Are you visiting Gainesville, Florida, for the first time? Planning a vacation to a destination that you’ve never been to before can be overwhelming. We’re here to help! Our city is filled with so many exciting outdoor activities, museums, restaurants, attractions, and more! Check out our tips for things to do during your first time visiting Gainesville, FL.
For a more extensive Gainesville itinerary, refer to our complimentary Vacation Guide. It offers a detailed list of the best things to do and see in the area!
Your First Time Visiting Gainesville: Things To Do
How will you make the most out of your first time to Gainesville? Discover our recommendations below and start creating the ultimate Gainesville bucket list!
Explore Fascinating Museums and Exhibits
Did you know that Gainesville is rich in history and culture? The area is filled with a wide array of museums, exhibits, and historical sites. Some of the most popular places to visit include:
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
- The University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
- Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History
- Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Check Out the University of Florida Campus
One of the most popular attractions in Gainesville is the University of Florida. This sprawling campus is known for its rich history of academic and athletic achievements and offers many opportunities for culture and education. Plus, the grounds are absolutely stunning!
- Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
- University of Florida Bat Houses
- UF Campus Performing Arts Center
- The Baughman Center at Lake Alice
- The Plaza of the Americas
Reconnect With Mother Nature
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Gainesville is the perfect place for you. Our area’s beautiful landscape is filled with numerous parks and lakes and features endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
- Bicycle at Depot Park
- Hike the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail
- Take a dip at Ginnie Springs
- Explore Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
- Go birdwatching at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
- Roam hiking trails at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Sign Up for Some Gainesville Tours
Do you want to explore Gainesville with a local? Sign up for a tour! No matter your interests, there’s undoubtedly a Gainesville tour that will satisfy your whole group.
- Mudslinger Tours – Guided outdoor adventures featuring creek tours and fossil tours
- Gainesville Brew Bus – Gainesville’s first Brew Bus delivering fun and meaningful experiences on a custom outfitted bus as it tours the menagerie of breweries found within the Greater Gainesville area
- Segway Tours by Tour Gainesville, LLC – Guided Segway tours around Gainesville most popular attractions
Stay In the Best Accommodations Gainesville Offers
We know that when it comes to vacation planning, you’re bombarded with accommodations options after one online search. Make the easy decision and stay in Gainesville’s best inn—Sweetwater Branch Inn. Our historic property exudes elegance and charm and offers everything you need to feel at home. We offer spacious guest rooms and suites, in addition to private cottages. Plus, we’re conveniently located in the heart of Gainesville, keeping you close to the area’s best restaurants, shopping, and attractions.
It’s always the best time to visit Gainesville! Check our availability and start planning your getaway today!