Whether you live in Gainesville or just visiting, this list of things to do in Gainesville, FL will help you find something to do here in town. Â We’ve used Trip Advisor to help us rank the attractions, activities, nightlife and restaurants for things to do in Gainesville.
Things to do in Gainesville: Attractions
- Butterfly RainforestÂ -Â The Butterfly Rainforest is a canâ€™t miss living exhibit that features hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds from around the world along with an assortment of other animals including turtles and fish to experience first-hand. The lush landscape is planted in tropical trees and colorful flowering plants amid waterfalls and a walking path. Skilled interpretive staff are available to help answer questions and provide visitors with a personal and highly engaging experience.
- Florida Museum of Natural HistoryÂ -Â As you’ll see by visiting our website, the Florida Museum is primarily located on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville with research sites throughout the world. But the Museum is more than facilities and a repository for millions of specimens and artifacts. Our faculty, staff, part-time employees and volunteers are passionately committed to learning and communicating to others the fascination we share for our natural and cultural worlds.
- The Hippodrome State Theatre – The Hippodrome has grown from a tiny theatre group to the only professional theatre in the region. We moved from our 7-Eleven performance space on the outskirts of town to the historic Federal Building located in the cultural heart of the city, historic downtown Gainesville.
- Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation – We are primarily a conservation and educational facility and we rescue exotic animals in need. We also have a rehabilitation license for native wildlife.
We have very strict protocols for safety, optimal animal care, and our enclosures far exceed the minimum standard.
- Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – More commonly known in Gainesville as The Swamp, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is home to the Florida Gators Football team. Arguably one of the loudest stadiums to play at in the nation, The Swamp fills up for every home game and football fans come hours before kickoff for the ultimate tailgate experience.
Things to do in Gainesville: Activities
- Swamp Head Brewery – If you go to a local bar here in town, you’ll likely find Swamp Head beers on tap. Swamp Head Brewery is a local micro brewery that specializes in making awesome beer. Don’t like the bar scene? Don’t worry, you can visit their brewery and location directions.
- University of Florida – What Gainesville is known for nationwide is the University of Florida. One of the premiere colleges in the country is right here in Gainesville, FL. Don’t just stop at the stadium, walk around our beautiful campus and take in the history of Gainesville.
- Paynes Prairie – Paynes Prairie is biologically, geologically and historically unique. This park became FloridaÂ´s first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774.
- Bluefield Estate Winery – A family owned winery in the heart of north central Florida. Located on the eastside of Gainesville, one mile East of Newnanâ€™s lake in a small community known as Windsor, which was to be the original location of the University of Florida. In the early summer of 2006, as a new energetic couple, Jennifer and Bradley Ferguson starting making wine in their kitchen out of the blueberries produced on the family farm after the commercial harvest was complete.
- Cloud 9 Spa – Since opening in 2000, Cloud 9 has continued to grow and evolve, receiving numerous prestigious awards, esteemed accolades, and even national recognition. Weâ€™ve been dubbed â€œthe innovator, not the imitatorâ€ for creating our own unique Cloud 9 style, comprised of specialized service offerings & procedures. Our high standards have been attributed to raising the bar of both customer experience & customer expectation within our industry.
Things to do in Gainesville: Nightlife
- Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar – You’ll have the time of your life at Rockeys! Join us for the best dueling piano show in the country. Piano players from all over the nation travel to Gainesville, FL to play the songs YOU want to hear! Great music, delicious drinks, and a friendly staff make Rockeys the place to be in downtown Gainesville!
- Half Cork’d – Half Cork’d is a new concept serving premium wine, beer and champagne. This sophisticated addition to downtown Gainesville’s entertainment and dining culture is now open! Located in a prime location on SE 1st St., this new concept will redefine the way you experience wine.
- Gainesville House of Beer – We feature a huge selection of the finest craft beers from all over the world, with 40 taps flowing and dozens more styles available by the bottle in our cooler. We love beer as much as you do, and weâ€™re always looking for new and exciting brews to bring in and enjoy! We always keep a wide variety of styles on tap â€“ so whether youâ€™re looking for IPAs, stouts, ambers, lagers, porters, ales, witbiers, or seasonals, weâ€™ve got what you want.
- Key West Cigar Company – Key West Cigar Company welcomes you to a cigar lounge that pays homage to the bygone era when Key West was the worlds largest exporter of hand-rolled cigars. It’s a great coincidence that the very building we are in was built in 1880, the same time that Key West started a cigar boom. (As of late 2013, location was closed and no new one announced yet)
- Tall Paul’s Brew House – Tall Paul’s Brew House is located in a historic structure built in the 1880′s. Originally used as the stable for the Gainesville Fire Department, the building has featured many businesses over it’s 125+ year history.
Things to do in Gainesville: Restaurants & Food
- Manuel’s Vintage Room
- Paramount Grill
- Satchel’s Pizza
- Embers Wood Grill
We took the top 5 in each category on Trip Advisor but you can view their site to get more ideas for things to do in Gainesville.
What are you favorite things to do in Gainesville?