Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

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Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

Are you a student planning to apply to the University of Florida? If so, you might be curious about life in Gainesville (the university’s location), like where to hang out with your friends, meet new people, or just have some fun. Luckily, the city has a lot to offer when it comes to hangout spots, whether you are looking for culture, nature, or nightlife. This blog will share with you some of the top hangout spots near the University of Florida, ranging from museums and parks to bars and hammocks. So, let’s get started and see what Gainesville has in store for us.

LocationGainesville, Florida
TypePublic land-grant research university
EnrollmentOver 56,000 students
MascotAlbert the Alligator
Notable AlumniRyan Lochte, Marco Rubio, Kate DiCamillo, Marshall Warren Nirenberg, Emmitt Smith
Student LifeSports, concerts, festivals, clubs, etc.

Also Read: Best Restaurants Near University of Maryland

Why Choose to Study at the University of Florida?

Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

Apart from top hangout spots near the University of Florida, there are several benefits of enrolling to study in this internationally recognized institute:

  • You can choose from a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs across 80+ departments and 14 schools and colleges.
  • You can join one of the top-ranked public universities in the USA, with 20 graduate programs in the top 20 in their fields.
  • You can access affordable and high-quality online education, with UF Online being the nation’s best buy and the number one online undergraduate program.
  • You can be part of a diverse and vibrant community that pursues innovation, collaboration, and impact in various fields.

Also Read: Exploring the Daily Routine of a Student

Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

Gainesville offers a wide variety of top hangout spots near the University of Florida, including parks, museums, bars, restaurants, and nature sites for students to relax. Here are some of the popular ones:


If you are interested in learning about history, art, and science, Gainesville has some amazing museums to offer among the top hangout spots near the University of Florida. Here are some of the museums that you can check out:

  1. Florida Museum of Natural History

From fossils to indigenous artefacts to flora and fauna, the Florida Museum of Natural History has a wide variety of exhibits for everyone to explore. Entry to the museum is free, except to see some special exhibits.

Location: 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States

  1. Samuel P. Harn Museum Of Art

“The Harn” is another entry-free museum with more than 10,000 works of traditional and contemporary arts on display. Apart from its art collection, it is also known for the rugged beauty of its grounds and gardens.

Location: 3259 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States

  1. Cade Museum For Creativity And Invention

If you are a science and tech enthusiast, the Cade Museum is filled with exhibits, interactive stations, and displays, like machine parts to preserved reptiles, for you to get hands-on experience!

Location: 811 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium

Want to discover the mysteries of the universe? Hop into the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium and get launched into the depths of space to learn and observe through star shows like SpacePark and Music 360.

Location: 83 St Building X-129, Gainesville, FL 32606, United States

  1. Artisans’ Guild Gallery

If you are searching for the local art scene in downtown Gainesville, look no further than the Artisans’ Guid Gallery, featuring handmade works of local artists in diverse media and forms at a beautifully restored vintage home.

Location: 2 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States


If you are looking for some fresh air and green space, Gainesville has plenty of parks and other top hangout spots near the University of Florida to enjoy:

  1. Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

As the name suggests, the park is located in a 120 feet deep, 500 feet wide sinkhole littered with animal bones in the bottom! Visitors can reach there through winding wooden steps and boardwalks leading to an observation deck. It’s also known for the three distinct ecosystems (swamp, forest, and sandhill) existing independently of each other within its walls.

Location: 4732 Millhopper Rd, Gainesville, FL 32653, United States

  1. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Want to hit the beach in the landlocked Gainesville? Ichetucknee Springs State Park is here to your rescue with its dazzling blue waters and different kinds of outdoor activities like swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, tubing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. The Great Florida Birding Trail also has a lot of hiking and picnicking sites around the park.

Location: 12087 Southwest, US-27, Fort White, FL 32038, United States

  1. Depot Park

Previously a railroad depot, this park has a lot of attractions for children and adults alike. Apart from having a picnic in the pavilion or playing life-size chess in the grass, you can also catch fireworks shows to live summer concerts in Depot Park.

Location: 4th St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. Sweetwater Wetlands Park

This park is a man-made wetland that provides habitat for many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. You can walk on the boardwalks and trails to observe the wildlife or join a guided tour to learn more about the park’s history and ecology.

Location: Williston Rd, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation

Surrounded by lush green hills, Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation is home to 25+ rare and exotic species like cheetahs, lemurs, hyenas, pumas, tigers, tortoises, giraffes, etc. You can watch feeding demonstrations and get up close and personal with the inhabitants right in the enclosures by scheduling a tour in advance.

Location: County Rd 225, Gainesville, FL 32609, United States


Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

If you are in the mood for some drinks and fun, Gainesville has a lively bar scene to explore. Here’s a list of some bars that you can try:

  1. Social

This restaurant-cum-rooftop bar serves as the perfect hangout for students to eat, drink, watch games, or sing karaoke!

Location: University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32603, United States

  1. White Buffalo

Planning a long night out with friends? Then White Buffalo is your go-to, with great music, affordable drinks, and not to mention a fun weekday special, the Twisted Tuesday.

Location: Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. Downtown Fats

If you want to experience city-type clubbing, trust DTF to always be packed with an amazing playlist. 

Location: Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. The Range

No matter what night of the week you choose, The Range always delivers a fun time, whether it’s Techno Tuesday, Latin nights, or Throwback Friday.

Location: 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States

  1. JJ’s Tavern

JJ’s is a cosy and lively dive bar that’s ideal for a night out. You can enjoy their famous rum buckets and tasty pizza to go. They also have a new back bar where you can sit and chat with your friends.

Location: University Ave Suite G, Gainesville, FL 32603, United States

Also Read: Best Restaurants Near the University of Miami

Other Places to Explore Near the University of Florida

Top Hangout Spots Near University of Florida

Still, want to explore more of Gainesville? Here are some other top hangout spots near the University of Florida for you to explore:

  1. Downtown Gainesville
  2. Lake Alice
  3. Bluefield Estate Winery
  4. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  5. West University Ave
  6. Gainesville Raceway
  7. Oaks Mall
  8. Historic Haile Homestead
  9. Lubee Bat Conservancy
  10. 34th Street Wall

Also Read: Top Hangout Spots Near University of Miami


What towns are close to Gainesville FL?

Here’s a list of towns that are just an hour’s drive from Gainesville:
Lake City 
Silver Springs
East Palatka

Is Gainesville FL a good place to live?

If you’re looking to rent a home with an urban-suburban feel to your surroundings, then Gainesville is the perfect place for you. It is in Alachua County and has a number of parks, bars and other places to relax and have fun.

Does UF have a pretty campus?

Yes, UF has a pretty campus that offers many attractions and features for visitors and students, like museums (Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum of Art), parks (Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Sweetwater Wetlands Park), historic landmarks (the Century Tower, the University Auditorium), and gardens(the Baughman Center, the Wilmot Gardens).

We hope you find this blog useful to explore the top hangout spots near University of Florida. For more such content on student life abroad, subscribe to Leverage Edu. Onward ho!

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