ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

20 Facts About Gainesville, FL

Updated on February 26, 2018
FloridaFacts profile image

Paul first visited Gainesville in 2007. Three years later he relocated to the city and has been living there ever since.

University Avenue in downtown Gainesville, where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants.  The city is also home to colleges, theaters, sports stadia, and a planetarium.
University Avenue in downtown Gainesville, where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants. The city is also home to colleges, theaters, sports stadia, and a planetarium. | Source

Located in north central Florida, Gainesville is probably most famous for being home to the University of Florida and the Gator sports teams. There are many other interesting things about the city.

Below are 20 facts about Gainesville, FL.

1. Gainesville is the largest city in Alachua County, both in terms of population and area covered. It is also the county seat. The city occupies an area of 62.4 square miles (161.6 km2).

The Hippodrome State Theater, sometimes referred to locally as the "Hipp".  Built in 1911, the building previously served as a post office and a courthouse, before becoming a theater in 1973.
The Hippodrome State Theater, sometimes referred to locally as the "Hipp". Built in 1911, the building previously served as a post office and a courthouse, before becoming a theater in 1973. | Source

2. The Gainesville population, according to the 2013 US Census estimates was 127,488, a 2.4% increase from 2010. It is the only city with a population above 10,000 in the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (Alachua and Gilchrist counties).

A view of the UF campus in 1916, looking southwest.  The university has operated on the Gainesville campus since 1906.  Among the  twelve universities of the State University System of Florida, UF is classified as one of two "preeminent universities"
A view of the UF campus in 1916, looking southwest. The university has operated on the Gainesville campus since 1906. Among the twelve universities of the State University System of Florida, UF is classified as one of two "preeminent universities" | Source

3. The University of Florida, which is located in the city, is the 6th largest university campus by enrollment in the USA. It is also the largest and oldest university in the state.

4. The UF sports teams are commonly known as "Florida Gators" and represent the college in many sports, including football, basketball, gymnastics, and baseball.

The University Century Tower, built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of university.  It also serves as a tribute to the alumni who died in the two world wars.
The University Century Tower, built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of university. It also serves as a tribute to the alumni who died in the two world wars. | Source

5. The Gainesville climate is humid subtropical. It has mild winters and warm and humid summers. The average June high temperature is 89 F and the average January high temperature is 65 F. From June through to September, afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence.

6. The 2007 edition of Cities Ranked and Rated placed the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area the number one place to live in the USA. National Geographic Adventure also ranked the city was as one of the "best places to live and play" in 2007.

7. Santa Fe College has more than 17,000 students and was ranked the 11th best community college by the New York Times. In 2015 it received the Aspen Award against national competition, for Community College Excellence.

The seal of Santa Fe College, not to be confused with the logo.  The community college opened in 1966 under the name Santa Fe Community College, but changed it to Santa Fe College in 2008 to emphasize the bachelor's degree programs that it offered.
The seal of Santa Fe College, not to be confused with the logo. The community college opened in 1966 under the name Santa Fe Community College, but changed it to Santa Fe College in 2008 to emphasize the bachelor's degree programs that it offered. | Source

8. There are three major cities within a two hour drive of Gainesville: Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. The cities of Atlanta and Miami are around five hours drive away.

A panorama view of downtown Jacksonville from the Acosta Bridge.  Jacksonville is the nearest major city to Gainesville, just over an hour's drive away.
A panorama view of downtown Jacksonville from the Acosta Bridge. Jacksonville is the nearest major city to Gainesville, just over an hour's drive away. | Source

9. The sports drink, Gatorade was developed in 1965 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Its inventor was university professor, Robert Cade. The drink was developed to help the college's athletes by replenishing lost carbohydrates and using water and electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat during sport activities.

10. Gainesville is famous for its music scene and has produced numerous successful acts over the years, including Tom Petty and Stephen Stills. Bernie Leadon and Don Felder from The Eagles also have connections with the city.

Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty, lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys, was born and raised in Gainesville and attended Gainesville High School. The city is looking for ways to memorialize his life.
Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty, lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys, was born and raised in Gainesville and attended Gainesville High School. The city is looking for ways to memorialize his life. | Source

11. The Phoenix family, famous for their movie acting and musical offspring, River, Rain, Joaquin, Liberty and Summer, have had a presence in Gainesville for many years.

River Phoenix.  The acting and musical Phoenix family have had strong associations with the city over many years.
River Phoenix. The acting and musical Phoenix family have had strong associations with the city over many years. | Source

12. The National Coalition for the Homeless has ranked Gainesville the 5th meanest city in the USA on two occasions. The first time was in 2004 for criminalizing homelessness and second time was in 2009 for imposing restrictions on soup kitchens.

Gainesville has received criticism for its treatment of homeless people over the years, particularly its restriction on soup kitchens.  Many of Gainesville's homeless live at Dignity Village, also known as tent city, not far from the airport.
Gainesville has received criticism for its treatment of homeless people over the years, particularly its restriction on soup kitchens. Many of Gainesville's homeless live at Dignity Village, also known as tent city, not far from the airport. | Source

13. The Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park in Gainesville is home to a limestone sinkhole. The place gets its name from having a similar appearance to the hopper of a mill, as well as having animal bones in its basin, which legend has it were from creatures who had entered the sinkhole to meet the devil.

The city has numerous attractive state parks for public use.  The Devil's Millhopper is a giant ancient sinkhole that can be descended via a boardwalk.
The city has numerous attractive state parks for public use. The Devil's Millhopper is a giant ancient sinkhole that can be descended via a boardwalk. | Source

14. The Florida Museum of Natural History is the state’s official natural history museum. It was founded in 1891 and relocated to the University of Florida campus in 1906.

The Florida Museum of Natural History hosts a particularly impressive collection of six million butterfly and moth specimens, one of the largest in the world
The Florida Museum of Natural History hosts a particularly impressive collection of six million butterfly and moth specimens, one of the largest in the world | Source

15. The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art was established in 1990 and houses more than 7,000 works, focusing on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, plus photography. It is one of the largest university art museums in the Southeast.

The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art can be found in the southwest section of the University of Florida campus in the Cultural Plaza area.
The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art can be found in the southwest section of the University of Florida campus in the Cultural Plaza area. | Source

16. The city has a strain of marijuana named after it, known as "Gainesville Green." It is renowned amongst smokers for being particularly potent. At its most popular during the 1970's, it was considered superior to rival Mexican and Jamaican strains.

Marijuana plant.
Marijuana plant. | Source

17. Alligators, birds, and other wildlife can be seen in Gainesville at the Lake Alice wildlife area, which is on the University of Florida campus. There are also two bat houses nearby.

Young alligator shows his teeth at Lake Alice, Gainesville, Florida.  The Lake is located on the university campus.  It is common to see alligators, Florida softshell turtles and many bird types there.  There are also bat houses not far from the lake
Young alligator shows his teeth at Lake Alice, Gainesville, Florida. The Lake is located on the university campus. It is common to see alligators, Florida softshell turtles and many bird types there. There are also bat houses not far from the lake | Source
Bats emerging from the UF bat houses at sunset.  There was originally only one bat house, but due in part to overpopulation, it collapsed.  The original bat house was restored and another was built beside it.
Bats emerging from the UF bat houses at sunset. There was originally only one bat house, but due in part to overpopulation, it collapsed. The original bat house was restored and another was built beside it. | Source

18. The city attracted unwelcome national and international attention in 2010 and 2011 when the Dove World Outreach Center, a local church organized and advertised a Koran-burning event.

Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, who first attained national and international attention in 2010 for his scheme to burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.  He and his group left Gainesville in 2013.
Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, who first attained national and international attention in 2010 for his scheme to burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. He and his group left Gainesville in 2013. | Source

19. The city was a center for college activism in the 1960s and was once described as being the "The Berkeley of the South" by a former UF political science professor.

20. As well as having large numbers of young people, Gainesville has also become a popular place for older people to retire to in recent years, due in part to the quality of healthcare provided by the local Shands Hospital.

© 2012 Paul Askew

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 

      6 years ago from Florida USA

      I love Gainesville. Okay, it's not a huge city, but there is still plenty going on.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)