Where to Stay in Gainesville – A Guide to Hogtown
Gainesville is a city located in Northern Florida. Home to a thriving student population, it is one of the main inland urban centers in the state. Gainesville is famous for being home to the largest and oldest university in Florida, as well as for being a local agricultural and trade hub. In this post, we will explore the best areas to stay in Gainesville, FL.
The main cultural sights and attractions in Gainesville include the Florida Museum of Natural History, with fossils and ethnographic exhibits, Harn Museum of Art, with a collection focused on African, Asian, modern, and contemporary art, and the University of Florida campus.
Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy places like the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the many nature and wildlife reserves in the area such as the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, and Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
Gainesville, like most of Florida, has a humid subtropical climate. As such, summers are long and humid. However, its inland position means that winters in Gainesville tend to be much colder than in coastal areas, with temperatures dropping below freezing point. The best time to visit Gainesville is the spring and early summer (April through July).
In order to reach the city by air, Gainesville Regional Airport offers a handful of connections to cities in the Southeastern USA. That said, Jacksonville and Orlando, with much busier international airports are located nearby. Once in town, the best option is to move around by car. You can rent a cheap car in Gainesville here.
When it comes to the best location in Gainesville, the downtown area is the best area to stay in order to be close to most city attractions and enjoy its nightlife and cuisine. See accommodation in Downtown Gainesville.
Here’s a guide with the best areas to stay in Gainesville, Florida.
The best areas to stay in Gainesville, Florida
1. Our favorite area: Downtown Gainesville
Downtown is the heart of Gainesville and it houses a large number of shops, restaurants, and parks that make it the most lively area of the city.
During the day, you can walk through its tree-lined streets, enjoy live music, visit its handicraft sales or the farmers’ market.
Meanwhile, at night, you can enjoy the theater, go to the cinema, get to know the gastronomy of its restaurants or taste a craft beer next to the Union Street Station mall.
This area has very limited parking, so it is recommended to stay in Downtown Gainesville without a car and move to other places in the city by public transport.
Downtown is one of the best areas to stay in Gainesville due to its good location, great transport connections, and hotels of all kinds.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Gainesville:
- Heart of the city
- Best area for nightlife in Gainesville
- Best area to stay without a car
Accommodation in this area
- Top Choice
Sweetwater Branch Inn
Sweetwater Branch Inn is located in Gainesville and offers suites with free Wi-Fi. The property has a library and is about 2 miles from the University of Florida.
The Gainesville Lodge is just one mile from the University of Florida. It offers an outdoor pool and rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV with HBO.
Hampton Inn Suites – Gainesville Downtown
This hotel is located in the center of Gainesville, 1 mile from the University of Florida and 2 miles from the Swamp, the football stadium. It has a gym and rooms with a flat-screen TV.
2. Near University of Florida
Gainesville is known for being a university city, thanks, of course, to the atmosphere and popularity of the University of Florida.
Near the University of Florida is the Natural History Museum, with exhibits dedicated to animals ranging from mammoths to giant sharks, as well as fossils.
Here you will find affordable accommodation and hotels, making it one of the best areas to stay in Gainesville if you travel on a budget.
This district, in addition to the University, offers visitors a walking tour that shows important monuments such as the Century Tower.
In the Plaza of the Americas, with its landscaping design of the Roaring 20’s era, you can make picnics and take walks.
Other places to visit in this area are the UF Cultural Plaza, the Harn Art Museum and the Performing Arts Center.
The surroundings of the University of Florida are among the best areas to stay in Gainesville, especially for travelers who want to surround themselves with history and art.
Why is this a recommended area to stay:
- University of Florida
- Natural History Museum
- Best area for young travelers
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