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Gainesville!

Scenic view of Lake AliceLife in Gainesville is synonymous with life in a busy college town!  There are many businesses and attractions geared toward the college population, as well as many family-oriented activities for the town's 85,000 permanent residents.  Historic downtown Gainesville is reminiscent of Florida’s early history and is home to many landmarks, upscale restaurants, and clubs. 

Gainesville is located in Alachua County, an agricultural center where cattle, dairy products, poultry, vegetables, tobacco, corn, and timber produce the greatest revenue.  Gainesville boasts a fantastic climate, with an average temperature of 70.1 degrees Fahrenheit.  The city is named after General Edmund Gaines, captor of Aaron Burr and victorious commander in the Second Seminole War.

Two unique points of interest are Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, a beautiful display of nature's flora, and Haile Plantation, an award-winning planned community development.  Take a minute to visit the websites of these places to learn more about them.

Within a short drive, one can visit Devil's Milhopper, a giant naturally-formed sinkhole.  Paynes Prarie, a nature preserve landmark, is located minutes outside of Gainesville and is home to many species of wildlife.  North-central Florida boasts many lakes and swamps, which provide habitats for alligators—the University of Florida’s mascot.  The famous Okefenokee Swamp is known for its wildlife and natural beauty.   Gainesville residents can easily visit Jacksonville, the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and Orlando, home of Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.  Gainesville hosts the annual GatorNationals Drag Race, bringing together thousands of racing enthusiasts.

The quaint town of Micanopy is a half hour drive and features antique shops, restaurants, and other specialty stores.  The motion picture Doc Hollywood was filmed there.  Cross Creek, the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is preserved as a state historic site.   You can also visit nearby St. Augustine, the oldest city in America, where legend has it that the ghost of Ponce de León is still searching for the Fountain of Youth…

"THE SWAMP"---Only Gators Get Out ALIVE!The University of Florida boasts two nationally-acclaimed museums:  the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.   Students can enjoy the rotating exhibits and permanent collections.  The University of Florida is home to "THE SWAMP," Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where only Gators get out alive...The picturesque campus has been featured in such motion pictures as Parenthood, Just Cause, Higher Learning, and Devil's Advocate.

When the spring semester ends and UF students leave Gainesville for their summer activities, the town becomes much more slow-paced.  It is a time for the year round residents to relax for a short period of time, knowing that the 48,000 students who keep Gainesville alive will soon return!

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