There’s no better way to celebrate the summer season than with a getaway to Gainesville, Florida. From outdoor adventures to fascinating museums to scenic state parks, this area is filled with awesome activities. We’re lucky that we get to call this area home, and we’ll tell you about our picks for the best things to do in summer in Gainesville, FL.
No matter what time of the year it is, Gainesville is pouring with fun-filled things to do. Get the inside scoop and download our complimentary Vacation Guide.
Our Picks for the Best Things To Do in Summer Gainesville, FL
Whether you want to explore downtown Gainesville or take a day trip to nearby attractions, we’ve got you covered!
Go Back in Time at Museums
Dating back to 1869, Gainesville is a vessel for fascinating history. It was established by Spanish settlers, involved in the Civil War, and is home to plenty of noteworthy landmarks, historical sites, and museums. When you want to escape the heat on a hot summer day, check out some of these intriguing spots:
- Florida Museum of Natural History (be sure to check out the incredible Butterfly Rainforest!)
- Harn Museum of Art
- Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
- The Haile Homestead
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (explore the state’s largest bamboo garden!)
Explore the Great Outdoors
Although Gainesville is known for being a lively college town (the University of Florida is located here), it’s also a top-notch spot for outdoor recreation. With nature preserves, parks, gardens, natural springs, and more, the outdoor adventures never stop!
- Go bicycling at Depot Park (this park is home to the trailhead for the Gainesville-Hawthorne Bike/Hike Trail)
- Dive into a crystal-clear natural spring (one of our favorites is Ginnie Springs)
- Kayak down the Santa Fe River
- Take a stroll around Lake Alice
- Discover beautiful flora and fauna at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Roam Through State Parks
Within Florida, you can find a plethora of gorgeous state parks. When you stay with us at Sweetwater Branch Inn in Gainsville, many of these state parks are within close driving distance. Head to one of these state parks and spend the day hiking, boating, or enjoying a relaxing picnic.
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- Paynes Prairie State Reserve
- Millhopper Geological State Park
- Newnans Lake State Forest
- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
Stay in Gainesville at Sweetwater Branch Inn
Sweetwater Branch Inn is your headquarters for an unforgettable summer vacation. We offer pristine cottages and guest rooms paired with outstanding customer service and amenities. Plus, we’re located in the heart of Gainesville near all the best restaurants, bars, history museums, art galleries, and more, so you have easy access to all the best things to do in summer in Florida!
One of our most beloved private cottages here at the inn is Sarah’s Cottage. It features a queen-sized bedroom, a full private bath, a fully functional kitchen, a living area, and a dining room. Plus, it’s pet-friendly, so your furry family member can join you for all your Florida summer activities.