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Gainseville; an overview - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

If you have been to the resort area many times or are simply having an extended stay in Florida you may fancy an overnight side trip during your stay.

Now your first thoughts may very well veer in the direction of a night at the beach (and jolly nice that would be as well) but can I tempt you to consider that charming town known as ' The Tree City'

If you are unaware of this strap line, I will put you out of your misery and tell you that I am talking about Gainseville; an approximate 2 hour drive from your vacation rental home.

So what does this pleasant city have to offer?
Well, of course, lots of hotels and shops to browse, that goes without saying but how about 30 city parks?

I would like to make particular mention of Morningside Nature Center which is so lovely to stroll round.

There are also an awesome 13 museums and art galleries, so enough to satisfy the most avid culture vulture. The Florida Museum of Natural History deserves particular mention. This features a Butterfly Rain Forest.

I love a zoo and they have one here; albeit a small one. This is called The Sante Fe Zoo and is only open til early afternoon. The cost of admission is only $5 (less for concessions)This is a zoo that centres on education but you can make a self guided visit.

If you are lucky enough to visit in october, then this is when The Downtown Festival and Art Show takes place. This lasts for one weekend only and is a street festival that attracts 100000 people every year. Not too hot in october eithrt to be outside for longer.

Another good place to put on your list is the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park which features many special events throughout the year. During our visit the sandhill cranes were migrating and they had a bamboo sale and The Hogtown Medieval Fair.

While we are talking about State Parks, Ichnetuckee State Park is about 20 minutes north west of Gainesville and here you can tube down the river for up to 4 hours; an amazing experience.

You will not go hungry in Gainesville as there are a bewildering array of restaurants. From Sports Bars, to Ethnic, to family fare to fine dining, they have it all. Rather a change from the array of chain type restaurant so prevalent in the parks area.

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