Hotels in Gainesville, Florida

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Gainesville Hotels

Discover the history of early man, view fossilized remains of Floridian life forms, and cheer along with raucous crowds on game days at its famous stadium, Gainesville is a lively, hectic, and vivacious university town with a great atmosphere and infectious spirit. The city has a friendly appeal, from its free-to-visit museums, and engaging theaters, to the cheesy student bars with their cheap drinks and faded pool tables hidden away in dark corners. Gainesville is a fascinating blend of old and new, and as you stroll through the tree-filled streets admiring the elaborate architecture of its oldest buildings, you can marvel at the youthful energy it exudes.

Things to see

An academic campus is an unlikely destination for a holiday abroad, but you shouldn’t miss the Florida Museum of Natural History in the grounds of the University of Florida next time you head to the Sunshine State. Six million butterflies and moths are on colorful display, next to an array of fossils and remains of early man. At the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp), the University of Florida Gator Football Team excite their adoring fans every Saturday during game season, and on pep rally nights you can hear the roar of the crowd as they’re worked into a frenzy by comedians and their coach. The Oaks Mall shopping center is housed in a colossal concrete structure out by I-75. Five famous department stores guard an entrance each, and in its marble clad interior you’ll find the sparkling windows of jewelry stores, smell the leather aroma of expensive shoes, and find your way into extensive clothing shops from international brands to local favorites.

Hotels in Gainesville

In keeping with the laid back, relaxed, local-town feel, there aren’t any mirrored high-rises or towering skyscrapers dominating the Gainesville skyline. At every turn, mid-range motels and discount hotels line the streets, fitting in very well with the stress-free student vibe of this friendly municipality. As well as spacious rooms, private en-suite bathrooms, and continental breakfasts, most hotels in Gainesville have their own outdoor swimming pool, ideal in the heat of Florida’s warmest months. You’ll find most of them in the center of town, near to the liveliest student bars and colorful shopping streets.

Where to stay

Gainesville is a historic university town, a far cry from the ostentatious boulevards of Orlando’s outlandish theme parks, and the elegant townhouses of the State’s Gulf of Mexico retreats. Instead, it has wide avenues lined with single story family homes, and tree-filled plots with restored Victorian wooden-built houses. The buildings in its Downtown area have an almost colonial feel, sporting wrought-iron balconies from the plantation era, civic buildings with imposing columned facades, and red-brick structures with ornate windows. Comfortable inns and discount hotels can be found in the town of Micanopy, a tranquil town on the old State Highway, with leafy green suburbs, and restored mansions.

How to get to Gainesville

The airfield at Gainesville is a small landing strip and doesn’t serve large airliners, so international travelers will find themselves landing at Jacksonville International Airport or Orlando International Airport. There is a convenient Greyhound bus service from both cities direct to Gainesville, both taking a little over an hour and a half each. Driving in Florida is easy though, with wide highways, excellent signage, and gas stations at regular intervals, so hiring a car at the airport is a preferred option. When you’re in the city, you won’t need transport because everything you’ll want to see is easy to get to, but if you do decide to drive, parking spaces are ample.

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