Welcome to Gainesville, Florida – a vibrant and bustling city that is filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. While the popular attractions in this city are well-known, there are many secret spots and activities that often go unnoticed by tourists and even locals.
In this guide, we will uncover the top ten hidden things to do in Gainesville FL that will add an exciting and unique element to your trip. So put away the guidebooks and let’s dive into the lesser-known side of this beautiful city.
Get ready to explore the things to do in Gainesville FL! Read further!
1. Downtown Gainesville’s Murals
Gainesville is known for its thriving art scene, and the murals in downtown Gainesville FL are a reflection of it. Take a self-guided walking tour to explore the colorful and thought-provoking artwork scattered across the city. From vibrant street art to abstract pieces, there is something for everyone to appreciate.
This activity is not only free, but it also gives you the opportunity to discover hidden alleys and corners that you may have otherwise missed. Don’t forget to take some Instagram-worthy pictures while you’re at it!
2. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium
Located on the Santa Fe College campus, the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium is a hidden gem for all science enthusiasts. This state-of-the-art facility offers educational and entertaining shows that will take you on a journey through the universe.
From stargazing to learning about different planets and constellations, this planetarium has something for everyone. This activity is perfect for families and individuals of all ages, and the best part is that it’s completely free!
3. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
Get up close and personal with some of the most adorable primates at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. This hidden gem is home to over 100 rescued monkeys, including capuchins and spider monkeys.
Not only can you observe these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, but you can also learn about the sanctuary’s mission to provide a safe and loving environment for these animals. This experience is both educational and heartwarming, and the sanctuary offers tours by appointment only.
4. Lubee Bat Conservancy
Another unique experience in Gainesville is visiting the Lubee Bat Conservancy. This non-profit organization works towards the conservation of fruit bats and provides a home for over 200 individuals from 10 different species.
Take a tour of their facilities, learn about these incredible animals, and even get the chance to see them up close during feeding time. This hidden gem also offers educational programs for all ages, making it a fun and informative activity for the whole family.
5. Otter Springs Park & Campground
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature at Otter Springs Park & Campground. This hidden gem is tucked away in the heart of Dixie County, just an hour’s drive from Gainesville.
Enjoy activities such as kayaking, hiking, and swimming in the crystal-clear springs. You can also rent a cabin or campsite to fully immerse yourself in the peaceful and serene surroundings.
This hidden gem is perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway, and it’s also budget-friendly. Plus, you may even spot some otters while you’re there!
6. Devil’s Den Pre-Historic Spring
For a truly unique experience, head to Devil’s Den Pre-Historic Spring. This underground spring offers the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive in an ancient fossilized cave.
Take a journey back in time as you explore the crystal-clear waters and discover fossils of extinct animals such as mammoths and giant sloths. This hidden gem is a must-visit for all adventure seekers.
7. Swamp Head Brewery
Beer lovers, rejoice! Hidden among the trees is Swamp Head Brewery, an award-winning craft brewery that offers tours and tastings. Learn about the brewing process and try out some of their delicious beers while relaxing in the laid-back atmosphere of their taproom.
This hidden gem is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With a variety of unique and seasonal brews, there is always something new to try.
If you are staying at the Floral Oasis Vrbo, just by the main street, you can visit this hidden gem in just 14 minutes! It will be such a fun thing to do in Gainesville FL if you don’t have the time to go further for a day.
8. Gainesville Food Tour
No trip is complete without trying out the local food, and what better way to do that than with a Gainesville Food Tour. This guided tour will take you to hidden restaurants and eateries, where you can sample some of the best dishes in town.
From Southern comfort food to international cuisines, this tour has it all. You’ll also get to learn about the history and culture of Gainesville as you explore the city’s culinary scene.
9. Bluefield Estate Winery
For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Bluefield Estate Winery is a must. This hidden gem offers award-winning wines and a picturesque setting with rolling hills and vineyards.
Take a tour of the winery, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in some delicious wine tastings. You can also purchase bottles of your favorite wines to take home as souvenirs.
10. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Last but certainly not least, a visit to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a must for nature lovers. This hidden gem features 24 unique gardens spread over 62 acres of land.
Take a peaceful stroll through the botanical gardens and admire the diverse flora and fauna, including water lilies, bamboo forests, and butterfly gardens. The gardens also host various events throughout the year, so be sure to check their calendar before your visit.
Explore the Hidden Things to Do in Gainesville FL
There you have it – our top ten hidden gems at Gainesville FL. From art and nature to unique experiences, this city has something for everyone.
So the next time you visit Gainesville, make sure to add these activities to your itinerary for an unforgettable trip. And remember, sometimes the best adventures are found off the beaten path.
So, this concludes our guide to uncovering the hidden things to do in Gainesville FL. We hope you have found some exciting and unique activities to add to your trip.
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