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Gainesville Grows, Evolves and Delights

The City of Gainesville, Florida and it’s world-famous University of Florida and UF sports teams, plus natural beauty and diverse cultural activities draw many visitors annually.

The city of Gainesville, FL has significantly changed over the past several years. Once a town defined only by the University of Florida, it’s amazing natural landscapes, unique history, and quickly-expanding business scene have begun to put Gainesville on the national radar of extraordinary, one-of-a-kind cities.

Gainesville is the perfect place to live for someone in any stage of life. Although it’s small and centralized, there’s always something to do! The city has a rich culture which often remains undiscovered to travelers solely visiting for the University of Florida.

There is a stigma that Gainesville is only a good place to live for college students, which couldn’t be further from the truth! While hosting a Top 10 public university with top-ranked academic and athletic programs means that the Gators are a large part of the city’s lifestyle, it also means that it’s constantly growing. The city has completely revitalized itself since I relocated here in 2006 and even more so than when I lived here in the mid 90’s. There has been plenty of construction recently, but it is slowly making way for new businesses and town center-areas generally only developed in big cities.

The Gainesville retail and business industries are beginning to compete with larger Florida cities such as Tampa or Jacksonville, however, Gainesville residents benefit from less traffic! Innovation Square, an incubator for startup businesses working on high-tech research, has made Gainesville one of the premier startup hubs in Florida. 

There is never a dull moment in this beautiful city! Whether you’re watching a world-class Gator athletic event, drifting down one of the many beautiful nearby springs, such as Ginnie or Ichetucknee, watching wild horses & bison walk by in Paynes Prairie, or visiting one of the local museums on campus, you will always find an exciting adventure.

One of my personal favorite aspects of Gainesville is the food scene. There are so many unique local restaurants, such as Satchel’s Pizza, The Top, Root & Pecker, Manuel’s and Reggae Shack, all which put an innovative and delicious spin on their food. There are also two breweries, Swamp Head and First Magnitude, which are great to visit on a night out.

Not only is Gainesville a great place to visit, but it’s a great place to live. I would truly recommend visitors check out the city!

Gainesville Overview

This article is about Gainesville and Alachua County demographics and quick facts of interest to anyone visiting or interested in living or operating a business in Alachua County. attractions.

If you plan on moving here — or anywhere else in North Central Florida, for a few years or much longer — See Relocate to Gainesville. As a Certified Relocation Specialist (CSR) Realtor, I, will help you and your family transition smoothly to a home in our community.

Facts & Demographics

Gainesville is the largest city and county seat of Alachua County. It serves as the cultural, educational and commercial center for the north central Florida region. The city provides a full range of municipal services, including police and fire protection; comprehensive land use planning and zoning services; code enforcement and neighborhood improvement; streets and drainage construction and maintenance; traffic engineering services; refuse and recycling services through a franchised operator; recreation and parks; cultural and nature services; and necessary administrative services to support these activities. Additionally, the city owns a regional transit system, a municipal airport, a 72-par championship golf course and a utility.

Gainesville is home to Florida’s largest and oldest university and is one of the state’s centers of education, medicine, cultural events, and athletics. The University of Florida and Shands Hospital at UF are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties. Known for its preservation of historic buildings and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Gainesville’s numerous parks, museums, and lakes provide entertainment to thousands of visitors. Because of its beautiful landscape and urban “forest,” Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida.


Area: approximately 63.75 square miles (updated Oct. 2017)
Climate: Mild winters, warm summers, 255-day growing season
Average of 2,800 hours of sunshine annually
January average high temperature: 65 F
June average high temperature: 89 F
Average rainfall is 35 inches per year.
The area basks in Gulf breezes that make summer days warm and nights cool, and produce dry and mild winters.
The Weather Channel CNN Weather National Weather Service (Jacksonville)
Population: 129,816 (260,003 countywide) as of April 2017, in cooperation with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (updated October 2017)
Median Age: 25
Households: 57,576
Median Household Income: $31,426
Taxes:* 6.5% retail sales tax (food and medicine exempt)
Homestead Exemption – up to $50,000
No state personal income tax
No state inheritance tax
No franchise tax
No inventory tax
Millage Rate:** 4.7474 (for fiscal year 2018)
Industry: Variable from agricultural to manufacturing, academic research, health care, corporate infrastructure, many small/minority business enterprises
Location: On the I-75 corridor halfway between Atlanta and Miami
Cities: (within a 2-hour drive) Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, St. Augustine, Cedar Key, Live Oak, Ocala, Lake City, Perry
Beaches: (within 75 miles) The Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico
Theme Parks: (within a 2-hour drive) Disney WorldUniversal Studios, Sea World and Busch Gardens
Home of: The University of Florida, The Gainesville Raceway and The Gatornationals (NHRA)
Famous Residents: (past and present) Bo Diddley, Tom Petty, Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, River Phoenix, Malcolm Gets, Harry Crews, Marty Liquori, Gabriel Schwartzman, Peter Taylor, Mary McCauley, Joe Haldeman, Bob Vila, Maya Rudolph, Tim Tebow


Notable Firsts: Gatorade (first sports drink), nation’s first Butterfly City
Typical Cuisine: Pizza, BBQ, seafood, chicken wings, vegetarian dishes, and many ethnic choices
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