The Best Things to Do in Gainesville

On May 14, 2019

The best things to do in Gainesville, Florida, are those that help introduce you to the local culture and history of the area. This special spot of the state is often known only for the University of Florida, but there is so much more to the city than that alone. If you are looking for some of the most recommended Gainesville, Florida attractions, here is a comprehensive list for your next visit.

Must-See Things to Do in Gainesville

Historic Haile Homestead – Local history is brought to life on this old cotton plantation. It was home to the Haile family who had 14 children who recorded history in daily journals, recipes, drawings, and poetry. These words are highlighted through the “talking walls”, where highlights of daily living in the 1800s are told. This plantation was built and farmed by slave laborers, so this is an opportunity to learn more about slaves too. [More Information]

Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention – Many people don’t know Dr. Cade’s name, but they know his invention: Gatorade. This drink was invented to help the local college team, the Gators, to stay better hydrated and replenished during games. As a nod to his creativity and invention, this center helps put everyday things in a new light. Educational goals and encouraging entrepreneurs as the two underlining highlights of the center with classes and exhibits for all ages. [More Information]

Lubee Bat Conservancy – Whether you have an interest in bats or a fear, this is a great stop in Gainesville. The conservancy has guided educational tours, but the best time to stop by is during the Florida Bat Festival. See and learn more about the different types of bats and their habitats. [More Information]

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Free/Cheap Things to Do in Gainesville

Harn Museum of Art – This museum is free as an affiliate of the University of Florida. It is a small, intimate experience, but it carries some weight. There are pieces of African, Asian, contemporary, and modern art mixed with exquisite pieces of photography. What makes this museum extra special though is that it is one of three museums in the country with original Frida Kahlo works. [More Information]

352 Walls – This urban art project is a public initiative to establish Gainesville as a vibrant cultural destination. Throughout the city, there are giant murals painted on buildings, helping to encourage urban art studies while supporting community pride. Each mural is unique and a different style of art, so there is something that appeals to every taste and style. Check out their webpage for current maps, tours, and information about the artists. [More Information]

The Retirement Home for Horses – The admission to this unique attraction is a bargain at two carrots. That’s right, for two carrots, you can enter the Mill Creek Farm, which is an equine sanctuary. There are more than 100 horses, a couple of donkeys, and a mule, who wander around the 335 acres. This is a great opportunity to learn about horse care and how old, neglected, and abandoned horses area given pastures to roam freely to enjoy their remaining years. [More Information]

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Things to Do in Gainesville for Families/Kid-Friendly Things to Do

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens – This area of Gainsville is unlike any other botanical garden you’ve been to before. They easy paths wind through the acreage of familiar and exotic plants, including a bamboo forest. Don’t forget to stop and listen as you go through the musical bamboo. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the hummingbird garden portion, where you can observe many of these tiny birds in action. [More Information]

Florida Museum of Natural History – This is an impressive museum with five permanent exhibits and limited run, special attractions. Learn about the history of Florida, local animal life, ancient area fossils, and how the waterways and wildlife have established the area. Everything is geared toward children and adults, so everyone will be entertained in this museum. [More Information]

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo – This zoo is student-run and low-key. Set on 10-acres, there are over 200 animals here, including monkeys, tree kangaroos, and lemurs. The laid-back feel of this zoo is accented with a fun playground for kids to let out their inner animal and a picnic area for families to take a break together. [More Information]

The University of Florida Campus – If your family has any sports fans, this is a great stop. Take a self-guided tour by car around the 2,000 acres of campus. Stop and tour the football stadium and pick up some swag from the student building book store.[More Information]

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Things to Do in Gainesville for Adults

Florida Fun Bikes – This is a bar on wheels. The station is powered by the passengers, pedaling as they chat. Whether you go on a date night or bring along a group of friends, you’ll have fun moving this bar bike, socializing, and making stops along the route. This is a truly unique experience that you will always remember. [More Information]

The Hippodrome State Theatre – If you are looking to catch a great live theatre performance, cultural performance, or screen a movie, this theatre is the place to go. There are seats for 222 people for each production, so make sure you get tickets early. [More Information]

The Butterfly Rainforest – This 6,4000 square foot exhibit showcases the natural environment that butterflies thrive. There are hundreds of different free-flying butterflies with usually more than 50 species at a time on site. There are also many different international birds and animals to see too. Looking for a fun date idea? Attend one of the live butterfly releases. [More Information]

MOJO Bar-B-Que and Whiskey Bar – Since 2003, MOJO’s has been serving up some of the best-barbecued meats in the area. They have since spread to eight locations, but that hasn’t sacrificed quality at all. The meats are smoked to perfection, the sides all made from scratch, and they also feature one of Florida’s largest curated whiskey collections. [More Information]

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Book with RedCoach Today!

Gainesville is a special part of Florida, why not arrive in style? When planning your trip here, consider booking with RedCoach bus service. With onboard wi-fi and plush, reclining seats, you will be able to ride in comfort with less stress. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Gainesville, Florida with RedCoach today.


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