Gainesville/Alachua County continues to emerge as a diverse crossroads offering an array of nature, historic and cultural-based attractions, championship-caliber sporting events, festivals and museums for our citizens and visitors.
The City of Gainesville’s Housing Department oversees a variety of programs that helps city residents become homeowners. These programs include: the Homeowner Education Program and training workshops for potential first-time homebuyers. Alachua County administers local, state and federally funded grants to preserve and expand the availability of safe, sanitary and affordable housing in the County. In addition to providing financial assistance through grants and interest free, deferred payment loans, they also develop affordable housing incentives to encourage single and multi-family affordable housing developments in the unincorporated areas of the County.
Gainesville, Florida is home to a number of nationally ranked and recognized learning institutions, including the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. Gainesville boasts a vibrant public school system, highlighted by innovative gifted and magnet programs, including Eastside High School’s two magnet programs – the Institute of Culinary Arts and the International Baccalaureate Program. The IB Program is ranked in the top 5% of the nation and the Institute of Culinary Arts is ranked 1st in the State of Florida and 2nd in the nation for programs of its kind.
Parks and Recreation
The City of Gainesville maintains 37 active parks encompassing over 450 acres while Alachua County boasts 24 parks encompassing over 1206 acres. Gainesville’s outdoor enthusiasts regularly head for any of the 40 nature parks within 50 miles of Gainesville to picnic, boat, swim, hike, camp, bike, hunt or fish. Cyclists can pedal almost anywhere in the county with 60 miles of roadways containing on-street bike lanes. Gainesville has been ranked among the top 10 bicycling communities in the U.S. by Bicycling Magazine. Other attractions include the Santa Fe College Zoo, the only community college teaching zoo in the nation. Stargazers can get a front row view of the cosmos at the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College, as well as the University of Florida Teaching Observatory.
The City of Gainesville’s Department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs maintains a year-round schedule of events, recreational activities and competitive sports for all ages.
The Gainesville area offers nine golf courses to challenge the most avid golfer. The city-owned Ironwood Golf Course continues to serve as the home course for several high school golf teams.
Theatre patrons can choose from a variety of venues including: Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the historical Hippodrome State Theatre, the Gainesville Community Playhouse, H.P. Constans Theatre, the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe and the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. Music lovers will enjoy the musical diversity of Gainesville. Live music is offered at the Let’s Go Downtown “Free Fridays” Plaza Series in downtown Gainesville from May to October. Gainesville boasts an active dance community offering performances from two outstanding dance companies – Dance Alive! and the Gainesville Ballet Theatre. Gainesville’s Florida Museum of Natural History is home to more than 25 million specimens and artifacts and is one of the 10 most comprehensive natural history museums in the nation.
Gainesville is the region’s commercial hub; it is progressive, environmentally conscious and culturally diverse. The predominant University of Florida and extensive healthcare system helps attract a rich diversity of cultural backgrounds and all walks of life to the region.
The Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center (GTEC) is a community program providing early stage technology startup companies with tools, training and infrastructure to help them grow and develop into financially viable technology enterprises.
Gainesville has a Regional Transit System (RTS) providing transportation to local residents. The bus routes all are now trackable using a state of the art GPS tracking system available real-time online via computer or through hand held mobile devices.