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You’ll Love These 4 Amazing State Parks Near Gainesville

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Do you love to spend your vacation out in nature? Do you want to breathe in the fresh air and reconnect with life’s simple pleasures? If so, these four amazing state parks near Gainesville are sure to satisfy your needs. Picture yourself relaxing in one of Florida’s most charming cities, and treat yourself to delightful day trips to exceptional parks. Read on to discover our favorites and get ready to plan a fabulous trip with your loved ones.

Learn more about what Gainesville has to offer in our exclusive, free Vacation Guide. We created this planning tool to help you find the top restaurants, events, shops, museums, outdoor adventures, and more!

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Soak In the Beauty of Nature at These 4 State Parks Near Gainesville

Newnans State Lake Forest

Newnans State Lake Forest is only seven minutes away from our inn (driving time). Spend a morning or an afternoon discovering its 6,000 square acres of hiking trails through the woods, as well as its lake. There’s even a boat launch where you can rent kayaks for a fun adventure on the water! You can also bring a bike and enjoy the scenery while riding around the forest. 

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Another favorite park of ours is the Ichetucknee Springs State Park. It offers 2,669 acres of playground for nature lovers, especially those interested in water activities. Tubing is one of the most popular activities there, so why not try it for yourself? You can sit back and soak in the beauty of nature as you float away on the crystal-clear water. It’s also incredibly refreshing in the summer!

Paynes Prairie State Reserve

Paynes Prairie State Reserve is a natural landmark you have to see while staying in Gainesville! It offers a magnificent display of wildlife, including animals like alligators, birds, horses, and even bison! Start at the Visitor Center to learn more about the area and its history, then make your way to the 16-mile-long Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. It’s the ideal place for a scenic hike!

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

What if we told you that you can immerse yourself in nature without ever leaving downtown Gainesville? Sweetwater Wetlands Park is one of our favorite natural areas and a fabulous place to go for a long walk with the one you love. A part of the park is actually attached to the Paynes Prairie, so you can cross both off your list in one visit! Follow the La Chua Trail along the lake, check out the observation tower, and be on the lookout for alligators! They might be tanning in the sun. Stay safe by staying on the trail!

Rest From Your Hike at Sweetwater Branch Inn

Tea Rose Room BedroomAfter exploring the outdoors all day, it’s time you come home to a cozy room where you can relax. Sweetwater Branch Inn welcomes you for a soothing experience and an unforgettable stay. We’re located at the heart of Gainesville, which makes it easy for you to walk to the nearby restaurants and shops! We offer a wide selection of rooms and cottages that all feature high-end amenities and elegant decor. No matter what your personal style is, you’re sure to find one accommodation that fits it! Did we mention the succulent, homemade breakfast we serve every morning?

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