miles of biking and hiking trails while spotting wildlife like birds, bison, wild horses or alligators in seven area Florida State Parks. Canoe or paddleboard our scenic rivers, or take a dive into one of our crystal clear freshwater springs. Floating down the spring-fed river at Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a can’t miss warm-weather tradition.
Spend your afternoon antiquing in Gainesville's surrounding small towns, and then grab a bite downtown at some of the best local farm-to-fork dining around. Wash it all down with a beverage from one of our four local breweries, and catch some theater or local music before calling it a day. A rich melting pot, Gainesville is full of vibrant, college town fun, inexpensive and often free attractions for the family and peaceful, relaxed outdoor experiences for those seeking a slower pace. Whatever your passion, the nature and culture of Gainesville and Alachua County await.
It's the casual tempo of High Springs, the small north central Florida town of 3,600, that entices travelers. Located about 20 miles northwest of Gainesville, High Springs tempts visitors with diverse and unique offerings of art, antiques and outdoor adventures that make it a refreshing getaway. Surrounded by natural attractions, the town attracts canoeists, cave divers and campers heading to the nearby Santa Fe River. Yes, High Springs is a place for snorkeling, diving, tubing or swimming in natural springs that flow at a steady 72 degrees all year long.
Natural springs, cave diving snorkeling
They say that that the more north you go in Florida, the more South you are. This certainly applies to the town of Live Oak. Just west of the intersection of I-75 and I-10, Live Oak is shaded by the canopies of ancient oaks, dripping with Spanish moss. The town's pace mimics the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers that bound it. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park may best embody Live Oak’s assets, offering canoeing and hiking in the wilderness.
Rivers, springs, music and camping
Mossy oaks and the wild Suwannee River make White Springs especially popular with paddlers, hikers, bikers, birders and anglers. Found in North Florida about an hour west of Jacksonville, Big Shoals State Park in White Springs boasts Florida's largest whitewater rapids. The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park hosts the annual Florida Folk Festival. Once a health spa, White Springs shares its history through a downtown walking tour that takes in more than 20 vintage buildings and sites.
Victorian charm and antique shops