Gainesville, where nature and culture meet, is centrally located and just two hours north of Orlando on Interstate 75. Home to both "real" gators and the University of Florida "Fightin' Gators", Gainesville provides many opportunities to see both in their native habitats.
Gainesville boasts many attractions and outdoor activities. The Florida Museum of Natural History, hosts fascinating exhibits about Florida fossils, energy, northwest Florida's waterway and wildlife. The museum includes the world's largest research facility devoted to the study of butterflies and moths, with more than 10 million specimens. The Butterfly Rainforest features hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds from around the world. Next door, at the Harn Museum of Art, one of the largest university owned art museums, visitors can discover incredible treasures in the newly opened Asian Wing.
Gainesville has an extensive park system and natural areas for visitors to enjoy the outdoors. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens consists of 14 major collections including the largest herb garden in the Southeast and Florida's largest display of bamboos. Paynes Prairie State Park is Florida's first state preserve and a designated National Natural Landmark. Alligators, bison and wild horses freely roam the 22,000 acres. Depending on the season, 100 - 270 species of birds find food and fly throughout the prairie also making it a must see for birders. Walking trails and platforms provide fantastic views of the prairie.
A vibrant downtown delivers a host of local restaurants that ranges from sushi to steak and every flavor in between. A professional theatre and nightclubs gives the downtown an energy of its own after the dinner crowd heads home. The surrounding communities of Archer, Micanopy, Alachua, High Springs and Hawthorne deliver warm North Central Florida hospitality which makes the Gainesville area a favorite destination. Come experience where nature and culture meet.