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Gainesville vs. Jacksonville: Which One’s the Best for You?

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Gainesville vs. Jacksonville: It’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? If you’re still deciding between the two destinations for your next Florida vacation, you’ve landed on the right blog! Here, we’ll discuss what both cities have to offer and which one’s best for you. So, are you ready to find out which city is for you? Read on, take notes, and get ready for an unforgettable Florida getaway! 

If you decide that Gainesville is the place for you, you’re in for a treat! Download our free Vacation Guide and unlock all our top suggestions! Inside, you’ll find recommendations for local restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor activities, and more.  

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Should You Vacation in Gainesville or Jacksonville? 

Jacksonville 

What to Expect 

Did you know Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida? If you’re looking for a city-vibe with plenty of shops and restaurants, then Jacksonville is for you. There, you can enjoy the thrill of the city while soaking up the sun along the river.  

Highlights 

Jacksonville has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to nightlife and scenic water spots. Here are some of the most popular things to do: 

Gainesville 

What to Expect 

Gainesville is one of the best cities to vacation in Florida. Indeed, it’s ideal for couples wanting a relaxing weekend, families looking to make memories, as well as friends or girls’ getawaysThis beautiful town has it all: museums, music venues, high-class restaurants, and a variety of parks and rivers where you can make the most of your love for nature.  

Highlights 

Boca Fiesta Restaurant 

Gainesville is a lively city with plenty of amazing places to eat. One of our favorite restaurants is Boca Fiesta! There, you’ll enjoy mouthwatering Mexican staples like tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas, as well as unique and eclectic décor! Make sure you pay attention to the high-beam above your table – you might spot some fun figurines hidden up there! 

Hardback Café 

If you love live music, then you cannot miss the Hardback Café! This famous Gainesville venue used to be a hot spot for bands in the 90s (it used to be located at Boca Fiesta and hosted bands, including the late Hollywood actor River Phoenix Aleka’s Attic!), and after a decade-long break, the original owner decided to revive this staple. The new Hardback is small, intimate, and will make you feel like you’re attending a backyard concert with friends.  

Sweetwater Wetlands Park 

Do you know you hardly have to leave the city to find gorgeous parks in Gainesville? Sweetwater Wetlands Park is a spectacular place where you can enjoy a leisurely walk through the prairie and spot some wildlife. 

Stay in One of Gainesville’s Top B&Bs! 

Piccadilly Suite BedroomNow that you know Gainesville is the perfect match for you, it’s time to find a place to stay! Sweetwater Branch Inn is a lovely B&B at the heart of downtown. You’ll love our Victorian home and elegant décor, including modern amenities and high-end service. Whether you’re looking for a romantic room for you and your better half or a beautiful cottage to share with your family, we have what you need. Did we mention our delicious, homemade breakfast served every morning?  

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