Student Life

Life Around Gainesville

Gainesville is a vibrant and growing city located in North Central Florida with a population of about 135,000. Due to the presence of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, the city offers a great number of activities combining the best aspects of a metropolitan city with the hospitality of a college town. Whether you are looking forward to having a night out in midtown across from the University or spending the day kayaking at Lake Wauburg you are always guaranteed a great time. The winters are mild with average temperatures in the 50-60s° F and summers warming up to average temperatures in the 70-90s° F with beautiful sunny skies year-round.

Gainesville isn’t your typical small city as it accommodates two public and three private golf courses and maintains 27 parks featuring tennis, racquetball, swimming and other organized recreation including volleyball and softball leagues. Spend a morning at our newly created Depot Park where walkers and cyclists enjoy the paths, families entertain kids in the play areas or check it out for a concert or movie under the stars.

Gainesville is also the perfect spot for individuals who enjoy the outdoors since it is located within 50 miles of at least 40 nature settings. These settings offer a combination of camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, boating and fishing that can accommodate everyone! Several of these areas include some of the clearest springs in the nation, providing excellent snorkeling, scuba diving and world-class cave diving. Gainesville takes pride in being environmentally conscious, setting aside land just outside of the city limits for preservation. In order to keep our springs and hiking trails as beautiful as they are we encourage our community to not only take pride in them but to make it a point to be mindful of their actions. Always remember, even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoors person everyone loves beautiful scenery.

Skating Gainesville with David Christianson


Visiting Lake Wauburg with Jomary Mercado-Montijo


Gainesville also offers many cultural events, as well. We are home to the critically acclaimed Hippodrome Theater and the Florida Players of the University of Florida. The Gainesville Civic Ballet and the Gainesville Ballet Theater produce performances throughout the year. The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts presents the finest in world-class entertainment from Broadway, opera and dance, to the superstars of pop, jazz, classical and country music. The nationally renowned Harn Museum of Art is located next to Florida’s State Museum of Natural History. The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention helps inspire the next generation and has fun for the entire family. Gainesville also offers something for every musical taste, from outdoor rock and jazz concerts to the university-sponsored symphony orchestra, jazz band and marching band. Each year, Santa Fe College sponsors the Spring Arts Festival featuring fine arts, ceramic, leather and fabric art from artisans around the nation.

Aside from great entertainment, you can also find fantastic food throughout Gainesville. Some local favorites include The Top, Boca Fiesta, Dragon Fly, Lucy’s, and Paramount Grill—just to name a few. Many famous Florida attractions are within easy driving distances of Gainesville for day trips or weekend getaways. Historic St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, is only 90 minutes from Gainesville; Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center are about two hours away. Within a 100-mile radius are Silver Springs, Sea World, the Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Jacksonville Planetarium and beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Of course, you can always drive a little further to check out other beautiful destinations like Destin in the Florida panhandle, Cape Canaveral for a rocket launch or the Florida Keys for some island time.

Life in the Lab


Andrew O’Connor, 4th Year Ph.D. (MSE) Candidate

Bryan Conry Shows You Around a Ceramics Lab