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This Is the Best Guide To Outdoor Activities in Gainesville, FL

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If exploring nature is high on your vacation to-do list, you’re in the right spot. Gainesville is home to a plethora of nature preserves, parks, gardens, natural springs, and more. When you stay at Sweetwater Branch Inn, you’ll be located near all the best outdoor activities in Gainesville, FL 

For more local insight on the area, download our complimentary Vacation Guide. We’ll give you the inside scoop on the best attractions, restaurants, events, and more!  

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The Best Outdoor Activities in Gainesville, FL 

Visit Alachua County, breathe in the fresh air, and reconnect with nature. Keep reading to find out the best outdoor activities in Gainesville, FL 

Try an Outdoor Yoga Class 

Here at Sweetwater Branch Inn, we want all our guests to experience pure relaxation and bliss. We’re happy to offer outdoor yoga classes throughout the year, as well as a Yoga Retreat Package 

Bicycle at Depot Park 

family bike ride (1)One of Gainesville’s newest parks and best places to go bicycling is Depot Park. Located on South Main Street in downtown Gainesville, this park is home to the Trailhead for the Gainesville-Hawthorne Bike/Hike trail that follows an old railroad route. Depot Park also features a conservation area, picnic pavilion, playground, and water play area. 

Hike the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail 

The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail stretches over 16 miles through Boulware Springs Park, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and other local and state conservation lands. As you make your way down the hiking trail, you’ll see scenic vistas, wildlife, and historic railroad artifacts.  

Take a Dip at Ginnie Springs 

Have you ever dived into a natural spring? Ginnie Springs is home to seven crystal clear springs and remains 72 degrees year-round. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day in Florida. In addition to swimming, you can also experience the springs from innertubes, kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes. 

Experience the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens 

botanical garden If you want to be dazzled by breathtaking flora, head to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. The garden is home to the most extensive herb garden in the Southeast and Florida’s largest display of bamboos. Visit during warm months and catch sight of giant Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums. 

Explore Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park 

For a truly unforgettable experience, head to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Within the park, you can experience wild-roaming bison and horses, in addition to over 300 species of birds, alligators, deer, and many other animals. The park is home to eight trails, including the paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail.  

Be Amazed at the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History 

This can’t-miss living exhibit features hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds from around the world with an assortment of other animals, including turtles and fish. There isn’t anything like it! The mesmerizing rainforest includes lush landscaping, tropical trees, colorful flowering plants, waterfalls, and walking paths.  

Stay At The Beautiful Sweetwater Branch Inn 

cottageThe Sweetwater Branch Inn is located in historic downtown Gainesville and is close to all the area’s best things to do. Our inn is part of a Victorian complex that offers all the amenities you would expect from a world-class inn. Sweetwater Branch is beautifully decorated and historically preserved, offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. When you stay with us, you’ll have your choice to stay in our charming guest rooms or our fully-equipped private cottages 

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