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13 Fun Things to Do in Gainesville, Florida

Ishwari Pamu Nov 22, 2019
Home to the University of Florida, it might look like there isn’t much going on in the city, but if you look closely, it has so much to offer. With myriads of outdoor activities for adventure seekers, museums for history buffs, food and breweries for foodies and more, it has something for everyone.

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Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention celebrates creativity and invention. It encourages and inspires people to look at things from a different angle. From creating your own robot to several other interactive and educational programs, exhibits and displays, it promotes creative thinking in every manner.
From underwater domes that look like caves, cliffs, gushing waterfalls and rivers to a butterfly rainforest, fossils, life-sized replicas of dinosaur skeletons, and interactive activities, Florida Museum of Natural History has it all! If you are a nature enthusiast, you don’t want to miss this wonder.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is 2,669 acres of goodness! Whether it’s bird watching, hiking, snorkeling, geo-seeking, diving or just picnicking, whatever you like, this park has you covered.

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Just rent a pair of paddles or a kayak, explore the water and its wildlife. Spend a day or at least half scouting these grounds, it’s the best thing you can do in Gainesville.
For “refreshments” after a long day of exploring the city, head to the Swamphead Brewery. Opened nearly 10 years ago, they make handcrafted beer using the local ingredients. They have an excellent menu to go with the beer, relax with a pint of beer and some delicious food.
If you’re looking for something stronger and smoother than beer, drop by Fish Hawk Spirits. Sample handcrafted infused vodkas and whiskeys. You must try the Blueberry Vodka.
Any tour involving food has got to be hands down the best one of all the other tours. Sample specialties from the most well-known restaurants in town, try the street food, dine at restaurants favorite among the locals. Gainesville Food Tour is 3 hours of uninterrupted delicious delight.
With 120 ft deep and 500 ft wide gargantuan limestone sinkhole, the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is unlike any other park in town.
It features 3 completely different ecosystems – a swamp, a forest and a sand hill. Another unique feature is that no matter how hot it gets outside the sinkhole’s walls, it’s always relatively cold in the sinkhole.
If you want some peace with only the nature to your company, swing by the breathtaking Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

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Housing around 24 gardens which include the Hummingbird Garden, Herb Garden(largest in the southeast), Bamboo Garden and more. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the views of the landscape.
Even when you’ve covered everything on your checklist, there’s always something more to explore in downtown Gainesville. Whether it’s burgers at the Paramount Grill, pizzas at Satchel's, comfort food at Loosey’s or live music at Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar, it has so much to offer.

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The Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation is more of a sanctuary housing over 25 rescued, rare and exotic animal species. Giraffes, cheetahs, pumas, hyenas, lemurs, and more call it home. Don’t forget to say hi to Henry - the rhino and Lea - the lion.
Visit University of Florida Bat Houses to witness the world’s largest occupied bat houses. The Bat House and the Bat Barn are home to over 300,000 bats.

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I’m well aware that this is a weird suggestion and is not for everybody. There are bat viewing sessions that last for 10-20 mins during the summers and springs when the bats take over the sky.