Downtown Gainesville

Nestled behind the University of Florida, lies historic Downtown Gainesville, a place for locals to lounge, eat, shop and enjoy an event or two.

Many students at the University of Florida, spend their weekends within the immediate boundaries of the campus. What many students have yet to discover is that just beyond the boundaries, lives a community in which they can experience art, food and so much more.

Downtown Gainesville has been known as a place where people indulge in their deepest passions. Almost set like a small modern day Brooklyn, New York, Downtown is the place to be for any student who craves the city scene. The streets are decorated with bright string lights, and local shops and restaurants greet everyone with a warm smile. Downtown gives students the opportunity to experience a unique day and night life. Each new day in Downtown is different from the last.

As of April 14, 2017, Bo Diddley Plaza will be the home to "Free Fridays Concerts Series." During the day, many locals bring their lunches to the plaza to enjoy the breeze and chat with friends. On every Tuesday and Thursday the plaza hosts "Lunchtime Jazz Mix" from 11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. The plaza is also known for the "Union Street Farmers Market," which is held on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. For more information and to access the calendar of events, please visit:

Looking to feed your appetite? Downtown Gainesville has some of the best restaurants in the city. From sushi to Irish pubs, there is a restaurant to fulfill every craving. Here at UF, many students are known to come from the South Florida area, like Miami. Flaco's downtown meets the Cuban standard with the must have "pan con Lechon" sandwich (Cuban bread and pork) , a cuban staple. Flaco's is located at 200 W University Ave Gainesville, Florida, FL 32601.

For the students who enjoy the beauty of nature, Depot Park is the place for you. This park is suitable for families, friends, adventure seekers who like to hike. The park has beautiful scenery, a beautifully built park and water area, a convenience store called "Pop-A-Top." The park is known as "the junction of past and future." What was once a rail yard, became a place of nature and serenity. Following its completion, the Cade Museum will open at Depot Park. At Depot Park, there is a true balance between peace and harmony, a beautiful place to enjoy a picnic or to just explore what the outdoors has to offer. The park is truly ideal for all kinds of people because the brand new park attracts people of all ages. Many students arrive at the park and immediately run to the swing-set. Other students buy a quick snack at Pop a Top and head out to enjoy the beautiful day.

Like many big cities, Gainesville's own "theater district" is located in the heart of Downtown. The Hippodrome State Theater is home to live theater here in Gainesville. Nicknamed "The Hipp" by residents, students and locals can get a taste of live entertainment and even cinematic screenings. UF's performing arts program has allowed for many students to be part of these grand productions, giving them a taste of a small town broadway. The hipp is ideal for students who are looking for a date night, students that are inspired by live production, and those who just enjoy watching a great show. The live production of 'HAMLET' will make its debut at The hipp beginning April 14 and running through May 7th. Showings are 8 times a week as follows: Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7 p.m. | Fridays at 8 p.m. | Saturdays at 5 & 8:30 p.m. | Sundays at 2 & 7 p.m. For more future showings and more information, please visit:

Though Downtown may be subjected to foodies and art junkies, much of the area has a historic background and cool places to visit. Located in Downtown, visitors can find the public library, the courthouse, city hall, and even a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. Historic downtown attracts all kinds of people who are interested in all kinds of things. History junkies get to explore the historic parts of Downtown by visiting the oldest shops in the area and touring things like city hall and the court house. Located in Downtown is a large clock tower, with some pretty interesting history, be sure to check it out next time you visit!

Students, don't let your dorm stop your parents from visiting you! Here in Downtown, there are many different lodging options to stay in the middle of the fun. A Hampton Inn and suites is located right in in Downtown and there are a few bed and breakfasts in the area. Parents are often hesitant when deciding whether they should make a trip to Gainesville to visit their kids. They often question where they can stay and even what they can do. Right in Downtown, there is a Hampton Inn and Suites and in there are a number of bed and breakfasts in the area. The nightlife and great restaurants are the perfect reason to visit Downtown. After all, Gainesville is not just the UF campus, and life goes beyond the Gator Nation.

As you begin to consider whether or not Gainesville is the right place for you, remind yourself of the diverse culture that we offer here. Downtown has a place for everyone and is the perfect place to find yourself and be comfortable. Truly the most welcoming and passionate place in Gainesville, there is always the perfect place for a student of any kind here. Did I mention that around finals week, the local coffee shops are jam packed with cramming students, giving you the chance to study at a place that's not the 24 hour library.

For more information about the Downtown area, please feel free to check out any of the pages below!

To access the downtown parking map, please click on the following link! (Courtesy of Alachua County)


Renee Castro

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