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Gainesville: the Football Stadium

Things to Do in Gainesville

Gainesville truly offers something for everyone. Recreational activities to be found run from historical tours to drag racing. While sports andshopping enthusiasts will find no problem satiating their appetites, Gainesville does offer an extraordinary amount of activities focusing on local history and nature.

Florida Museum of Natural History

Fusing both history and nature, the Florida Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum is the southeastern United States. At this colossal Gainesville: a Classroom at the University of Florida museum, located on the University campus, over 16,000,000 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates, and so forth are exhibited daily. In addition to maintaining the main building, the J.C. Dickinson Hall, the Florida Museum of Natural History also manages a 9,000 acre ecological preserve. This natural study area, called the Katherine Ordway Preserve, is located just east of Gainesville. Other buildings managed by the Museum include an herbarium and the Allyn Museum of Entomology.

Another must-see for the history buff is the Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site. Here, every February, visitors bear witness to annual re-enactments of the Civil War battle fought here. Also on the premises is a museum and walking trail. Gainesville: a Classroom at the University of Florida Close in proximity is the Ocean Pond swimming and boating area.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Thomas Center is a beautiful representation of the Mediterranean Revival style of architecture. The Center contains art galleries, period rooms from the 1920's, and meeting rooms. Surrounding the grounds is the Thomas Center Gardens and children's theater. This Center is considered Gainesville's cultural epicenter and admission is free.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Called Gainesville Home

One of the local Gainesville residents was author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of both "The Yearling" and "Cross Creek." Visitors may daily tour her small farm in nearby Cross Gainesville: a Classroom at the University of Florida Creek. Inspired by her rural life there, Rawlings won the Pulitzer Prize for her work.

Paynes Prairie State Preserve

For the nature-lover, the Paynes Prairie State Preserve is not to be missed. This 22,000-acre preserve is one of the most important nature areas in the state. On the grounds, among some 300 species of animal life, can be found bison, wild horses, and alligators. Many of the varieties of animals found here have not changed in the last 200 years. Also present on the preserve is an observation tower, visitor center, and museum. Facilities are also available for boating, hiking, and camping.

On a smaller scale, the Palm Point Park is undeveloped nature at its finest. Here, one can observe nesting bald eagles as well as Spanish moss-covered cypress trees. In addition to wildlife viewing, fishing is also permitted at Palm Point. Though no facilities are available on the park grounds, admission is free and it is open daily.

Nightlife Abounds in Gainesville

For those interested in a more festive nightlife scene, downtown Gainesville provides nightclubs, bars, and restaurants amid a historic atmosphere. Here, one can find nightly live entertainment ranging from jazz to country. Likewise there is a wide variety available in Gainesville dining, from African to Chinese and from Fondue to Greek. In short, if you're looking for an exciting way to spend an evening, downtown Gainesville can provide you with everything you need.

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