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Gainesville, Florida: Popular for College and Retirement

Updated on July 20, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is an award-winning Employment & Training pro with regional records and tens of thousands placed into gainful employment.

The Baughman Center of University of Florida

Center for the performing arts and meditation center
Center for the performing arts and meditation center | Source

The University of Florida

The renowned University of Florida (UF) is located in Gainesville, a tope rated College Town as well as one of the Top 20 Retirement Cities in Florida. College towns usually are less affected by a recession than are other places, and this is true of Gainesville. .

In 2010, US News & World Report named the University of Florida the 15th best public university in the US and among the Top Ten Most Popular national universities in America. The amount of accomplishment at UF overall is jaw-dropping and has resulted in honors and top rankings from a number of organizations around the world. However, the most popular may be the development of the sports drink Gatorade.

Other organizations and specialists that have given UF high rankings are Kiplinger's Magazine, The Princeton Review, USA TODAY, The Scientist (noted as one of the best places to work in higher education), The National Audubon Society, and others.

The University of Florida is well known around the world, bringing attention as well as economic health to Gainesville -- for every $1.00 invested in the university, a return of $8.00 is produced.

Interior view of the Baughman Center on Lake Alice.
Interior view of the Baughman Center on Lake Alice. | Source

UF Facilities


The University of Florida houses a large number of the major museums in Gainesville. Any vacationer interested in culture and museums would find plentiful experiences at UF:


UF is a top research center in many fields as well, the university having received $574,000,000 in research funding in 2009, followed by additional similar large funds 2010 - 2014. This fundung has been put to good use in such departments as :

  • UF McKnight Brain Insititute
  • UF Health Science Center - The Emerging Pathogens Institute (preventive health and medicine)
  • Institute on Aging
  • Biotechnology Development
  • UF Genetics Institute
  • UF Cancer Center


  • Bacteria-resistant Bandages
  • Gatorade
  • Glaucoma Treatment
  • Termite Elimination
  • Soap & Sanitizer Detector for healthcare workers - sets off a badge buzzer when hands need to be cleaned.
  • Many others in development

Additional Sources Of Higher Education

University of Florida, Gainesville Location

A markerUniversity of Florida, Gainesville -
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States
get directions

Examine admissions information at

The Stephen C. O'Connell Center or O-Dome  hosts men's and women's basketball. Stephen Cornelius O'Connell (1916 – 2001) was an American attorney, appellate judge and UF university president.
The Stephen C. O'Connell Center or O-Dome hosts men's and women's basketball. Stephen Cornelius O'Connell (1916 – 2001) was an American attorney, appellate judge and UF university president. | Source
A markerGainesville FL -
Gainesville, FL, USA
get directions

City of Gainesville

The City of Gainesville has won as many recognitions as the University of Florida has accumulated in the last decade, 2000 - 2010. Just a few of the accolades include:

  • One of the Top 10 Values Towns for adults 55 and older
  • One of the Top 13 Best College Towns
  • The Number Ten "Mighty Micro" City for Young Professionals
  • The Smithsonian recommended Gainesville for relocation, as did AARP
  • Black Enterprise magazine named Gainesville to the "Top 20 Best Places to Retire"
  • Number 1 Place to Retire During an Economic Downturn -
  • One of's America's Smartest Cities Named one of the 50 Best Places to Live and Play - National Geographic
  • Named one of the Top Ten Cities in the USA for Outdoor Activities by Sperling’s Best Places
  • Official Tree City USA and a Bicycle-Friendly Community (League of American Bicyclists)

Another draw to Gainesville it its focus on sustainability.

Nearly 6% of workers commute by bicycle and the city encourages solar power through incentives to businesses and private individuals.

Gainesville FL Downtown Area

A markerGainesville FL -
Gainesville, FL, USA
get directions


Local Attractions

  1. The University of Florida Bat House is an unepected adventure, with thsounads of bats emerging in the evenings and flying to nearby Lake Alice.
  2. Several State, County and Municipal Parks are located throughout the city, with lakes for water sports activities.
  3. The Hippodrome State Theatre features a stage/auditorium, bar service, an arts gallery and other amenities. It is the architectural masterpiece of the Historic Downtown area and on the US National Registry of Historic Places. The Butterfly Rainforest is probably the city's most widely appreciated facility. SW 34th St. and Hull Road at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
  4. The Santa Fe Teaching Zoo is associated with Santa Fe College and open to the public. 3000 83rd Street, Gainesville FL. Not many colleges have their own zoo! Admission is only $5 per adult. Seniors and kids 4-12: $4.00. Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Preparing about 150 - 200 college students, this zoo specializes in technology for animal care and preserving the Tree Kangaroo. It is also one of the few spots you can see the endangered Philippines' Visayan warty pig.

Downtown Gainesville
Downtown Gainesville | Source

Receation and Entertainment

A number of venues are available in this college town for the arts and entertainment. Dining in the university district is good and inexpensive for the most part and higher-priced dining is available in the city as well.

Major sporting events and theme parks are within a 2-hour's drive, and Amtrak, Amtrak Shuttlebuses, and a major bus transporation system operate around Gainesville.

In addition, several lakes, conservation areas and state parks are nearby and include Payne's Prairie and Hammock Preserves, Newman's Lake, and others. Several local golf courses can be found at this link: Gainesville FL Golf Courses.

Real Estate and Retirement Properties

  • Atrium At Gainesville
  • Harbor Chase
  • Lakeshore Towers Apartments - The most affordable overall, yet well maintained. A high-rise complex with a courtesy officer and a night doorman. Located near three hospitals, including the VA Hospital and UF. Efficiency apartments up to 2 Bedroom/2 Bath.
  • North Florida Retirement Village (The Village) Oak
  • Hammock - Located at the University of Florida
  • Summerville at Gainesville

Employment And Business Information

Gainesville High Demand Jobs

  1. Physical Therapists
  2. University of Florida jobs - See the listings in the column to the left.
  3. Dental Assistants
  4. Truck Drivers - CDL
  5. Physicians
  6. Occupational Therapists
  7. Dentists
  8. Registered Nurses, including Travelers
  9. Financial Advisors
  10. Assistant Managers
  11. Sales Associates
  12. Tutors

High Demand UF Jobs

  1. Assistant/Assoc Professors
  2. Clinical Assistant and Associate Professors
  3. Full Professors
  4. Lecturers
  5. Research Assistants
  6. Nurses and other healthcare professionals at UF Healthcare System
  7. Pharmaceutical Technicians
  8. Student Assistants in Clerical & Admin; and non-clerical jobs
  9. Lecturers
  10. Financial Counselors – Health system/patients
  11. Program Assistants
  12. Physician Assistants

Major Employers 2016 - 2018

The following employers are listing the largest numbers of job vacancies:

  • Shands Healthcare
  • Phillips company
  • University of Florida
  • North Florida Regional Medical Center - Check out this employer for Travel Nursing and related Traveler positions.
  • Trucking jobs- CRST Malone, CR England Prime Inc.
  • Lowes and Home Depot DIY stores
  • Dollar General and Family Dollar stores
  • Aerospace jobs - US Navy and Naval Reserve

Top 10 Largest Employers In Gainesville

  1. University of Florida - UF is the largest employer in the State of Florida, as well as the largest in Gainesville. It is the 3rd largest university in America, by enrollment figures.
  2. Shands Healthcare System - A teaching hospital and other units in a partnership among public, private, and UF university entities.
  3. City Government of Gainesville
  4. School Board of Alachua County - City and county school systems
  5. AMF Alley Katz Inc. - Popular bowling centers.
  6. North Florida Regional Medical Center
  7. Alachua County Jobs
  8. Avmed Inc
  9. Nationwide Insurance - Insurances and Financial Products.
  10. CH2M Hill - Environmental and engineering consulting services.

Experience Works Program For Jobseekers Ages 55+

The FloridaWorks programs, under the US Department of Labor offers job-search, placement, and related services for 55+ that want to work, under the Experience Works banner. FloridaWorks also encourages sustainability with carpooling choices in Gainesville. See these and other services on the pages of FloridaWorks.

© 2010 Patty Inglish

Comments and Experiences

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    • profile image

      Jet Cook 7 weeks ago

      Looking for retirement community. Affordable fixed income.

    • profile image

      MERCEDES AlonsoWoods 3 months ago

      What area to live and buy a Condo or a House?

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 5 years ago

      great hub ! really interesting useful information

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I like Pensacola too.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Looks good to me, Patty!

    • profile image

      mandatory retirement 7 years ago

      To me, the main point of this hub that I take away is that college towns usually are less affected by a recession than are other places. Since I'm about to retire and am looking for the best retirement city, I'm putting that tidbit on my list, on the PRO side. Thanks.

    • dinesh c bhatt profile image

      dinesh c bhatt 7 years ago from India (Noida)

      Hi Patty,

      Great and interesting hub.....Thank you for sharing this

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for all the comments! I'm really talking my self to move down there. The more I talk to people and read about it, the more attractive it sounds.

    • myhomebusiness profile image

      myhomebusiness 8 years ago from Wells, NV


      I have found this hub very interesting. I have never been to Florida yet I know that many who are from there or have been there love it.

      The thing that caught my eye though was embracing a college city or town when people retire. I find any college community so alive, and truly when approaching retirement we really need to think of places that will spark new interest and to keep people active.

      This definitely looks like a great place to achieve all of that..

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      wow Patty, you're doing a great job with these Florida articles, some of my favorite cities. I lived in Gainesville for a year while in my 20's and it's beautiful, great cultural attractions and is an intelligent, vibrant university town. super job! go Gators!!

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Thanks loads, for a view at one of Florida's fine cities. I live in Florida and have never seen the Gators play, never been there. Thanks to you I can now say I know a little about the place - a great University and a nice little town. The Baughman Center has such a gorgous view. Thanks to you, Patty. Don White

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you this lovely hub and the pictures are great. I wish I could there right now.